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Showing posts from January, 2016

Capo Ferro - becoming accomplished

"Anyone who wishes to become an accomplished swordsman must, beyond taking lessons from a master, strive to play every day, and with different antagonists, and when possible he must select better fencers than himself, so that by playing with so many practical men, he may see wherein dwells perfect merit" - Ridolfo Capo Ferro

Egerton Castle - The Principles of the Sword

From Schools of Masters of Fencing by Egerton Castle, 1885.

I'm rather impressed with myself that the "principles" I puzzled out for myself from reading 16th century sword play are pretty much identical.

"The 'time', 'distance' and 'proportion' of the early Anglo-Italian masters of the sixteenth century are still as much as ever the first notions to be grasped. They are now called 'time', 'measure' and 'guard."

"The very first principle of all fencing is obviously to keep the proper 'measure,' namely, to keep out of easy reach when on the defensive, and conversely, never to deliver an attack without being within striking distance."

"The next principle is to keep proper 'time,' namely, first, to reduce the motions of weapon and body to the strictly necessary, both in number and extent, so as to employ the least possible time in attack and parry."

"Secondly to balance those motions c…

The True and False Art

"I am constrained to divide this Art into two Arts or Sciences, calling the one the True, the other, the False art" - Giacomo di Grassi

The difference between the False Art and the True Art is interesting. It's quite important to Di Grassi and Silver so it's worth a few notes. It's amusing for me because it reads a lot like an early example of the "real martial arts" v's "sporting martial art" spat that rumbles on to this day.

It's worth noting that it's not as simple as good and bad technique. Certainly I've had it explained to me in the past that they authors when saying "True" this just means "good" technique and conversely that "false" was simply saying "bad" technique. Certainly authors such as di Grassi and Silver think that the "True Art" is superior however much like the modern Sport V's Martial argument it's all about correct context. 

Di Grassi is especially in…

Colonel Monstery, the first rule of defense

"The first rule of defense is to watch your opponents hands, not his eyes, as the old fashioned boxers and fencers advised. A man cannot hit you with his eyes." - Colonel Monestry, Self-defense for Gentlemen and ladies, 1870's

Happy new year and a badass cutting video

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Enjoy this entirely serious video of our clubs latest cutting session.