The Valuable Lovino

The manuscript treatise by Giovan Antonio Lovino does not get the attention that it deserves. The two parts of this richly illuminated 16th century treatise have a number of original features that make it essential for a study of fencing in these times.

Feeling and Sight

This post provides contrasting quotes about the two main modes of perception used in a sword fight, their properties and how they should be used. Comparing two historical approaches also gives some perspective on the tactical variety that can be encountered even in relatively close traditions that operated in the same context.

Capoferro weapon length

This post explores Ridolfo Capoferro’s advice about weapon length. Are the text and illustrations consistent? What measurements do they give? Are there original swords of such size?

On Silver’s times

George Silver is the famous author of an early printed work on fencing and martial arts in English, Paradoxes of Defence (1599). He is often quoted for having layed out universal principles in the form of his hierarchy of true and false times. Sadly, the most common interpretation of these does not fit the whole text. This post provides the necessary quotes to understand the causes and key properties of true and false times, which are in my opinion more interesting and less open to interpretation than the hierarchy itself.

La mano presta como de gato

Speed Matters

This post explores the notion of speed in our sources, starting with the explicit admonitions to be quick, the reasons one needs to be quick, and then details the distortions to martial moves that are brought by low-speed work. I believe this information is important to keep in mind when discussing training methodology.

Cutting mechanics – hints from sources

How to move when cutting with a sword? While the question may seem simple, the answers are actually quite complex and diverse. In this post, I want to expose some things that can be found in sources to inform our cutting mechanics. This provides a starting point for experimentation, interpretation and training that is firmly grounded in history.