By the Book

I just picked up a copy of the new book on Armizare. For those of you that aren't in the know, armizare is the word used by 14/15th Century swordmaster Fiore dei Liberi to describe the system of combat that he taught. Armizare is a whole system, featuring unarmed combat, daggers, swords, spears, axes, and even mounted combat--all of it both in and out of armour.Fiore's work is one of the cornerstones of what we teach at Academie Duello; much of our longsword, unarmed, and dagger curriculum is derived from his works, but because our overall curriculum spans a number of weapons (and masters, traditions, and centuries) what we teach is synthesized with the other systems.

Because of this it's always interesting to go back and look at the source material on its own, and look at the work of other martial artists who have dedicated themselves to a particular weapon, system, manual, or master. I like seeing how different people can interpret the same instructions in totally different ways--and both be correct!

So grab a pencil and a book, and explore swordplay through someone else's eyes. Keep notes:
-What terminology do they use that you use?
-What terminology do they use that you don't use?
-What terminology do they use that looks the same, but means something else?

If you ever have questions about different interpretations and you happen to be in the Duello area, most of our instructors and a good number of students would probably love to discuss them (after class, of course).

Also, I would love to hear your recommendations for books that have helped to develop your martial skills, whether they are period manuals or modern instructional books.

Fiore dei Liberi's Armizare: The Chivalric Martial Arts System of Il Fior di Battaglia by Robert N. Charrette is now available in the Academie Duello store. It is a most welcome addition to Venetian Rapier and the Complete Renaissance Swordsman as reference books that complement Academie Duello classes, both of which are back in stock.

We also have the much-requested Swords and Swordsmen back in stock, and I have heard rumours of an upcoming translation of Capoferro coming out in the next month or so. It's an exciting time to be a swordwielding bibliophile.

See you in the store!

Devon Boorman is the Co-Founder and Director of Academie Duello Centre for Swordplay, which has been active in Vancouver, Canada since 2004. Devon’s expertise centres on the Italian swordplay tradition including the arts of the Renaissance Italian rapier, sidesword, and longsword, as well as knife and unarmed techniques.
Read more from Devon Boorman.