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Tom Leoni
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PostPosted: Tue 27 Jul, 2010 4:09 pm    Post subject: Manciolino in English, Leckuechner Messer DVD Available!         Reply with quote

Freelance Academy Press New Titles Announcement!

Freelance Academy Press ( is proud to announce the release of its brand new titles, and to let you know about other products that are in queue.

New Books and DVDs available in August 2010:

The Complete Renaissance Swordsman: a guide to the use of all manner of weapons - English translation of Bolognese Master Antonio Manciolino’s Opera Nova
With illustrated technical and historical introductions. By Tom Leoni.

Originally published in the 1520’s and reprinted in 1531, the Opera Nova of Bolognese swordmaster Antonio Manciolino is the earliest surviving printed book on Italian martial arts. This seminal and eclectic Renaissance work contains clear and systematic instruction on the use of the sword and small buckler, sword and large buckler, sword and targa, sword and dagger, sword and cape, two swords, sword alone, and sword and round shield, plus a fascinating compendium on the use of polearms. Clearly and elegantly written, Manciolino’s text is one of the best presentations of the martial skills required of the ideal Renaissance man.

For the first time since its original publication, this book has been translated into English, by experienced historical fencing instructor Tom Leoni. This English translation of Manciolino is prefaced by an extensive technical introduction, complete with illustrations from original sources and modern photographs, making it easy for anyone to follow the instructions, sword in hand. Also included is a historical description of the Bolognese school in the context of Renaissance Italy, as well as the profile of one of the most fascinating figures who fenced in this style - the flamboyant condottiero Giovanni de’ Medici (1498-1526).

Introducing AgilitasTV and The Messer of Johannes Lecküchner
Instructional English-language DVD on the use of the German Messer. By Alex Kiermayer and Hans Heim.

Part of our mission is to not only develop high-quality books and DVDs in-house, but to partner with companies of similar vision to bring our customers a complete roster of titles. This was why we partnered with SpeakingWindow Productions to spearhead the development of our DVD line, beginning with German Medieval Martial Arts, Volume One: The Pole Axe.

In the same vein, we are pleased to announce a new partnership with AgilitasTV as their North American distributor. Agilitas may already be known to some of you as a German producer of a series of bilingual instructional DVDs on Western Martial Arts. We are pleased to begin this partnership with The Messer of Johannes Lecküchner by Hans Heim and Alex Kiermayer.

In the late 15th century, a priest by the name of Johannes Lecküchner formulated his own martial art for fighting with the falchion or “messer” based on the principles of two-handed sword fencing developed a century earlier by the famed master, Johannes Liechtenauer. In this two and a half hour long DVD, Heim and Kiermayer provide a complete introduction to training with this fascinating weapon. Guards, footwork, blows, parries, counterattacks and in-fighting are all discussed and displayed at different speeds and angles, and combined with a number of training drills. These techniques and principles of messer combat were applied by German masters-at-arms to all single-handed swords, and can provide a point of entry to the longsword as well, making The Messer of Johannes Lecküchner perfect for the new student, small study group or martial arts club looking for something new.

This is only the first of a line of products from Agilitas, and we look forward to bringing our customers many more in the months and years to come!

Coming This Fall!
When Freelance opened its doors this past March, we promised to hit the deck running and bring you a rapidly growing catalog of high-quality, innovative books and DVDs by a diverse body of authors. We have a packed production schedule that will takes us straight through 2011, but here is your sneak peek as to what is coming next.

Swordplay in the Age of Shakespeare by Stephen Hand

Shakespeare’s plays contain a vast amount of swordfighting scenes, which have delighted audiences for centuries. But do we have a way of knowing how these scenes would have been choreographed in Elizabethan England, for a contemporary audience? To answer this question, experienced researcher Stephen Hand compares and contrasts the styles of four prominent masters who were widely known in Shakespeare’s time. The fencing instruction of Giacomo di Grassi, Vincentio Saviolo, George Silver and Joseph Swetnam are analyzed with a special eye to their outward appearance: each has its own distinct personality which wonderfully dovetails with the characters and qualities of many of Shakespeare’s immortal personae.

In the spirit of visual impact and ease of use, this book is meticulously illustrated with original photographs, making it easy to follow by actors, choreographers, martial artists and students of the sword of all experience levels. Besides the technical sketches of each master’s fencing style, Mr. Hand provides advice to which type of Shakespearean character it would be most suited for. The book also includes a historical panorama of fencing in Elizabethan England, complete with a rich and superbly-researched account of the Masters of Defence system, making it a must-read for historians, theater professionals and Western martial artists alike.

Ancient Swordplay by Tony Wolf
This book details the revival of “ancient,” especially Elizabethan, swordplay during the late 19th century, focusing upon the work of two Englishmen, Egerton Castle and Alfred Hutton, who were jointly responsible for much of that revival. Their efforts presaged those of the modern Historical European martial arts movement, whose more immediate origins are usually traced to the 1970s. During the late Victorian era, revived ancient swordplay found practical expression in a wide variety of formats, including classes, educational exhibitions, theatrical fight choreography, formal lectures, and the publication of books and essays, examples of which are all duly noted.

This book takes you into the smoke-filled halls of private clubs, as well as the well-attended fencing salles of turn-of-the-century Europe. There, some of the keenest fencing minds of the time devoted their passion and their extensive education to the reconstruction of ancient swordplay. An accomplished martial artist, swordsman and professional fighting choreographer himself, Tony Wolf includes a few important "firsts" in this book, including the first seriously-researched account (in English) of the reconstruction of the escrime ancienne (ancient fencing) and Roman gladiatorial combat in France. Also, read a touching explanation of why these men’s pioneering efforts are a shining example of historical research, as well as a memento to the passion that the sword and its use has exercised on the human mind since the beginning of time.

Thank you for making Freelance Academy Press an explosive success! Please keep the suggestions and wish-lists coming! We will keep working hard to bring you new and exciting titles, practical instruction DVDs, long-awaited translations and more - always on time and always in stock.

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Sean Manning

Location: Austria
Joined: 23 Mar 2008

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PostPosted: Tue 27 Jul, 2010 9:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ooh, a complete translation of Manciolino!

You're making it really hard for me to keep up my resolution of ordering my first batch of books once the Best of WMAW volume comes out.
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Jean Thibodeau

PostPosted: Tue 27 Jul, 2010 9:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Good news and I can continue buying everything you print or publish in books and DVDs. Big Grin Cool
You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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