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Rich B





Joined: 28 Mar 2007

Posts: 2

PostPosted: Tue 03 Apr, 2007 5:08 pm    Post subject: Ideal Rapier for learning Italian-style Fencing         Reply with quote

Discounting the cost factor to anything within, shall we say, "reason", please weigh in on the best currently-available rapier for a rank beginner desiring great pride in his or her weapon and geographically constrained to learning from books and practicing alone. Comments on books, esp. with figures and in modern English also welcome. If anyone wants to tout the merits of longsword fencing as a preferable alternative, I'd love to hear about it. My primary goals are physical fitness and living in the moment - with the moment being other than my current point in time.
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Geoff Freeman




Location: Wisconsin
Joined: 23 Aug 2003
Reading list: 3 books

Posts: 161

PostPosted: Tue 03 Apr, 2007 6:31 pm    Post subject: Re: Ideal Rapier for learning Italian-style Fencing         Reply with quote

Rich B wrote:
Discounting the cost factor to anything within, shall we say, "reason", please weigh in on the best currently-available rapier for a rank beginner desiring great pride in his or her weapon and geographically constrained to learning from books and practicing alone. Comments on books, esp. with figures and in modern English also welcome. If anyone wants to tout the merits of longsword fencing as a preferable alternative, I'd love to hear about it. My primary goals are physical fitness and living in the moment - with the moment being other than my current point in time.



You can't go wrong with a Darkwood Armory rapier. I have one by them, and it is fantastic. See me review of it on the "Reviews" page (Darkwood English Rapier). If you have a bit more money to spend, Arms and Armor makes a great one too.

As for books, I have both Tom Leoni's Fabris book The Art of Defence and Italian Rapier Combat, edited by Jared Kirby. Both are great.

Geoffrey C. Freeman
Durendal Fencing Club
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Bob Burns




Location: South Indianapolis IN
Joined: 09 Sep 2005
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Reading list: 112 books

Posts: 1,019

PostPosted: Wed 04 Apr, 2007 1:51 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Those are great books Geoff mentioned, I've got them!

When it comes to the rapier and I spent several months deciding on this one, although it is not a practice sword per say, I went with the Arms & Armor Italian Three Ring Rapier. The blade is neither too long nor is it too short, it's light and very fast, a stiff and narrow blade. Yet, nonetheless last October at Shane Allee's Cutting Fest I did cut a 4 gallon plastic cat litter jug full of water completely in half with this rapier and I did in fact have witnesses from this forum.
And I am No accomplished swordsman either, however Oct. 2004 at age 47 I did earn a black belt in karate from a very tough instructor, so perhaps the martial arts training helped pull it off? I don't know, all I know is I cut that jug in half with that 3 Ring Rapier and it's one of the narrowest blades that Arms & Armor makes. I know Joe Fults saw it happen.

I have 11 high end quality production swords and this one rapier and I absolutely Love it! If I get another rapier, I will go for either the Arms & Armor Elizabethen or the Northern 2 ring rapier, as these are both over 51 inches in total length and my rapier is about 46 1/2 overall and I am 6' 1". But that's at least a year or two years away.

This one that I own has fantastic point control.

Bob
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Martin Wilkinson





Joined: 05 Mar 2006

Posts: 155

PostPosted: Wed 04 Apr, 2007 3:20 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Guy Windsor has done a book on Capo Ferro: The Duellists Companion.

http://chivalrybookshelf.com/titles/duellists/duellists.html

Now, i haven't read this, but it'll probably be easier to learn from than a period manual. Although, i'd still get Italian Rapier Combat (which is Capo Ferro's manual) to complement this book.

"A bullet you see may go anywhere, but steel's, almost bound to go somewhere."

Schola Gladiatoria
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Bob Burns




Location: South Indianapolis IN
Joined: 09 Sep 2005
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Reading list: 112 books

Posts: 1,019

PostPosted: Wed 04 Apr, 2007 7:32 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The Duellists Companion is another excellent book! I also have this one too and yes indeed this is a great book for a beginner to learn from.
My hobby library is now running a few books over 100 now and I have bought a lot of books from Chivalry Bookshelf and I have been very happy with each and every book that I have purchased from them! In fact just like many of us might have a "showpiece" sword, mine being the Arms & Armor "Edward III Sword", my showpiece book is from Chivalry Bookshelf and it's the recently released "In Service Of The Duke", WOW is it ever beautiful! But that is off the topic.
The sword and rapier instruction books from Chivalry Bookshelf in my humble opinion are second to none!
For instance in the sword category, I have all of Stephen Hand's and all of Christian Henry Tobler's books. Also I have both of Guy Windsor's books.
You just cannot go wrong with buying their books Exclamation

Sincerely!

Bob
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James Holczer




Location: Central New Jersey
Joined: 29 Dec 2003
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Reading list: 10 books

Posts: 101

PostPosted: Wed 04 Apr, 2007 10:38 am    Post subject: Re: Ideal Rapier for learning Italian-style Fencing         Reply with quote

Rich B wrote:
Discounting the cost factor to anything within, shall we say, "reason", please weigh in on the best currently-available rapier for a rank beginner desiring great pride in his or her weapon and geographically constrained to learning from books and practicing alone. Comments on books, esp. with figures and in modern English also welcome. If anyone wants to tout the merits of longsword fencing as a preferable alternative, I'd love to hear about it. My primary goals are physical fitness and living in the moment - with the moment being other than my current point in time.


Iíll second the endorsement of Darkwood Armory, for price, quality and customer service they are excellent. Darkwood provides a good serviceable piece that moves and feels like a period rapier. I own two and after a considerable amount of hard use I really have no complaints. They also do very nice custom work for additional cost.
http://www.darkwoodarmory.com/

But if you really want a rapier simulator that in my opinion is special, seek out Dennis Graves of No Quarter Arms. Denny doesnít have a huge web presents but you can call him direct and discuss what you want. He is a tad more expensive than Darkwood but his work is worth it. Just be prepared to spend a decent amount of time on the phone because Dennis likes to talk about his craft and works hard at finding out exactly what you are looking for.
http://www.noquarterarms.com/index.html

As far as books go, the best ones are already recommended within this thread, but since you mentioned physical fitness as a goal, Guy Windsorís book The Duelistís Companion contains a pretty good section on physical conditioning tailored toward the student of the rapier.

Regards,
Jim Holczer
Student - Umbs School of Fence / Martinez Academy of Arms
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Rich B





Joined: 28 Mar 2007

Posts: 2

PostPosted: Wed 04 Apr, 2007 4:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks to all for your input. I can foresee that I can expect much more.

I see now why I was drawn towards this realm, albeit with decades of distraction, since the age of 5 or so. Such proud yet humble advocates and practitioners. Such mutual and self respect. Compared to other online (and off) forums and pursuits, a true paragon of virtue!

Chivalry, like the old man on the cart in Monty Python's "The Holy Grail", is not dead. Never will be.

Only problem is, you've in short order given me so many roads from which to choose I run the risk of wasting the rest of my short life choosing.

But as I mentioned when opening this topic, I'm highly geographically challenged. 80 people live here - the closest martial arts group of any kind is 4 hours away.

I particularly elicit the input of anyone in a similarly isolated circumstance. To use some poetic license, "My time is my own, but I'm alone all the time."
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Jonathan Hopkins




PostPosted: Wed 04 Apr, 2007 5:53 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Rich,
I am somewhat isolated in that I am also about 4 hours from any other group, so I am doing the book thing by myself, as well. I have an English basket hilt on th eway from Darkwood Armory and will be using Stephen Hand's book as a guide to learning the short sword system as documented by George Silver. Right now I can sympathize with your situation, but I don't have any advice other than yet another book reccomendation: Teaching and Interpreting Historical Swordsmanship edited by Brian R. Price.

Best of luck,
Jonathan
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