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Mike O'Hara

Location: New Zealand
Joined: 10 Jul 2010
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Posts: 118

PostPosted: Tue 04 Sep, 2018 1:46 am    Post subject: Specific fencing system for schiavona?         Reply with quote

Hi all

Some in a group down here asked what fencing system was specific to the use of the schiavona.

Can any direct me to anything specific or failing that, what systems would probably have been applied


MIke O'Hara
Location: Plimmerton, New Zealand
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T. Kew

Location: London, UK
Joined: 21 Apr 2012

Posts: 223

PostPosted: Tue 04 Sep, 2018 3:54 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This isn't how historical fencing worked.

A fencing system would (generally) be applicable to most common weapons in the time and place of its creation, using common principles with minor adaptations for the specific item in hand. Liechtenauer gives the same basic actions and strategies with the sword on horseback, the spear in armour and the sword unarmoured, for example - and they can also be used with the one handed messer, the dagger, the sword and buckler, in wrestling, etc. We see the same pattern in Fiore, in the Bolognese tradition derived from Dardi, in the Spanish Verdadera Destreza and in many other historical authors.

Having said that, three approaches which might get you somewhere with the schiavona:
  • Sidesword: The iconic choice would be the Bolognese authors, such as Marozzo or Manciolino. This is typically a bit earlier than the schiavona, but could well have hung around. Should work fine, although note that the system is generally designed for weapons with a less complex hilt so some slight adaptations might be needed.
  • Rapier: There's buckets of this, but Giganti might be a good start for a fairly generic and adaptable rapier system. Very contemporary and up to date. Despite the common conceptions, most rapier authors still use the cut extensively, especially when fencing multiple opponents.
  • Broadsword: Typologically the closest fit, but unfortunately we don't have any contemporary systems from Italy. You might be able to adapt English sources - they seem like a pretty generic take on fencing with that sort of weapon.
Personally I'd mostly go with some rapier source, picking one that makes heavy use of cuts (look for the weird stuff near the end to find them).

HEMA fencer and coach, New Cross Historical Fencing
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Kel Rekuta

Location: Toronto, Canada
Joined: 10 Feb 2004
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Posts: 616

PostPosted: Wed 05 Sep, 2018 5:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'll second the Bolognese sidesword material, especially anything that covers sword and rotella. These were the often the swords of hired troops and bodyguards so they weren't civilian costume rapiers that were the rage throughout this period. Its not my area of study but I think there is a section in Anonimo Bolognese, in Achille Marozzo and another later work where rotella is a minor study late in the treatise.

The Bolognese sword afficianados should be able to set you straight onto some leads.
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