Submitted by Don William Parris.
The Society enjoys an ever growing availability in period source work concerning historical rapier and other martial forms. Texts are being translated and modernized to assist the current day students in following the principles of the masters. Many thrive on reading the direct sources, as if one could hear the given master talking. Others need just a little bit of middle ground to assist in learning the theories and applications.
I have gathered a few collections of videos, created by rapier researchers both in and out of the Society, to help enrich the study of our game.
This first collection is English martial arts, including George Silver’s backsword and early English pugilism. I enjoy Mr. Austwick’s focus on mechanics and application, although it may be just a little aggressive for Society use. Of course, I will always have a soft spot for England.
Next we have a few series concerning the Italian approach to combat. The Italian masters have enjoyed the widest exposure and some of the deepest research. When I first started period study, I was a little overwhelmed by the regional differences and subtle varieties. These should help clarify some of the basic concepts and yet deliver the spectrum of different approaches found in Renaissance Italy.
Ilkka Hartikainen’s Bolognese Sidesword (And a great deal more!)
Guy Windsor’s Take on Capoferro and Fiore
(Mr. Windsor is internationally acclaimed for his research)
This last for Italian is by a friend of mine from our neighbor, Atlantia. Solid foundations!
Next we have a very useful series concerning Joachim Meyer’s “rappier.” Recently growing in popularity, the German approach to rapier is aggressive and violent. These videos help clarify the sometimes confusing source work.
Lastly, a series on Spanish rapier. The Spanish school has been long regarded as extremely difficult to learn and apply. Only a few sources of information are available, and experienced interpretation is even rarer.
And finally, this is a list I have put together including the work of Master Puck and his wife, Mary. They are both renowned for their research and have really blazed the trail for the study of Spanish sword work.
I hope these are useful perspectives on rapier. All are dedicated students and practitioners. Keep practicing!