Seek and You Shall Find - Blade Engagement with the French Smallsword

Course Description:
"Exceptionally nimble and deceptive, it is not an uncommon complaint within the historical fencing community that the smallsword is a frustrating weapon. It seemed harmless at first, so diminutive and ornamental. But now every time you try and fence with it, your life flashes before your eyes, but you're barely through grade school before you are stabbed on that line you swore you had closed.

As the smallsword dominated civilian dueling culture in much of continental Europe for more than a century, we must ask… did the 18th century fencer view a smallsword duel as a toss of the coin? Certainly not!

In this class, we will examine the crucial and often neglected theory of fencing with blade engagement ('Sentiment du fer') from the perspective of the early French school of fencing. Historical sources will include L'Abbat (1696) La Touche (1670) and Girard (1740) . This class will include the fundamentals of engaging the blade, making decisions from engagement, communication with pressure and position, engagement as deception, and how to beat Italian fencers.

Required Gear:
Lightweight fencing gloves and a mask required.

Loaner weapons available for those that do not have their own Smallsword.

Course Level:
Intermediate and Advanced Levels

Course Format:

Isaac Humber