Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Spanish Swordsmanship Workshop

AEMMA invited Maestro Ramon Martinez (Martinez Academy of Arms) to Toronto over the weekend of April 17-18, to provide instruction on Spanish Swordsmanship, to broaden our understanding of other historical fencing systems in Medieval and Renaissance Europe for the purpose of enhancing our own techniques as they pertain to Fiore dei Liberi.

The Spanish style, founded by Carranza in the late 16th century, is characterized by entirely circular footwork - as opposed to the mostly linear footwork found in Italian rapier - and is practiced with the sword alone, or with a dagger as a secondary weapon. Unlike the Italian school, which evolved rather quickly from the 16th century onwards, the Spanish school went almost completely unchanged from its inception to the beginning of the 19th century.

The content covered during the workshop included:

  • How to stand in guard and move along the circle.

  • The cuts and thrusts used in the school (small to large compass, from various angles).

  • Blade engagements.

  • Stepping along the circle as both an offensive and defensive maneuver (desviar).

  • The disarm (movimiento de conclusion) and other actions.

The workshop was well received and was attended by 16 students. Maestro Martinez is an excellent instructor, and everyone who attended found the workshop most useful and were completely satisfied. AEMMA is discussing the possibility of having Maestro Martinez return for a follow-up workshop on the same subject.

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