Art of the Two-Handed Sword part 6: Short and to the Point

The fifth part of the Primo Assalto marks a mid-point in the form. It introduces the embellishment for the first time (which is only repeated in the tenth part) and by this time most of the actions introduced in the Primo Assalto are already shown. From the sixth on we see some of the earlier themes revisited, and find many new examples of how to use the sword cleverly presented by Marozzo within the steps of the form.

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Context in (historical European) martial arts, why we train and how do we know if we’re good at it?

After tonight’s fencing lesson I had a brief discussion with a few students on what it really is that we practice — are we looking for the most efficient way to use a sword (and what kind of sword?), are we merely re-enacting (or interpreting, since we might not be far enough to be able to re-enact it) old fencing books or are we training for a competition? And what is the end-goal, how do we know whether we have progressed and how do we know where we still need to go?

These are things that I have to ponder often because of my role as an instructor. Not only what the answers are for me, but what answers am I trying to provide for those who come to the lessons. And trust me, I’ve gone through almost every imaginable worry, self-doubt and questioning myself. But before analyzing the subject further let me explain where I source energy for my personal struggles.

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Details on the modified Red Dragon glove

Some time ago I decided to modify a pair of Red Dragon sparring gloves and combining them with a proper cuff taken from a Sparring Gloves sparring glove (I really don’t know what these gloves should be called). With this combination I believe we are getting very close to what a Bolognese style sparring glove should be like. In the video I describe my findings in more detail.

If you are a glove manufacturer and would like to get more information, drop me an email.

Ilkka Hartikainen on Bolognese swordsmanship