The techniques of the Anonimo Bolognese

A translation and commentary on the largest text on the Bolognese sidesword

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Sometime during the first half of the 16th century an anonymous fencing master recorded his art into written form. The result is the most comprehensive collection of techniques for the Italian Renaissance sidesword used without accomppanying sidearms. After going unnoticed for closer to 500 years the text was finally transcribed and published in 2005. Now, after ten more years the task of bringing the text to life has begun. At you can follow the process of translating the techniques into English and interpreting them as live exercises on video. We welcome you to join us on this path to rediscovering a lost martial art of unparallelled beauty and significance.

Through videos, English translation and Ilkka's commentary this project will unlock the source for you. The project is ongoing, and with a single fee you will have permanent access to the growing amount of translations and videos as the course is being updated.

Course Contents

  Notes on this project
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days after you enroll
  Plays of Spada Sola
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About the instructor

Ilkka Hartikainen
Ilkka Hartikainen

Ilkka has been active in HEMA since the early 2000’s, starting with Italian longsword and rapier styles and later focusing specifically on the Bolognese sidesword tradition. Recently Ilkka has gained more interest in the Bolognese two-handed sword and the earlier German KdF tradition of longsword to augment his study.

Ilkka has been strongly involved in the founding of two HEMA clubs in Finland, first the EHMS and now the Tavastia Fencing Society, through which Ilkka facilitates his training and organizes workshops in Finland and abroad.

Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?
More than a course this is an ongoing project, that will be finished when all the content of the Anonimo Bolognese is added. While it would be cool, if all of the book was translated and videoed already, this is not the case and I don't want to keep you waiting until all of that is done. Instead you will be seeing new content added as you keep checking back! With a one-off single time fee.
How long do I have access to the course?
You will have unlimited access to the contents. The content will not be intentionally removed nor will your access be revoked.
What if I am unhappy with the course?
We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 30 days and we will give you a full refund. You can also let us know, what we could do to make you change your mind.
What is the Anonimo Bolognese?
Anonimo Bolognese is how we call the manuscripts MS 345 and MS 346 held at the Biblioteca Classense in Ravenna. These manuscripts are the notes of an anonymous fencing master, written sometime during the 16th century and describing the use of all manners of weapons included in the martial arts of the time.
What are the abbreviations used in the translations?
I have decided to abbreviate the names of the guard positions. To learn what the abbreviations mean, check
Why is there not a transcription of the original text?
I do not currently have a possibility to publish a transcription. However there are references to both the original pagination of the manuscripts and a page reference to the published transcription, L’Arte Della Spada, that you can order from Il Cerchio Editore.

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