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Category Archives: Living History

Workshop, Mark II

I’ve moved my workshop to a new location, which has the advantage of security, lower cost, and a far more pleasant location. Also, apparently it’s a studio now, if only I could either monetise it or adopt the life of a penniless bohemian starving artist. Step one was, with the aid of some friends, to […]

Thibault – Chapter 6

On Attacks and Counters In the Straight Line Zachary, in the preceding chapter, saw how easy it was for Alexander to defend the simple attacks at First Instance. He asks Alexander to give him those attacks so that he can practice. Alexander, being a jerk, tries to win the drill by introducing the subjection, to […]

Thibault – Chapter 5

On Attacks at the First Instance, and Feints This is the first chapter where Thibault leaves off his purely theoretical discussion and begins actual paired exercises. Poor Zachary comes off rather the worse for wear here, as he launches a variety of simple thrusts straight down the diameter (with one exception) from the first instance […]

Thibault – Interlude and context

A brief interlude resulting from a conversation over rather a nice stout, while we explore Chapter 5 with sword in hand. It is worth thinking about the context for Thibault’s life. Think about some of the other people and masters: Who Birth Death Thibault 1574 1627 Narvaez 157? 1640 Fabris 1544 1618 Giganti 155? 1622 […]

Thibault – Chapter Four

On The Posture Of The Straight Line This is a somewhat clunky chapter, needing to be partly read with Chapter 3, and suggesting that a good editor would have helped with the structure at this point. There are three distinct sections in this chapter that are not entirely related but also not quite separate enough […]

Thibault – Chapter Three

On The Correct Way of Drawing The Sword and Entering Into Measure This is the first chapter where Thibault has the student doing something with the sword, and falls neatly into the natural progression of learning. Interestingly this is one of the few places where he talks about making it work on the street – […]

Thibault – Chapter 2

On Proportions Having apparently dealt with the circle and proportions of the body completely in Chapter 1, Thibault returns to it in Chapter 2, in what feels to me l like a somewhat defensive inclusion outside his main thrust of teaching. The chapter starts by restating the argument that the measuring stick for all fencing […]

Thibault – Chapter 1

The Proportions of the Human Body, Related to the Figure of our Circle and to the Proper Length of the Sword Chapter 1 is very dense, both with theory and the way that the theory is discussed, but has a number of key statements that need to be observed. It’s a pretty good illustration of […]

Thibault – Author’s Note

Since I last wrote, and started searching around, I have found a record of one sale through Christies of a copy that changed hands for around €19,500 in 2009. There’s some interesting details there around that physical copy, including the size, listed as 550 mm x 410 mm, which is roughly the size of an A2 […]

Thibault – Introduction

I have in recent weeks began re-reading Academie de l’Espee by Gerard Thibault d’Anvers, for a variety of reasons. Sadly my virtually non-existent French means I am reading the 2005 translation by John Michael Greer. To my surprise and delight, re-reading after having left it alone for several years I find it opening up for me, […]