Our new season starts with Manciolino Sword and Buckler from September 18th. We should be back in Okehampton College Gym at 8.30 til 10pm.
This half-term block will introduce the basic techniques used in the Bolognese sidesword tradition. It is based on the works of Antonio Manciolino, primarily his Opera Nova of1530. We’re using the translation by W. Jherek Swanger.
This is a new school of sword and buckler for us, having studied the older i.33 manuscript in previous years.
Manciolino’s text is divided into six books, sadly with few illustrations. His first book focuses on the Spada da Gioco or practice sword paired with a Brochiero Piccolo, a small buckler of roughly 8 to 10” in diameter.
Sidesword is the versatile blade of this period. A development of the Medieval arming sword, the sidesword is lighter and more nimble, with the improvements in steel making. With a double-edged blade and pointed tip, it enables cutting and thrusting. Variants for mounted soldiers tended to be broader and heavier for cutting.
Unusually, the surviving examples of sideswords are of a very similar length, indicating an informal standard amongst fencing masters and military armourers. The transitional hilt incorporates knuckle bow and side rings to protect the hand. The sidesword eventually makes way for the longer rapier, with more complex hilts and orientation to thrusting attacks over the cut. Into the seventeenth century, some masters such as Saviolo continue to teach comprehensive sidesword techniques under the fashionable label of rapier.