Medieval Warrior Workshop Part 1: Swordfighting Overview

Combative Framework & Resources

  • two tenets: proper arms, proper respect
  • – the online hub of study resources
  • – events and schedules of upcoming classes and workshops
  • the school salute: arte, ardore, onore
  • swordfighting presented as a graduated system of learning. Like any other sport or artform, there is a method to learning swordfighting which is accessible and comprehensible.


  • Posta Longa (the long posture)
  • Posta di Donna (the noble lady’s posture on the lead hand side)
  • Posta di Donna Sinestra (on the offside)
  • Porta di Ferro (low on the lead side)
  • Dente al Cinghiara (low on the offside)
  • Posta Finestra Sinestra (high on the offside, point forward)
  • moving between poste using small steps, passing steps, triangle steps

Core Attacks

  • Posta Longa: the thrust
  • Posta di Donna: the cut downward (fendente), emphasizing the order of the attack (weapon first, then passing step to finish)
  • Porta di Ferro: true edge rising (sottano) cut, or thrust after turning the point forward
  • Dente al Cinghiara: the rising false edge cut/thrust, using the lunging step

Core Defenses against Mandritto Fendente

  • Posta di Donna: parry (oppose the attack) with a cut to win the centreline; riposte via thrust. All ripostes cover the opponent’s sword. Right side and left side.
  • Dente al Cinghiara: deflection (behind the attack) with a rising cut; riposte via cut
  • Porta di Ferro: collection with the crossbar; riposte via false edge downward (roverso fendente) cut

Blade Engagement

  1. Approaching the opponent’s point. Cross over the opponent’s sword, thrust with cover.
  2. Receiving the opponent’s point. Cross over the opponent’s sword, point at the target and let the opponent walk onto your sword.
  3. Receiving the oponent’s edge. Oppose their attack with your edge (parry), or collect the rising cut into your crossbar, riposte with cover to defend against opponent’s sword.
  4. Approaching the opponent’s edge. Begin the attack, draw the opponent’s parry, then slip their parry and finish your attack on the other side of their sword. Save footwork for the finish, not the beginning.

Grappling with Dagger & Spear

  • Dagger attack with mandritto (forehand) and roverso (backhand)
  • Dagger defense via offhand parry, riposte with forward throw. Right and left.
  • Spear held at the half, attack via downward blow.
  • Spear defense #1: overparry, riposte with spear head hooking backhand takedown
  • Spear defense #2: underparry, riposte with tail blow, or spear tail hooking backthrow

Combat Games

  • Attack with downward cut, defend via evasion (breaking measure)
  • Attack with downward cut, defend via evasion or parry (begin in matching postures)
  • Attack with downward cut, defend via evasion or deflection (begin in mirrored postures)
  • “Next” game. Each fighter takes the turn simultaneously as the instructor calls “next”. A great opportunity to improvise in a safe and controlled environment.