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Academy of the Sword 1st Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
As a fencing instructional text - obscure... "Academy of the Sword" is so detailed, complete, and complex that it is very difficult to follow as a fencing instructional text. Thibault's system includes considering the blade of the sword as being divided into 12 parts rather than the more common 2 or 3 (forte, foible, and sometimes medium). Descriptions of each movement are incredibly detailed, and well illustrated, but the overall effect is overwhelming. The system itself is Spanish fencing, radically different from French and Italian styles that have evolved into modern sport fencing, but the obscurity of the system only adds to the obscurity of Thibault's text. The one of the elements differentiating Spanish fencing from others is the use of a complex geometric pattern based on a circle and its diameter and chords as a training tool, and the circle shows up dozens of times in every illustration. Another difference is the upright posture and manner of holding the sword arm straight out from the torso; very different from modern sport fencing, but there had to be something to it as Spanish fencers were well respected in the period (n.b. George Silver's observations on Spanish style fencing in "Paradoxes of Defence" circa 1599). Typical of the period, the discussion of the circle integrates mathematics, geometry, anatomy, and a hint of mysticism. There is much to be learned here, but it is not for someone with only a passing or casual interest in Spanish fencing. This is a reflection of the author and target audience, scholars and educated men of the 1600s pursuing the art of the sword, rather than ruffians or the soldiers of the period.Read more ›
Thibault discusses philosophy and sacred geometry and then goes on to show how proportion is the basis for the study of the sword. Covered in intimate detail is the use of the rapier alone to fence against an opponent with single rapier, rapier and dagger, rapier and shield or longsword. In addition possibly for the first time in history is written down how to use zig zag running to come up on a man using a musket to fire at the swordsman.
Many years in the making the book was published after Thibault died and before he could write the section on combat from horseback.
Thibault's text was lauded as the most elaborately and lavishly illustrated book on fencing ever created. The pictures from the original are highly sought after by collectors. This text is a must have.
didn't make sense. The last section on sword versus a matchlock is very funny.
If it's good enough for the man in black, it's more than good enough for you...
Highly recommended! This is the way modern "reprints" and translations should be.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Essential work for Spanish Circle enthusiasts. Some of the plates appear a bit dim. I don't know if this is a (minor) defect in the printing or an artifact of dim originals but... Read morePublished 17 months ago by L. K. Lawson
Greer's translation of Thibault is brilliantly executed. I've read a number of other books by Greer, and his understanding of the esoteric worldview of Thibault's time, along with... Read morePublished 18 months ago by D. Trout
The content of the book was excellent but I have a couple of issues.
1. The pages were crinkled as though it had been stored in a damp warehouse
2. Read more
Ich liebe die Arbeit von Thibault. Es ist ein Vergnügen in diesem Buch zu lesen, schon deshalb, weil es eine der klarsten Fechthandschriften ist, die es gibt. Read morePublished on September 6, 2010 by El viejo lobo