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On Fencing Paperback – January, 1994

4.7 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Laureate Press; 2nd edition (January 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 188452804X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1884528040
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.6 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,120,987 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Guerrilla Reader VINE VOICE on August 25, 2004
Format: Paperback
Aldo Nadi was an undefeated World Professional Fencing Champion. Know that many fencing instructors consider Nadi to be the consumate Master of sport.

Aldo Nadi places his many decades of fencing instruction into text form for all of us to use and enjoy. He provides the reader with his "secrets" gleaned through his fencing education, techniques, and learned and natural talents.

In this book, Nadi states that "teaching fencing is much more difficult than might be generally supposed." He then launches into a treatise of the history of the sword, the importance of footwork, the lunge, proper attack techniques, parry-ripostes, counterattacks, and much more.

I feel that this book is a model of fencing instruction, that is devoted to the sport, nay art, of fencing. Nadi's insights into the "psychology of combat" are revealing of the authority to which he speaks through his instructions.

The reader will find this text very easy to understand and incorporate into their personal fencing regimen. For novice or advanced fencers, this book is a must read! What else needs to be said. This is a great instructional/tutorial text. Superb! Five stars.
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Format: Paperback
Aldo Nadi was one of the greatest fencers, and his logic is still the greatest, even today. This is book is about great fencing, not the poke and hack technique (could you even call it that?) that is adopted today. If more people were to read this book, the fencing world as we know it would improve greatly. This book is about what makes the sport great-- Finesse over firepower, courtesy over barbarism, and honor over winning at all costs. Definite recommended reading for those who are already fencing, although non-fencers might find it perplexing. He does outline exactly how to come into the guard postion, how to grip the sword (assuming no pistol grip is implemented), however. Recommended reading for all people who aspire to be truly great at fencing.
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Format: Paperback
If you have ever participated in the magnificent art of fencing at any point in your life, you should read this book. If you are a serious student of fencing, no matter what style or school of fence you practice, you should own this book. Even if you have not fenced before, despite the highly technical nature of much of this book, it can give you an excellent insight into the fencer's world and, in particular, into the mind and life of one of the greatest fencers who ever lived. On Fencing contains a wealth of knowledge that only a true master could possibly hope to attain, and Aldo Nadi does an excellent job of not only explaining his fencing style, but also telling a story of honor, danger and romance that is, in a word, fencing. This work superbly illustrates to anyone who reads it the pure passion that many fencers actually (or at least hopefully) feel for their art. True, this book was written many years ago. True, Aldo Nadi was of a different build than many of the fencers now out there who may read this book. Also true, fencing in Nadi's time was quite different from what we now call "fencing." These truths, however often they and other "faults" are pointed out by some of Nadi's critics, are in fact irrelevant to the true art of fencing; any serious fencer with good training and enough experience can tell you that size, age, build, etc. are not a consideration in an art that relies more on mental alertness and skill than it ever will on size or strength. What Nadi does in this book is to point out exactly this fact, and to engulf the reader in a world where there is still honor, where fencing is still given the respect it deserves, and where anybody, man, woman or child can learn an art in which everyone has an equal chance of success.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
But over-hyped and a bit out of date.

What's good:
-A great degree of detail and thoroughness. Nadi meticuluously develops each concept and writes clearly enough that the concepts can be grasped from the text.
-The emphasis on form is important, and Nadi makes it clear that form matters.
-The text is well structured and organized, so a fencer can quickly refer to the things he or she wants to work on.
-The emphasis on good fencing manners. As long as there really is respect, "excessive manners" is not possible. Modern American sport fencers can be sloppy about good manners, but when the coaches don't correct them, that rankles. If a fencer takes nothing else away from Nadi, manners matter.

What's not so good:
-Nadi is a big advocate of Nadi. Yes, he was a great fencer, yes, he won again and again, yes, he fought in a 'real' duel. These things make him a great fencer, but don't contribute to the clarity of his prose.
-Nadi spends a lot of time discussing the management of an Italian foil with a crossbar, and the use of the wrist strap. Neither are in common usage today, and the wrist strap wasn't relevant to the management of the sword prior the obsolesence of the sword in the early 1800s. This piece of the book detracts from the merits of the rest of the book.
-Although Nadi extolls fencing as a pursuit for anyone, he possessed a rare physique (over 6' and about 130 lbs) but ideal for sport fencing. Discussion of alternate approaches for those of us with less than ideal physiques for fencing would have been very welcome.

I got as much out of either Dominico Angelo or Bazancourt's books. Nadi is great for an experience sport fencer, but shouldn't be the first text for anyone, and probably would be wasted on inexperienced or classical fencers.
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