I think every historical swordsmanship practitioner ought to be at least competent with the rapier. Longsword, smallsword, messer and sword and buckler practitioners can all benefit from some rapier training- there is no better weapon for learning how to manipulate blade relationships.
There are several systems of rapier fencing. Broadly speaking they are Italian or Spanish, with several outliers such as Saviolo and Swetnam, and any one of them is useful to know because unlike earlier systems, the actions and theory tend to be much more carefully specified in the sources.
Stylistically, my preference is for Ridolfo Capoferro. Yes, I *will* attack with Capoferro, thank you very much— and no, Thibault does not cancel him out!
I have put together an online course that will take you step by step through the fundamentals of Capoferro’s system, from how to hold the sword all the way up to fencing with the rapier and dagger. The course is designed as an escalating series of classes, emphasising practical skills development through play. You can get a good idea of the tone and content from the first class, which is free to preview.
The fundamental principles are the same for pretty much all rapier systems: control the pointy end of your opponent’s blade with the part of your blade closer to the handle, then strike. I have deliberately designed the course to be useful to rapier practitioners from other styles, and have included enough information that you will be able to interpret whichever rapier sources you are most interested in.
The course includes several of the Quick Guides instalments, and the pdf version of The Duellist’s Companion.
I hope you’ll take a look; I think you’ll like it!
The course costs $330 plus sales tax (or six instalments of $55), but I am offering the course at a hefty 50% discount for the next seven days: $165 plus tax for the one-time payment, or six instalments of $27.50 plus tax.
To take advantage of the offer, use this link.
This special offer will expire on Wednesday August 22nd.
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