John Hodgson BFHS Certified IL-1) and chief instructor to the SSS-Leeds teaches what he calls “Elizabethan” sidesword.
The sidesword or early rapier is an evolution of the medieval side and arming sword and designed to be used both on the battlefield and for civilian self defence. It had a blade suitable for both cutting and thrusting style of fencing.
We use the term Elizabethan sidesword to cover techniques concerning this weapon that existed roughly during the reign of Elizabeth 1st i.e. 1558-1603.
The source material studied are :-
Camillo Agrippa – Treatise on the Science of Defence 1553
Giacomo Di Grassi – True Arte of Defence 1570
Vincentio Saviolo – His Practice 1595
George Silver – Brief Instructions – circa 1604
You may be surprised to find Silver mentioned here (those who have looked into this aspect), but in Brief instructions Silver describes defences to thrusts similar to Di Grassi and guards/wards utilised by Saviolo.
In conclusion Elizabethan sidesword is an English look at an Italian weapon.
The SSS-Leeds train on Thursday nights from 7.30 to 9.30 pm at the Farsley Community Church, Back Lane, Farsley, Leeds, LS28 5EU.
Costs are £20.00/month or £5.00/night. Your 1st 3 lessons are free.
You will note that in the picture above John is holding an example of the sword that we use, it is slightly lighter then the majority of originals from the period, but this to enable to engage safely in full contact sparring.
If you would like to join us, please email us for more information: email@example.com