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Recent Announcements

Read on for what's been happening at at Forte Swordplay...


posted Jul 13, 2015, 6:18 PM by   [ updated Sep 14, 2015, 6:18 PM ]

The premiere HEMA event for New England.

IGX features exhibitions, tournaments, workshops, and lectures presented by Historical European Martial Arts instructors from around the world.

For more information:

New Location

posted Sep 22, 2014, 9:32 AM by   [ updated Jul 13, 2015, 6:13 PM ]

New England Movement Arts (NEMA)

123 Muller Road, Burlington, MA 

Article and Video from the New York Times

posted Sep 18, 2014, 8:42 AM by

Here is an article and video from the New York Times.­

Iron Gate Exhibition 2014

posted Sep 8, 2014, 10:24 AM by

Friday, 9/26 - Sunday, 9/28
Boston, MA
Our mission will continue to be to showcase Historical Martial Arts by honoring the Old World Fechtschule tradition (i.e. skillful displays of traditional martial arts) in our modern-day home in New England, USA.  

CUTTING (Basic and Advanced)





3 days of CLASSES

AXEL PETTERSSON [Sweden] -- Longsword: staying safe in the "box" and playing for the head

BILL FRISBEE [NH] -- Harnischfechten: why every HEMA practitioner should try it

CHARLES DEILY [MA] -- A Vor and Nach model in Fiore's dagger, grappling and sword

CHARLES MURDOCK [VT] -- Meyer's longsword secondary cuts

CHRIS THOMPSON [ME] -- Highland Broadsword Tactics

EUGEN KAREL [Austria] -- What Paulus Hector Mair could do with his staff

FABRICE COGNOT [France] -- The French Rapier: how we finally managed to make the Italian rapier work

FRAN TERMINIELLO [United Kingdom] -- Manciolino Sword and Buckler

HARRY WINTER [Austria] -- Dagger Plays of Lignitzer and Wallerstein

JAKE PRIDDY [WV] -- Steeling the Center: Movement and Initiative in Liechtenauer's Longsword Traditions

JAMES CLARK [VA] -- Montante Strikes and Postures: The Utility of Postura Recta

JEREMY STEFLIK [CT] -- Fixed Bayonets!

NATHAN GREPARES [TX] -- David and Goliath: how to conquer height discrepancies

OMAR RODRIGUEZ [Mexico] -- Principios Básicos de la Verdadera Destreza (Basic principles of Verdadera Destreza)

PIERMARCO TERMINIELLO [United Kingdom] -- Two Swords from Palladini, Altoni, and Docciolini

REBECCA BOYD [MO] -- From the Salle to the Field: Classical Fencing for Historical Practice

TIM HALL [VA], MICHAEL-FOREST MESERVY [NV], KEITH COTTER-REILLY [GA/Ireland]: Midday Brawlers: a HEMA Wrestling Clinic

2 evenings of LECTURES

BRIAN STOKES [CA] -- The Fiore Getty manuscript: an in-depth look

MICHAEL CHIDESTER [MA] -- The Flower of Battle: Building a Bigger Picture of the Italic and Germanin manuscripts

PIERMARCO TERMINIELLO [United Kingdom] -- Italian Treatises from 1510-1640, with a study of Palladini's unpublished manuscript

DR. FABRICE COGNOT [France] -- "Streets of Blood": dueling culture in France in the Renaissance

HARRY WINTER [Austria] -- Piercing the veil of academic fraternity fencing (aka Mensur)

JEAN CHANDLER [LA] -- The Place of the Sword within the Social Estates of the Late Medieval World

And last but certainly not least: another US HEMA LIVESTREAM SERIES production, building on our experience from last year and introducing new elements, including EXHIBITION BOUTS -- more details to come shortly, stay tuned for special future livestream announcements... 

Early registration will begin shortly, so mark your calendars!  Prepare to answer our call to arms and visit us this Fall for the biggest HEMA event we've hosted to date!  

Rebecca Boyd, Charles Deily, & Jeff Tsay
- Co-hosts of Iron Gate Exhibition (
- Directors respectively of Second Intent Fencing (, Boston Armizare ( & Forte Swordplay (
- Members of WMAC (

New Find

posted Dec 10, 2012, 7:51 PM by

Michael Chidester posted a new find up on the HEMA Alliance Forum:

The images are at:

Among other thing it contains another copy of Jörg Wilhalm.


Mastering the Art of Arms, Vol I: The Medieval Dagger

posted Nov 21, 2012, 8:46 AM by

Price: $24.95
Item Number: FAP000014
ISBN: 978-1-937430-03-3
Dimensions: 6" x 9" Paperback
Pages: 178pp
Published: October, 2012

The term “medieval martial arts” conjures images of armoured knights wielding sword, lance, and axe. While the image is correct, at the foundation of knightly combat was a sophisticated form of close quarter combat, centered on fighting with—and against—the dagger, a deadly weapon of both self-defense and last resort.


In Mastering the Art of Arms, Volume One: The Medieval Dagger,  Guy Windsor presents a complete guide to the principles and practice of Italian dagger combat, as set down in Il Fior di Battaglia a manuscript written in 1410. Readers are guided step-by-step through the process of mastering this six hundred year old art, from choosing a dagger to striking with it; from guard positions to steps and turns; from disarms to locks and takedowns; from safe falling practice to formal drills, and finally pressure testing their skills with sparring.


Both a primer on the art and a methodology for on-going training, this book will give the complete novice a solid starting point, while providing useful drills and ideas for advanced martial artists. Those who study other traditional knife arts, and modern military combatives, will find many familiar techniques present in this ancient system.


About the Author: Guy Windsor is a world-renowned instructor and a pioneering researcher into medieval and renaissance martial arts. He has been teaching the Art of Arms full-time since founding The School of European Swordsmanship in Helsinki, Finland, in 2001. His first book, The Swordsman’s Companion, became an instant classic when it was published in 2004. This is his fifth book.
Table of Contents
Introduction to the Mastering the Art of Arms Series
Introduction to Volume 1 The Medieval Dagger
Chapter One: Fundamental Principles
Chapter Two: Foundations from Fiore
Chapter Three: Mechanics and Movement
Chapter Four: Falling Free
Chapter Five: Is This a Dagger which I See Before Me?
Chapter Six: Grips, Strikes and Breaks
Chapter Seven: Remedy Masters: Control the Weapon
Chapter Eight: The System in Brief
Chapter Nine: Counter-Remedies
Chapter Ten: Dealing with the Backhand
Chapter Eleven: When in Doubt, Use Both Hands!
Chapter Twelve: The Low Blow
Chapter Thirteen: Defense Against the Grab-and-Stab
Chapter Fourteen: A Knife for a Knife: Defense with the Dagger
Chapter Fifteen: A Dagger Disarm Flowdrill
Chapter Sixteen: Armoured Combat
Chapter Seventeen: Expanding Your Skills
Chapter Eighteen: One System, Many Weapons
Chapter Nineteen: Sword vs Dagger

Fior di Battaglia

posted Sep 3, 2012, 2:40 PM by

   2nd English Edition 
Price: $29.95
Item Number: TL000001
Dimensions: 8.5" x 11" Paperback
Pages: 136pp (xxvi + 100)
Published: August, 2012

Fiore de’ Liberi was born around 1350 and died after 1409. He was a professional Master at Arms, the maker of warriors who embodied the state of the art of martial teaching in his time, and from whose instruction sprang a number of condottieri and professional soldiers of whom we have ample historical record. 

Written in the first decade of the 1400s, Fiore de’ Liberi’s Fior di Battaglia (“Flower of Battle”) is the oldest surviving Italian martial arts treatise. It is also the third-oldest extant in Europe, after the Royal Armouries M.S. I.33 (mid-1300’s) and Dresden M.S. 3227a, tentatively dated to c.1389.

There are four known copies of Fiore’s work, all slightly different but mutually-corroborating in both text and illustrations. The present translation is of the version that many consider the most complete, i.e. M.S. Ludwig XV 13 housed at the J. Paul Getty Museum in California.      

The Fior di Battaglia includes detailed instruction on wrestling, dagger, longsword, axe, armored combat, lance, mounted combat and more. Its importance is not only as the first extant Italian martial arts treatise; but also as one of the most thorough and detailed books ever written on the deadly art of arms.

As the first integral English translation of Fiore’s Getty manuscript, this book will be of great interest to students of the Medieval and Renaissance periods as well as to individuals passionate about historical Western martial arts.

This greatly expanded, corrected and footnoted second edition includes a detailed biography of Fiore, an essay on dueling in Fiore’s time, the accounts of two famous duels fought by his students, the translation of the Latin autobiography in the Pisani-Dossi manuscript, plus a thorough bilingual glossary of Fiore’s technical terms.

Bonus Feature: Free PDF!

As an exclusive to Freelance retail customers, when you purchase Fior di Battagliayou will receive a free PDF of the close-related Pierpoint-Morgan manuscript, e-mailed to you with your order. Designed by Mr. Leoni to complement his Getty Ms. translation, this first-ever complete English translation has the differing passages red-lined and annotated to facilitate cross-comparison. 

Preface to the second edition
A journey into Fiore scholarship
Fiore the man
The duel of honor in Fiore's time: a knightly class privelege
A synopsis of two celebrated duels fought by Fiore's students
Fiore's pedagogical flowchart and other considerations
Latin introduction to the Pisani-Dossi manuscript
The text of the Fior di Battaglia
Fiore glossary
Selected bibliography


posted Dec 13, 2011, 11:14 AM by

Fiore dei Liberi’s Armizare
   The Chivalric Martial Arts System of Il Fior di Battaglia 
Price: $39.95
Item Number: FAP000009
ISBN: 978-0-9825911-7-8
Dimensions: 7" x 10" Paperback
Pages: x + 254 pp.
Published: September 2011

Armizare (“the Art of Arms”) was the name the warriors of medieval Italy gave to their martial art, which included the wielding of sword, axe and spear with wrestling, knife-fighting and mounted combat. In the waning years of the 14th century, Fiore dei Liberi was a famed master of this art, whose students included some of the most renowned and dangerous fighting men of his day.


Toward the end of his life, Master Fiore preserved his teachings in a series of illustrated manuscripts, four of which have survived to the present day, and have become the basis of a world-wide effort to reconstruct this lost martial art. However, because medieval books were written for an audience with different expectations than the modern readers “how-to” manuals, today’s students often have trouble understanding the old swordsman’s choices in including, omitting or organizing information as he did. They may see that fighting art was a system, but lack the background to see the systematic instruction of the book itself.


In Armizare: The Chivalric Martial Arts System of il Fior di Battaglia, Robert Charrette brings together his experiences as a martial artist and respected 14th century living historian with his skills as a professional author  graphic artist to not only take readers on a walking tour of Master Fiore’s manuscripts, but into the mindset behind its creation. More than just an interpretation of an old book’s contents, this is a tool-kit that reveals Fiore dei Liberi’s brilliance as not just a fighter, but as martial arts teacher. Whether a long-time student, a newcomer to the art or a more academic devoté of the medieval warrior and his craft, readers will find themselves educated and entertained as a door is opened into another time and place - the training hall of the medieval knight.

New Capoferro Translation

posted Dec 13, 2011, 11:10 AM by

Ridolfo Capoferro's The Art and Practice of Fencing
   A Practical Translation for the Modern Swordsman 
Price: $24.95
Item Number: FAP000011
Author(s): Tom Leoni
ISBN: 978-0-9825911-9-2
Dimensions: 7" x 10" Paperback
Pages: xxv + 95 pp.
Published: December 2011

In the 1600s, the elegant and deadly Italian rapier was the choice sword of duelists, officers, gentlemen and noblemen: to master the rapier was to be a feared martial artist and a paragon in single combat.

Among the original treatises on the use of this weapon, the most prized by historical fencing revivalists in the last 150 year has been the Great Representation of the Art and Practice of Fencing, written in 1610 by Master Ridolfo Capoferro. In this remarkable text, Capoferro described and illustrated--in unmatched detail--the use of the rapier alone and with a left-handed dagger, cloak and shield, offering the modern historical fencing student a true wealth of Renaissance fencing theory, form and repertoire.

With this book, expert researcher and rapier instructor Tom Leoni offers a full, accurate and accessible English translation of Capoferro’s teachings, complete with high-resolution reproductions of the 43 original illustrations. To make the book even more useful, Tom has included bullet-point synopses of all the actions illustrated by Capoferro, as well as a glossary of rapier-fencing terms with examples referring the reader to how they are used in the text. Also included is a primer on key rapier-fencing concepts and actions, as well as a historical introduction about Capoferro and his extraordinary relevance in the revival of historical martial arts.
   Making Capoferro Accessible to the Modern Rapier Student 
   A Personal Journey 
   Who Was Ridolfo Capoferro?
   The Two Faces of Capoferro: Period Literature Versus Victorian Scholarship 
   Jacopo Gelli: The Main 19th-Century Source on Capoferro 
   Capoferro, His Treatise and Its Importance to the Modern Student 
   Language, Translation, and Editorial Decisions 
   What You Need to Know to Tackle Capoferro 
   Additional Resources 
Great Representation of the Art and Practice of Fencing 
   To the Most Serene Lord Don Francesco Maria Feltrio della Rovere, 
      Sixth Duke of Urbino 
   To the Kind Reader 
   General Table of the Art of Fencing 
   Here Follows the Great Representation of the Practice of Fencing.
      Beginning with the Explanation of the Difference Between Art and Practice
   A Few Recommendations about Fencing 
   Explanation of Some Practical Fencing Terms 
   The Plates and Practical Synopses 
   Some Principles Regarding the Cut 
   A Failsafe Way to Defend Against Any Attack by Parrying with a Riverso
      and Always Striking with an Imbroccata
Glossary of Common and Useful Italian Rapier Fencing Terms

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