Walk Like an Agrippan: Part 4 – Stance and Footwork

The previous 3 sections (1, 2, 3) of this series on Agrippa have focused on dissecting the framework of the stances and motions found in Agrippa’s fencing manual. Starting with these may have seemed an odd choice, as typically one introduces a fencing system by describing how to perform the basics. However, in my opinion, […]

Agrippa Part 3: The Controversial Lunge

The presence of a lunge in Agrippa’s system is a somewhat controversial topic. One of the earliest historical fencing scholars, Edgarton Castle noted in his 1885 book, Schools and Masters of Fence from the Middle Ages to the Eighteenth Century, that while some of the positions shown in Agrippa’s manuals appeared to be lunges, that […]

Agrippa part deux: Movement

In part 1 of my discussion of Agrippa’s fencing system, I focused on the positions that are described in the manual. Importantly I extrapolated a set of “degrees-of-freedom” based on the ways in which the various positions differed from each other. In this posting, I hope to demonstrate the importance of those degrees-of-freedom by describing […]

Unless Your Opponent has Studied His Agrippa… 1: The Positions

I recently finished reading Ken Mondschein’s Fencing: A Renaissance Treatise, which is a translation of Camillo Agrippa’s Treatise on the Science of Arms with Philosophical Dialogue, published in 1553. As someone who is most accustomed to the writing styles of the later Italian rapier treatises, I found Agrippa’s approach somewhat difficult to understand at first. […]