Midwinter Armizare Open — A Tournament of Arms!

[Ed: This article is an addendum, purchase particularly in video, viagra 60mg of an earlier post: The Perfect and Imperfect Schermi of Angelo Viggiani . Readers familiar with that article might want to jump right to the below video, there aka, the “good stuff”. A list of further resources, both via the CSG and elsewhere, appears at the end of this article.]

Angelo Viggian’s provides and short and succinct analysis of fencing in Book Three of his Lo Schermo of 1575 (full disclosure, Book Three is short and succinct, the philosophical discussions of Book One and Two are long, rambling and frankly, rather turgid), reducing the older, Bolognese system of guards to the seven principle  guards necessary to use a cut-and-thrust sword alone, introducing a new, “rational” naming system for the guards, and expounding on a “perfect” system of a single, universal parry and response that can be taught in 30 minutes of instruction.

Written as a dialogue between the fencing master, Rodomonte, and his student, il Conte, Viggiani recommends that the swordsman provoke an attack while he is in the Guardia Defensiva Stretta  (Bolognese Porta di Ferro e Stretta) and parry with a true edge, tondo riverso, finishing in Guardia Alta Offensive Perfetta (Bolognese Guardia d’Alicorno), from where he immediately launches an imbroccata with a deep acrescimento of the front foot, finishing back in the original starting guard:

RODOMONTE: It behooves you (to deliver your enemy some desired blow) that (being in that guardia stretta, difensiva with your right foot forward) you turn the point of your sword toward your left side, diagonally, so that the point faces that same side, and the pommel is on your right, as if you wanted to lay hand to the sword, and from here uniting  all the strength of your body together, do the same rovescio tondo with those same turns of the hand and the feet of which I have told you, and in the same manner; but pay heed that in this delivering of the rovescio, the swords meet each other true edge to true edge,but that the forte of your sword will have met the debole of mine, whereby mine could be easily broken by virtue of the disadvantage of such a meeting, and also because of the
fall of the cut; and you will also be more secure, being shielded by the forte of your sword.
CONTE: How should I avenge myself of the insult?
RODOMONTE: While my mandritto is beat aside by your rovescio tondo, it will go by your right side; lift up your sword hand somewhat, and turn the true edge toward the sky, and make  the point of the sword drop somewhat, and move yourself toward me with your right foot forward with a big step, and then immediately drop your left arm, and make your right shoulder throw your right arm forward, declining toward me from high to low, with that punta sopramano offensiva, accompanying it in all of the said manners; and if I do  not give you a response with some blow, do not halt there, but lift your sword, and going with it a span forward of your right knee, you will fix yourself in guardia stretta offensiva, perfetta; this is a perfect offense, which you must do following the insult  received from me, and following your defense. But if I turned to some other blow in order to offend you, then you, with the same rovescio tondo, will always be able to beat back my sword toward your right side, and return to offend me in the chest with the same punta sopramano, offensiva, perfetta; and thus after you defend yourself, you will always be able to offend me again in the chest with the punta sopramano perfetta; therefore it is the most perfect and secure blow that can be found, and to express it succinctly, this is called “Great blow”, because it is necessary to make a conjoining and a union of all the strength of the body, of the wits, of the senses, and of the art; and accompanying the  said blow, reveals one to be endowed with knowledge, with heart, and with temperance.
Watch, I pray you, how I do it.
CONTE: I am watching, and with great happiness.

(Book Three, 118 – 119)

Put into practice, this is what we get:

To be clear, while he is far more detailed in his discussion of the body mechanics and tactical theory behind his perfect defense, the idea of a “universal parry” was not new to Viggiani — it appears as early as Fiore dei Liberi in 1409, was the basis for Antonio Manciolino’s sword alone lessons in 1531, and was espoused by his contemporary, Giovanni Dall”Aggochie. However, what is interesting,about this “Perfect Fencing” is that, unlike those other masters, Viggiani also intended this simple flow between two guards to be used for offense as well:

I would like you to step, vaulting at him diagonally, and wearying him continuously, now with a mezo mandritto, and now with a mezo rovescio, and often with a variety of feints, taking heed nonetheless always to keep your body away from the point of his sword, because he could easily give you the time and the occasion to seize the advantage of placing yourself in guard.

(Book III, 46)

From your perspective, then, when you are stepping, approaching the enemy, and go closing the step, then you have much advantage; for as much closer as you are with your feet, you will have that much more force in your blows, and in your self defense, and otherwise accordingly will you be able to close with your enemy in less time.

53:  All the answer to this question is reduced to you being in advantage, and the enemy in disadvantage, because if you go in tempo, such that you are in disadvantage of  the sword, and your enemy is in advantage of guard, your going would undoubtedly be worse; but if it were the contrary, it would certainly be better.

(Book III, 52 and 53)

Once we put the mechanical advice together with the above tactical device, the Offensive “Schermo” looks like this.

Taken together, the reader is given a short set of basic set actions that can be used offensively or defensively. Combined with the master’s rather detailed description of the underlying body-mechanics encoded in moving from guard to guard and his thorough lessons on tempo and initiative (arguably the best of any fencing master prior to the 17th century) a student has a perfect primer in Bolognese fencing, one that can then serve as a launching point towards using the variant “universal defenses” found in the works of Antonio Manciolino and Giovanni Dall’Aggochie.

Further Research:

Readers interested in a further exploration of Viggiani’s “Perfect Schermo” and its context may also be interested in:

Lo Schermo, translated by Jherek Swanger

Viggiani-Oversize-Plates, courtesy of Steven Reich

The Perfect and Imperfect Schermi of Angelo Viggiani – Rob Rotherfoord

Using Angelo Viggiani’s Three Advantages to Understand Initiative in 16th-century Italian Swordplay – Rob Rotherfoord

Understanding Viggiani’s Lo Shcermo – Gregory Mele

The Truly Universal Parry – Gregory Mele

The Spada Solo of Antonio Manciolino – Gregory Mele and Rob Rotherfoord

The Complete Renaissance Swordsman – Manciolino’s Opera Nova  in a modern, English translation by Tom Leoni

Delle’Arte di Scrimia Libri Tre by Giovanni Dell’Aggochie – translation by Jherek Swanger

 
[Ed: This article is an addendum, vitamin particularly in video, of an earlier post: The Perfect and Imperfect Schermi of Angelo Viggiani . Readers familiar with that article might want to jump right to the below video, aka, the “good stuff”. Of particular interest, note the footwork. Renaissance fencing footwork, particularly prior to the lunge, is conservative in its steps, with the body weight carried over the balls of the feet. This does not mean the fencers are walking around on their toes, but it does mean that the foot moves in a forA list of further resources, both via the CSG and elsewhere, appears at the end of this article.]

Angelo Viggian’s provides and short and succinct analysis of fencing in Book Three of his Lo Schermo of 1575 (full disclosure, Book Three is short and succinct, the philosophical discussions of Book One and Two are long, rambling and frankly, rather turgid), reducing the older, Bolognese system of guards to the seven principle  guards necessary to use a cut-and-thrust sword alone, introducing a new, “rational” naming system for the guards, and expounding on a “perfect” system of a single, universal parry and response that can be taught in 30 minutes of instruction.

Written as a dialogue between the fencing master, Rodomonte, and his student, il Conte, Viggiani recommends that the swordsman provoke an attack while he is in the Guardia Defensiva Stretta  (Bolognese Porta di Ferro e Stretta) and parry with a true edge, tondo riverso, finishing in Guardia Alta Offensive Perfetta (Bolognese Guardia d’Alicorno), from where he immediately launches an imbroccata with a deep acrescimento of the front foot, finishing back in the original starting guard:

RODOMONTE: It behooves you (to deliver your enemy some desired blow) that (being in that guardia stretta, difensiva with your right foot forward) you turn the point of your sword toward your left side, diagonally, so that the point faces that same side, and the pommel is on your right, as if you wanted to lay hand to the sword, and from here uniting  all the strength of your body together, do the same rovescio tondo with those same turns of the hand and the feet of which I have told you, and in the same manner; but pay heed that in this delivering of the rovescio, the swords meet each other true edge to true edge,but that the forte of your sword will have met the debole of mine, whereby mine could be easily broken by virtue of the disadvantage of such a meeting, and also because of the
fall of the cut; and you will also be more secure, being shielded by the forte of your sword.
CONTE: How should I avenge myself of the insult?
RODOMONTE: While my mandritto is beat aside by your rovescio tondo, it will go by your right side; lift up your sword hand somewhat, and turn the true edge toward the sky, and make  the point of the sword drop somewhat, and move yourself toward me with your right foot forward with a big step, and then immediately drop your left arm, and make your right shoulder throw your right arm forward, declining toward me from high to low, with that punta sopramano offensiva, accompanying it in all of the said manners; and if I do  not give you a response with some blow, do not halt there, but lift your sword, and going with it a span forward of your right knee, you will fix yourself in guardia stretta offensiva, perfetta; this is a perfect offense, which you must do following the insult  received from me, and following your defense. But if I turned to some other blow in order to offend you, then you, with the same rovescio tondo, will always be able to beat back my sword toward your right side, and return to offend me in the chest with the same punta sopramano, offensiva, perfetta; and thus after you defend yourself, you will always be able to offend me again in the chest with the punta sopramano perfetta; therefore it is the most perfect and secure blow that can be found, and to express it succinctly, this is called “Great blow”, because it is necessary to make a conjoining and a union of all the strength of the body, of the wits, of the senses, and of the art; and accompanying the  said blow, reveals one to be endowed with knowledge, with heart, and with temperance.
Watch, I pray you, how I do it.
CONTE: I am watching, and with great happiness.

(Book Three, 118 – 119)

Put into practice, this is what we get:

To be clear, while he is far more detailed in his discussion of the body mechanics and tactical theory behind his perfect defense, the idea of a “universal parry” was not new to Viggiani — it appears as early as Fiore dei Liberi in 1409, was the basis for Antonio Manciolino’s sword alone lessons in 1531, and was espoused by his contemporary, Giovanni Dall”Aggochie. However, what is interesting,about this “Perfect Fencing” is that, unlike those other masters, Viggiani also intended this simple flow between two guards to be used for offense as well:

I would like you to step, vaulting at him diagonally, and wearying him continuously, now with a mezo mandritto, and now with a mezo rovescio, and often with a variety of feints, taking heed nonetheless always to keep your body away from the point of his sword, because he could easily give you the time and the occasion to seize the advantage of placing yourself in guard.

(Book III, 46)

From your perspective, then, when you are stepping, approaching the enemy, and go closing the step, then you have much advantage; for as much closer as you are with your feet, you will have that much more force in your blows, and in your self defense, and otherwise accordingly will you be able to close with your enemy in less time.

53:  All the answer to this question is reduced to you being in advantage, and the enemy in disadvantage, because if you go in tempo, such that you are in disadvantage of  the sword, and your enemy is in advantage of guard, your going would undoubtedly be worse; but if it were the contrary, it would certainly be better.

(Book III, 52 and 53)

Once we put the mechanical advice together with the above tactical device, the Offensive “Schermo” looks like this.

Taken together, the reader is given a short set of basic set actions that can be used offensively or defensively. Combined with the master’s rather detailed description of the underlying body-mechanics encoded in moving from guard to guard and his thorough lessons on tempo and initiative (arguably the best of any fencing master prior to the 17th century) a student has a perfect primer in Bolognese fencing, one that can then serve as a launching point towards using the variant “universal defenses” found in the works of Antonio Manciolino and Giovanni Dall’Aggochie.

Further Research:

Readers interested in a further exploration of Viggiani’s “Perfect Schermo” and its context may also be interested in:

Lo Schermo, translated by Jherek Swanger

Viggiani-Oversize-Plates, courtesy of Steven Reich

The Perfect and Imperfect Schermi of Angelo Viggiani – Rob Rotherfoord

Using Angelo Viggiani’s Three Advantages to Understand Initiative in 16th-century Italian Swordplay – Rob Rotherfoord

Understanding Viggiani’s Lo Shcermo – Gregory Mele

The Truly Universal Parry – Gregory Mele

The Spada Solo of Antonio Manciolino – Gregory Mele and Rob Rotherfoord

The Complete Renaissance Swordsman – Manciolino’s Opera Nova  in a modern, English translation by Tom Leoni

Delle’Arte di Scrimia Libri Tre by Giovanni Dell’Aggochie – translation by Jherek Swanger

 
[Ed: This article is an addendum, viagra sale particularly in video, youth health of an earlier post: The Perfect and Imperfect Schermi of Angelo Viggiani . Readers familiar with that article might want to jump right to the below video, misbirth aka, the “good stuff”. Of particular interest, note the footwork. Renaissance fencing footwork, particularly prior to the lunge, is conservative in its steps, with the body weight carried over the balls of the feet. This does not mean the fencers are walking around on their toes, but it does mean that the foot moves in a flatter fashion, rather than striking out onto the point of the heel, as is seen in modern fencing, and a fair bit of HEMA reconstruction. ]

Angelo Viggian’s provides and short and succinct analysis of fencing in Book Three of his Lo Schermo of 1575 (full disclosure, Book Three is short and succinct, the philosophical discussions of Book One and Two are long, rambling and frankly, rather turgid), reducing the older, Bolognese system of guards to the seven principle  guards necessary to use a cut-and-thrust sword alone, introducing a new, “rational” naming system for the guards, and expounding on a “perfect” system of a single, universal parry and response that can be taught in 30 minutes of instruction.

Written as a dialogue between the fencing master, Rodomonte, and his student, il Conte, Viggiani recommends that the swordsman provoke an attack while he is in the Guardia Defensiva Stretta  (Bolognese Porta di Ferro e Stretta) and parry with a true edge, tondo riverso, finishing in Guardia Alta Offensive Perfetta (Bolognese Guardia d’Alicorno), from where he immediately launches an imbroccata with a deep acrescimento of the front foot, finishing back in the original starting guard:

RODOMONTE: It behooves you (to deliver your enemy some desired blow) that (being in that guardia stretta, difensiva with your right foot forward) you turn the point of your sword toward your left side, diagonally, so that the point faces that same side, and the pommel is on your right, as if you wanted to lay hand to the sword, and from here uniting  all the strength of your body together, do the same rovescio tondo with those same turns of the hand and the feet of which I have told you, and in the same manner; but pay heed that in this delivering of the rovescio, the swords meet each other true edge to true edge,but that the forte of your sword will have met the debole of mine, whereby mine could be easily broken by virtue of the disadvantage of such a meeting, and also because of the
fall of the cut; and you will also be more secure, being shielded by the forte of your sword.
CONTE: How should I avenge myself of the insult?
RODOMONTE: While my mandritto is beat aside by your rovescio tondo, it will go by your right side; lift up your sword hand somewhat, and turn the true edge toward the sky, and make  the point of the sword drop somewhat, and move yourself toward me with your right foot forward with a big step, and then immediately drop your left arm, and make your right shoulder throw your right arm forward, declining toward me from high to low, with that punta sopramano offensiva, accompanying it in all of the said manners; and if I do  not give you a response with some blow, do not halt there, but lift your sword, and going with it a span forward of your right knee, you will fix yourself in guardia stretta offensiva, perfetta; this is a perfect offense, which you must do following the insult  received from me, and following your defense. But if I turned to some other blow in order to offend you, then you, with the same rovescio tondo, will always be able to beat back my sword toward your right side, and return to offend me in the chest with the same punta sopramano, offensiva, perfetta; and thus after you defend yourself, you will always be able to offend me again in the chest with the punta sopramano perfetta; therefore it is the most perfect and secure blow that can be found, and to express it succinctly, this is called “Great blow”, because it is necessary to make a conjoining and a union of all the strength of the body, of the wits, of the senses, and of the art; and accompanying the  said blow, reveals one to be endowed with knowledge, with heart, and with temperance.
Watch, I pray you, how I do it.
CONTE: I am watching, and with great happiness.

(Book Three, 118 – 119)

Put into practice, this is what we get:

To be clear, while he is far more detailed in his discussion of the body mechanics and tactical theory behind his perfect defense, the idea of a “universal parry” was not new to Viggiani — it appears as early as Fiore dei Liberi in 1409, was the basis for Antonio Manciolino’s sword alone lessons in 1531, and was espoused by his contemporary, Giovanni Dall”Aggochie. However, what is interesting,about this “Perfect Fencing” is that, unlike those other masters, Viggiani also intended this simple flow between two guards to be used for offense as well:

I would like you to step, vaulting at him diagonally, and wearying him continuously, now with a mezo mandritto, and now with a mezo rovescio, and often with a variety of feints, taking heed nonetheless always to keep your body away from the point of his sword, because he could easily give you the time and the occasion to seize the advantage of placing yourself in guard.

(Book III, 46)

From your perspective, then, when you are stepping, approaching the enemy, and go closing the step, then you have much advantage; for as much closer as you are with your feet, you will have that much more force in your blows, and in your self defense, and otherwise accordingly will you be able to close with your enemy in less time.

53:  All the answer to this question is reduced to you being in advantage, and the enemy in disadvantage, because if you go in tempo, such that you are in disadvantage of  the sword, and your enemy is in advantage of guard, your going would undoubtedly be worse; but if it were the contrary, it would certainly be better.

(Book III, 52 and 53)

Once we put the mechanical advice together with the above tactical device, the Offensive “Schermo” looks like this.

Taken together, the reader is given a short set of basic set actions that can be used offensively or defensively. Combined with the master’s rather detailed description of the underlying body-mechanics encoded in moving from guard to guard and his thorough lessons on tempo and initiative (arguably the best of any fencing master prior to the 17th century) a student has a perfect primer in Bolognese fencing, one that can then serve as a launching point towards using the variant “universal defenses” found in the works of Antonio Manciolino and Giovanni Dall’Aggochie.

Further Research:

Readers interested in a further exploration of Viggiani’s “Perfect Schermo” and its context may also be interested in:

Lo Schermo, translated by Jherek Swanger

Viggiani-Oversize-Plates, courtesy of Steven Reich

The Perfect and Imperfect Schermi of Angelo Viggiani – Rob Rotherfoord

Using Angelo Viggiani’s Three Advantages to Understand Initiative in 16th-century Italian Swordplay – Rob Rotherfoord

Understanding Viggiani’s Lo Shcermo – Gregory Mele

The Truly Universal Parry – Gregory Mele

The Spada Solo of Antonio Manciolino – Gregory Mele and Rob Rotherfoord

The Complete Renaissance Swordsman – Manciolino’s Opera Nova  in a modern, English translation by Tom Leoni

Delle’Arte di Scrimia Libri Tre by Giovanni Dell’Aggochie – translation by Jherek Swanger

 

Welcome to the Chicago Swordplay Guild , sildenafil where the art of the sword is undergoing a second Renaissance!  We train four times a week at our home studio, Forteza Fitness, Physical Culture & Martial Arts.  Located in the beautiful Ravenswood neighborhood on Chicago’s near northside, Forteza is an almost 5000 sf facility that was designed and built specifically for the study of western martial arts.

The Guild also offers introductory classes in the suburbs. In Chicago, you can find introductory classes at Forteza, in the popular Ravenswood neighborhood. Outside of Chicago, training in Armizare (medieval swordsmanship) is available via our Milwaukee Training Group, through our daughter school, the Rocky Mountain Swordplay Guild, in Denver, Colorado and via small study groups in eastern Pennsylvania and both Austin and Houston, Texas.

Below you’ll find a complete description of where we train, sub-pages on our curriculum and ranking system, and best of all, how you can become a part of it. You can find out a great deal more about the specific martial arts we study under the Tradition, and if you have additional questions, feel free to contact us.

Introductory Classes — Two Exciting Options!

Do you feel the “song of the sword” calling to you? Our introductory classes are designed to give students a basic overview of the style of swordsmanship and methods of practice used by the Guild.

Introduction to the Longsword – A Taste of the Knightly Arts

Learn an actual historical style of medieval European swordsmanship, based entirely on the documented methods of 14th and 15th century Italian masters of defense! This introductory and continuing course provides the basics of medieval swordsmanship training as a foundation for more advanced practice, including stances, posture, movement, and methods of striking and defending with the medieval “hand and a half” sword. The course will include demonstrations, drills, and free-play with safety gear and simulated weapons. Beginners welcome. No prior martial arts experience is required.

Introduction to the Rapier – A Taste of the Renaissance

The rapier was the dueling weapon of the Renaissance — the sword of Shakespeare, Cyrano de Bergerac, and the Three Musketeers! This class surveys 16th century fencing texts to teach the basic use of this elegant and deadly weapon, which many a gentleman used to defend his life and honor. Through drills and free-fencing using weapons with flexible blades, students will learn the basics of the rapier fight: balance and footwork, blade control, time, distance, attack, and defense. Fencing equipment is provided. Beginners welcome. No prior experience is necessary.

Introductory classes at Forteza are $125 for a 12 class session, payable by cash, check, credit card or money order. No equipment fee. You will fill out the registration form on the first day of class. Join now!

ON-GOING CLASSES Guild Members only.

polearm class WMAW

Membership in the Chicago Swordplay Guild is by invitation only, and may be offered to students who have completed at least one session of either the introductory rapier or longsword classes. Visitors are welcome to come and observe. However,  participation is restricted to Guild members. Interested students should begin by enrolling in one of the introductory classes.

In Chicago, the Guild trains four days a week  at Forteza Fitness, Physical Culture & Martial Arts, 4437 N. Ravenswood Ave, Chicago, IL 60640.

Monday
6:00-7:30 PM  – Introductory Classes: Taste of the Knightly Arts
6:00-7:30 PM  – Introductory Classes: Taste of the Renaissance
7:30 – 8:30 PM Italian Rapier & Armizare – concurrent classes for all levels of student
8:30 – 10:00 PM Bolognese Swordsmanship – Advanced students only

Tuesday
No classes

Wednesday
6:00 – 7:300 PM – Introductory Classes: Taste of the Knightly Arts
6:00 – 7:30 PM  – Introductory Classes: Taste of the Renaissance
7:30 – 8:30 PM Abrazare (Medieval grappling and dagger combat) – all student levels
8:30 – 10:00 PM Rapier and Longsword Foundations – concurrent classes for Novice students

Thursday
No classes

Friday
7:30 – 9:30 PM – The first Friday of each month we proudly host our Friday Night Fights! Coached sparring, open-mat training, and in-house competitions!

Saturday
10:00 – 11:30 AM – Introductory Classes
11:30 AM – 1:30 PM – Foundations: Rapier, Longsword and Abrazare classes for novices
1:30 – 3:00 PMScholar’s Class: Advanced student training

Sunday
No classes

Membership Fees

Association Fee: $40 per year.
All active CSG members, members of daughter schools and “inactive” members, who wish to remain a part of the larger Guild family. Associate Members who live more than 60 miles from Chicago, or study with a daughter school, may attend intro classes in Chicago as time allows, and may train in appropriate level on-going classes by paying a simple mat-fee at Forteza. “Inactive” members are those who are not attending classes but still want to maintain a relationship with the Guild.

Guild membership is required for all students to progress beyond the Taster classes, but provides students with a number of benefits, including:

  • Access to rank testing within the Guild
  • Discounted admission to related workshops and seminars at Forteza;
  • Discounted admission to the Guild sponsored Western Martial Arts Workshop, the world’s premier seminar for the study of European swordplay and fighting traditions.

Monthly Tuition
On-going tuition is not paid to the Chicago Swordplay Guild, but rather to Forteza Fitness, Physical Culture & Martial Arts. Tuition rates are based on a sliding scale, depending on how often students wish to train; from a casual, drop-in fee to an all-inclusive package. Depending on your interest and activity, monthly tuition ranges from $60 – 150/month. Discounts for family members, active military, police and full-time students are available.

Welcome to the Chicago Swordplay Guild , see where the art of the sword is undergoing a second Renaissance!  We train four times a week at our home studio, dosage Forteza Fitness, no rx Physical Culture & Martial Arts.  Located in the beautiful Ravenswood neighborhood on Chicago’s near northside, Forteza is an almost 5000 sf facility that was designed and built specifically for the study of western martial arts.

The Guild also offers introductory classes in the suburbs. In Chicago, you can find introductory classes at Forteza, in the popular Ravenswood neighborhood. Outside of Chicago, training in Armizare (medieval swordsmanship) is available via our Milwaukee Training Group, through our daughter school, the Rocky Mountain Swordplay Guild, in Denver, Colorado and via small study groups in eastern Pennsylvania and both Austin and Houston, Texas.

Below you’ll find a complete description of where we train, sub-pages on our curriculum and ranking system, and best of all, how you can become a part of it. You can find out a great deal more about the specific martial arts we study under the Tradition, and if you have additional questions, feel free to contact us.

Introductory Classes — Two Exciting Options!

Do you feel the “song of the sword” calling to you? Our introductory classes are designed to give students a basic overview of the style of swordsmanship and methods of practice used by the Guild.

Introduction to the Longsword – A Taste of the Knightly Arts

Learn an actual historical style of medieval European swordsmanship, based entirely on the documented methods of 14th and 15th century Italian masters of defense! This introductory and continuing course provides the basics of medieval swordsmanship training as a foundation for more advanced practice, including stances, posture, movement, and methods of striking and defending with the medieval “hand and a half” sword. The course will include demonstrations, drills, and free-play with safety gear and simulated weapons. Beginners welcome. No prior martial arts experience is required.

Introduction to the Rapier – A Taste of the Renaissance

The rapier was the dueling weapon of the Renaissance — the sword of Shakespeare, Cyrano de Bergerac, and the Three Musketeers! This class surveys 16th century fencing texts to teach the basic use of this elegant and deadly weapon, which many a gentleman used to defend his life and honor. Through drills and free-fencing using weapons with flexible blades, students will learn the basics of the rapier fight: balance and footwork, blade control, time, distance, attack, and defense. Fencing equipment is provided. Beginners welcome. No prior experience is necessary.

Introductory classes at Forteza are $125 for a 12 class session, payable by cash, check, credit card or money order. No equipment fee. You will fill out the registration form on the first day of class. Join now!

ON-GOING CLASSES Guild Members only.

polearm class WMAW

Membership in the Chicago Swordplay Guild is by invitation only, and may be offered to students who have completed at least one session of either the introductory rapier or longsword classes. Visitors are welcome to come and observe. However,  participation is restricted to Guild members. Interested students should begin by enrolling in one of the introductory classes.

In Chicago, the Guild trains four days a week  at Forteza Fitness, Physical Culture & Martial Arts, 4437 N. Ravenswood Ave, Chicago, IL 60640.

Monday
6:00-7:30 PM  – Introductory Classes: Taste of the Knightly Arts
6:00-7:30 PM  – Introductory Classes: Taste of the Renaissance
7:30 – 8:30 Italian Rapier & Armizare – concurrent classes for all levels of student
8:30 – 10:00 Bolognese Swordsmanship – Advanced students only

Tuesday
No classes

Wednesday
6:00 – 7:300 PM – Introductory Classes: Taste of the Knightly Arts
6:00-7:30 PM  – Introductory Classes: Taste of the Renaissance
7:30 – 8:30 Abrazare (Medieval grappling and dagger combat) ) – all student levels
8:30 – 10:00 Rapier and Longsword Foundations – concurrent classes for Novice students

Thursday
No classes

Friday
7:30 – 9:30PM – The first Friday of each month we proudly host our Friday Night Fights! Coached sparring, open-mat training, and in-house competitions!

Saturday
10:00 – 11:30 AM – Introductory Classes
11:30 AM – 1:30 PM – Foundations: Rapier, Longsword and Abrazare classes for novices
1:30 – 3:00Scholar’s Class: Advanced student training

Sunday
No classes

Membership Fees

Association Fee: $40 per year.
All active CSG members, members of daughter schools and “inactive” members, who wish to remain a part of the larger Guild family. Associate Members who live more than 60 miles from Chicago, or study with a daughter school, may attend intro classes in Chicago as time allows, and may train in appropriate level on-going classes by paying a simple mat-fee at Forteza. “Inactive” members are those who are not attending classes but still want to maintain a relationship with the Guild.

Guild membership is required for all students to progress beyond the Taster classes, but provides students with a number of benefits, including:

  • Access to rank testing within the Guild
  • Discounted admission to related workshops and seminars at Forteza;
  • Discounted admission to the Guild sponsored Western Martial Arts Workshop, the world’s premier seminar for the study of European swordplay and fighting traditions.

Monthly Tuition
On-going tuition is not paid to the Chicago Swordplay Guild, but rather to Forteza Fitness, Physical Culture & Martial Arts. Tuition rates are based on a sliding scale, depending on how often students wish to train; from a casual, drop-in fee to an all-inclusive package. Depending on your interest and activity, monthly tuition ranges from $60 – 150/month. Discounts for family members, active military, police and full-time students are available.

Welcome to the Chicago Swordplay Guild , noun where the art of the sword is undergoing a second Renaissance!  We train four times a week at our home studio, Forteza Fitness, Physical Culture & Martial Arts.  Located in the beautiful Ravenswood neighborhood on Chicago’s near northside, Forteza is an almost 5000 sf facility that was designed and built specifically for the study of western martial arts.

The Guild also offers introductory classes in the suburbs. In Chicago, you can find introductory classes at Forteza, in the popular Ravenswood neighborhood. Outside of Chicago, training in Armizare (medieval swordsmanship) is available via our Milwaukee Training Group, through our daughter school, the Rocky Mountain Swordplay Guild, in Denver, Colorado and via small study groups in eastern Pennsylvania and both Austin and Houston, Texas.

Below you’ll find a complete description of where we train, sub-pages on our curriculum and ranking system, and best of all, how you can become a part of it. You can find out a great deal more about the specific martial arts we study under the Tradition, and if you have additional questions, feel free to contact us.

Introductory Classes — Two Exciting Options!

Do you feel the “song of the sword” calling to you? Our introductory classes are designed to give students a basic overview of the style of swordsmanship and methods of practice used by the Guild.

Introduction to the Longsword – A Taste of the Knightly Arts

Learn an actual historical style of medieval European swordsmanship, based entirely on the documented methods of 14th and 15th century Italian masters of defense! This introductory and continuing course provides the basics of medieval swordsmanship training as a foundation for more advanced practice, including stances, posture, movement, and methods of striking and defending with the medieval “hand and a half” sword. The course will include demonstrations, drills, and free-play with safety gear and simulated weapons. Beginners welcome. No prior martial arts experience is required.

Introduction to the Rapier – A Taste of the Renaissance

The rapier was the dueling weapon of the Renaissance — the sword of Shakespeare, Cyrano de Bergerac, and the Three Musketeers! This class surveys 16th century fencing texts to teach the basic use of this elegant and deadly weapon, which many a gentleman used to defend his life and honor. Through drills and free-fencing using weapons with flexible blades, students will learn the basics of the rapier fight: balance and footwork, blade control, time, distance, attack, and defense. Fencing equipment is provided. Beginners welcome. No prior experience is necessary.

Introductory classes at Forteza are $125 for a 12 class session, payable by cash, check, credit card or money order. No equipment fee. You will fill out the registration form on the first day of class. Join now!

ON-GOING CLASSES Guild Members only.

polearm class WMAW

Membership in the Chicago Swordplay Guild is by invitation only, and may be offered to students who have completed at least one session of either the introductory rapier or longsword classes. Visitors are welcome to come and observe. However,  participation is restricted to Guild members. Interested students should begin by enrolling in one of the introductory classes.

In Chicago, the Guild trains four days a week  at Forteza Fitness, Physical Culture & Martial Arts, 4437 N. Ravenswood Ave, Chicago, IL 60640.

Monday
6:00-7:30 PM  – Introductory Classes: Taste of the Knightly Arts
6:00-7:30 PM  – Introductory Classes: Taste of the Renaissance
7:30 – 8:30 PM Italian Rapier & Armizare – concurrent classes for all levels of student
8:30 – 10:00 PM Bolognese Swordsmanship – Advanced students only

Tuesday
No classes

Wednesday
6:00 – 7:300 PM – Introductory Classes: Taste of the Knightly Arts
6:00 – 7:30 PM  – Introductory Classes: Taste of the Renaissance
7:30 – 8:30 PM Abrazare (Medieval grappling and dagger combat) – all student levels
8:30 – 10:00 PM Rapier and Longsword Foundations – concurrent classes for Novice students

Thursday
No classes

Friday
7:30 – 9:30 PM – The first Friday of each month we proudly host our Friday Night Fights! Coached sparring, open-mat training, and in-house competitions!

Saturday
10:00 – 11:30 AM – Introductory Classes
11:30 AM – 1:30 PM – Foundations: Rapier, Longsword and Abrazare classes for novices
1:30 – 3:00 PMScholar’s Class: Advanced student training

Sunday
No classes

Membership Fees

Association Fee: $40 per year.
All active CSG members, members of daughter schools and “inactive” members, who wish to remain a part of the larger Guild family. Associate Members who live more than 60 miles from Chicago, or study with a daughter school, may attend intro classes in Chicago as time allows, and may train in appropriate level on-going classes by paying a simple mat-fee at Forteza. “Inactive” members are those who are not attending classes but still want to maintain a relationship with the Guild.

Guild membership is required for all students to progress beyond the Taster classes, but provides students with a number of benefits, including:

  • Access to rank testing within the Guild
  • Discounted admission to related workshops and seminars at Forteza;
  • Discounted admission to the Guild sponsored Western Martial Arts Workshop, the world’s premier seminar for the study of European swordplay and fighting traditions.

Monthly Tuition
On-going tuition is not paid to the Chicago Swordplay Guild, but rather to Forteza Fitness, Physical Culture & Martial Arts. Tuition rates are based on a sliding scale, depending on how often students wish to train; from a casual, drop-in fee to an all-inclusive package. Depending on your interest and activity, monthly tuition ranges from $60 – 150/month. Discounts for family members, active military, police and full-time students are available.

Welcome to the Chicago Swordplay Guild , view where the art of the sword is undergoing a second Renaissance!  We train four times a week at our home studio, buy Forteza Fitness, Physical Culture & Martial Arts.  Located in the beautiful Ravenswood neighborhood on Chicago’s near northside, Forteza is an almost 5000 sf facility that was designed and built specifically for the study of western martial arts.

The Guild also offers introductory classes in the suburbs. In Chicago, you can find introductory classes at Forteza, in the popular Ravenswood neighborhood. Outside of Chicago, training in Armizare (medieval swordsmanship) is available via our Milwaukee Training Group, through our daughter school, the Rocky Mountain Swordplay Guild, in Denver, Colorado and via small study groups in eastern Pennsylvania and both Austin and Houston, Texas.

Below you’ll find a complete description of where we train, sub-pages on our curriculum and ranking system, and best of all, how you can become a part of it. You can find out a great deal more about the specific martial arts we study under the Tradition, and if you have additional questions, feel free to contact us.

Introductory Classes — Two Exciting Options!

Do you feel the “song of the sword” calling to you? Our introductory classes are designed to give students a basic overview of the style of swordsmanship and methods of practice used by the Guild.

Introduction to the Longsword – A Taste of the Knightly Arts

Learn an actual historical style of medieval European swordsmanship, based entirely on the documented methods of 14th and 15th century Italian masters of defense! This introductory and continuing course provides the basics of medieval swordsmanship training as a foundation for more advanced practice, including stances, posture, movement, and methods of striking and defending with the medieval “hand and a half” sword. The course will include demonstrations, drills, and free-play with safety gear and simulated weapons. Beginners welcome. No prior martial arts experience is required.

Introduction to the Rapier – A Taste of the Renaissance

The rapier was the dueling weapon of the Renaissance — the sword of Shakespeare, Cyrano de Bergerac, and the Three Musketeers! This class surveys 16th century fencing texts to teach the basic use of this elegant and deadly weapon, which many a gentleman used to defend his life and honor. Through drills and free-fencing using weapons with flexible blades, students will learn the basics of the rapier fight: balance and footwork, blade control, time, distance, attack, and defense. Fencing equipment is provided. Beginners welcome. No prior experience is necessary.

Introductory classes at Forteza are $125 for a 12 class session, payable by cash, check, credit card or money order. No equipment fee. You will fill out the registration form on the first day of class. Join now!

ON-GOING CLASSES Guild Members only.

polearm class WMAW

Membership in the Chicago Swordplay Guild is by invitation only, and may be offered to students who have completed at least one session of either the introductory rapier or longsword classes. Visitors are welcome to come and observe. However,  participation is restricted to Guild members. Interested students should begin by enrolling in one of the introductory classes.

In Chicago, the Guild trains four days a week  at Forteza Fitness, Physical Culture & Martial Arts, 4437 N. Ravenswood Ave, Chicago, IL 60640.

Monday
6:00-7:30 PM  – Introductory Classes: Taste of the Knightly Arts
6:00-7:30 PM  – Introductory Classes: Taste of the Renaissance
7:30 – 8:30 PM Italian Rapier & Armizare – concurrent classes for all levels of student
8:30 – 10:00 PM Bolognese Swordsmanship – Advanced students only

Tuesday
No classes

Wednesday
6:00 – 7:300 PM – Introductory Classes: Taste of the Knightly Arts
6:00 – 7:30 PM  – Introductory Classes: Taste of the Renaissance
7:30 – 8:30 PM Abrazare (Medieval grappling and dagger combat) – all student levels
8:30 – 10:00 PM Rapier and Longsword Foundations – concurrent classes for Novice students

Thursday
No classes

Friday
7:30 – 9:30 PM – The first Friday of each month we proudly host our Friday Night Fights! Coached sparring, open-mat training, and in-house competitions!

Saturday
10:00 – 11:30 AM – Introductory Classes
11:30 AM – 1:30 PM – Foundations: Rapier, Longsword and Abrazare – classes for Novice students
1:30 – 3:00 PMScholar’s Class – Advanced student training

Sunday
No classes

Membership Fees

Association Fee: $40 per year.
All active CSG members, members of daughter schools and “inactive” members, who wish to remain a part of the larger Guild family. Associate Members who live more than 60 miles from Chicago, or study with a daughter school, may attend intro classes in Chicago as time allows, and may train in appropriate level on-going classes by paying a simple mat-fee at Forteza. “Inactive” members are those who are not attending classes but still want to maintain a relationship with the Guild.

Guild membership is required for all students to progress beyond the Taster classes, but provides students with a number of benefits, including:

  • Access to rank testing within the Guild
  • Discounted admission to related workshops and seminars at Forteza;
  • Discounted admission to the Guild sponsored Western Martial Arts Workshop, the world’s premier seminar for the study of European swordplay and fighting traditions.

Monthly Tuition
On-going tuition is not paid to the Chicago Swordplay Guild, but rather to Forteza Fitness, Physical Culture & Martial Arts. Tuition rates are based on a sliding scale, depending on how often students wish to train; from a casual, drop-in fee to an all-inclusive package. Depending on your interest and activity, monthly tuition ranges from $60 – 150/month. Discounts for family members, active military, police and full-time students are available.

Welcome to the Chicago Swordplay Guild , malady where the art of the sword is undergoing a second Renaissance!  We train four times a week at our home studio, erectile Forteza Fitness, Physical Culture & Martial Arts.  Located in the beautiful Ravenswood neighborhood on Chicago’s near northside, Forteza is an almost 5000 sf facility that was designed and built specifically for the study of western martial arts.

The Guild also offers introductory classes in the suburbs. In Chicago, you can find introductory classes at Forteza, in the popular Ravenswood neighborhood. Outside of Chicago, training in Armizare (medieval swordsmanship) is available via our Milwaukee Training Group, through our daughter school, the Rocky Mountain Swordplay Guild, in Denver, Colorado and via small study groups in eastern Pennsylvania and both Austin and Houston, Texas.

Below you’ll find a complete description of where we train, sub-pages on our curriculum and ranking system, and best of all, how you can become a part of it. You can find out a great deal more about the specific martial arts we study under the Tradition, and if you have additional questions, feel free to contact us.

Introductory Classes — Two Exciting Options!

Do you feel the “song of the sword” calling to you? Our introductory classes are designed to give students a basic overview of the style of swordsmanship and methods of practice used by the Guild.

Introduction to the Longsword – A Taste of the Knightly Arts

Learn an actual historical style of medieval European swordsmanship, based entirely on the documented methods of 14th and 15th century Italian masters of defense! This introductory and continuing course provides the basics of medieval swordsmanship training as a foundation for more advanced practice, including stances, posture, movement, and methods of striking and defending with the medieval “hand and a half” sword. The course will include demonstrations, drills, and free-play with safety gear and simulated weapons. Beginners welcome. No prior martial arts experience is required.

Introduction to the Rapier – A Taste of the Renaissance

The rapier was the dueling weapon of the Renaissance — the sword of Shakespeare, Cyrano de Bergerac, and the Three Musketeers! This class surveys 16th century fencing texts to teach the basic use of this elegant and deadly weapon, which many a gentleman used to defend his life and honor. Through drills and free-fencing using weapons with flexible blades, students will learn the basics of the rapier fight: balance and footwork, blade control, time, distance, attack, and defense. Fencing equipment is provided. Beginners welcome. No prior experience is necessary.

Introductory classes at Forteza are $125 for a 12 class session, payable by cash, check, credit card or money order. No equipment fee. You will fill out the registration form on the first day of class. Join now!

ON-GOING CLASSES Guild Members only.

polearm class WMAW

Membership in the Chicago Swordplay Guild is by invitation only, and may be offered to students who have completed at least one session of either the introductory rapier or longsword classes. Visitors are welcome to come and observe. However,  participation is restricted to Guild members. Interested students should begin by enrolling in one of the introductory classes.

In Chicago, the Guild trains four days a week  at Forteza Fitness, Physical Culture & Martial Arts, 4437 N. Ravenswood Ave, Chicago, IL 60640.

Monday
6:00-7:30 PM  – Introductory Classes: Taste of the Knightly Arts
6:00-7:30 PM  – Introductory Classes: Taste of the Renaissance
7:30 – 8:30 PM Italian Rapier & Armizare – concurrent classes for all levels of student
8:30 – 10:00 PM Bolognese Swordsmanship – Advanced students only

Tuesday
No classes

Wednesday
6:00 – 7:30 PM – Introductory Classes: Taste of the Knightly Arts
6:00 – 7:30 PM  – Introductory Classes: Taste of the Renaissance
7:30 – 8:30 PM Abrazare (Medieval grappling and dagger combat) – all student levels
8:30 – 10:00 PM Rapier and Longsword Foundations – concurrent classes for Novice students

Thursday
No classes

Friday
7:30 – 9:30 PM – The first Friday of each month we proudly host our Friday Night Fights! Coached sparring, open-mat training, and in-house competitions!

Saturday
10:00 – 11:30 AM – Introductory Classes
11:30 AM – 1:30 PM – Foundations: Rapier, Longsword and Abrazare – classes for Novice students
1:30 – 3:00 PMScholar’s Class – Advanced student training

Sunday
No classes

Membership Fees

Association Fee: $40 per year.
All active CSG members, members of daughter schools and “inactive” members, who wish to remain a part of the larger Guild family. Associate Members who live more than 60 miles from Chicago, or study with a daughter school, may attend intro classes in Chicago as time allows, and may train in appropriate level on-going classes by paying a simple mat-fee at Forteza. “Inactive” members are those who are not attending classes but still want to maintain a relationship with the Guild.

Guild membership is required for all students to progress beyond the Taster classes, but provides students with a number of benefits, including:

  • Access to rank testing within the Guild
  • Discounted admission to related workshops and seminars at Forteza;
  • Discounted admission to the Guild sponsored Western Martial Arts Workshop, the world’s premier seminar for the study of European swordplay and fighting traditions.

Monthly Tuition
On-going tuition is not paid to the Chicago Swordplay Guild, but rather to Forteza Fitness, Physical Culture & Martial Arts. Tuition rates are based on a sliding scale, depending on how often students wish to train; from a casual, drop-in fee to an all-inclusive package. Depending on your interest and activity, monthly tuition ranges from $60 – 150/month. Discounts for family members, active military, police and full-time students are available.

Let it Be Known to All that Profess the Study of Arms, drug that the Chicago Swordplay Guild does Challenge All Men and Women of Good Character and Keep Blade to Inaugurate the New Year in a Competition of Arms

WHAT
In conjunction with the Midwest Historical Fencing League and Forteza Fitness & Martial Arts the Midwinter Armizare Open is a public display of skill with one and two-handed swords in a relatively rules-light format meant to emphasize the tactical priorities of fighting with sharp weapons in lethal combat.

WHERE & WHEN
Date : Saturday, 21 Jan 2017
Location: Forteza Fitness & Martial Arts, 4437 N. Ravenswood Ave, Chicago, IL 60640
Schedule:
11:30 – Sign In
12:00 – Introduction: Rules and Demo
12:30 – Sword in One Hand
1:45 – Break
2:00 – Longsword
5:30 – Awards
6:30 – After Event Party

HOW: Tournament Rules and Equipment Requirements can be found midwinter-steel.

JOINING: Registration is $50. Register online through the Forteza website.