Proper Description of Thrust-Fencing with the Single Rapier (Johann Georg Pascha)Salvator Fabris was arguably the most famous fencing master of the 17th century. After publishing his treatise Lo Schermo
in Copenhagen in 1606, Fabris returned to his native Padua. However,
his teachings stayed alive in Denmark and Germany, rapidly replacing the
older, local styles of fencing.
Johann Georg Pascha was another German fencing master, who published
numerous treatises on fencing and other arts young nobles should learn.
In 1671, he signed the dedication on a book titled Proper Description of Thrust-Fencing with the Single Rapier, now known by its shelf number Mscr.Dresd.C.13.
Pascha writes that this book presents the fencing lessons of master Von
und zum Velde, who learned them “in Italy from the famous Salvatore”,
to which Pascha added his own lessons about “parrying, as well as holds,
and other lessons and guards” to make “a complete fencing book”.
Interestingly, British Library Ms 17533 contains the same text
as the Dresden manuscript, minus Pascha’s additions, thus allowing for a
direct comparison between the two versions of this text.
In this volume, the reader will find a complete translation of Ms.Dresd.C.13 and the illustrations from British Library MS 17533.
Additionally, the translators provide a thorough comparison of these
two original works, as well as a full discussion on their authorship.
To a modern student of fencing, this work presents a clear
introduction to the German style of rapier fencing based on the
teachings of Fabris, as well as many useful lessons on thrust-fencing
and proceeding with resolution. Furthermore, this book offers an
important insight into the early evolution of this lineage, and places
many historical figures and publications in their proper context.
Reinier van Noort has been involved with HEMA since 2005, and has
been studying fencing with the rapier since 2009. He has published
several translations of fencing treatises, such as Bruchius’s Scherm- ofte Wapen-Konste (1671), Köppe’s Newer Discurs (1619), and Di Mazo’s Spada Maestra,
and he has taught and competed with the rapier on four continents.
Currently, Reinier lives near Oslo, where he teaches with Fekteklubben
Frie Duellister, and continues to present his work through Ense et Mente.
Jan Schäfer has been doing historical fencing since 2003, and is
especially interested in German-language sources from the 17th and 18th
centuries. He teaches from these sources in his home club Schwertspiel
e.V. Verein für traditionelle Kampfkünste in Dresden, of which he is a
founding member. Furthermore, Jan publishes his research into fencing
treatises, their authors, and their context on his well-regarded blog Fechgeschichte.
Reinier and Jan have been collaborating on translations and research
projects since 2011, mainly on 17th and 18th century German fencing.
This book presents a culmination of many years of fruitful