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BIC Excellence Award

The Art of Defence on Foot with the Broad Sword and Sabre

Compiled by Peter Frank

The Art of Defence on Foot with the Broad Sword and Sabre
Paperback, 152 pages £24.50
Published: 2017
ISBN: 9781937439309
Format: 296mm x 219mm
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Subjects: Cultural and Social Studies, European Studies, Freelance Academy Press, History, Martial Arts, Military History

Originally published in 1804 and aimed at the volunteer regiments of the Napoleonic Era, when engagements with swords were still a reality of warfare, The Art of Defence was written for civilians wanting to learn to fence with the sabre, broad-sword or spadroon.

The growing interest in Historical European Martial Arts (HEMA) has led to a world-wide increase in clubs and societies, and this text is aimed at these new students.

The content is presented in a highly-structured way and in easily accessible language. Although primarily aimed at the novice, the text contains a number of more advanced techniques, from which more experienced fencers can benefit.

This newly transcribed edition puts the complete, original text into a modern typesetting to make it easily accessible during lessons, but is otherwise left unchanged. To ensure the transcription will remain as compatible with other sources that refer to specific parts of the text as the original edition, all content has remained on the same page.

All the plates, including the foldouts, have been photographed and digitally enhanced in order to reproduce them in as much detail as possible.

Part One: Practice at the Target

Of Holding the Sword



Medium Guard

Inside Guard

Outside Guard

Introductory Remarks on the Six Cuts

Direction of the Cuts

Method of practicing the Six Cuts at the Target

o   Cut I

o   Cut II

o   Cut III

o   Cut IV

o   Cut V

o   Cut VI

Combining the Six Cuts

Part Two: Practice with the Antagonist

General Observations


The Advance

The Retreat



Forcing an Adversary’s Guard


The Slip

Inside Guard

o   2d position

o   3d position

Outside Guard

Hanging Guard

St George’s Guard

Spadroon Guard





Application of the Point



Cuts differing from the general principles of the System

Cut at the Advanced Leg

Parade & Return for the above

Remarks on the Spadroon


Opposing the Small Sword

§  Spadroon

§  Musket & Bayonet

Variations from general prinicples of the System when engaged with Sticks

Peter Frank was born in Wiesbaden, Germany and attended schools in the Scottish Borders and in Germany.  He studied Japanology, Dutch culture and language and German philology at the University of Cologne.  After living in Kyoto for a year he returned to Cologne in 2008 and joined Die Freifechter - Gesellschaft für Historische Fechtkunst (Society of the Historical Art of Fencing), which is where he was first introduced to this text.

Publication Details:

 Paperback , 152 pages
 296mm x 219mm

BIC Code:
  HIS010000, HIS027000, HIS027130, SPO027000, SPO071000
 Freelance Academy Press


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