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For hundreds of years Capo Ferro's work has been considered as one of the most comprehensive and concise books on the art and science of fencing to ever be written. It was first published in 1610, in an age when a man’s life depended on his skill with the sword. It was so popular that it was republished many times over the centuries. Italian Rapier Combat is the first translation of Capo Ferro's work ever to be published. Published by Greenhill Books, this monumental work is finally accessible to the English speaking world. During the current Renaissance of interest in the Western Martial Arts it is essential for any historical fencer, scholar of the martial arts, or student of history to be able to access the knowledge of the Masters. This highly influential treatise covers the use of single Rapier, Rapier and Dagger, Rapier and Cloak, as well as Rapier and Rotella (a large shield).

“…of all the Italian works on fencing none ever had such a share in fixing the principles of the science…. The theories which he enunciated, the system that he followed…were hardly improved on by anyone. For once the title of the book fully represented its contents.”
- Castle, Egerton “Schools and Masters of Fence”
“…the peak of achievement of the Italian tradition is reached with the work of Capo Ferro…. [he] fixes permanently the principles on which all later sword-play is based…”
- Wise, Arthur “The History and Art of Personal Combat”
“In terms of combat technique, this work is one of the most influential in the history of swordsmanship.”
- Anglo, Sidney “The Martial Arts of Renaissance Europe”

Excerpts from the Book


The good giocatore, in his interplay, must never parry without responding with a strike, neither must he proceed to strike if he is not assured of parrying the risposta, nor void the vita if not striking. If it comes to pass that one will parry with the dagger, when the dagger departs to parry, the sword must depart to strike.


If you have to encounter a brutal man that, without misura and tempo, hurls many blows at you with great impetus, you will be able to do two things. First, adopt the interplay of mezzo tempo, as I will teach you in its place, you will strike him in his hurling of the point, either by cut in the hand or in the sword arm. Otherwise, you can leave him to proceed at emptiness with somewhat voiding the vita backwards, and then you instantly drive a point into the face or chest.