Fiore Workshop - arming sword & longsword

Conducted by Bob Charron
St. Martins Academy of Medieval Arms
January 15-16, 2005

On January 15 and 16th 2005, AEMMA hosted Bob Charron for a weekend of the sword based on the Fiore treatise. AEMMA and Bob have enjoyed a mutually beneficial relationship for a number of years. AEMMA is a strong supporter of Bob's work.

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A shot from the salle's mezzanine of the workshop class, with Bob in the centre
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Last row (L-R): Mike Rasmusson, Chris Penney, Jeffrey Larson, NA, Anthony Salvatore, Anton J. Cvet, David M. Cvet, Chris Dunstan, Lesle Brown, Jonathn Weber, Darren Smith, Kel Rekuta, John Wignal, John Cameron
second row (L-R): Aaron Wieland, Matt Brundle, Frank Williams, James Hobson, Brian McIlmoyle, Bob Charron, Mike Essex
front row (L-R): Matt Weingartner, NA, John Woods, Matt Fisher, Aldo Valente, David Murphy, Miguel Cura
This weekend was devoted to the use of the sword. Saturday was focused on the sword in one hand and the gioccio largo plays of the weapon. As always Bob's depth of knowledge, not only of the Liberi treatise but of the "supporting science" underlying the system was impressive. Again Bob cements his position as the leading researcher of this material. Although Bob's interpretation of the material is very akin to AEMMA's there were subtle differences in some details that ensured that everyone came away with some new insights.

Day 2 was devoted to the sword in 2 hands, for many of our recruits this was new material for them as we at AEMMA focus on the sword in one hand for initial levels of training. For the recruits seeing the system principles repeated in the sword in 2 hands along with many similar plays from day one served to crystallize the concepts. Bob presented some of his new insights, relating how fluid the interpretation is at this point and how even subtle changes in understanding can precipitate a total re-examination of the entire system. Again, Bob presented some interesting concepts, of particular note was the re-interpretation of the concepts of gioccio stretto and gioccio largo from being "distance concepts" to being concepts of "inside play" and "outside play". In retrospect this is evident from the images in the text but none the less represents a significant change to the keys to interpreting the treatise.

In all, Bob was well received and everyone who attended came away with something to work on and to think about. In attendance were AEMMA Toronto recruits and scholars, AEMMA Guelph recruits and scholars, recruits and scholars from OMSG (Ottawa Medieval Sword Guild) and Mr. Jeff Cameron Principal of the London Historical School of Defense.

by Brian McIlmoyle
February 2, 2005

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Released: February 2, 2005 / Updated: November 20, 2009