|An illustration from Fiore dei Liberi's treatise, dated 1410 from the Pisani-Dossi collection, depicting the Remedy Master deploying a boar's tooth.|
|instructor Brian McIlmoyle deploying a "boar's tooth" on his training partner Kelly Rekuta. The technique is similar to the illustration on the left.|
The student recruit at the end of the grappling portion of training will have developed a good understanding and a skills base in the area of guards (positions in preparation to deploy defensive or offensive maneuvers) and begin to develop the concept of timing, distance, judgment and position and their application to fighting. Advanced grappling and throw techniques described in "plays" by Fiore will be explored in later levels of training during scholler training.
|Instructor Brian McIlmoyle on the right deploying Fiore's "posta longa" on his training partner, Kelly Rekuta.|
Fiore documented in his treatises entitled "Flos Duellatorum" [ 2 ] and "Fior di Battaglia" [ 3 ] a very systematic and complete training treatise for the development of contemporary martial art skills of the time. Fiore recommends that this training system not be used to train thugs, given the techniques are sophisticated and deadly. Thugs would not possess the self-discipline to control when and when not to employ the techniques described. He begins the training program with grappling. Although students of the sword would prefer to begin training with the sword, Fiore reasoned that those students who are committed to learning the way of the sword would remain throughout the earlier levels of training and develop an appreciation of the skills learned and recognize how these skills can be leveraged to longsword or pole-weapons training. Those students that are not cognizant of this leave the program early thus proving that Liberi's system is an excellent built-in filtering mechanism.
In his introduction to the wrestling, Fiore describes what he considers to be the seven main requirements for wrestling. These include:
|An illustration from Johann Georg Paschen [Pascha], 1659, entitled "Vollstandiges Ring-Buch"|
|An illustration from Nicolaes Petter, 1674, entitled "Klare Onderrichtinge der Voortreffelijcke Worstel-Konst"|
Other sources which indicates the importance of its (wrestling/grappling) history can be found in Prof. Sydney Anglo publication entitled "The Martial Arts of Renaissance Europe" [ 4 ] (p. 190) who calls Petter's [ 5 ] book "historically speaking, the most important treatise on unarmed combat ever printed... the finest of all wrestling books and deservedly the most famous". It was first published in 1674 and reprinted several times, including one complete plagiarism. The combination of Petter's lucid descriptions, devoid of all jargon, and de Hooge's masterful depiction of pain and violence in the engravings, elevates the book to its position of solitary eminence. It is also probably unique in presenting an effective and complete unarmed combat system in a format from which it would be actually possible to learn.
And finally, another historical reference by Johann Passchen [ 6 ] who writes:
"To the gentle reader,
Wrestling ['Ringen'] is a useful exercitium, and well-known history shows that it was practiced by our forefathers not only for fun, but also in earnest, because it not only improves the condition of the whole body, but so also a weaker person can, by knowledge of this science, and fully trained therein, defend himself against a stronger one, and resist him. As high as it was esteemed by our forefathers, so little is it known in our time, and these days everyone relies on their size and strength, yet they feel in danger when confronted by a smaller man trained in wrestling. These circumstances have prompted me to bring some things to light in this print and coppers. Do not hesitate, lovers of wrestling, to willingly accept this little work by me, which I place in God's care."
Recruit training is scheduled on a rotational basis, in which each class is focused on a particular aspect of Liberi's system, such as grappling one day, dagger the next day followed by longsword training on the 3rd day. The cycle then repeats again. Training for recruits is offered three times weekly. For details on the scheduling for recruit training and fees, click here.
For details on AEMMA's training program, equipment requirements, armoured tournaments info, and ranking system, click on "training" on the navigation bar at the top of your browser window.