Iberian Swordplay: Domingo Luis Godinho's Art of Fencing


Iberian Swordplay: Domingo Luis Godinho's Art of Fencing 1599 First publication ofmanuscript by Portuguese master at arms Domingo Luis Godinho entitled Arte de Esgrima The Art of FencingTim Rivera provides detailed introduction explaining Godinho s relationship to earlier sword masters, and a short primer on the various weapons, guards, parries, footwork and terminology of the tradition b w illus In , during the period when the Portuguese crown was united to the crowns of Castile and Aragon, the Portuguese master at arms Domingo Luis Godinho wrote a manuscript in Spanish entitled Arte de Esgrima The Art of Fencing Although his life is largely a mystery and Godinho s text was never published in his lifetime, today his manuscript is of utmost relevance in the study of Renaissance Iberian fencing It is the only complete treatise discovered so far describing the Common or Vulgar style of Iberian fencing, first documented in the fifteenth century, but by Godinho s day, displaced by the new system of La Verdadera Destreza the true skill The work includes instructions for the single sword, a long bladed, cut thrust weapon taught alone and with the use of the shield, buckler, dagger, and cape, as well as paired with a second sword Godinho s instructions also included the longest known text on the use of the montante, or two handed sword, a devastating weapon that was used by soldiers and body guards, in duels and battlefields, in crowded streets and aboard galleys Translator Tim Rivera provides a detailed introduction that explains Godinho s relationship to earlier masters of the Common School of swordsmanship, and a short primer on the various weapons, guards, parries, footwork and terminology of the traditionTim Rivera has been researching, studying, and translating texts on Spanish swordplay since , concentrating on the older and common styles from the th th century He is also the founder of the Spanish Swordsmanship Society In addition, he has practiced and researched various styles of Filipino martial arts since

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