As a tribute to Domenico Angelo after whom our salle is named, and to explore the difference in fencing 18th century style to ‘modern’ visual the day followed the methods illustrated in the ‘Ecole des Armes’. Ted studied the text and etchings producing copies for us and instructed us on the day.
The biggest difficulty to overcome was the difference in the shape of the blades. Because the 18th Century sword was a flat blade with one sharp edge our guards had to be relearned. The rest of the coaching was also fun, starting with the salute which included moves such as doffing one’s hat, and the ‘the appel’. This was followed by Ted coaching us in moves such as disarming one’s opponent, using one’s left hand to parry and additional footwork.
All this was put together in a tournament which turned out to be very successful – a little confusing for the president at times and some temporary rules had to be applied as we progressed. We did find however, that the use of the left hand to parry, left one wide open to be hit by one’s opponent unless the parry was followed quickly by the thrust of one’s own sword – if not at the same time.
As always, our day was completed with a formal dinner before which Vanda fought her public duel against the club champion to gain membership to Salle Angelo. She won the bout with honour and competence and was awarded her membership certificate by Ted during the dinner. Over coffee the speechifying included a recitation from Brian;
A collection of poems by by Ralph Goldstein.
— THE EPEEMAN —
The Epeeman, the Epeeman, in frayed and tattered gear
Can lick his weight in wildcats and can drink his weight in beer
And for the foil and sabreman he hasn’t any fear
For he’s a late edition of the dashing Musketeer. etc etc
And for the full poem go to www.columbusfencing.org/gls/
Photos by Gio and Tony