Home>Northern Italian Rapier Online 2020

Learn the Northern Italian Rapier System

September 12 – December 12, 2020

In the first decade of the 17th century, three martial arts manuals were published that demonstrate strikingly similar approaches to the use of the long, thin thrust-oriented sword we now refer to as the rapier. This system has come to be known as the Northern Italian Rapier style. The three published treatises that best encapsulate the system are Nicoletto Giganti’s Scola, overo teatro (1606), Salvator Fabris’ Sienza e Pratica d’Arme (1606), and Ridolfo Capo Ferro da Cagli’s Gran Simulacro dell’Arte e dell’Uso della Scherma (1610). This class will present that system.

I plan to start by teaching you the foundations of the system – how to stand in protected guards, how to move, and how to attack and defend in various ways. We will focus on good form, conditioning the body to stand and move well and relaxed, and making sure your actions are mechanically correct.

We will then move into the actions depicted in plates in the manuals. I will focus primarily on the actions from Capo Ferro’s and Giganti’s treatises. You will learn how to read the actions and the accompanying plates and how to use them to start building tactics.

We will finish by learning how to come up with tactics on your own.

Weekly lesson plans will be released Wednesdays with live group video meetings on Sundays 7-9pm Eastern to check in on how things are going. Students will be expected to submit videos of their practice so feedback can be provided.

Recommended Equipment

Students will need a space to move/practice and some sort of rapier simulator (a stick, preferably 38-42” in length, is fine). A roll of electrical tape will come in handy as well.


Class Enrollment is $120 and requires a Tattershall membership [$30 annual] as well as an agreement of our Waiver and Code of Conduct policies.

Enrollment is Closed

David Biggs