Online Learning – Winter Session 2020

Classes and assignments will be administered through Google Classrooms with weekly lesson plans released Wednesdays and live group video meetings on Sundays 7-9pm EDT.

Learn the Northern Italian Rapier System

September 12 - December 12, 2020

Instructor: David Biggs

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. Students will also 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 fees are $135 for the course and include a Tattershall membership for the rest of the year. (Tattershall members who have already paid their membership fee will have that money [$15 semi-annual] discounted from their class fee.) Please register through our online form.

Please Sign Up via our online form before September 5th, an invoice will be emailed to your provided address. Class fees must be paid before access to the Google Classroom with be instated. Info for getting started and the first class assignment will be released on September 9th.

Feel free to contact us at with any questions.

Tattershall School of Defense, Southern California
1335 Loma Avenue, Long Beach, CA 90804