Workshop – Andrea Lupo Sinclair
FROM RAPIER TO RAPIER
Compound actions on 2nd and 3rd intention, both with cuts and thrusts.
The differences between the early rapier, notably called “sidesword” in the Renaissance, and the more commonly known weapon termed Rapier, dating from the XVII century even until the XIX (with the so called “Neapolitan Sword” and the later Epées), are several, both in shape and in the doctrine of use and purpose. In fact, in common opinion, the early rapiers appear more oriented to cutting and thrusting while the later ones lend themselves mostly to thrusting, with cuts being used only rarely. They therefore changed greatly in shape and style, according to the context and the historical period. However, all of them are dress swords or “sideswords” for civilian use, and both were just called “spada“, or sword, in Italy – the early type frequently referred to as “spada da filo” and the later one often nicknamed “Striscia“, but all are, in fact, “rapiers”.
After a short historical introduction, where we will analyze some of the different doctrines of use of the different period “rapiers”, we will attempt to dissect several technical differences in the applications in an intermediate/advanced tactical lesson about second and third intention, sounding and provoking actions and countering the attack, both with the cuts (more early rapier approach) and thrusts, of the more later “rapier” and classical swords. The goal is to help in understanding that to study and practice compound actions is the best way to train for infighting scenarios and to deal with the typical confused exchanges that occur after the first attack if the attack is not successful.
It is advised to also bring a safe dagger, as we might also use this to further clarify the main principles of use of the different rapiers. Theoretically one cup/swept hilt would be enough for the workshop, but having both a heavy and a light rapier would be better