ARMA Historical Study Guide:
Fiore Dei Liberi: 14th century Master of Defence

By John Clements

Unarguably the most important Medieval Italian fighting treatise, the work of Fiore Dei Liberi forms a cornerstone of historical fencing studies. Like many other martial arts treatises from the Medieval and Renaissance eras, we must look analytically at the totality of the author's teachings. In doing so we come to understand how, rather than exclusively consolidating information compartmentally, its manner of technical writing disperses it throughout. Fiore dei Liberi's martial art is neither complex nor mysterious once the principles and concepts of his textual and iconographic vocabulary are unlocked. His fighting method is not "soft" and is hardly "passive". It requires that one practice his moves with energy and enthusiasm, utilizing leverage and pressure with speed and force.

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