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Study of medieval and renaissance fighting manuals, also known as “treatises” has revealed a well-established and highly sophisticated European fighting system, employing swords, rapiers, daggers, shields, pole axes, etc. The European martial arts integrate footwork, avoidance, and the ability to use timing and distance to exploit and enhance the sword’s inherent cutting and thrusting capabilities. This is very different from modern sport fencing, although modern fencing arose from these techniques.

Saint Michael’s Salle d’Armes is a renaissance faire guild that focuses on presenting historically accurate European martial arts. We travel to a variety of Renaissance Faires in California to demonstrate these skills, along with many other associated crafts.