La Scherma Italiana:

The Basics of Italian Rapier Fencing


Maestro Ramon Martinez is a teacher of classical and historical fencing and the director of Martinez Academy of Arms. He received the rank of fencing master from Maitre Frederick Rohdes in the traditional manner, through years of apprenticeship. He was trained in the traditional French and Italian schools of foil, epee, saber, French rapier & dagger, and smallsword.

His expertise extends to both the Italian and Spanish schools of rapier fence. Many of the most prominent masters of the past centuries left elaborate, highly detailed treatises of the systems and styles which they taught. Maestro Martinez has spent years researching these treatises in an effort to accurately reconstruct these varied systems. He has developed his own didactical method for teaching both the Italian and Spanish Schools.

In all, Maestro Martinez has devoted over 32 years to the study and teaching of classical and historical fencing. His goal is to teach, promote, and preserve this rare martial art. Toward that end he has taught seminars and given lectures and presentations throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe.

He is one of the founders and current president of the Association for Historical Fencing, founded to promote, preserve and revive classical and historical fencing. Maestro Martinez is a founding member of the International Masters at Arms Federation and one of the translators of the first published English translation of Capo Ferro's 1610 text. He is a member of the council of Advisors of Swordplay Symposium International (SSI), associated with the Federazione Italiana Scherma Antica e Storica, and an advisor to the Academy of European Medieval Martial Arts (AEMMA).

Contents of Volume 1 include instruction and drills covering:

  1. Bulletparts of the rapier

  2. Bulletthe proper grip

  3. Bullethand positions

  4. Bulletthe guardias - prima, seconda, terza, quarta e mixta

  5. Bulletpasseggiare (footwork)

  6. Bulletlines of attach

  7. Bulletcontra guardias

  8. Bulletstoccata lunga

  9. Bulletmisura - stretta e larga

  10. Bulletstringere

  11. Bulletcavatione

  12. Bulletcontra cavatione

  13. Bulletthrusts - inbroccata, stoccata, punta dritta, punta reversa

  14. Bulletparata - prima, seconda, terza, quarta, messo cerchio

  15. Bulletcuts - fendente, sgualembrato, mandritto, tondo, riverso, tondo, montante, falso manco, falso dritto, stramazione

Contents of Volume 2 build upon the foundation of skills, along with instruction and drills covering:

  1. Bulletbattuta - beat

  2. Bulletguadagnare

  3. Bullettempo (time)

  4. Bulletproportion

  5. Bulletscanso (voicance)

  6. Bulletsbasso

  7. Bulletsottobotta

  8. Bulletconter-offensive actions

  9. Bulletthe unarmed hand - parries, checks, takedowns, blade seizures

  10. Bulletdisarms

  11. Bulletthe dagger - guard positions, parries

La Scherma Italiana Volumes 1 and 2 are available in DVD format. They are available for US$34.95/volume. Sets are available for US$64.95.

Postage and handling: include US$6/disk or set for shipping and handling for orders to the U.S. (by Priority Mail), US$9 for Canada and Mexico (by Air Mail). Foreign orders are accepted, payment made by U.S. funds money order. Send order to:

Palpable Hit Productions

PO BOX 2445

Canyon Country, CA 91386


Maestro Ramon Martinez

Production Crew

First Row: David Baker (2nd camera); Patt Paczynski (production assistant); Mary De Longis (art director); Dave Mason (camera assistant); Rob Mason (1st camera).

Second Row: Anthony De Longis (producer/teaching assistant); Ed Douglas (director); Jeannette Acosta-Martinez (teaching assistant); Ramon Martinez (Maestro); Mark Petrigac (director of photography).

Not pictured: Chris Lowery (score), Phil Gibson (editor).