As you embark on your fencing journey, you may find yourself enamored by the history and the techniques you’re learning. While it’s not uncommon for new participants to run out in search of videos and books on the subject, some people go a bit overboard, overwhelm and confuse themselves, and push themselves into information overload very quickly. We love it when our students want to learn more, so we’ve put together a list of books you may enjoy – one at a time, of course.
The Art and Science of Fencing by Nick Evangelista
This is a great book for anyone who’d like an overview of both the history and the basics of fencing technique. Evangelists covers not only the technical aspect of the sport, but the psychological aspects as well. A lot of readers have noted the inclusion of the biographies of some of the more notable fencers throughout history as enjoyable as well. Everyone will find something useful or interesting in this book, whether a new fencer or a more seasoned participant in the sport.
Techniques of Foil, Epee, and Sabre by Brian Pitman
This is a great book for novices who want to study technique. While no book replaces real practice time on the floor or the instruction of your coach, this book will help you to study in between so that you can gain a stronger grasp on the importance of grips, the on-guard position, and different strokes. You’ll also gain a better understanding of the different types of weapons available to you as a fencer and what the rules are for using each.
Fencing: A Renaissance Treatise by Camillo Agrippa
While this book is geared more towards more advanced fencers and history buffs, the information contained within is absolutely astounding. Agrippa was not a professional fencer. He was an engineer with a fascination with the lines, principles, and science of the art. He spent a great deal of time studying the fundamentals of timing, distance, lines, and more and laid it all out in a practical manual full of art, science, and illustrations. This is also a great book for fencers who hope to one day teach.
Not interested in any of these reads? Ask your coach to recommend a book the next time you see him. Everyone here at Silversword has a favorite and would be happy to help you progress your fencing knowledge.