Military Sabre in the Italian Tradition

NW Armizare's military sabre class looks to the Italian and Italo-Hungarian tradition. While the latter was the forerunner of the "International System" that characterized Olympic sabre for much of the 20th century, the Italo-Hungarian system itself was deeply rooted in the military sabre practice of Italy. Many of the most influential masters that created the International System were products of the Radaellian tradition, among them Maestri Luigi Barbasetti and Italo Santelli, the former a maestro with the Austro-Hungarian Military Fencing School at Wiener-Neustadt, Austria, the latter a maestro in Budapest, Hungary. We are not a pure Radaellian school, however, and in addition to working with Radaellian texts like those of Settimo Del Frate, Ferdinando Masiello, and Salvatore Pecoraro and Carlo Pessina, we also draw upon those by masters such as Masaniello Parise. Despite the close connection between modern sport and the Italo-Hungarian school, this tradition—as we approach it—focuses on those aspects which trained soldiers, cavalry troopers, and the officer corps. The requirements of the officer corps, given the fact of the duel, meant a more complete program of instruction and thus the Italian works are, by and large, far richer and more sophisticated than other, contemporary manuals. Our program therefore falls under the purview of classical and military sabre rather than sport. 


Sabre Instructors

Natalie Rowland

Natalie started fencing in 2004 through a local parks and rec program run by a senior student of the Davis Fencing Academy in Davis, California. In 2005 she formally enrolled at the Davis Fencing Academy and studied and competed in epee under the tutelage of Matire Simon Piftield.

In 2015 she joined NW Armizare and competed in several longsword events. Initially helping Jim Tschen Emmons and Will Richmond prepare for a seminar at another school, Natalie's love of Victorian fencing was rekindled and she began studying sabre with Jim. From 2016 to 2017 she was instrumental in helping run our sabre class with him. Together they introduced sabre to Indes WMA (now Indes Ferox Gladio), shared Italian dueling culture and tactics at Swordsquatch 2017, a class she and Jim devised, and together and on her own taught sabre at the Oregon Renaissance Faire.

When not fencing, Natalie is the creative talent behind Wild Rose Costumes, and her handiwork is proudly worn by many at NWA!