A Brief Introduction to Capo Ferro - An Overview of His Manual and Principles Therein

v1.0, by Donovan Shinnock, OGR

Part I: Overview of structure of book - a navigation aid.

Part II: Overview of concepts conveyed in book - a comprehension aid.


Appendix: Pictures, etc.

(Possibly the only G-rated picture of people in the entire book. Oh, period manuals.)

A brief note: This class is designed to give the student a basic idea of what Capo Ferro taught in his manual, and the tools with which to study further on their own. Additionally, it is taught with an eye towards learning and using these concepts and techniques within the confines of SCA fencing, rather than solely an HMA classroom setting.

Part I: A Very Quick Guide to the book

Part II: Some More Details on His Theory

Guards (illustrations in the back!)



Plates!  (or: The Practical Section, or: All the Pretty Pictures!)

Final Notes

Bibliography and Otherwise Helpful References

“Great Representation of the Art and Use of Fencing,” by Ridolfo Capo Ferro. http://mac9.ucc.nau.edu/manuscripts/CapoFerro-GRAUF.pdf

This is a freely available, very solid translation. Given that the printed book I’ve seen is long out of print and generally very expensive used, we’re lucky to have this available to us. Plus, printouts make it much easier to scribble notes on the pages themselves.

The research of Master Dante di Pietro.


Master Dante has written extensively on Capo Ferro, as well as other historic fencing topics. His work immeasurably aided my understanding of the topic, and you should all go read everything he has written and become a better fencer thereby.

“A Brief Glossary of Italian Rapier Concepts,” by Tom Leoni


Depending on the translation or the instructor, any number of new and exciting terms can be thrown around when discussing historical Italian rapier. This is an excellent guide to keep you from getting utterly lost in discussions that will throw around Italian terminology all over the place.

Appendix - Guards


A) Prima.

B) Seconda.

C) Terza.

D) Quarta.

E) Quinta

F) Sesta