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Northwest Fencing Academy is a school dedicated to the practice of Traditional Italian Fencing, Historical Swordplay, and Medieval Martial Arts. Founded in 1997, the Academy provides professional instruction and training programs in the medieval arts of Longsword, Spear, Poleaxe, and Dagger (collectively known as Armizare), the elegant Spada Solo (single sword) of the Renaissance, and the deadly 19th century Dueling Sabre. We combine the traditional European apprenticeship model, modern physical education practices, and careful research and scholarship of historical martial arts in a comprehensive, balanced curriculum. We are a modern school of traditional European swordplay and martial arts.
Learn the art of the Medieval Two-Handed Longsword! This two-handed sword was wielded with sophistication and finesse by knights and nobles, and was the central weapon of Armizare, the medieval Italian Art of Arms. Armizare was taught by Maestro d’armi Fiore dei Liberi in the late 14th century. His four illustrated manuscripts – medieval martial arts “how-to” books – teach the techniques, tactics and strategy of longsword fighting. Much more than a “brute force” weapon, you’ll learn subtle and sophisticated ways to outthink your opponent, and even use their own strength against them. It’s chess with steel!
Page and Squire Programs for Elementary and Middle School! Learn the ways of chivalry and the sword! Medieval society was rich and varied. In addition to training with two-handed sword, spear, dagger, and sword & shield, students will explore the history of daily life and society. They will learn hands-on about the Code of Chivalry, historical armour, weapons, tactical games, and more. They’ll even learn to joust! Our program is designed and taught by a Eugene middle school history teacher who is also an instructor at Northwest Fencing Academy, and who designed and led our world-famous (really, it’s true) summer camps.
LearnRenaissance One-Handed Sword! The Italian Renaissance produced stunning works of art, and the Art of Swordplay was no exception. Sprezzatura – an Italian word that means “doing difficult things with effortless grace” – became the hallmark of the elegant, flowing and deadly 16th Century Italian Sidesword. Centered in Bologna, where masters like Achille Marozzo, Angelo Viggiani, and Giovanni dall’Agocchie wrote extensive treatises on the use of the “Spada Bolognese,” it was a necessary exercise for a person of culture as well as a required martial skill for self defense, and it remains one of the most beautiful and effective forms of swordplay today.
Learn Dueling Sabre! During the tumultuous 19th century unification of Italy, political problems were often taken to the dueling ground, a tradition based on knightly combats and noble duels of earlier centuries. The weapon of choice was the dueling sabre: an elegant cut and thrust weapon employed with skill and precision – more often fought to first blood than to a more final conclusion. We teach Italian dueling sabre as it was taught then, and we have a direct lineage, teacher to student, to the great Italian masters of the 19th century. It’s a serious art, but the enjoyment of training and testing skills with others is unmatched!
Our mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of children, youth, men and women and our community in general, through the study of Historical European Martial Arts. We specifically prohibit discriminatory or harassing behavior based on race, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnic or religious background, or ability, and we will respond quickly, seriously, and fairly to all forms of harassment, hate speech, or bullying.
We strive to create a physical environment where everyone can learn to respect one another; our martial arts school promotes a safe and supportive training space, where our students are assisted in achieving their highest potential in physical fitness, coordination, flexibility, endurance, mental clarity, and focus.
The International Armizare Society is an historical and chivalric European martial arts association dedicated to the study, preservation, teaching and transmission of the the Art of Arms (l’arte dell’armizare) of the dei Liberi Tradition.