Poke and not be poked – Doyle’s smallsword

Alexander Doyle’s „Neu Alamodische Ritterliche Fecht- und Schirm-Kunst“ („New, fashionable, knightly art of fencing and defending”), published in Nuremberg and Frankfurt in 1715, is one of the earlier smallsword manuals printed in Europe, preceded by Hope, Schmidt and the Kreußler lienage. The fencing style that Doyle shows in his work is, as he puts it, á la mode or fashionalbe for the time Doyle put it on paper. We see this in his adaption of French technique and style as well as French terminology to his system, which is rouned off with Italian and German bits and aspects. In the first part of this course, we will look at the basics of Doyle´s style, incl. footwork, guards, attacks & parries, so that participants, after the course, should have a rudimental knowledge of how to move and how to work with a smallsword. The second part will consist of the more fun parts, like feints, voltas & disarms. If time and allows, we will also do some very slow sparring.

Skill level


Required equipment

Smallsword trainer, modern fencing foil with a French/ straight grip. Masks, light gloves.