Reinier van Noort – Workshop – ‘Let’s start with plan A.’

This rapier stuff is dumb. As making a lunge is a tempo, how can I attack my opponent if they are simply waiting for me to do that?

Weapon: Single rapier (concepts applicable beyond that)

Source: Key source: Mscr. Dresd. C.13.
Thus also BL Add. MS. 17533, and, indirectly, Fabris’s Lo Schermo.

When learning fencing, we have to start at the beginning, and a common beginning is how to approach and attack an opponent who is assumed to be trained, and who stands in guard, but who does not act. Let’s call how to attack such an opponent “Plan A”. And indeed, many treatises do begin their lessons with something that could be considered such a Plan A. This simple‐appearing scenario, however, is not always what it seems. In this workshop, we will explore the most common “Plan A” – and see where it fails, and why. Then, we will explore a new Plan A, based on Fabris’s narrow measure and C13’s description of entering this.

Skill level of Participants: Some experience most helpful (students should know basic rapier technique and principles for best results, as I will not spend too much time on that).
Needed Equipment: Rapier, mask. A puncture‐resistant jacket, pants, gloves, as well as a throat protector, groin protection and (perhaps) a chest protector are recommended. Students are expected to adapt intensity to the protection worn.

About the trainer – Reinier van Noort

Reinier started training Historical European Martial Arts in 2005, and has been researching and teaching rapier fencing since 2010. His focus is mainly on the single rapier as used in the Netherlands and Germany in the late 17th century, but in addition he has also studied the Italian sidesword, and meddles with the use of the staff and partisan, and 17th century grappling sources. Currently, Reinier teaches and fences with the Fekteklubben Frie Duellister in Oslo (Norway), and shares his research through Ense et Mente. As part of this research, Reinier has produced over 20 translations of fencing texts, has published more than 10 books, and has co‐authored several peer‐reviewed articles or chapters. Reinier has been awarded the Best Researcher Award at the 2014 and at the 2016 HEMA Scholar Awards.

In 2011 Reinier won “Best Technique” in the HEMAC Dijon rapier tournament. In 2017, Reinier won the single rapier tournament at Festival of the Sword in Melbourne, staying undefeated throughout the tournament. In 2019, Reinier won the “Rapier+mixed left‐hand weapon” tournament at the International Rapier Seminar in Copenhagen, using an empty left hand.