The confrontation of the French and Italian fencing schools
Starting from the middle of the XVII century, when the French shortened their epee, fencing with stabbing weapons began to progress rapidly in a variety of techniques, dexterity and speed of their application. From that moment, a sharp divergence of the French school (more progressive) and Italian (more conservative) begins. These discrepancies reached their peak by the end of the 19th century.
In France, from the second half of the 18th century, fencing has made rapid significant progress, clearly ahead of Italy. In 1736, the Frenchman Girard introduced the 8th and last defense, almost two centuries later than the 7th. In 1755, in the French Encyclopedia, the article “fencing” first talked about the need to introduce a fencing mask to prevent accidents. But 10 years passed before fencing masks were finally introduced. Continue reading