In the early spring we started a weekly class on Bolognese sword and buckler. While I really like working with the buckler it is obvious from my perspective that the time is not yet right for me to truly focus on the sidearms. For this reason I have let the sword and buckler classes shift in focus towards more advanced classes, sort of “fighting classes”, where participants are free to use bucklers if they choose to, but they can also work with the sword alone.
I have previously attempted to focus on buckler by working through the assalti, but there have been too many inconveniences preventing me from their practice. I will pick them up at some point however, as it is my goal to work through all of them (which are, if memory serves me right, three for sword alone, two for sword and dagger, five for sword and buckler, two for sword and rotella, two for the spadone and few more for polearms). Between work, fitness training, four or five weekly sword classes and other things in life there just hasn’t been enough time for assalto-practice, which requires a large space with distractions and privacy.
I can deliver so much better classes to my students without the buckler that I can’t fully justify running buckler classes at this time, especially because planning and executing the beginner’s course during same day (right after the buckler class) is mentally rather taxing. The sidearms will be revisited in the future however, and using them in free-fencing is something I’m planning on always allowing unless the exercise requires specifically focusing on a specific weapon or weapon combination.
On another front, I have begun translating Bolognese material into Finnish language. While English is way more important on a global scale, I believe a local translation would be extremely helpful and easier to understand for my Finnish students. And the good thing is that a lot of the material has already been translated into English, and in the case of the Anonimo, I am working together with Francesco Lanza, who is producing an English translation of the material which helps me with the Finnish translation.
The English translation will probably be published in some form as well, when it is ready, but no decisions have yet been made one way or another.
Before getting too excited I have to note that whether or not the whole of something is enormous as the Anonimo will be published will remain to be seen; to start with we are translating to both languages the introductory part of the text. On its own, this already will help undersatnd the Bolognese tradition and the context in which it was born and exercised.
My aim is to create a Finnish primer to Bolognese tradition, that would consist of a translation fo the introductions of Manciolino, Anonimo and dall’Agochhie and then a glossary and a basic interpretation of the style – a presentation of how I personally use the style and teach it. Marozzo follows a different structure in his work and doesn’t provide a similar introduction, hence his work would only be quoted and referenced where necessary but there wouldn’t be a translation of any part of his work.
There is a possibility I will simultaneously produce this work in English as well.