Bolognese swordsmanship is at the same time both simple and demanding. Anyone, when they get a sword in their hand and face an opponent, knows immediately what fencing is about: preservation of his life through parries and evades, and wounding the opponent through cuts and thrusts. Originally of course the idea was – in the case of the duel – to preserve not only his life but also his honor.
It is not quite that simple however. While fencing can be done intuitively without skill and practice, the results will be largely dictated by natural abilities and even luck alone.
Through practice, and understanding the science of fencing chances of victory can be increased and fencing made more secure. And of course skillful fencing can be enjoyed as practice just for itself.
I have often explained the basic concepts and the theory behind Bolognese fencing to a newcomer in the art, going through virtually everything in matter of few hours. Similarly, teaching the most important postures and actions does not take all that long, even though there are roughly twenty positions to remember, many of them are variations to a singular position. But the process of internalizing these things, and gaining the required experience to be able to call for them when in need takes years.
Finally, our current interpretations and understanding of the Bolognese source material is by no means finished. There is a lot to read, study and bring out from the sources. There are plenty of plays, exercises, forms and concepts yet to be discovered, making this journey all the more fascinating!