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Iberian Swordplay – Domingo Luis Godinho’s Art of Fencing – 1599

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Detailed in this work are the techniques of Portuguese master-at-arms Domingo Luis Godinho for the cut-and-thrust sword, both on its own and when paired with a round shield, as well as techniques for the use of the sword in conjunction with buckler, dagger, cape and a second sword. Godinhos 1599 manuscript also include the largest amount of text detailing the use of the Iberian Montante Two-Handed sword. Godinhos tutelage prepared his students for combat on battlefields and galley ships and for practical self defense in the streets.

Godinho himself is largely a mystery and his manuscript was unpublished in his lifetime, but its survival is now a cornerstone in the understanding of Renaissance Iberian Fencing because it is the only complete treatise which details the vulgar or common style and techniques of Iberian swordplay which has its roots in the 15th century and was being displaced by the newer fighting system of La Verdadera Destreza in Godinhos day. Without his work there would be far less insight into the fighting techniques of the late medieval and early Iberian Renaissance.

Translator Tim Riveras introduction elaborates on Godinhos relationship to the earlier methods and masters of Iberian Common School swordsmanship and he also includes a primer on the various weapons, footwork, parries, guards and terminology of this tradition and its connection to the manuscript of Godinho.


Part One: Sword Alone
Part Two: Sword and Shield
Part Three: Sword and Buckler
Part Four: Two Swords
Part Five: Sword And Dagger
Part Six: The Two-Handed Sword
Part Seven: Sword and Cloak
Part Eight: Self-Defense And Tricks
Part Nine: General Advice
Part Ten: Sword Alone, Continued
Godinhos Notes
Appendix A: Pachecos Thirty Vulgar Tretas
Appendix B: Glossary

10” x 7” Paperback – 164 pages

ManufacturerFreelance Academy Press
Country of OriginUSA


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