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Old 13th January 2022, 07:14 PM   #4
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 190

Originally Posted by Jim McDougall View Post
Thank you so much for this thoughtful and perfectly explained response and for the kind words.
In posting this I honestly was less than optimistic for responses. The fencing topic alone is profoundly esoteric here, and the field of Spanish colonial weapons even more so.

I very much appreciate the detailed notes and suggestions concerning the destreza and some of these early fencing systems, outstanding insights into these. As you note, Wiki seems an often maligned and far underrated resource, which is not intended to serve as primary research....but a preliminary overview with references and bibliography to be used to follow whatever course of research is at hand on the topic.

I have some familiarity with some of this, but your suggestions for further research are excellent and give me important ideas to follow.
I have a number of books on some of this , but as you well note, these are not often at hand (the bookmobile has limited space

Im glad you agree, this is an intriguing subject, the kinds of swordplay which may have been extant in these early days in California from c. 1770s into the mid 19th c. While the population was under Spanish control until 1821, there were few true Spaniards in the early years in the sparsely occupied regions, however the cultural influences that prevailed were notable. If fashion, custom, and other factors were present, then why not the use of the sword?
You have Leguina bibliography of Spanish fencing from 1904 and the much extended one by Manuel Valle from some 10 years ago. In the America's you had the so called destreza Indiana, especially developed in Lima. I remember when Manuel Valle went to Mexico in search of books. California of course was a dependency of Mexico.
Destreza in Spain lasted up to the middle of XIXth century, and then there was a revival at the start of XXth century, that did not survive the Spanish Civil War of 1936_1939.
In the 1980s a curious artistic fencer, Ricard Pous, started recovering it, publishing two books. Later reenactment groups brought it alive again in the 2000s. We used to make fun of the original Martinez videos...
For 15 years the esgrima antigua forum pushed the research and sooner or later all the resources were indexed in pdf.
Now they were quite esoteric for XVII century Spaniards, so much more for English language XXth century readers.
Best and more comprensible of all is second book by Rada.
Some years ago there was even a Mexican destreza group, nothing heard of them in 8 years at least.

Last edited by midelburgo; 13th January 2022 at 07:44 PM.
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