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Tuesday, October 27, 2015

La Verdadera Destreza Resource List


Update July 21, 2020: Updates by section
Masters: Added David Rawlings  
Period Manuals: Charles Blair's search tool is active and updated to new address
Articles, Websites, Blogs: Added London Longsword Academy
Previous Updates: Moved the May updates to bottom and moved all other updates to a google doc that you can access through a link

When I started practicing the historical Spanish fencing style of La Verdadera Destreza (called Destreza for short or abbreviated LVD) I had to do a great deal of web searching to find various materials from which to study.   Other than seeing a really cool episode of Highlander the TV show (Season 5, episode 14 “Duende”) I had very little idea of what I was getting myself into until I started to dig around, search, and talk to people.   I felt a connection between this fencing style and what I practiced with Arnis (Filipino stick fighting), but I had no idea why or if I was just being delusional. 

I am lucky though that there are a great deal of things around the internet about Destreza, but they were surely not all located in a single place (especially the English materials/translations and sites). Thanks to the guidance of my friends as well as some searching on my part I found quite a bit of information.  

My goal with this post is to try and compile, in an annotated bibliography of sorts, most of what I have found to date, with links for people to follow and learn more on their own.  Big thanks to everyone that has either pointed or inspired me to find some of this material (especially Lupold, Donovan, Xavier, and Alesone).   This is certainly not a complete list of what is out there, but it is some of what I have found most useful and will hopefully give you a starting point from which to jump into the deep pool that is Spanish fencing.

I have organized the list into the following sections to make navigation easier.  There is overlap since many of the sites contain more than 1 type of information.


La Verdadera Destreza (The True Skill) Resource List


Historical Destreza Masters: This is an introduction to the masters that I am most familiar with.  They are listed chronologically and are linked extensively in other sections on the page:
  • Don Jeronimo de Carranza (born ca 1545 -died ca 1607) - Referred to as the father of Spanish fencing.  He was a military Captain, a courtier, as well as Governor and Captain General of Honduras during his lifetime.  He wrote only one treatise that became the foundation for the entire style of La Verdadera Destreza, published in 1582, but written in 1569.
  • Don Luis Pacheco de Narvaez (born ca 1570 - died ca 1640)- A student of Carranza and fencing master to King Philip IV of Spain.  He is considered to be one of the most prolific Destreza authors.  Early in his writings he publicizes and restates much of Carranza's teachings, but later in life, in an effort to differentiate himself from Carranza, became more critical of his former teacher.  Eventually many Destreza practitioners of the time broke into 2 schools of thought, the Carrancistas and the Pachequistas.  I have only found the 3rd part of one of his books that has been translated into English by Tim Rivera.
  • Luis Domingo Godinho (manual from approx. 1599)  - Practiced an older style of fencing sometimes called Destreza Vulgar or Comun that existed alongside LVD, but published his manual in 1599 after Carranza.  Earliest known authors of that style were Jaime Pons, Francisco Roman, and Pedro de la Torre writing as early as the 1470s.  The style seems to focus largely on cutting actions of the blade and has some similarities that can be studied along side Destreza.
  • Gerard Thibault d'Anvers (born ca 1574 - died ca 1627) – Dutch fencing Master sometimes said to be “outside of canon” for the Destreza style due to variations in body positioning and sword grip.  Studied in Spain and went back to the Spanish Netherlands where he taught and gained fame.  He wrote one of the most comprehensive fencing manuals of the period that was published after his death. 
  • Diogo Gomes de Figueiredo (manuals from 1628 and 1651) - He published a manual titled "Oplosohia e Verdadiera Destreza das Armas" that is available at the AGEA, but sadly not in English (linked below).  He also wrote a piece, that is translated and linked on the practice of the Montante or Spanish 2 handed sword.
  • Luis de Viedma (manual from 1639) - Originally practiced the vulgar style and later learned to fence the "true" style.  His work was published in 1639 and is a manual for the Masters on how to teach the art. He is described as a combination of both Carranza and Pacheco and reportedly learned from Andalusian masters until opening up his own school.  His manual, which was translated by Tim Rivera, is wonderful.
  • Don Francisco Antonio de Ettenhard (born ca 1650 - died ca 1701) – He served both Carlos II and King Philip V and was Captain of the King's German guard.  Considered to be one of the 4 great masters of Destreza (alongside Carranza, Pacheco, and Rada).  Spoke in great detail about how to counter the Italian style of fencing.  One of his works from 1675 has been partially translated by Mary Dill Curtis from Spanish and he is cited in the article on the Spanish response to the Italian style.
  • Miguel Perez de Mendoza y Quijada (works from 1665, 1672, and 1675) - Weapons instructor to Balthasar Carlos, Philip IVs heir apparent, as well as the King's natural son Don Juan of Austria.  Reportedly belongs to the Pacheco school.  One of his works is also available on AGEA.  His works are also cited in the Spanish response to Italian paper.
  • Pedro Texedo Sicilia de Teruel (manual 1678) - I do not know much about him, but his work is cited in the paper on the Spanish response to the Italian fencing tradition.
  • Alvaro Guerra de la Vega (work from 1681) -  From the same part of Spain as Rada and his predecessor by about a generation.  Rada and de la Vega are reportedly the only 2 LVD masters to reference a 3rd medio and also seem to have very similar stances and modifications to the LVD guard.  He is also cited in the Spanish response to Italian paper. Most of his manual is translated and available from The ARMA website.
  • Juan Antonio de Arrieta Arandia y Morentin (manual 1688) - I do not know much about him, but his work is cited in the paper on the Spanish response to the Italian fencing tradition.
  • Don Nicolas Tamariz (manual 1696) - Reportedly the Lieutenant of the Headmaster of the city of Seville.  There is a transcription (not translation) of his treatise published by AEEA. Some of his manual is cited in the Spanish Response to the Italian fencing tradition paper by Charles Blair.
  • Don Francisco Lorenz de Rada (manuals from 1695 and 1705 - From a slightly later period of Destreza's evolution. I haven't found much of his work translated to English, but this is the style reportedly practiced by Ramon Martinez and Sebastien Romagnan (works and sites for both of them are linked below). Romagnan's book goes into this style in detail and the article on Spanish response to Italian also references his work.  Rada is one of only 2 LVD authors that describes a 3rd medio or distance between the 2 primary medios.  He elaborates on atajo (method of gaining the blade) and breaks it into 8 different methods. and modifies the Destreza stance, techniques and strategies.

Modern Destreza Masters, Authors, and Instructors: These are the sources linked in the sections below that I have found to be most useful:
  • Puck Curtis and Mary Dill Curtis - Based in California at the Sacramento Sword School.  They teach the material, have written articles and manuals, done translations, and also run a couple of blogs/websites.  Puck is also a classical Italian fencing instructor.
  • Ramon Martinez and Jeanette Acosta- Martinez - Based in New York.  They run a fencing school, produce the only Destreza DVDs available, and have written many articles.  They are Maestro for both the Italian and French schools of classical fencing as well.  The name of their school is the Martinez Academy of Arms.
  • Tim Rivera - Based in St. Louis.  Teaches Destreza as well as the Spanish fencing style that preceded it, commonly called Vulgar or Comun.  He has done multiple translations, written articles on the topic and he also has a website with materials.
  • Sebastien Romagnan - Based in France.  Teaches a Rada style of fencing and has written a large and very informative book based on this style.
  • Ton Puey - I believe he is based in Spain.  He is a professional Verdadera Destreza instructor as well as a member of the AGEA Editora board.  His school is called the Academia da Espada and he has an amazing youtube page with many videos and resources on it (see links below).
  • Eric Myers - Based in California.  He also teaches at the Sacramento Sword School.  He is a classical Italian and historical fencing instructor who co-authored a monograph and translation on Montante (the Spanish 2 handed sword) by Figueiredo.
  • Steven Hick - A fencer and co-author of a monograph and translation on Montante, (the Spanish 2 handed sword) by Figueiredo.
  • Charles Blair - Based in Chicago. He is a fencer and professional research librarian who has researched and written some wonderful material on LVD and the counters to the Italian style of fencing. Also created a search tool for finding Spanish fencing treatises.
  • Manuel Valle Ortiz - Based in Spain and one of the founders of Agea Editora and chairs their editorial board.  A surgeon, fencer, author, and scholar who has written and presented internationally on LVD.
  • Alberto Bomprezzi - A scholar and fencer from Spain who is the Master of Weapons of the Asociacion Espanola de Esgrima Antigua (AEEA). 
  • Rob Runacres - A scholar and fencer from England.  Founder of the Renaissance Sword Club with schools in England and France.  He runs the Alte Herran channel on Youtube and is also responsible for translating a treatise written by a soldier from the Spanish Netherlands.
  • David Rawlings - He is the owner of the London Long Sword Academy and is very well known in the HEMA community for his teaching and historical swordsmanship.  His current Destreza classes include Viedma and Thibault, but he has an extensive knowledge of other historical styles as well.

I know there are other modern and historical masters out there that I need to discover, but these are the ones I have been pointed to and found most often on the internet.


I am listing the sites and giving an idea of what manuals you can find at each location.  There will be some duplication between this and the websites section, but it is necessary since many of the sites have a great deal of information on them. 

 Destreza Translation and Research Project
  • A site run by Puck and Mary Curtis that includes partial translations of Ettenhard, excerpts from Pacheco's New Science and a letter Pacheco had written as well.   http://www.destreza.us/translations/index.html
  • (Also linked in websites section for additional information.)
Spanish Swordsmanship Society of St. Louis
  • This site is run by Tim Rivera who has done work translating multiple period masters. Contains source links, transcriptions, and translations of the 3rd part of Pacheco's Libro de las Grandezas de la Espada (1600), as well as a manual on teaching masters by Viedma (1639), and  a portion of some of Godinho's work (1599).  In the past year (2019-20) Tim has added multiple translations by him and others to his site including those by Luis Mendez de Carmona, Parts of  Book 1 of Pacheco's Grandezas,  and a translation done by Javier D. Bermudez of Alvero Guerra de la Vega
  • A direct link to the page with the translations is at  http://www.spanishsword.org/translations
  • Their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/SpanishSword/posts/2141935885857670
  • (Also linked in websites and youtube video sections for additional information.) 
Iberian Swordplay Domingo Luis Godhino's Art of Fencing translated by Tim Rivera
      Carranza Treatise Translation
  • Direct link to a translation in progress of Carranza's “The treatise of the Philosophy of Arms and of the true Skill and of the aggression and defense of Christianity”.    It was written and had a small distribution in 1569, but is not considered to have been published on a large scale until 1582 (originally in Spanish I believe).  This is reportedly the foundation work for Destreza. This translation is wonderful and takes some time to absorb.  It is of the 1st and 2nd dialogues and sadly does not contain the 3rd and 4th.  The work largely goes into the philosophical aspects of the art and skill.  http://jan.ucc.nau.edu/~wew/fencing/caranza-t.html
  • Also, here is a link to Wiktenauer, a HEMA Alliance Project site with pictures of the original drawings from Carranza's book. There are actually only 6 drawings (other than the general intro plates) in Carranza's treatise which, as you might imagine, is one of the problems with studying this style. You can find a full copy of the original, as well as other manuals, at the Schola Artis Gladii database below. http://wiktenauer.com/wiki/De_la_Filosofia_de_las_Armas_y_de_su_Destreza_y_la_Aggression_y_Defensa_Cristiana_(Jer%C3%B3nimo_S%C3%A1nchez_de_Carranza)
  • (Wiktenauer is also linked in websites section for additional information.)
AGEA Editora (Asociacion Galega de Esgrima Antiga)
  • They are the Galician Association for Historical Fencing / Galician HEMA federation.  Amazing site with MANY historical manuscript transcriptions/translations for sale.  Sadly much of the work is in Spanish and Portuguese, but not all as they currently have at least 2 books in English. They recently updated their website to include articles as well as the translated manuals.  I am linking the English version of the page, but you can also select a different language if you go to "language" in the upper right. It is also now easier to determine which manuals are in English.   http://ageaeditora.com/en/
  • AGEA Editora linked my resource list on their facebook page, which I find so extremely flattering.  They actually responded to a previous comment I made regarding Godinho's work with a piece of knowledge that I am grateful to them for sharing:    "Editor's note: «Arte de Esgrima» was actually written in Spanish, or at least that was the author's intent. However, Godinho being Portuguese and not very fluent in Castilian, his attempt produced a text full of Portuguese grammatical mannerisms, false friends and oddly spelled or chosen words, which greatly hampered the understanding of an already complex work.     Since our main purpose was to make the treatise accessible, we found it necessary to normalize the text either towards Spanish or towards Portuguese.  AGEA Editora's criteria is always to respect the language chosen by the author; so we performed a ---very conservative--- edition to remove the misunderstandings, misspellings and some of the Portuguese grammatical structures which are more alien to the Spanish reader"
  • I have both of their books that are translated into English and love them.  I will hopefully write more on that in the future.  I also have one I picked up in Spanish just because it contains some beautiful Spanish circles (which I have a weak spot for). I am very excited to hear that they are working to have more available in English, so keep checking back.
  • Their facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/ageaeditora/
  • (Also linked in websites section for additional information.)
Schola Artis Gladii et Armorum (S.A.G.A.) Treatise Database
  • This is a Hungarian school for European Martial arts and their site is amazing for anyone studying or looking to study historical manuals.  I am currently just scratching the search capabilities and links within this site.  You can find links to MANY original materials, including original untranslated versions of Carranza and Pacheco.  I am sending you directly to their treatise data base.  http://www.middleages.hu/english/martialarts/treatise_database.php
  • (Also linked in websites section for additional information.)
Academy of the Sword by Gerard Thibault (published 1630)
  • Update: A new edition came out in 2017.  It is slightly smaller than the original, but all the material is there.   Here is the link to the new edition: https://www.amazon.com/Academy-Sword-Gerard-Thibault/dp/1904658849/ref=pd_sbs_14_t_0?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=H3HFFTEANCAQWFV598ZP
  • There is also an old translation by John Michael Greer (from 2006) which is out of print, but was published by The Chivalry Bookshelf.  This was originally written in French, by a Dutch author about a Spanish fencing style. I was able to get this on inter-library loan.  It has some amazing plates and pictures and descriptions in it.  I have read that it is considered somewhat “outside of the canon” of Destreza because of some of the liberties Thibault takes with his fencing.  There are still many similarities though and it is a great piece of source material.  Heck, he even goes into detail on how to fight a person firing a musket at you. I am including the link to the book on amazon. Even though it is out of print, the isbn number can be useful if requesting it on an interlibrary loan.  http://www.amazon.com/Academy-Sword-Gerard-Thibault/dp/1891448404
  • If you are looking for a site about Thibault's style I might suggest this one.  It seems pretty insightful if you want to head down that historical fencing path. http://terrasylvae.com/academy-of-the-sword/ 
The Association for Renaissance Martial Arts (ARMA)
  • This site has a paid section to view their collection of period manuals, but I have not used that portion of the site.  They also have free materials in their collection.  It appears they have 3 manuals related to the Spanish style.  An anonymous untranslated piece, a copy of Thibault's manual (I can not tell if it is translated or not, but you can find it untranslated on other sites), and what I consider the most interesting of the group, a free partial translation of Alvaro de la Vega's brief treatise which I am linking here.   I have my opinions of this work that I express in my summary blog post on the Spanish response to Italian article. 
  • Translation is here: http://www.thearma.org/Manuals/destreza.htm#.VtRvO_krJQK
  • (Also linked in websites section for additional information.)
The Oakeshott Institute
  • Website with a blog on historical swords weapons and armor.  http://oakeshott.org/ 
  • Contains a transcription and translation of "Memorial of the Practice of Montante" a 1651 manual by Diogo Gomes de Figueiredo, along with an article on the material.  This was all done by Eric Myers and Steve Hick.  Not directly related to Destreza, but Figueiredo was a practitioner of Destreza and this is a substantial work regarding the Spanish 2 handed sword and related historical techniques.  It is relatively clear to follow if you wish to recreate the style.  It focuses on the 16 "simple" rules and the 16 "composed" rules (the counterpoint to the simple), detailing the positioning of the feet and the actions required to complete the form.  If you are interested in Spanish 2 handed swords this is a good place to start.  A link to the translation  http://oakeshott.org/memorial-of-the-practice-of-the-montante-by-diogo-gomes-de-figueyredo/
Ceallach Mac Donal fencing manual link page
  • Great site with links to MANY historical manuals, translated and untranslated.  Not all of the links are active, but a great starting point if you know the master you are looking for.  It includes links to Carranza, Pacheco, and Thibault.  http://kelly.dwarfworks.com/sca/Manuals
AEEA (Asociacion Espanola de Esgrima Antigua)
Against the Alfanje by Pacheco translated by Xose Nieto, Notes and explanations by Ton Puey, Revised by Rob Runacres
Book of Lessons by Pedro De Heridia translated by Rob Runacres
  • I own this book and Rob was wonderful in helping me work through some problems I had ordering it.  It is not on LVD, but does contain some Destreza adjacent material.  Written by a soldier who served in the Spanish Netherlands.  Description of the book on the page is, "Dating to the early 17th century, the Book of Lessons is a compilation of fencing instructions, attributed to Pedro De Heredia. This translation includes the complete lessons for single sword, sword & dagger, and sword & cape, with 71 colour images". Cost is 50 pounds and is located at   https://www.fallenrookpublishing.co.uk/books/book-of-lessons/
Historical Spanish Fencing Treatises Search Tool created by Charles Blair
Complete Treatise of Fencing of the Spanish Saber by Jaime Merelo y Casademunt (1862); Translated by John Jakelsky
Working Translation of Rada's Nobleza de la Espada
  • This is a gentleman who has been working hard and with the Destreza community to put together and slowly transcribe and translate Rada's Nobleza de la Espada.  He runs a HEMA affiliated study group and website.  I have not read the translation myself yet, but he has been very open about the process and is wonderful at taking feedback with this work in process.  He also runs a great resource list that might have items and links that I have missed. (I am honored he was kind enough to link my resource list on there.  The more we share and cross link the stronger our community becomes.)   https://destreza-fencing.com/resources
  • (Also linked in the websites section.)
Lois Spangler's Translations of Texedo and Oplosophia


Martinez Academy of Arms
  • This is the school site for Maestro Ramon Martinez.  It contains a number of articles along with 3 Destreza DVDs available for sale ($95 for the set) made by Martinez.  I found them very useful and I summarized the 3rd DVD on my blog .  I have been told he practices more of a Rada style of Destreza. I have also read that the first 2 DVDs are dated or off target from some of the more current Destreza research. They are the only commercially available Destreza DVDs on the market. Under the reference section of the site there are also articles and papers written by Maestro Martinez.  http://www.martinez-destreza.com/
Puck and Mary Curtis Blog / School
 Destreza Translation and Research Project
  • Run by Puck and Mary, contains a blog with drills, resources on other Destreza masters and a bunch of other materials that I found useful.  http://www.destreza.us
  • (Also contains translations and is linked in Period Manuals section.)
Spanish Swordsmanship Society of St. Louis
Academia da Espada / Ton Puey's fencing school
The Spanish Response to the Italian Fencing Tradition, 1665 to 1714 by Charles Blair
Acta Periodica Duellatorum
  • This is an independent academic journal for historical European martial arts.  It is the professional publication where the above article by Charles Blair was published.  They currently have 4 issues and started in 2013.  Their material is amazing for its academic quality.  They are peer reviewed and the review board is incredible.  They publish articles on multiple historical styles that have included LVD.  You can download all of the articles in PDF for free, but please consider donating to support this wonderful resource.
  • Here is a link to their main page: http://actaperiodica.org/
  • Here is a link that will place you on their "about" page.  You can navigate to the issues by clicking on the tab on top.  On the issues tab you can see and download the articles that are available going back to their first issue : Current Issues 
Schola Artis Gladii et Armorum (S.A.G.A.) Treatise Database
  • I am giving you a direct link to the English main page of the site  that can be sort of hard to find.  This contains all sort of period lifestyle links as well as dictionaries and the like.  Dig around and enjoy.  http://www.middleages.hu/english/main.php
  • (Also contains translations and is linked in Period Manuals section.)
The Association for Renaissance Martial Arts (ARMA)
  • This site has a number of interesting articles on fencing and Western martial arts if you poke around. They have a paid members section with a number of manuals available.  I have not joined to see those yet, but I have enjoyed their free stuff.   http://www.thearma.org
  • (Also contains translations and is linked in Period Manuals section.)
  • A HEMA alliance project and a great resource in the historical western martial arts community. Think wikipedia, but for western martial arts research and and you have this website.  http://wiktenauer.com/wiki/Main_Page
  • (Also contains translations and is linked in Period Manuals section).
The Oakeshott Institute
  • A site created to further the research into ancient and historical arms and armour.  Not directly related to Destreza, but interesting articles and they have done a good deal of historical research in multiple areas.  http://oakeshott.org/ 
  • (Also linked in the period manuals section.) 
AGEA Editora (Asociacion Galega de Esgrima Antiga)
  • They are the Galician Association for Historical Fencing / Galician HEMA federation.  They have period manuals, but recently also added a section of articles to the site as well that are wonderful.  I look forward to them possibly adding more as time goes on.  This is a direct link to the English versions of their article page.  http://ageaeditora.com/en/journal/
  • (Also contains translations and is linked in Period Manuals section.)
AEEA (Asociacion Espanola de Esgrima Antigua)
  • This site is completely in Spanish, but I have found google translate can be a very useful friend on such occasions.  They are an organization in Spain that researches period Spanish fencing styles.  They have also published some articles as well as a transcription of Don Nicolas Tamariz's treatise.    http://www.esgrimaantigua.com/index.php 
  • Their facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/EsgrimaAEEA/?fref=nf
  • (Also linked in the period manuals and video resources sections for more information.)
Lois Spangler's Storytrade Blog with material on  Figueiredo's Oplosophia
  • This is a blog by Lois Spangler, based out of Australia and the Brisbane school, who took the Portuguese version of Oplosophia, published by AGEA editora, and has done translations of parts of it.  She has also done translations of Texedo's work with the dagger.  She continues to do some amazing work with our community.   Here is the page with her Destreza posts.  http://www.storytrade.net/category/hema/destreza/
  • I am also a supporter of her patreon where they are working to translate Pacheco's Compendio.  Supporters get to look at the translations early, but each will be available to everyone 3 months afterward.  I can not say enough about how great her work and generosity is and encourage others to support her.  You can join and support her at https://www.patreon.com/LoisSpangler/posts
  • (Also linked in video section through the Brisbane School of Iberian Swordsmanship for a class/workshop on using the cape in LVD and in the Period Manuals section for her excellent continued work in translating multiple pieces)
SCA Guide to Historic Combat
Brisbane School of Iberian Swordsmanship
  • A HEMA affiliated study group website with a collection of many things related to LVD including brief history, working translation of Rada's Noblez, and resource list. (As I said above in the manual section, I am honored that they were kind enough to link my resource list on there.  The more we share and cross link the stronger our community becomes.).https://destreza-fencing.com/home
  • (Also linked in the period manual section.)
London Longsword Academy
  • This is a link to David Rawlings' school where he is currently teaching Destreza classes on Viedma and Thibault.  He has extensive knowledge of other historical styles as well.  As of July 2020, due to the pandemic, he is teaching his classes online (for a reasonable price) so this is a wonderful opportunity for distance learning. https://www.londonlongsword.com/ 
  • (David is also linked in the Masters section and there is a link in the videos section as well to his material.)
Destreza in the SCA Facebook Page
  • I have moved into the future and now have a FB account.  I am not sure how I lived without it, especially as a tool to help me connect with others in the Destreza community.  There are many groups out there for us to connect in and this one is where I tell people is a great start, but certainly not the only entry point. This are some very good LVD discussions are occurring there and here is a link to the SCA Destreza page where many of the masters and authors I list here post.  https://www.facebook.com/groups/356001691175362/
Facebook Groups


Freelance Academy Press 
  • There are at least 3 works from this publisher related to Destreza that I am familiar with and potentially others coming in the future if rumors are true.  One is a translation of Godhino by Tim Rivera that is linked in the period manuals section.
  • The 2 other books are collections of works from the Western Martial Arts Workshop and are wonderful.  They contain other WMA materials including fencing of other styles.  I am strictly focusing on the Destreza pieces here.  http://www.freelanceacademypress.com/
Book - In the Service of Mars Vol. I ($39.95): Contains "Jeronimo Sanchez de Carranza: A man of Arms and Letters" by Mary Dill Curtis
Great article for context of the life of Carranza, but not technique related.

 Book - In the Service of Mars Vol. 2 ($39.95): Contains "From the Page to the Practice: Fundamentals of Spanish Swordplay" by Puck and Mary Dill Curtis
o   Foundational material that collects many of the things from Puck’s blog in one place.  This is a great way to get started and how I began my journey through the technique used in Destreza.  This material is what I would suggest everyone start with if they are interested in learning how to fight in this style.
o   http://www.freelanceacademypress.com/intheserviceofmarsvol2.aspx

2020 UPDATE: Currently "From the Page to the Practice" is available again for purchase in PDF for $7.95.  You can still get it in the Anthology, but now this is a wonderful other option http://www.freelanceacademypress.com/frompagetopractice.aspx

Destreza Historical Fencing by Sebastien Romagnan
  • Since the first edition sold out a second edition has been released with some minor edits.
  • It is a very large and comprehensive book.  I and my friends love this as it is one of the only full books on this historical style.  I will post more about it in the future.  It is based on Rada's Noblez and is a great resource.   http://destreza-historicalfencing.blogspot.com/2015/08/destreza-historical-fencing.html
  • (Also linked in the Youtube section where you can find his channel that contains some of his fights as well as many lessons on Destreza.  Most of his instruction is in French, but that should not stop you from understanding the techniques.)
Destreza Cuts and Reverse-Cuts by Sebastien Romagnan
 SPADA: An Anthology of Swordsmanship
  • The first anthology by this group. While it is a good reference for fencing in general and has some great articles on other related topics, it doesn't contain much on Spanish that I found relevant to my work at this time.  The only article in it on Spanish fencing is "Spanish Influence in the Rapier Play of Vincentio Saviolo" by Stephen Hand & Ramon Martinez.  It is a comparison and analysis of the possible Spanish style within the Italian fencing techniques of Saviolo.  A very good academic read if that is what you are interested in, but not something I would suggest if you are just starting out in your studies. I will say it did contain a great article on grappling and wrestling in renaissance fencing though.  It costs about $57 for a used copy on Amazon.  http://www.amazon.com/SPADA-Anthology-Swordsmanship-Memory-Oakeshott/dp/1891448374
 SPADA 2: An Anthology of Swordsmanship
  • The second anthology is one I would recommend more than the previous in the series, but once again interlibrary loan is always your friend.  First, it is a better buy at $20 new (cheaper used). I also found the articles more relevant to my current study.  Once again only a single Spanish Destreza article that is about 4 pages long. "The Circle and The Sword, A Focus On Carranza and Pacheco De Navarez in Renaissance Spain" by Mary Dill Curtis & R.E. "Puck" Curtis.  It goes into Carranza's treatise and its influences.  No technique at all, but instead it focuses on the philosophy, societal context, and interactions between these 2 masters.  I find this kind of material wonderful to study.  Similar to the last anthology it also has other great articles including one on the medical reality of historical wounds.  http://www.amazon.com/SPADA-Anthology-Swordsmanship-Stephen-Hand/dp/1891448358
 Theory and Practice of La Verdadera Destreza by Alberto Bomprezzi
Late Medieval and Early Modern Fight Books: Transmission and Tradition of Martial Arts in Europe, 14th-17th Centuries; Edited by Daniel Jaquet, Karin Verelst, and Timothy Dawson:
  • Out of print anthology that you can get through interlibrary loan.  The reason I list it is for a great piece in it by Manuel Valle Ortiz titled, "The Destreza Verdadera: A Global Phenomenon". It goes into a comprehensive history of LVD, how it connects to the rest of the world, and details and references many previously unknown Destreza works that he has found in his research.  Not technique based, but a beautiful piece of scholarship for those interested in the history of the style.  https://www.amazon.com/Medieval-Early-Modern-Fight-Books/dp/9004312412
The Noble Art of the Sword, Fashion and Fencing in Renaissance Euorpe 1520-1630, Tobias Capwell
  • Another anthology.  This one is from the Wallace Collection and I believe it was put out for an exhibit they had.  While it has some wonderful pictures and history of swords, it also has several articles on fencing.  The relevant one to me was a very interesting piece on Destreza by a researcher Noel Fallows. “Masters of Fear or Masters of Arm? Jeronimo de Carranza, Luis Pacheco de Narvaez and the Martial Arts Treatises of Renaissance Spain” . Not technique based, but it is focused on the history.  This provides an interesting perspective and ha small section translations of a few different works that I have not found elsewhere. Again a good Interlibrary loan if you are interested in the research side of things.   https://www.amazon.com/Noble-Art-Sword-Renaissance-1520-1630/dp/0900785438


Puck Curtis Channel / Material
  • WMAW 2015 fights
Pacheco (Puck) vs Rada (Ton Puey)   o   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qSjYI0W6N4I
Pacheco (Puck) vs. Godinho (Rivera) o   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1QYB39dXglE
Destreza Lecture Series
  • Starting in April 2020, during the pandemic, the Sacramento Sword School lead by Puck Curtis and Eric Myers, began hosting a series of lectures by some of the most prolific and well known people in the Destreza Community.  So far they have had Tim Rivera, Manuel Valle Ortiz, Lois Spangler, and Alberto Bomprezzi just to name a few.  Here is a link to the lectures that are located on Pucks youtube channel 
  • https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCadOj7vUlE6PKZiHJsf0MkA
Fight Review of Emma Rios by Puck
  • This is a link to a blog entry by Puck that reviews a great Destreza fight by Emma Rios  This fits in as a blog entry as well as a video. It also belongs to both Puck and Ton Puey since I believe she is a student of Ton's.  Wherever it gets put, it is a wonderful analysis.
  • http://www.puckandmary.com/blog_puck/2014/05/one-day-in-dijon/ 
 Spanish Counters to Italian Fencing from KWAR 2007
Destreza class taught by Puck from WMAW 2009. 
Spanish vs Italian Rapier from WMAW 2011
Associacia Catalana d’Esgrima Antigua (Barcelona)
Sebastien Romagnan Channel
Ton Puey's School (Academia da Espada) Channel 
AEEA (Asociacion Espanola de Esgrima Antigua) Channel
Alte Herren Channel
Phil Swift Destreza Video List, includes Workshop taught by Jim Lai
Brisbane School of Iberian Swordsmanship
Spanish Swordsmanship Society of St. Louis Channel
Umea Historiska Faktskola UmeHFS Youtube Channel
Diestro Youtube Channel
London Longsword Academy Channel
  • This is a school run by David Rawlings who is VERY well known in historical swordsmanship circles.  This youtube page does not have a great deal of material on Destreza, but there is some material on the Montante and Thibault.  Overall there is a lot of material here to dig through and use in your studies https://www.youtube.com/user/LondonLongsword/videos

Surf and you will find more on Youtube and the interwebs in general for La Verdadera Destreza.  I found these links the most useful when trying to determine what the style should look like in a real fight.

I hope everyone finds these resources useful.  If you are familiar with other works, sites, etc. that you have used please post them in the comments section.   I will try and update this post with those sites as they come in and make sure I place the date of my most recent edit at the top.

Thanks for reading.


As of July 2020 this section contains only the most recent previous update.  For tracking purposes other previous updates to the list have been moved to a google doc that can be accessed HERE

Most recent previous update:

BIG UPDATE May 17-30, 2020 (by big I mean I added an additional 30+ new links);  
Updates by section:  I verified that all links on the page are currently active, removed a couple that have been inactive since last July and marked several links that are not currently active, but left them and will check again . 
Link Updates:  Removed due to broken or missing:  HAMA link in the Alfanje section, HEMA Puck interview link, HEMA destreza resource list, HROARR search results for LVD ----- Marked inactive: Charles Blair search tool link as inactive ----- Updated: HROARR video search result link so it now works
Period Manuals: ADDED Treatise on Destreza Sabre from 1862, Site with translation in process of Rada's Noblez, Lois Spangler's translations of Figueiredo and Texedo, more translations listed under the St. Louis Sword School, Added FB page for St. Louis Sword School
Articles, Websites...: ADDED Destreza-Fencing.com website, More material on Lois Spangler and where to support her Patreon, An interview with Ton Puey, Added a new section with links to multiple FB groups 
Books and E-books: ADDED Page to Practice PDF, New book by Alberto Bomprezzi, Anthology with a piece by Manuel Valle Ortiz, Anthology from the Wallace Collection with an article on Destreza
Youtube and Video Resources: ADDED Puck analysis of one of his fights, Destreza Lecture Series, Ton Puey vs. Aitor Blanco, Added an extra link to Esgrima Antigua, UmeFHS channel, 3 LVD Daggers lecture by Lois in the Brisbane section, Bout between Alberto B. and Juan G., WMAW 2019 Bouts, Russian Diestro Channel, updated Phil Swift youtube section, London Longsword Academy Channel
 Previous Updates: I moved previous July '19 updates to the bottom.  


  1. This is a great collection in one location. Thanks!

    1. No, thank YOU for helping me along this path. :-)

  2. You may want to check the work of Ton Puey -- he is a professional Verdadeira Destreza instructor (meaning: he makes his living off that) of international renown, member of the AGEA Editora board, (currently) president of the AGEA (the Galician HEMA federation), and a thoroughly good fellow. His school is called «Academia da Espada», and you will find videos and resources on many things Destreza here:
    and here:

    (Disclaimer: Ton is a good friend of mine.)

    1. Thank you so much! Funny enough I had heard the name of Ton Puey in passing, but I did not find his on line material until just about a month ago. I also had no idea he was on the AGEA Editora board. I had a couple of links saved and was planning on adding him to my resource list as a modern master when I next update it, hopefully in the next couple of weeks. His breakdown of the Rada material is amazing and once I started researching him I couldn't believe it took me so long to find him and his work on Destreza. Thank you very much for the information and the links and if you know of anything else please let me know and I would love to add it to the resource list.

    2. Hello,
      I made a great deal of edits to the list yesterday so that it now includes Ton Puey's material. Thank you again for the links and please let me know if you find anything you think I should include on the site.

  3. Hi Doug, your link to the "Memorial of the Practice of Montante" is too the old version. A better link would be to "http://oakeshott.org/Article.html" where the link will always be to the most current version, currently v.2. -Eric

    1. Eric,
      Thank you so very much. I just updated the link to the one you provided.

  4. Replies
    1. Thank you so much. It is a passion and I am very happy people are finding it useful. :-)

    2. I just want to do a little precision, I'm working on the second print of Destreza historical fencing with the precious help of Doug and Jeanne
      Thank you again

    3. Sebastien,
      Thank you so much. We are very happy to be of help.

  5. Thank you so much for putting so many great resources in one place! Also, in the “Masters” section, the surname of Maestro Eric Myers of Sacramento Sword School is misspelled “Meyer,” where “Myers” is the correct spelling.

    1. John, Thank you so much for catching that. I will change it right now. :-)

  6. Hi! The AEEA site still works. The link to their main page is http://www.esgrimaantigua.com/