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   In the Service of Mars. Vol. I
   Proceedings from the Western Martial Arts Workshop 1999–2009, Volume I

Price: $47.95
Item Number: FAP000006
ISBN: 978-0-9825911-5-4
Dimensions: 7" x 10" Paperback
Pages: xii + 340 pp.
Published: January, 2011
Editor: Gregory Mele

Martial Arts are literally “The Arts of Mars,” the Roman god of war. For over two and a half millennia, the combat arts of Europe served the hoplite, gladiator, legionnaire, knight, duelist, boxer and wrestler on the battlefield, in the duel, as street defense and in the ring. Interest in these traditions has grown dramatically over the last twenty years, bringing together a unique combination of fighters and scholars in the quest to resurrect and preserve this proud heritage of fighting lore.


The Western Martial Arts Workshop (WMAW) was founded in 1999 as a way for the students of these martial arts to meet, train, exchange research, and lay the foundation for an enduring Western martial arts community. In the Service of Mars, Volume One is both a compilation of some of the most popular and detailed lectures and class notes from WMAW’s first decade, and a record of the growth of the Western martial arts community in depth and breadth over the same time. But it is not only a “best-of” anthology; most of the inclusions here are substantially different from the form in which they first appeared in the WMAW event guides. The contributions in this book have been substantially revised, expanded, and photo-illustrated, coming as close to recreating an actual class in the subject as the written word can ever replicate a physical discipline.


From armoured axe combat to the elegant and swift rapier; the wrestling of Germany to the swordplay of the Scots Highlander, In the Service of Mars contains something new for every student of the Western martial arts, providing hours of training, food for thought, and a chronicle of the community’s growth over the last decade.



Part One: Martial Arts of the Middle Ages, ca. 1300–1550

The Dagger Plays of Gladiatoria - Jörg Bellinghausen 
Bolognese Poleaxe Combat: A New Look at an Old Weapon - Gregory Mele 
Hawks, Rabbits, and Tumbling Cats: An Analysis of English Longsword Terminology - Paul Wagner 
Ott ’s Ringen - Jessica Finley 
Understanding Wide and Close Play in the Art of Fiore dei Liberi - Gregory Mele

Part Two: Martial Arts of the Renaissance and Enlightenment, ca. 1500–1850

George Silver’s Four Fights: An Exercise in Reducing Complexity in Combat - Stephen Hand
The Fabris Wheel: An Introduction to the Rapier System of Salvator Fabris - Tom Leoni 
Uniting Your Forces: Power and Efficiency in Italian Rapier - John O’Meara 
Jerónimo Sánchez de Carranza: A Man of Arms and Letters - Mary Dill Curtis 
The Spadone, Empress of Weapons: An Introduction - Tom Leoni 
An Introduction to Thomas Page’s “The Use of the Broad Sword” (1746) - Paul Wagner

Part Three: Western Martial Arts in Their Historical Context

How a Sword Was Made - Craig Johnson 
The Judicial Duel in Sixteenth-Century Italy - Tom Leoni 
On the Art of Reading: An Introduction to Using the Medieval German “Fightbooks” - Keith Alderson

Part Four: Pedagogy—Teaching and the Western Martial Artist

Using Classical Italian Pedagogy in Developing Lesson Plans for Historical European Martial Arts - John Sullins, Sean Hayes, Puck Curtis, and Eric Myers 
Notes on Training: Forms, Intervals and Skill Progression - Guy Windsor

About the Contributors

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