Study and training resources

Puck & Mary Curtis

Other Reference

Studying on your own and looking for English-language help?

There are several branches of Destreza with English-language texts which may be of interest.   If you have no particular preference, it may prove simplest to choose a branch with modern interpreters.

  • Early Destreza, the style recorded by Carranza, Father of Destreza, and also in the early books of Pacheco.

This is the style of Verdadera Destreza we study at the Brisbane School of Iberian Swordsmanship.  As a starting-point we suggest the modern From the page to the practice: Fundamentals of Spanish Swordplay by Puck Curtis, & Mary Dill Curtis.  It is available in hard copy as a chapter in the book In the Service of Mars,Vol II from Freelance Academy Press and as an eBook (sales currently suspended) from the same supplier.  This is an excellent source but can be too expensive for some.  If you cannot afford the book, a portion of it is available in Puck’s blog, along with some explanatory videos.

A portion Dr Mary Curtis’ translation of Ettenhard’s Compendium of the Foundations of the True Art and Philosophy of Arms is available at the Destreza Translation and Research Project .

These works can then be complemented with documents such as translations from The Spanish Swordsmanship Society, and from Agea Editoria.

  • A later version of Destreza, as described by Rada, that has differences from the original. 

We do not teach this style.  The modern books of Sebastien Romagnan (when in print available directly from the author or from Amazon) seem to be a good starting point for this field.  Vendrell’s workshop article may also assist.

  • Common Destreza, the precursor to Verdadera Destreza which continued to exist alongside it.

We also cover Common Destreza at the Brisbane School of Iberian Swordsmanship.  Our primary source is Godinho’s book The Art of Fencing.  When in print this is available from Agea Editoria – check you are ordering the correct language version.  This book can be complemented with documents from The Spanish Swordsmanship Society about the old style.

  • Thibault, a Dutch style heavily influenced by Destreza, which some include in the definition of Destreza and some do not. 

We do not teach this style.  Should you be wanting to follow Thibault, the translation of his book Academy of the Sword is available from various retailers such as here.  While we respect the style as an effective art, we cannot resist mentioning Pacheco’s description of Thibault as “supposed son of our doctrine, and falsifier of it”.

Once you have started studying your chosen Destreza, the facebook group Destreza in the SCA, which kindly allows non-SCA members, is an excellent place to raise questions.

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