Books




Here is a list of all books I have published so far. Click on a cover image to go to the preferred supplier.



Handleiding voor het Sabelschermen
Published in 1905, "Handleiding voor het Sabelschermen" by L. J. M. P. van Humbeek gives a clear and useful description of sabre fencing, that is supported by 20 photographs of the author demonstrating postures and techniques. It was written to be used for the light sabre, which the author states also teaches the use of the heavy sabre. The author further states that the style of fencing he teaches originates from Italy.
The author, Leopold van Humbeek (1871-1942), was fencing master at a number of naval or military academies in the Netherlands (for example in Amsterdam), as well as teaching at civilian clubs. In 1912, he coached the Dutch fencing team in sabre fencing at the Olympics in Stockholm.


Siebenhaar's instructions in the art of fencing
In the mid-19th century, not long after the Belgian war of independence, an experiment was taking place in fencing in the Netherlands. The main proponent of this experiment was Christiaan Siebenhaar (1824-1885), fencing master in the Dutch army. In his own words, the purpose of this experiment was to "introduce the Dutch language in the art of fencing" so that "soon nobody is found in the Netherlands anymore who teaches this art in a foreign language". However, the real purpose of this experiment appears to have been more ambitious than that: to create a Dutch School of Fencing - to be known as de Hollandsche Methode.
This book presents English translations of Siebenhaar's two works about fencing and its instruction. The first is his main treatise, Manual for the instruction in the art of fencing. This is followed by his Leads and directions for the instructor in the art of fencing. Combined, they present an interesting view into the development of fencing in the Netherlands in the 19th century.


The Spada Maestra of Bondì di Mazo
Bondì di Mazo's La Spada Maestra was first published in Venice in 1696. It is one of only a handful of Italian fencing books of the late 17th century, and as such provides a valuable insight into the development of fencing in Italy. In this work, Di Mazo discusses fencing with the single rapier, as well as with the rapier and dagger, rapier and targa, and rapier and cape.
In this book, Matteo Butera, Francesco Lanza, Jherek Swanger and Reinier van Noort present the first complete English translation of Di Mazo's La Spada Maestra. For fencers, this will provide a bridge between the rapier treatises of the early seventeenth century, and later classical fencing.


Dall Agocchie "Cheat Sheet"
This is a "Cheat Sheet" of Giovanni Dall Agocchie's 1572 treatises on fencing "Dell'Arte Di Scrimia". This document provides a handy, clear and well-ordered overview of all actions described in this work, based on the English translation by William Jherek Swanger.


The True Principles of the Single Sword
In the second half of the seventeenth century, the rapier commonly became lighter and shorter, with a smaller hilt, and eventually developed into the smallsword, also known as the court sword. Often, this development is associated with France, and the court of its King, Louis XIV.
It is to this King that La Touche boldly dedicated his treatise, Les Vrays Principes de l'Espée seule, in 1670, and it is this treatise that could be seen as the first work to show how fencing evolved to accommodate the changing weapon.
In this work, Reinier van Noort and Antoine Coudre present the first ever English translation of La Touche's Vrays Principes, providing a fascinating view on the development of fencing in France at a time when the rapier gave way to the smallsword.


Swordplay
Tucked away in the Newberry Library of Chicago is an anonymous manuscript entitled Schermkunst ("Art of Swordsmanship"), whose brief text and exquisite watercolours details fencing with the single sword, rapier and dagger, rapier and buckler, halberd, and full pike.
Beyond its artistic charms, however, this little book of 1595 is one of the oldest known martial arts treatises from the Low Countries and gives us a glimpse into the Art of Defense as it was practiced at a particularly volatile time in Netherlands history. Rebellion against Philip II of Spain led to independence of the Calvinist Northern provinces from Catholic Spain, and in the same year, the spice trade expedition Cornelis de Houtman set into motion events culminating in the formation of the Dutch East India Company, and a golden age of Dutch history that spanned the 17th century. This cultural and political foment is represented in the similarities between the methodology in Schermkunst and the rich traditions of England, Germany and Italy, and the inclusion of several sword and shield techniques combat representing that quintessential bogey-man of Renaissance Europe: the Ottoman Turks.
Translated and contextualized by respected Dutch swordsman and fencing researcher, Reinier van Noort, The Art of Swordplay is sure to please martial artist and military historian alike.


Of the Single Rapier
In 1671, Johannes Georgius Bruchius published the Grondige Beschryvinge van de Edele ende Ridderlijcke Scherm- ofte Wapen-Konste in Leiden, in the Netherlands. In his work, Bruchius described a style of rapier fencing that evolved from the teachings of Fabris. He presents this style through a brief explanation of the principles of fencing followed by 212 lessons.
Bruchius' weapon was the rapier: a dangerous yet elegant sword of the 17th century. Its usage was dynamic and effective, with a focus on personal safety through controlling the opponent's blade. Not only does this treatise discuss bladework by way of thrusts and parries, Bruchius teaches grappling and disarming techniques, and provides many solutions to common problems that occur during fencing practice.
Reinier van Noort first made a draft English translation of Bruchius' treatise available in 2009. In this new book, he presents his fully reworked and improved English translation of this important treatise, along with a detailed biographical study on the fencing master Bruchius.


Lessons on the Thrust
In 1664, Jéann Daniel L'Ange published the Deutliche und gründliche Erklärung der adelichen und ritterlichen freyen Fecht-Kunst in Heidelberg, Germany. This was one of the first concise and systematic treatises on the typically German style of rapier fencing that evolved from the teachings of Fabris and his German students. L'Ange presents his personal point of view on this fencing style, which includes a rather large selection of brutal grappling moves.
This first English translation of L'Ange's treatise, made by Reinier van Noort and published exactly 350 years after the original edition, provides a fascinating viewpoint on a fencing style that is underrepresented in the modern studies on historical martial arts. In this translation, Jéann Daniel L'Ange's view on fencing is presented in a way that is both close to the original, and clearly understandable by a modern reader. Meticulously cleaned scans of the 61 page size plates from the original treatise are also included.


Fencing on the Thrust and Cut
Johann Georg Paschen (1628-1678) was a fencing master and prolific author in the 17th century, producing numerous treatises on for example fencing, fighting with the pike, and vaulting.
Not much is known about Erhardus Henning, who published a small treatise on Cut-fencing in Königsberg in 1658.
This book contains both these treatises, translated into English by Reinier van Noort, founder of the School voor Historische Schermkunsten in the Netherlands. In addition, photographs of the plates of Paschen are included with the text.


De Werken van Christiaan Siebenhaar
This is a full transcription of the third edition of Christiaan Siebenhaar's "Handleiding voor het Onderwijs in de Schermkunst" (1861), which include photo reproductions of all plates included in the original. In addition, a full transcription of Christiaan Siebenhaar's "Wenken en Aanwijzingen voor den Onderwijzer in de Schermkunst" (1877) is included in this book.
Please note that all text in this book is in Dutch.


Transcription of Bruchius' Scherm- ofte Wapen-Konste
This is a full transcription of the Rapier fencing treatise written in Dutch by Johannes Georgius Bruchius, and published in Leiden in 1671. Additionally, this book contains black and white photo reproductions of all the plates contained in the original book.




Copyright 2016, Reinier van Noort.