Rapier & Dagger

Rapier 1 cropped

The "frank encounter" sword, one of the most romantic and iconic historical weapons, but no less deadly.

Origins:  As one of the most famous swords in common historical use, the rapier is featured in countless movies and was, historically, used in frank encounters on the street. We primarily work from Capoferro, Agrippa, and Giganti but frequently delve into the writings of other masters. We learn single rapier first, as is recommended by the historical masters, and later add a dagger to the off hand. Though we don’t currently practice it, a cloak, buckler, shield, or another rapier was sometimes used in the off hand as well. For more information on the origins of the rapier, please click here.

The Weapon:  The rapiers we use are as follows: There are a number of styles of rapier guards including swept hilt, cup hilt, and Papenheimer. The hilt includes the quillons and a knuckle bow. The blade ranges in length but we usually require it to measure at least 37 inches. However, the most important thing is that it fits the individual fencer and, when held at chest level with a straight wrist with the blade running down the opposite arm, the tip should be at the fingertips.

The Danger Zone: You may cut with the forward third of the blade, thrust with the point, and grapple.

The Target Area:  The entire body.

Prerequisite:  Though SIF offers introduction and intermediate single rapier classes, currently students can learn rapier & dagger through private lessons, study groups, and workshops once they have completed one of the intermediate classes and joined the club.


"If a rough, strong man with no imaginable notion of how to conduct himself in attack were to arrive and fight with a sword and dagger against someone weaker but experienced in fencing, you would see who would be left dead in the field."
Francesco Ferdinando Alfieri
Alfieri