This is a list of books that discuss either the works of masters or classical and historical western martial arts in general. This is not a comprehensive list but should provide you with a place to start.

  • Ridolfo Capoferro – The Art and Practice of Fencing (1610) Tom Leoni’s translation, Ridolfo Capoferro’s The Art and Practice of Fencing: A Practical Translation for the Modern Swordsman, can be found here.
  • Nick Evangelista – The Art and Science of Fencing (1996)
  • Nicoletto Giganti – The School, or Salle (1606) Tom Leoni’s translation, Venetian Rapier: The School, or Salle, can be found here.
  • Nicoletto Giganti – Book Two of Niccoletto Giganti of Venice (1608) Piermarco Terminello and Joshua Pendragon’s translation, The ‘Lost’ Second Book of Nicoletto Giganti (1608): A Rapier Fencing Treatise Rediscovered and Translated, can be found here.
  • Alfred Hutton – Old Sword-Play (1892)
  • Antonio Manciolino – Opera Nova (1531) Tom Leoni’s translation, The Complete Renaissance Swordsman, can be found here.
  • Joachim Meyer – The Art of Combat (1570) Dr. Jeffrey Forgeng’s translation, The Art of Combat: A German Martial Arts Treatise of 1570, can be found here.
  • Guy Windsor – The Swordsman’s Companion: A Modern Training Manual for Medieval Longsword (2004)
  • Guy Windsor – The Duellist’s Companion: A training manual for 17th century Italian rapier (2006)


"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