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Fiore dei Liberi's Armizare:The Chivalric Martial Arts System of Il Fior di Battaglia
By: Robert N. Charrette

We're proud to have our products appear in Robert N. Charrette's new title, Armizare, a training guide for practitioners of the medieval Italian fighting art of Fiore dei Liberi's Armizare, or Art of Arms.

From Freelance Academy Press

Armizare (“the Art of Arms”) was the name the warriors of medieval Italy gave to their martial art, which included the wielding of sword, axe and spear with wrestling, knife-fighting and mounted combat. In the waning years of the 14th century, Fiore dei Liberi was a famed master of this art, whose students included some of the most renowned and dangerous fighting men of his day.


Toward the end of his life, Master Fiore preserved his teachings in a series of illustrated manuscripts, four of which have survived to the present day, and have become the basis of a world-wide effort to reconstruct this lost martial art. However, because medieval books were written for an audience with different expectations than the modern readers “how-to” manuals, today’s students often have trouble understanding the old swordsman’s choices in including, omitting or organizing information as he did. They may see that fighting art was a system, but lack the background to see the systematic instruction of the book itself.

In Armizare: The Chivalric Martial Arts System of il Fior di Battaglia, Robert Charrette brings together his experiences as a martial artist and respected 14th century living historian with his skills as a professional author  graphic artist to not only take readers on a walking tour of Master Fiore’s manuscripts, but into the mindset behind its creation. More than just an interpretation of an old book’s contents, this is a tool-kit that reveals Fiore dei Liberi’s brilliance as not just a fighter, but as martial arts teacher. Whether a long-time student, a newcomer to the art or a more academic devoté of the medieval warrior and his craft, readers will find themselves educated and entertained as a door is opened into another time and place - the training hall of the medieval knight.



Three photos from Armizare showing our Wrestling Jacket in use worn with Simple Hose, Buckled Ankle Boots and Thin Belt


About our Wrestling Jacket seen in Armizare

The interest in medieval and Renaissance Western Martial Arts (WMAs) has grown dramatically over the last decade. Dozens of manuscripts and printed books survive from the period 1300- 1600, detailing the historical use of a wide variety of weapons, wielded in and out of armour, on foot and on horseback. Wrestling with and without weapons is a key component of these martial arts.

Medieval Wrestling was what is termed “jacket wrestling” in the martial arts community, meaning that the opponent's doublet or gambeson could be used to facilitate a number of holds, chokes or throws. Jacket wrestling is extremely taxing on the combatant's clothing, which is why modern martial arts often used specialized clothing such as a judo gi or sambo kurtka. These garments maintain the general form of traditional clothing, while having been specifically designed for durability. For several years our friends and customers in the WMA community have asked us if could design something a similar garment for medieval martial artists that would have basic shape and fit of a late medieval garment, while having the strength required for grappling. After a great deal of thought, and a little trial and error, we think we have done just that!

Monks cloth is a very sturdy but a softer, more flexible cotton fabric making our Premium Wrestling Jacket lighter weight, softer and more comfortable.  It allows the jacket to move more smoothly, to be gripped more easily, and is less abrasive on both you and your partner as you wrestle.  Monks cloth has a loose weave that will tighten when washed but loosen back out with wear.  This fabric is commonly used in various eastern martial arts garments due to its breathe-ability and strength.  Two layers thick, our Premium Wrestling Jacket provides both a certain amount of cushioning and close fit allowing for the best freedom of movement and comfort while participating in western martial arts.


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