Classical Fencing

The Martial Art
Incurable Romantics

by Adam Adrian Crown, Maître d'Armes


I didn't set out to write this book; it was something of an accident. All I really wanted to do was consolidate various class handouts to be sure that all my students received the same materials. But that project soon took on a life of its own and expanded a bit beyond the twelve page pamphlet I had originally envisioned.

This book is not a manual on fencing technique. There are many good ones - and bad ones- already available. This book is about the theory, philosophy and practice of fencing as done in the IFV Classical Fencing Method. Ours is not the only method, nor is it the only good method. But it is as good as any and better than many. I hope you'll find something in it useful.

Adam Adrian Crown, Maître d'Armes
August 2002

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Classical Fencing: The Martial Art of Incurable Romantics



Maître Adam Adrian Crown provides us in his publication, Classical Fencing: The Martial Art of Incurable Romantics, with an authoritative guide to serious swordplay. This outstanding work includes a brief history of fencing theory, a remarkable system of fencing notation, a carefully-developed and tested training method, and a sound introduction to the principles underlying classical fencing technique. For the contemporary competitive fencer, special attention should be paid to Maître Crown's lucid discussions of priority of the hit, and the importance of a fully-extended arm during the attack, since an understanding of these elements is essential for success on the fencing strip.

William M. Gaugler, Maestro di Scherma
Director of the Fencing Masters Program, San Jose State University
Author, The Science of Fencing, The History of Fencing

Classical Fencing is not just another technical "how-to" manual: it's a philosophical approach to training that will benefit students of any martial discipline. The chapters on strategy and tactics are particularly valuable to fencers and other martial artists.

Sean Hayes, Maestro d'Armi, Northwest Fencing Academy

I have found Adam Crown's Classical Fencing both interesting and insightful. It is a fine addition to the literature of fencing.

Nick Evangelista, Maître d'Armes
Author, The Art and Science of Fencing, The Inner Game of Fencing, The Encyclopedia of the Sword

I have had the great good fortune in my life, of not only studying with some remarkable fencing masters, but also of socializing with them. Conversation with these "renaissance men" often encompassed topics as diverse as music, politics, architecture, history, philosophy and theatre. But always there was the undercurrent of honor and integrity, and how that was expressed through a lifetime's study of "a conversation in steel." Reading Classical Fencing is like sharing a fine meal with any one of them.

Richard P. Alvarez, Maître d'Armes
Fight Choreographer and Screenwriter

Adam Adrian Crown received his Fencing Master Diploma in 1980 under Maître d'Armes Jean-Jacques Gillet, then-head fencing coach at Cornell University. He is also a third degree black belt in karate and has studied a variety of martial arts including iaido, aikido, t'ai chi chuan and boxing. In this unique book, Maître Crown describes his innovative "martial art" approach to fencing and offers a wealth of insightful observations on the nature of fencing and combat, gleaned from more than thirty years as a martial artist and professional fencing teacher.
Unlike the typical fencing book, Classical Fencing has nothing at all on fencing technique. In a sense, it begins where all the others leave off and most of what you'll find in these pages, you won't find elsewhere.
It is a fascinating, as well as entertaining, glimpse into the art, science and spirit of the sword by one of its most articulate and uncompromising advocates.
This book is a must for every fencer and of great interest to anyone involved in martial arts of any kind.

-Laura Souris M.B.A.
3rd Degree Black Belt, karate


8 1/2 " x 11" 280 pages
ISBN: 1-931861-00-5



Available Now!

Retail price $40

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Send a check or money order (made out to "IFV") for $40 plus $5.00 for shipping (in the US) to:

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Sample chapters:

Table of Contents

Why Study Classical Fencing?

Art or Sport?

A Gallant and Gracious Manner: Safety and Etiquette in the Salle d'Armes


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This file was last modified Friday, Jun 9 2006, 09:23:46 EDT