Fighting in the Fightschools late XVth, early XVIth century (Daniel Jaquet) - APD1(2013)

Citation Information: Acta Periodica Duellatorum. Volume 1, Issue 1, Pages 47–66, ISSN (Online) 2064-0404, DOI: 10.1515/apd-2015-0009, December 2015


This article discusses the role played by Fightmaster (master-at-arms, Schirm- or Fechtmeister ) in the Fightschools (Fechtschulen ) taking place in the swiss cities at the end of the middle ages. The strong link between these lessstudied events and the practice of martial arts according to the technical literature (Fechtbücher) will be examined, as well as the figure of the Fightmaster.

By collecting references out of normative documents regarding those events, it is possible to sketch both the fighting praxis inside the fightschools and the expertise of the Fightmaster in relation with the town’s authorities. Doing so, the questions of the professional performances, the reputation and the representation of the Fightmaster will be addressed. This approach will be illustrated by the case study of a master at arms, Peter Switzer.

Keywords: Fencing schools (Fightschool); Fightbook; master-at-arms (Fightmaster); duel; art of combat