Martial Arts are literally, the “Arts of Mars” literally means the arts of Mars, the Roman god of war, so it should be no surprise that Europe boasts a complex martial culture that extends back into antiquity and continues to this day.
Armizare (are-mee-TZAR-ay) is the medieval Italian name for the martial arts of the warrior class of Europe – the knight. Like his Asian counterpart, the samurai, the knight was the developer and inheritor of a sophisticated martial arts system that encompasses more than just fencing with the medieval sword; it is a comprehensive combat system useful in a variety of contexts: armed with sword, lance, axe or dagger, unarmed and in or out of plate armour. The system also covers the use of improvised weapons, such as heavy clubs, a small baton and flexible weapons.
Through the study of Armizare, you will learn:
- A 600 year old fighting art, tested on the battlefield by generations of medieval warriors;
- A solid foundation in natural, elegant movement and universal body mechanics;
- How to wield a wide variety of swords, daggers and polearms, in and out of armour;
- Combative integration – learn how to move from weapon range to grappling range, and how to fight with and against diverse weapons in dissimilar combat scenarios;
- The evolution of the many tools in the knightly arsenal;
- The history of our tradition and the stories of its most famous (and infamous) students;
- The ethical system of chivalry, in theory vs. practice, and its evolution over time.
Forteza is the home studio of the Chicago Swordplay Guild, an internationally renowned organization that offers two distinct tracks of historical fighting arts from Medieval and Renaissance Italy (1350 – 1650). Ranking is based on a traditional system of licensing used by fighting guilds found throughout late medieval Europe.
How do I begin?
Mastery is difficult, but beginning is easy! Just enroll in our Taste of the Knightly Arts introductory class and let your journey begin.
You can also learn more about our unique medieval swordplay curriculum in the What is Armizare? article on our blog.