SSW Student Handbook

We recommend that all SSW students download and print out our student handbook. Once you are in the intermediate class, you should bring it with you to class, as it contains both an individual lesson tracking syllabus, and a series of conventional exercises (paired drills) for students to work on during the unstructured time in the intermediate class.

Text for Introductory Foil Class

We recommend that all students should acquire a copy of Maestro Luigi Barbasetti’s 1932 “The Art of of the Foil”, which is his own English translation of his 1902 “La Scherma di Spada”. It is not exactly identical to our method, but it is perhaps the closest method in written form, and it is also easily available in an inexpensive reprint from the 1990s by Barnes and Noble. You can generally get a used copy on Amazon for less than $10.00.

Purchase Luigi Barbasetti’s “The Art of the Foil” on Amazon.


Additional Italian Fencing Books

Instructor Holzman has several published translations of Italian fencing books for sale.

Through Lulu:

La Spadancia, by Giuseppe Rosaroll-Scorza, 1818.

Regulations for Fencing Events, by the Italian Fencing Federation (FIS), published in 1910.

The Second Part of Fencing Illustrated, by Giuseppe Morsicato Pallavicini, 1673.

Rules of Fencing, by Francesco Antonio Marcelli, 1686.

Fencing Illustrated, by Giuseppe Morsicato Pallavicini, 1670.

The Roman-Neapolitan School of Fencing (the works of Masaniello Parise, 1884 – 1904).

The Science of Fencing by Giuseppe Rosaroll-Scorza and Pietro Grisetti, 1803.

True Neapolitan Fencing by Nicola Terracusa e Ventura, 1725.

Sabre Fencing on Horseback by Ferdinando Masiello, 1891.

Sabre Fencing by Salvatore Pecoraro and Carlo Pessina, 1912.

Vol 1 of the Italian Cavalry Regulations (includes sabre and lance exercises) of 1873, by the Italian Ministry of War.

Italian Chivalric Code by Lt. Gen. Achille Angelini, 1883.

Purchase books published on Lulu by Christopher A. Holzman.


The Art of the Dueling Sabre – a translation of the 1876 textbook by Capt. Settimo Del Frate, for Maestro Giuseppe Radaelli’s military fencing masters school at Milano, plus additional materials to aid in the modern practice of Radaellian sabre. Published in 2011.

Note: Due to the the death of the publisher, the publishing company, SwordPlay Books, is being wound down, and rights are being returned to authors.  In the future I may have some outstanding stock for sale, and I will eventually reformat and revise the book for publication on Lulu.


Below are links to errata documents for the books I’ve published. If you should happen to find an error that isn’t included in the errata for one of the books above, or an error for a book that does not have an errata document, please contact me so I can check it, and if confirmed, properly note it.

Errata for The Art of the Dueling Sabre, by Christopher A. Holzman.

Errata for The Roman-Neapolitan School of Fencing, the collected works of Masaniello Parise.

Errata for Sabre Fencing, by Salvatore Pecoraro and Carlo Pessina.

Errata for The Science of Fencing by Giuseppe Rosaroll-Scorza and Pietro Grisetti.

Errata for Rules of Fencing by Francesco Antonio Marcelli.

Errata for Fencing Illustrated (Both Part 1 and Part 2) by Giuseppe Morsicato Pallavicini.

Errata for Sabre Fencing on Horseback by Ferdinando Masiello.