Study and training resources

Puck & Mary Curtis

Brisbane School of Iberian Swordsmanship

Other Reference

Studying on your own and looking for English-language help?

There are several branches of Destreza with English-language texts which may be of interest.   If you have no particular preference, it may prove simplest to choose a branch with modern interpreters.

  • Early Destreza, the style recorded by Carranza, Father of Destreza, and also in the early books of Pacheco.

This is the style of Verdadera Destreza we study at the Brisbane School of Iberian Swordsmanship.  As a starting-point we suggest the modern From the page to the practice: Fundamentals of Spanish Swordplay by Puck Curtis, & Mary Dill Curtis.  It is available in hard copy as a chapter in the book In the Service of Mars,Vol II from Freelance Academy Press and as an eBook (re-released September 2019) from the same supplier.  This is an excellent source.  If you cannot afford the book/ebook, a portion of it is available in Puck’s blog, along with some explanatory videos.

The One Hundred Conclusions, released December 2022, by Luis Pacheco de Narváez (and edited by our very own Lois Spangler), which we expect to be a fundamental text for those studying Destreza.  We are very excited that one of our instructors has been part of an international effort to bring a core LVD text to the English speaking world.  We just want to point out we knew Lois first.

A portion Dr Mary Curtis’ translation of Ettenhard’s Compendium of the Foundations of the True Art and Philosophy of Arms is available at the Destreza Translation and Research Project .

These works can then be complemented with documents such as translations from The Spanish Swordsmanship Society, and from Agea Editora.

  • A later version of Destreza, as described by Rada, that has differences from the original. 

We do not teach this style.  The modern books of Sebastien Romagnan (when in print available directly from the author or from Amazon) seem to be a good starting point for this field, as well as his YouTube channel.  Vendrell’s workshop article may also assist.  A direct translation is in progress by the American School of Verdadera Destreza.

  • Common Destreza, the precursor to Verdadera Destreza which continued to exist alongside it.

We also cover Common Destreza at the Brisbane School of Iberian Swordsmanship.  Our primary source is Tim Rivera’s Iberian Swordplay, a translation of Godinho’s book The Art of Fencing, available from Freelance Academy Press.  (When in print this is available in Spanish from Agea Editora – check that you are ordering the correct language version).  This book can be complemented with documents from The Spanish Swordsmanship Society about the old style.

  • Thibault, a Dutch style heavily influenced by Destreza, which some include in the definition of Destreza and some do not. 

We do not teach this style.  Should you be wanting to follow Thibault, the translation of his book Academy of the Sword is available from various retailers such as here.  While we respect the style as an effective art, we cannot resist mentioning Pacheco’s description of Thibault as “supposed son of our doctrine, and falsifier of it”.

Once you have started studying your chosen Destreza, the facebook group Destreza in the SCA, which kindly allows non-SCA members, is an excellent place to raise questions.