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Published works in pre-revolutionary Russia

At the turn of the 20th century, Russia saw the publication of a large number of printed works, the so-called "fencing manuals". In 1880, two fencing handbooks came out in St. Petersburg: the essay by G. Blendgini on fencing using epees and sabers with 50 drawings, and the work by the Siverbricks (father and son) describing the school of ancient epee fencing and broadsword handling, which was acclaimed as the best book for learning the rules of fencing.


The year 1883 saw the publication of a handbook on fencing with the spadroon (with tables and drawings) for military and cadet schools by A. Glebovich. In 1889 the Italian master L. Barbazetti published his book entitled Saber Fencing, describing the techniques and tactics of sport fencing using sabers.


Photograph taken from The Classical Fencing Manual. Parry "Prime".

(Alexandre Lugarr, 1910)


Three fencing handbooks came out in Moscow and St. Petersburg between 1904 and 1906: a handbook on fencing using spadroons with 27 drawings, a handbook on fencing using bayonets, and a handbook on foil fencing with 22 drawings. The three handbooks were authored by fencing instructor Alexandre Lugarr, a Frenchman who lived in Russia for many years and knew all the subtleties of fencing art. He taught fencing at the Alexandrian military school, at officers' fencing courses of the grenadier corps in St. Petersburg, as well as the Imperatorial Moscow University. In his works Alexandre Lugarr gives a comprehensive account of the methods of teaching fencing using all types of weapons and offers a detailed description of both techniques and tactics of the French fencing school.


Photograph taken from The Classical Fencing Manual. Parry "Tierce"

(Aleksandr Lugarr, 1910)


At about the same time, St. Petersburg saw the publication of two works by V. Olsufyev, fencing instructor of the officers' cavalry school of the Mounted Grenadier Regiment, entitled Cutting and Fencing and Guidelines for Teaching the Handling of Weapons in our Cavalry. In 1909, V. Zhytkov, fencing teacher at the Alekseyevskoye Military School, published his Handbook on Dueling with the Epee and Spadroon and the Rule of Dueling with Cold Steel with 15 photographs.

The year 1913 saw the publication of the book by K. Ternan Foil Fencing, which offered a detailed description of the French school techniques and tactics and his 25 years of experience of teaching fencing in Russia.


The appearance of such a large number of fencing textbooks, handbooks, and manuals facilitated the development of this sport. During the 20th century, two trends in the development of fencing became discernible in Russia: applied fencing - bayonet and saber fencing for officers and soldiers, and amateur sport fencing with foils, epees, and spadroons. Military courses fencing instructors started to open in Russia: in 1908 in Petersburg and in 1910 in Moscow. Graduates of such courses went on to become teach fencing all across Russia, which caused fencing to develop on a nationwide scale.