Destreza Nova – Iberian Rapier Swordsmanship
WHAT THE HELL IS DESTREZA NOVA? (get a cup of coffee or covfefe)
In the beginning (XV century) there was only Destreza. The Iberian Swordmanship Style. After the years a new philosophy based on the perfection of geometry came to be called the Verdadera Destreza (“the true one”) and those who could not have access to it stuck with the “old” system: the “Common (or Vulgar) Destreza”, a more intuitive style. There were masters who dared to modify the principle of the true art to suit their own vision, such Diaz de Viedma (1639) or Manuel de Brea (1805). The latter dared to mix Destreza with other philosophies such German, French or Italian fencing for the use of transitional rapier/smallsword. Many alt-right users of Destreza would not call it Destreza. Even if his approach was not philosophical or mathematical but the one of a fencer (which makes it more awesome to me). I do respect people who stick to one set of knowledge and do not move outside of that Dogma, I really do, but it is not my style.
I took De Brea steps and pushed the Art further, developing a system of Rapier fencing that works fairly well against other styles and types of opponents, as well as being adapted to the end 17th beginning of 18th century rapier sword, which people majorly use nowadays (lighter than the ones of the first manuals of Verdadera Destreza).
My art is built by a base of Destreza (Verdadera), and is buffed with every useful detail of other fencing philosophies or martial arts, Vulgar Destreza, German, Italian… you name it, and I came with the name Destreza Nova (New Destreza). Even if it is very close to the art I decided to put a new name, in order to keep the prime art unaltered, and not stepping onto it. It is a total sign of respect to a philosophy that taught me a lot and I want it to be distinguished from Destreza Nova. So in a way it is my own compilation, but nothing new under the sky (everything is already invented…). You will find some old terms that I dared to oversimplify, that might cause debate, (welcome to the internet! 🤪). However the objective of it is to ease the knowledge to the newcomers, overwhelming the students with huge amounts of information and sterile debates are totally unproductive from my humble point of view. You can serve yourself extrapolating this knowledge to the practice, but don’t observe it with a single historical/author context, because that will not work productively. That is: do not compare it with Verdadera Destreza alone or other systems. “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts”.
After 12 years of Historical Fencing in which I spent some years on the top HEMA-ratings of my country (to me is not at all important, but apparently it is for some in the community) and a whole life of martial arts, I have reasons to make this knowledge profitable for the future generations and I will dedicate my effort and time to give it to the community. If you don’t like it, it’s fine, I know people who don’t like chocolate and I respect them, just let the others eat chocolate. 🙂
I keep teaching Verdadera Destreza, the art should not die, but I feel obliged to go further at every class for a simple reason: my students will not find only Diestros out there, but Capoferros, Angelos, Agrippas, Fabris, Jaumes Pons… and I want them to be able to fight them all and value any positive aspect in their opponents, and use it for their own benefit as well. It is good to be jealous, if only you take that feeling and transform it into admiration and respect.
Be open-minded. Fight yourself every day. Seek perfection and go always beyond.