Montante Trainer Spotlight

The montante was a large two handed sword that became popular in 17th century Spain and Portugal. It was related to other similar swords from the period, including the Italian Spadone, German Zweihander, and Scottish Claymore, among others.  
alfieri spadone
Greatsword from Francesco Alfieri's 1653 "The Art of Using the Sword Well"
These very large swords were common in civilian and military contexts, though they were always fairly specialized. They were also a traditional symbol of authority for Renaissance fencing masters, who used them to conduct sparring or fights between students. The Arms and Armor 15th Century Two Hander, and the custom Two Handed Sword with coins, shown below, are examples of sharp swords of the family from which montantes derive.  
Arms and Armor 15th Century two hander   Two hander
Two handed swords of similar style to a montante
Motante Trainer in steel, wood and leather by Arms & Armor Inc
Montante Trainer by Arms & Armor Inc.
Our Montante trainer has its roots in 2005 when we started work with a group of researchers (pictured below) who were translating and interpreting Memorial Of the Practice of the Montante By Diogo Gomes de Figueyredo. We supported this effort by working with them to develop a Montante trainer that had the same handling characteristics as sharp swords from the period. This work culminated in the first Montante workshop in the US at the 2006 Western Martial Arts Workshop.
Instructors at the first Montante class at WMAW 2006, Steve Hich, Puck Curtis & Eric Myers
Instructors at first workshop for Montante at WMAW 2006, Steve Hick, Puck Curtis & Eric Myers
Fist class on the Montante 2006 WMAW
First Montante class at WMAW 2006
In this video spotlight we discuss the dynamics, history, and use of the montante, and explore some of the details of the Arms and Armor Montante Trainer.  
divider swords

Nathan Clough, Ph.D. is Vice President of Arms and Armor and a member of the governing board of The Oakeshott Institute. He is a historical martial artist and a former university professor of cultural geography. He has given presentations on historical arms at events including Longpoint and Combatcon, and presented scholarly papers at, among others, The International Congress on Medieval Studies.

Craig Johnson is the Production Manager of Arms and Armor and Secretary of The Oakeshott Institute. He has taught and published on the history of arms, armor and western martial arts for over 30 years. He has lectured at several schools and Universities, WMAW, HEMAC, 4W, and ICMS at Kalamazoo. His experiences include iron smelting, jousting, theatrical combat instruction and choreography, historical research, European martial arts and crafting weapons and armor since 1985.

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