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The term Italian school of swordsmanship is used to describe the Italian style of fencing and edged-weapon combat from the time of the first extant Italian swordsmanship treatise (1409) to the days of Classical Fencing (up to 1900).
Although the weapons and the reason for their use changed dramatically throughout these five centuries, a few fundamental traits have remained constant in the Italian school. Some of these are the preference for certain guards, the preoccupation with time (or "tempo") in fencing as well as many of the defensive actions.

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Although there is a considerable gap in extant Italian treatises, between 1696 and 1800, we can see from the earliest 19th Century treatises that the style had changed very little during that period. The only changes were the addition of certain techniques suitable for the somewhat lighter blades of the dueling swords typically used in 1800 as compared to the rapiers typical for the end of the 17th century (compare the techniques presented by Bondý di Mazo in his 1696 manual with those in the 1803 manual of Giuseppe Rosaroll-Scorza and Pietro Grisetti).
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