The Art and Science of Defence — 17th, 18th & 19th Century English Martial Arts.

The Linacre School of Defence was founded in Oxford in 1999 and offers an integrated martial arts system, soundly based upon historical Western combat manuals.

Sir William Hope (1660-1724) wrote a number of books on fencing, which we have transcribed. His work is notable for a gradual realisation that the French Small-Sword system he originally trained in was lacking, and that the true Art of Defence lay in the English back-sword method. Although often rather verbose, his books clearly explain his reasoning and the principles and methods of his system.

Our instructors are certified by the British Federation for Historical Swordplay and insured by the British Combat Association.