of the Ofantine-Murgese Valley
by Domenico Mancino
The fencing tradition of the stick, in the Ofantine valley in Apulia, was preserved by Sheppards and a few farmers. The stick was normally used as a working tool, to manage the flock, but it was use, when required, as a self-defense weapon. The stick normally has a length slightly longer than an umbrella. It can be handled with one or with both hands in certain techniques. The pedagogy is similar to the knife fencing, at least in the basic and initial part. Conversely, the tactics and techniques of the stick fencing in the advanced stage, differ from the knife and have their own characteristics.
The stick fencing tradition of the school “Cielo&Meraviglia” are divided in two parts:
Irrational part (short range distance)
Rational part (long range distance)
The study of the fencing in both distances is organized in a specific group of tactics and techniques in both long and short range distance.