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The following is a list of literature and films recommended by Master Carnighan. If you are a fencer or are interested in learning, you will want to check this list out.


On Fencing - Aldo Nadi
        Aldo Nadi was one of the greatest competitive fencers of all time. His classic text on foil fencing was recently republished and is now available in larger bookstores. Perhaps the best part of this work is Nadi's account of an actual duel he fought. A "must read" for fencers.

Foil - Charles Selberg
        This superb treatise on modern foil fencing was recently revised and republished by Spotted Dog Press in 1993. Master Selberg is one of the best minds in fencing today and is one of only a handful of Americans ever to have won a gold medal in an international championship (the 1970 World Masters Team Foil Championship). It is available through SAF for $23.95.

The Book of the Sword - Sir Richard Francis Burton
        An excellent book covering the evolution of the sword by one of history's most colorful characters.

Electric Foil Fencing - Istvan Lukovich
        A comprehensive discussion and analysis of the electric foil aesthetic.

Manual of Chess - Dr. Emanuel Lasker
        Lasker was perhaps the greatest chessmaster ever to have played the game. His manual of chess provides great insight into strategic thinking. A longtime friend of Len's, Provost-at-Arms Harold Hayes, wrote an excellent essay some time ago illustrating the similarities of fencing and chess in terms of strategy. Mr. Hayes' essay is entitled, "Strategic Balance in Chess and Fencing." It was originally published in American Fencing magazine in 1991.

A Book of Five Rings - Miyamoto Musashi
        Musashi was the preeminent swordsman of his time (all time?). He also wrote one of the world's most intriguing works on strategy.


The Duelists
        A Ridley Scott film based on a true story of two officers in Napoleon's army that maintain a personal feud for decades. If you are looking for a truly authentic film that accurately depicts historic dueling, watch this film starring Harvey Keitel, Keith Carradine and Tom Conti.

The Samurai Trilogy
        This is a series of three movies starring Toshiro Mifune as Miyamoto Musashi.

        Stewart Granger, Janet Leigh and Mel Ferrer star in this romantic classic set in pre-revolutionary France. Unparalleled fencing sequences - the climactic duel at the end between Granger and Ferrer lasts nearly 10 minutes!

The Princess Bride
        A wonderful tale of adventure and romance, this film has something for the entire family and great fencing to boot. This is such a popular movie that there actually exists an extensive web site dedicated to it, including graphics, sounds and the complete script!

Rob Roy
        Liam Neeson stars as the legendary Scottish outlaw in this historical film of treachery and revenge. Don't miss the climactic duel between villain Tim Roth and Neeson. (Rated "R" for violence and adult situations).

        Another "Scottish" movie, this time about an immortal Scottish Highlander played by Frenchman Christopher Lambert. Although the premise of the movie is absurd, its still great fun. True Scotsman Sean Connery also appears, ironically as an Egyptian posing as a Spaniard. (Rated "R" for extreme violence - parents be warned)

Mississipi Gambler
        A Tyrone Power classic featuring some good fencing scenes. Suggested by Sam Senior.

The Selberg Instructional Videos
        Fencing Master Charles Selberg has produced an outstanding line of instructional fencing videos covering all aspects of the sport. Topics include footwork, defense and parry systems, methods of attack, and much, much more. These videos are available through SAF. Call for details!

By the Sword
        A tale of revenge and redemption set in contemporary times. The story revolves around a troubled Fencing Master, played by Eric Roberts, who must face his father's nemesis (F. Murray Abraham). Suggested by Anders Hoh.

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