The Order of the Seven Hearts is a private, internationally-recognized group that researches and practices historical European martial arts. Based in Northern Virginia and headed by historical-fencing researcher Tom Leoni, the Order studies and practices a wide range of dueling and unarmed arts spanning from the middle ages to the early 19th century: these include Italian and German wrestling and longsword, Italian rapier, Bolognese Swordsmanship, Baroque Swordsmanship, French smallsword and early Neapolitan Classical fencing. Named after the Chivalrous Order of which legendary rapier fencing master Salvator Fabris was supreme knight, our mission is threefold: 1. To conduct methodical, scholarly research of the historical fencing and dueling texts of the medieval through early-modern period, 2. To perform the theory and practice of what we learn as a martial art while remaining as faithful as possible to the letter of the text, and 3. To share our research with the growing Historical Western Martial Arts community through online resources, published books and translations, and seminars.
While upon our group's founding in 2003 our primary emphasis was on the Italian Rapier system of Salvator, Fabris, we have in time developed extensive curricula in the following:
- German and Italian wrestling and longsword
- Italian rapier of the early 1600s, especially as described by Salvator Fabris.
- Bolognese Swordsmanshipof the 1500s.
- Italian polearms from the 1500s and 1600s.
- Baroque Swordsmanship and Italian rapier arts of the late 1600s, especially as described by Francesco Marcelli and Bondi' di Mazo.
- French smallsword from the 1700s.
- Classical Neapolitan dueling epee as codified by Masaniello Parise in the 1880s.
We have been invited to teach historical fencing, Italian rapier and European martial arts seminars throughout the United States and in Canada, Europe and Australia. Our scholarly approach of being "true to the books" is constantly well received, as is the cultural frame within which we place the arts we research and teach and the athleticism with which we strive to perform them.
A Note to Aspiring Students
The Order's fencing salle in Alexandria is open for rapier and historical fencing training. Please contact us at OSH[at]salvatorfabris[dot]org.
Tom Leoni is scheduled to teach a workshop at the Vancouver International Swordplay Symposium, and members of the Order of the Seven Hearts will be in attendance.
Tom's Capoferro translation is now available for purchase from Freelance Academy Press!