Ionian Fencing by Maurizio Maltese
Professor Maurizio Maltese presents in this extensive and detailed work the "Scherma Jonica", Ionian fencing, an art cultivated century after century, perfected and made more and more effective by constant practice in every district, village and town of the area straddling the Ionian Sea, between Calabria, Apulia and Basilicata, and with very diverse influences from pre-Roman, Greek, Byzantine and Norman peoples, as well as Spanish and French origin.
The knife was the weapon available even to the poorest of men, the farmer and the herdsman, who used it in most of their daily work, from cutting a piece of bread to defending themselves against an aggressor (be it animal or human). As fighting became indispensable to assert one's rights, the need arose to train, to attend a teacher and sometimes a school. In the schools of arms one learned to use other elements in aid or in concert with the knives, such as the jacket to camouflage the blade, which, unbeknownst to the adversary, or the hat.
Thus, in Ionian fencing, century after century, many ideas and traditions of different schools, distant in time and space, are mixed: it is obvious to think that each region, if not each Italian village, used its own and different techniques, if only because of the great wealth of forms that the knife had in the country, both in its daily use and in its offensive use.