Maestro d’Armi Andrei Xuereb
Ladies and Gentlemen
- I am pleased to be here this morning to assist to the 9th Malta Historic Fencing International meeting and follow up close the intricate art of swordsmanship. On this note, I wish to thank the Malta Historical Fencing Association for their committed interest to promote historical research and revive it through 3-day seminars like this one. The participation of several historical fencing students from around the world provide greater opportunity of using Malta’s history and passion for sports as catalysts for inter-cultural encounters and dialogue. In fact, participants hail from various countries, stretching all the way from Europe to the USA.
- I must admit that when Maestro Andrei visited me a couple of months ago, I was amazed at the level of historical details and accuracy by which he explained the art of Historical Fencing and also the level of immersion and technique needed to properly carry out a squalembrato or a cavazione, amongst many other. The survival of these terms in Italian are also an interesting feature and complement efforts to keep as much as possible faithful to how the knights and other swordsmen operated in the past.
- I find it fascinating that weapons such as swords, spears and daggers, long lost following the introduction of gun powder and heavy artillery, are once more being researched and rediscovered. Today’s technological advancements, therefore evolving around concepts such as artificial intelligent and smart weapons, is eons away from the swords you will be using in the coming days. The sidesword, the rapier, the sabier, have all been very popular swords between the 14th and 17th Century, and frequently used in Malta. Thankfully, differently from the past, you are today using these weapons to primarily showcase your expertise and knowledge on the art of historical fencing and secondly, as a means of improving self-discipline, hand-mind-body coordination and physical performance. Furthermore, occasions like this one promote and facilitate people-to-people encounters and forge long lasting relationships.
- My final words are of encouragement to keep up this passion. In today’s world, I believe that opportunities to use sports and history as platforms for dialogue should be encouraged further within our society.
- To conclude, I augur you the very best for the coming days.