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About Prima Spada

Prima Spada is a historical fencing school operating in Queensland, Australia. Based on the work of Spanish masters of the 16th and 17th centuries, Prima Spada teaches Renaissance European swordplay as a modern sport.

Prima Spada is a full body activity that builds good posture and bearing, middle-body strength and flexibility, and exercises the mind to think tactically and strategically. It is also immensely enjoyable.

Prima Spada is a member of the Queensland Living History Federation (QLHF Inc.) and a founding member of the Australian Historic Swordplay Federation, now known as Western Martial Academies of Australia (WMAA).

A Modern Sport From an Ancient Art

From the duelling swordplay of the 16th century, Prima Spada has created a challenging and enjoyable activity which can be appreciated at many different levels - as a martial skill, as a sport, or as a movement art. However, Prima Spada seeks to do more than simply reproduce the mechanics of duelling swordplay; the philosophical principles of honour and courtesy that were a fundamental part of the character of a 16th century noble, are also a key facet of what is taught in Prima Spada.

The work undertaken by Prima Spada's Chief Instructor, Keith Beattie, has been extensive and has resulted in a mature and systematic training syllabus. This syllabus enables students to know absolutely how they stand with regard to one another in terms of skills and techniques, and to fence each other on equal terms even with great differences in experience.



The practical and philosophical approach of Prima Spada creates an enjoyable and accessible form of swordplay where the emphasis lies firmly on quality of execution rather than brute strength or speed. Prima Spada resonates with dance movement, and is a unique, flamboyant combat style with a theatrical sensibility.

Fitness and Posture

Fencing encourages good posture, which assists with balance, deportment and poise. It also enhances muscle tone and involves significant aerobic exercise.

Character and Self-esteem

The Prima Spada style helps its students to develop considerable confidence in themselves and their abilities. From the very beginning, students are constantly challenged to excel at the techniques taught at their level, and encouraged to demonstrate their ability in stylised combat. This also requires one to accord the same respect to one's fellow students. This is bourne out in School's motto "Honourable in victory, gracious in defeat".

Analytical Intuition and Strategic Thinking

The Prima Spada style teaches the student techniques as a collection of building blocks, but it is then up to the student to employ these tactically to gain advantage and respond to threats in the infinite variety of situations in swordplay.

Historical Interest

Prima Spada teaches the use of accurately reproduced (though blunt) historical weapons in an authentic period style.

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