Fragment of “Academie de l’Espée” book

However, nowhere is this sentiment  of warning against the inexperienced per­ haps so brutally stated as with Girard Thibault d’Anvers in his 1630 work:

“…it will be entirely different for those ignorant and foolhardy would­ be swordsmen who rashly imitate everything they have seen practiced three or four times by a man who is adroit and well trained. From this they will gain nothing but shame and confusion; when it comes to making proofs, they will find themselves frustrated in their intentions at every moment, because they do not understand the breadth of this science, nor how difficult it is, the time which it requires and deserves to be learned, nor the study which must be brought to bear on the subtlety of its demon­ strations. Presumptuous and ridiculous people, who have learned no more than two or three small points, convince themselves that they lack nothing, being certain that the little that they know can be made to serve on all occasions, without considering the great extent, nay, the infinity of variations, which present themselves every day in practice, of which each one has its proper manner of use differing from the others, and indeed, which change themselves by the hour, the minute, and the instant.”