The cutlass is one of the most romantic and swashbuckling of all weapons and can been seen as the descendant of the Dussack and Tessack of the 16th and 17th centuries. A short-bladed sword with strong hand protection would seem to have been the preferred side arm of the “common” man-at-arms. In fact, it could be argued that these type of weapons were by far the most typical of the fighting man of the 1500s onwards, being, as they were, the weapon of choice of those poor souls who did the majority of the hand-to-hand fighting.
The early mass produced cutlasses of England and France at the beginning of the 1800s had blade lengths of 29 & ½ inches. With the passing of years the weapons became shorter and shorter, possibly reflecting the diminishing importance of the sword in naval warfare.
The system explored in the Club has its basis in the Infantry Sword Exercise (1845) of Henry Charles Angelo. To this are added techniques from Classical Fencing and, of course, the works of Vincentio Saviolo (whose techniques compliment the weapon wonderfully).