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TIKF – Traditional Italian Knife Fighting

A “collecting tank” for the duelling knife- and stick systems from northern and southern Italy:

 Welcome! This website is all about the popular Italian fencing traditions with sticks and knives part of the TIKF. My name is Roberto Laura and I am a teacher for Italian duelling and defense systems with the short blade and the sheperd stick, which until today have only been taught in hidden and/or only within family traditions. Most of this systems or schools (ital. scuole) derive from the 19th century and had their zenith between 1850 and 1945.

The main weapons are the knife and the shepherd stick, but also the cut throat razor and flexible weapons are upart of the curriculum. The TIKF – Traditional Italian Kife Fighting IS NOR hybrid NEITHER a system itself. It is only an acronym, a “collecting tank” for the different traditional schools. Actually the  TIKF is composed of the following systems and subsystems:



Cavalieri d’umiltà, the knights of umility

This school derives from Manfredonia, Apulia, in southern Italy (19th century). It is a highly specialised and elegant fighting system with the knife. Besides of forms and partner forms there are plenty of duelling positions which all have their respective tactical purposes. This school is not for self-defense only. The intension is rather to survive or win duelling, to injure or even kill the opponent within a duel within the southetrn Italian criminal societies of the 19th century . The Cavalieri school also contains the fighting art with the shepherd stick and the razor. I have trained this school with different maestri, actually my teacher is maestro Salvatore D’Ascanio.

Scuola rutata, the circling school

This system is from Riposto in southeast Sicily and has its root probably within the 19th century. The basic weapons also here are the knife and the shepherd stick but the Sicilian stick is a little longer than the Apulian one. It is a very powerfull and aggressive duelling system full of experience. All the knife techniques for the street encounter are hidden within the stick art. So, also this system is not for self-defense only but for dueling as well. I am learning this school from the maestri Orazio Barbagallo and Salvatore Scarcella

Scuola fiorata, the flowery school

The flowery school is from Calatabiano, Sicily. I have learned the very first steps of this school within the ASAMIR, most of all the shepherd stick. The flowery school is related to the circling school from Riposto, especially the knife system are very similar to each other. The postures (piante) of the flowery school are maybe slightly wider and higher as within the circling school. I am actually starting a new path concerning this School, directly in Calatabiano.

Bastone genovese, the stick from Genoa

Here we talk about a simple but effective system from northern Italy, from Genoa, the capital of Liguria. The school from Genoa derives probably also from 1800 to 1850 and it is specialised to fight with the cane (but it contains also techniques for the knife, the two-handed-stick and the empty hands) – in duel and against multiple assailants. Additionally to the own Italian ideas the system had been influenced by the French. My teacher here has been maestro Claudio Parodi from Genoa.

 The intention of the TIKF is to preserve and to transmit these traditional fighting schools to everybody who is seriously interested and willing to learn and to train hard.


For questions and seminars please contact:

Maestro Roberto Laura

Phone: 00 49/71 32/4 15 43 or mobile: 00 49/151/110 44 323

Email: info@robertolaura.com

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