Some Words from the Ancient Masters - Giacomo Di Grassi
by ibn Jelal
Originally published in Punta Dritta November AS XXXVIII (2003)
As touching the weight or heft, which is borne in the hand, be it sword or other weapon, I commend not their opinion any way, who will for the strengthening of a man's arm that he handle first a heavy weapon, because being first used to them, afterwards, ordinary weapons will seem the lighter unto him, but I think rather the contrary, to wit, that first to the end, he does not over burden and choke his strength, he handle a very light sword, and such a one, that he may most nimbly move. For the end of this art is not to lift up or bear great burdens, but to move swiftly. And there is no doubt but he vanquishes which is most nimble, and this nimbleness is not obtained by handling of great hefts or weights, but by often moving.
But yet after he has sometime travailed with a light weapon, then it is necessary according as he feels himself to increase in strength of arm, that he take another in hand, that is something heavier, and such a one as will put him to a little more pain, but yet not so much, that his swiftness in motion be hindered thereby. And as his strength increases, to increase likewise the weight by little and little. So it will not be long, but that he shall be able to manage very nimbly any heavy sword.
Di Grassi, Giacomo, His True Arte of Defence, etc (London, 1594).