George Silver was a martial arts instructor in England during the late 16th and early 17th century. Extremely nationalistic he objected to what he characterized as a pernicious influence of the fashionable continental rapier systems being taught at the time on a number of ethical and technical levels.

His major objections to the rapier itself and to its pedagogy were expressed in his 1599 work, "My Paradoxes of Defence". He then wrote a followup "Brief Instructions on my Paradoxes of Defence" in which he laid out his preferred weapons (he recommends the shorter, more versatile backsword) and martial system. This however remained an unpublished manuscript until its discovery and publishing in 1898 by fencing historian Captain Cyril G. R. Matthey.

He recommends a highly defensive system which he deemed suitable for duelling, street defence and the battlefield, rather than the purely duel orientation of the rapier.

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