Burgundian Poleaxe


Ready to shipThis item is waiting in our warehouse for you

The Pollaxe is a fearsome weapon, the armour-breaching chivalric weapon par excellence of the late Middle Ages wielded on foot in friendly tournaments, lethal duels, and on the battlefield. Instruction on it’s use is found throughout surviving medieval martial arts manuscripts from Germany and Italy, but Le Jeu de la Hache (“Axe-Play”) – written in the mid-15th century for the Burgundian court, the most extravagant of its time in medieval Europe – is both the most complete study of this deadly weapon and the oldest known French-language martial art text.


In this new translation and interpretive guide, Jason Smith presents a complete translation if Le Jeu, detailed, photographic reconstructions of its many techniques, and a short primer on the basics of axe-combat, creating a complete curriculum for actually training in this unique, medieval martial art. Combined with an historical overview of the manuscript and a detailed biography of Jacques de Lalain, a famed Burgundian axe-fighter, this volume is not just a modern training manual but also a window into knightly culture at the waning of the Middle Ages.

Jason Smith has practiced medieval martial arts since 2001, with a focus on Le Jeu and Fiore Dei Liberi’s l’arte dell’armizare. Jason is a founding member of the Chivalric Fighting Arts Association, a loose Affiliation of like-minded schools and individuals (, as well as a founding member of the International Armizare Society – a society dedicated to the study of medieval Italian martial arts, offering support, curriculum and grading standards to member schools (