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Klare Onderrichtinge der Voortreffelijke Worstel-Konst (Nicolaes Petter)

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Klare Onderrichtinge der Voortreffelijke Worstel-Konst
Clear Education in the Magnificent Art of Wrestling
Klare Onderrichtinge der Voortreffelijke Worstel-Konst.jpg
Also known as Der künstliche Ringer L’Académie de
l’admirable art de la Lutte
Author(s) Nicolaes Petter
Illustrated by Romeyn de Hooghe
Place of origin Amsterdam, Netherlands
Language Dutch
Genre(s) Wrestling manual
Publisher Johannes Janssonius van Waesberge (1674)
Publication date 1674, 1675, 1679, 1680, 1712, 1814
First english
Blanes, 2010
Pages 88
Treatise scans

Klare Onderrichtinge der Voortreffelijke Worstel-Konst ("Clear Education in the Magnificent Art of Wrestling") is a Dutch wrestling manual by Nicolaes Petter, first printed in 1674 in Amsterdam.[1] Petter wrote this treatise before his death in 1672 and in it, Petter presents a method of urban self-defense based on a local grappling style called luctorius. The treatise was published posthumously in 1674 by Petter's widow and Romeyn de Hooghe.[citation needed] Sydney Anglo describes this text as "historically speaking, [one of] the [two] most important treatises on unarmed combat ever printed", and notes that "in many ways, the finest of all wrestling books—and deservedly the most famous—was the treatise by Nicolaes Petter and Romein de Hooghe".[2]

Publication History

Petter's Klare Onderrichtinge der Voortreffelijke Worstel-Konst was first published in Amsterdam in 1674 by Johannes Janssonius van Waesberge;[3] the first edition included both Dutch and German versions (probably both written by Petter, a transplanted German).[4] A second edition of both the Dutch and German versions was printed that same year by Willem van Lamsfelt.

In 1675, a sort of pirate German version was printed by Joann Christoph Widenmann in Montbéliard; this edition was translated from the Dutch and replaced Hooghe's etchings with low-quality reproductions. Widenmann's version was reprinted in 1679 by Joann Bencard as the fourth book of Theodori Verolini's Der Kůnstliche Fechter.

The first French edition of the text, titled L'Académie de l'admirable Art de la Lutte, was published by Waesberge in 1680. Isaac Severinus published two additional printings of this edition in Lieden, the first in 1680 and the second in 1712.

A new German translation of the treatise was printed in Berlin in 1814 by Louis Quien, titled Das Ringerbuch des berűhmten Faustfechters und Ringers Joh. Petter and including a forward by one J. F. Lürmann. In 1887, Karl Wassmannsdorff created a parallel edition of the text including both Dutch and German transcriptions, and titled it Nicolaes Petter's Ring-Kunst vom Jahre 1674. This was printed in Heidelberg by Karl Groos. In 1969, Waesberge's 1674 editions were reprinted by Wolters-Noordhoff Groningen. The German text was also included in the 2003 compendium Chronik alter Kampfkünste, published by Weinmann.

The first English edition of the treatise was created by Jerome Blanes and self-published in 2010, with a revised and expanded edition released in 2014. Another English edition was produced by Reinier van Noort and self-published in 2019.


Ir - Vv Introduction by Robbert Cors (?)
1 - 16 Grappling by Nicolaes Petter
17 - 88 Illustrations of Petter's grappling by Romeyn de Hooghe


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Additional Resources


  1. According to the title page
  2. Anglo, Sydney. The Martial Arts of Renaissance Europe. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2000. p 190-192
  3. Alfred Hutton mentions an earlier 1670 edition in his Examples of Ju Jitsu, or Japanese Wrestling. For Schoolboys. , but this was likely just an approximate date for the 1674 edition.
  4. The German title was Der künstliche Ringer: oder Dess Weyland Wolgeübeten und Berühmten Ring-Meisters Niclaus Petters. Kurtze, jedoch klare Unterweisung und Anleitung zu der Fürtrefflichen Ringe-Kunst: Darauss zulehrnen, wie man sich bey allerhand vorfallenden Schlägereyen fürsichtig beschützen, alle Unredliche Anfälle, Stösse, Schläge, und dergleichen Angriffe mit geschwinder Fertigkeit abkehren, und seinem bosshafften Ansprenger Kunst-geschicklich begegnen könne.

Copyright and License Summary

For further information, including transcription and translation notes, see the discussion page.

Work Author(s) Source License
Images Romeyn de Hooghe UvA Tekstbank
Public Domain.png
Transcription Reinier van Noort