Sword in armour - Plays

Sword in armour – 13th scholar

Folio 34 v. d

Translation

This is a strong and good grip that the scholar makes against the player. He puts his left foot behind the players left foot and the point of his sword in his face. Also he can throw him the ground by turning to the right.

Interpretation

Although the 13th scholar certainly can follow the master play, it by no means has to. Your opponent is making a direct thrust with a half sword grip. Rather than the typical armizare response of jamming or beating aside the attack, here, your defence relies on a sidestep, and simply not being where the attack is.

As your opponent makes their thrust, swing your left foot across to your right. Raise your sword to Posta di Fenestra and use your left hand to define your edge. You do not block the attack, but just ensure that it has been deflected offline and cannot follow you. As with all deflections, if it has missed by an inch, then it has missed, and it will only expend energy unnecessarily to push it away further.

Once confident you are clear of the attack, lunge in deep with your left foot. You want to get as far behind your opponent as possible. Using this movement, roll your left hand under your opponents left arm to grab onto their right forearm. This is the moment shown.

Pull your left elbow strongly back to your body, locking it against your core. This will jam your opponents arms and pull them off balance, causing them to fall onto you. As you do this, pivot your hips anticlockwise. This will naturally drive the point of your sword into your opponents face as they are being pulled onto it.

To set up the throw, ensure that your left leg is deeply bent with the knee over the toe. Your left thigh should be making contact with theirs at least. The further behind them you can get, the easier the throw will be. Pull your left hand, and by extension their right arm, right up to your rib cage. You are pulling your opponent into your space.

Empty that space by suddenly pivoting 180 degrees on the balls of your feet. Straighten your left leg as you do so, and bend you right instead, shifting your bodyweight from left to right. Your opponent will fall over your left thigh, landing on their right shoulder beneath you. Drop your left knee, pinning them to the ground. Let go with your left hand and use it to secure a half sword grip on your weapon. Stab down hard.

A slight variation on this technique can be seen in the following play.

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