Horseback – 8th master

Folio 43 v. d


Also this Posta Coda Longa (Long Tail Guard) is good when one comes to meet him with his sword held on the left, as this enemy does. Know that this guard works against all blows from right and left, and against anyone who is either right or left handed. Here begin the plays of Posta Coda Longa that always beat aside in the way that is previously described in the first Posta Coda Longa.


With your right arm held across your body, and your right shoulder turned slightly to the front, you are positioned here to beat any attack across to your right.

As you make the beat, be aware that if you perform this with the same diagonal cut you are used to making on foot, you are likely to strike your own horse in the head. To avoid this, your cut must first lift up and then beat across the top of the horse. It moves in more of an arc than a straight line.

Not surprisingly, the scholars of the 8th master are not new techniques exactly, but previously described plays in the context of mounted combat.

There are several different examples both on foot and horseback of posta coda longa being used throughout Fior di Battaglia. You will see it in

Horseback – 1st scholar of the 8th master

Folio 44 r. a


This is the first play from Posta Coda Longa shown previously. The Master beats aside the sword of his enemy, and puts the sword in his chest or face, as drawn here.


As the 1st scholar, you beat your opponents sword as you move from Posta Coda Longa to Posta Fenestra, very simliar to the Master of Sword in One Hand. This clears a space for you to put the point of your sword into the front of your opponent. For the most part, you will need to focus on controlling your sword point to the target. It is the forward movment of the horse which delivers most of the power that does the actual damage.

Horseback – 2nd scholar of the 8th master

Folio 44 r. b


This is the second play from the previous beat. I strike this man over the head, for I can see that the head is unarmoured.


This play is the same as the 2nd scholar of the Sword in one Hand. The only difference here is that it is delivered from horseback rather than on foot.

From the Master play of Posta Coda Longa, cut over your horses head and strike diagonally upwards, beating your opponents weapon up and to your right. Be sure to finish the beat in a properly formed Posta Fenestra. The forward momentum of the horses will put you in range to cut back down along the same line, striking your opponent in the head as shown.

Horseback – 3rd scholar of the 8th master

Folio 44 r. c


This is another play, the third one. He beats aside his enemies sword which he takes with his left hand, and strikes to the head. In the same way, you could strike with a thrust.


The thing that stands out most about this play is its similarity to the 2nd scholar of the 2nd master of sword in two hands. The set up is different, but the concept of controlling your opponents blade with this grab is identical, and is the heart of the play.

From the cover of the 8th master of horse, strike up over your horses head and across, beating your opponents sword aside. Follow the natural turn of your body. Reach out with your left hand, and grab your opponents blade with your thumb down. For your own safety, the horses will need to be reasonably still, relative to each other. The faster the horses move past each other, the harder it is to grab the blade in the first place, and the more likely it is to slide in your hand and cut you.

Turn your opponents sword across to your left. You are really aiming to just pivot the blade around your opponents wrist rather than pull it out of the way. Your sword will already be chambered in Posta Fenestra as an end point to the beat. Moving your opponents sword like this leaves you a clear line to cut or thrust to their head, as the picture shows.

Horseback – 4th scholar of the 8th master

Folio 44 r. d


This is the fourth play. The scholar wants to strike his head and then take his sword in the way that you see drawn here.


This play does not concern itself so much with the strike as what to do next. Beat your opponents sword to the right and strike along the inside line, similar to the 1st scholar of the 8th master. Having hit, but not necessarily killed or unhorsed your opponent, you are now disarming them.

Scoop your right hand back towards yourself so that you are contacting the inside of your opponents forearm with your own. Hook your hand so that the pommel goes over the top of their arm as shown. The movement of the horses will slide your forearm down to the wrist until your hand goes under the crossbars of the sword, levering it from their grip.

Although shown working from the inside of the arm, this play works equally well from the outside. If you make your initial strike from the left, as shown by the 2nd scholar of the 8th master, you can just as easily drop the pommel onto the inside of your opponents arm, sliding your forearm along the outside. Although the application is slightly different, the mechanics of the disarm are the same.

Having completed the play, you can safely turn to finish off your wounded and disarmed opponent. Although it does not appear earlier, there is absolutely no reason why you could not use this disarm with a sword in one hand when fighting on foot.

Horseback – 5th scholar of the 8th master

Folio 44 v. a


This is the fifth play from the cover of beating aside the sword. I throw my arm around his neck to turn immediately, and will surely throw him to the ground without doubt. And my counter is the second play drawn after me, although if he is well armoured it will not work.


Having beaten your opponents sword aside as the 8th master, you are now going to throw them off their horse, using a mounted variant of what an aikidoka would recognise as irimi nage.

As your opponent is open, drop the tip of your sword over their left shoulder. Lean your right shoulder forward. Roll your right hand so that the thumb points down, and also flare your elbow slightly. Structure is important. You want the points from the sword tip, to wrist, to elbow, to right shoulder, to left shoulder all to make a smooth curve.

If you lack proper form, there will be a tendency to catch your opponents head in the crook of your elbow. This result in a struggle between the strength of your shoulder and the stability of your opponents seat. Such a graceless use of force is not only technically poor, but is also a waste of energy, and provides no guarantee of success.

If your arm has good curvature, it will roll past your opponent, gently directing their head to cradle inside your shoulder, in a curiously intimate hug. This is point shown in the picture.

Keep leading with your shoulder. The movement of the horses will tip your opponent off to the side and backwards, neatly stripping them from the saddle to be trampled underfoot. Be aware of the potential for your opponent to use the counter against you.

Variations of this throw are also seen in the following plays.

Horseback – 6th scholar of the 8th master

Folio 44 v. b


This is the sixth, who wants to take the sword of the companion. When taking the sword, keep lifting straight up, and his sword will certainly fall from his hand.


This play takes place after the initial contact. Your swords will be crossed in the middle. From there, drop your right hand down, reaching across your opponent and rolling your blade to the opposite side of your opponents horse. Twist your body to do this rather than reaching across with your shoulders. If you lean too far, you are in danger of being tangled in your opponent and stripped from the saddle. You should find yourself in the position shown.

Having wedged your hand behind the pommel of your opponents sword, drop your weight into the saddle and pull your right elbow back across your body, raising your right hand as you do so. Although pulling your elbow back makes you more stable, it is the lift which actually strips the weapon.

The angle of your hand and pommel severely restricts the movement of your opponents sword hand. The higher you lift, the safer you are and the more your opponents fingers are pried open. The sword should fall behind your left shoulder, leaving you safe to turn and pursue your now cursing opponent.

Horseback – Counter to 5th scholar of the 8th master

Folio 44 v. c


This is the seventh play, which is the counter to the fifth. It is done by wounding the leg. If the player is armoured, do not trust it to work.


Having beaten your sword aside, your opponent has made the play of the 5th scholar, scooping their arm around your head in an attempt to throw you from your horse.

Grab the pommel of your saddle to anchor yourself, lean back and twist to the right, absorbing and sliding out of your opponents scoop. You want their arm to slide over your left ear rather than catch under your chin. That marks the fine line between success and failure in this play.

As you do this, keep your body on the same axis as your horse. If you lean out to the side while doing this, you will be dangerously overbalanced. Turn your backward movement into a counter attack.

To get you into this position, your opponent has beaten your sword to your left. As you twist back and to the right, use this momentum to make a cut with the false edge. If you were standing upright, the mechanics of it would make it a horozontal cut, although your movement here will tip everything. The cut will go over your own horses head, arc across the rump of your opponents horse and wrap around to strike your opponent in the left leg, as shown.

You will have to quickly focus on regaining your seat, but your opponent will be wounded. Rather obviously, the more leg protection they have, the less likely your counter attack is to succeed.

Horseback – Counter to the 8th master

Folio 44 v. d


This is the eighth play, which counters all the previous plays, but especially the plays of the sword on horseback and the masters who use Posta Coda Longa. When the master or scholar is in a firm guard, I give a thrust or other blow, and immediately he beats my attack aside. When he does this, I quickly turn my sword and with the pommel, I strike him in the face. I then pass from the cover this lends and with a reverse circular blow, I strike him in the back of the head.


Although all the plays of the 8th master of horse are shown with your opponent on the right side, unusually, the counter is shown with them on your left.

Make an attack against your opponent. They will beat the attack aside. The text, as well as the inference from the master play, say that the defence is made from posta coda longa, which would mean that the sword is being beaten to your left. In the picture, the position of the counter masters sword suggests that it has been beaten to the right. In practice, it does not make much difference, although you do get a bigger opening and better flow if responding to a beat to your left.

As the beat knocks your sword aside, rather than struggling to stay on line, exaggerate the movement, and spin it 180 degrees around in a horizontal plane to chamber on your left shoulder. Strike the pommel into your opponents face as shown. It should feel like making a fendente stab with a dagger.

Immediately after you have made your stab, drop the elbow, moving your right hand back in a straight line toward, chambering for the strike. Turn the sword so that the tip continues moving in the same horizontal plane in an anticlockwise direction. If your sword was originally beaten to the left, it would have been moving anticlockwise anyway, so the whole series of beat, stab, strike has a smooth, pulsing kind of feel to it.

Strike forward with your hand, rolling it over as the blade spins around. The sword will wrap right around your opponent hitting them in the base of the skull with the false edge. The strike has a whip like effect. A fast opponent can easily jam it, however it is still strong enough to do plenty of damage. It targets a very vulnerable area, your opponent will be quite distracted, and hopefully seriously injured from the pommel strike, and the surprising angle often catches people unawares.

Horseback – Contra counter to the 8th master

Folio 45 r. a


I am the ninth and I am doing the counter to the counter before me. When he turns his sword, I immediately do as you see drawn here, so that I cannot be struck with the pommel in the face. And if I raise the sword upward and give it a reverse turn, you can well see that the sword will be taken from you. And if I do not do that, I will give you a backhand strike with the blade or the pommel will strike you in the head, I would turn it so much. Here ends the plays of sword against sword on horseback. Who knows more about it would give a good lesson.


Against an attack, your opponent has made the play of the counter to the 8th master. They have beaten your attack aside and then keeping the momentum going, have turned their sword fully around to make a counterstrike to your face with the pommel.

Note that in this picture, the player who makes the counter is wearing a garter. The scholar who makes the contra counter wears no insignia.

As your opponent makes their pommel strike, knock it aside with the handle of your own sword, as shown. Keep your sword upright and the handle braced against your forearm as much as possible. Keep your elbow tight to your centreline. It should feel like you are striking the pommel aside with the base of your hand. Roll your wrist as you make contact, so as to further throw the pommel offline.

Raise your sword above your head, then drop the tip to horizontal. You will have already begun the clockwise motion with the roll of your wrist. If you have caught your opponents sword handle right at the base of their hand, lifting the sword and dropping the tip like this will lever the sword out of their hand.

You have two options to continue with, depending on your distance. You can keep your hand as a fixed point, and make a horizontal cut with the true edge of the blade into the right side of your opponents head. If the movement of the horses has brought you too close to make a cut, raise your elbow to face height and keeping that as a fixed point, make a pommel strike instead. It will feel like making a riverso dagger strike. the pommel strike is slightly slower, but targets at a shorter range.