Horseback - 8th master, Uncategorized

Horseback – 6th scholar of the 8th master

Folio 44 v. b

Translation

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.

Interpretation

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 - 8th master

Horseback – 5th scholar of the 8th master

Folio 44 v. a

Translation

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.

Interpretation

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 - 8th master

Horseback – 4th scholar of the 8th master

Folio 44 r. d

Translation

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.

Interpretation

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 - 8th master, Uncategorized

Horseback – 3rd scholar of the 8th master

Folio 44 r. c

Translation

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.

Explanation

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 - 8th master

Horseback – 2nd scholar of the 8th master

Folio 44 r. b

Translation

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.

Explanation

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 - 8th master

Horseback – 1st scholar of the 8th master

Folio 44 r. a

Translation

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.

Explanation

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 - 8th master, Uncategorized

Horseback – 8th master

Folio 43 v. d

Translation

Also this Posta Coda Longa 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 begins the plays of Posta Coda Longa that always beat aside in the way that is previously described in the first Posta Coda Longa.

Explanation

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