These are three players who want to kill this master, who waits with the sword in two hands. The first of these three wants to throw his sword against the master. The second wants to hurt the said master with a cut or thrust. The third one wants to throw two spears that he has ready, as shown here.
I am waiting for these three in this guard, which is Posta Dente di Zenghiaro. You can also wait in other guards, namely, Posta di Donna la Sinestra, also Posta Fenestra Sinestra, with the same way and defence that I do from Posta Dente di Zenghiaro. In such a way and with such a defence these guards will do the same. Fearlessly I wait for them one by one, and I cannot fail against either the cut or the thrust or any weapon that is thrown at me by hand. With the right foot which is in front, I advance forward off the line, and with the left foot, I step across to beat aside the weapon from the left. And this way I do my defence, make the cover, and immediately go on the offensive.
The Mixed Weapons 1st Master uses a common theme of defence found throughout Fiore’s work. Although drawn as Posta Dente di Zenghiaro, Posta di Donna sinestra and Posta Fenestra sinestra work just as well here.
As the attack arrives, slide your right foot off the line of attack to the left . Strike up with a Roverso Sottano while stepping through with your left foot on a 45 degree angle to the left. This will beat the incoming weapon aside, leaving you in Posta di Donna. Your opponents weapon will be well clear giving you a wide opening through which you can deliver a counter attack.
This master waits for these two with their spears, the first to attack with an over handed thrust, and the other to come from below, as is seen. The master waits with his staff and dagger. When one of these men attacks with his spear, the master moves his staff to the right, almost into Posta Tutta Porta di Ferro, turning his body, but not moving his feet or the staff from the ground. And the master remains in his guard. And as one of these attacks, he beats the spear aside with his staff and with the dagger if he needs to, to his left side, and with that beat he passes and attacks. And this is his defence against the two spearmen who follow.
Translation – Players
We are both willing to hurt this master, but according to what he said, we will not do anything. Except we will not be decieved in this way. Instead, we will turn the head of the spears behind us, and we will strike with the butt of the spear. And when he beats aside the butt of the spear, we will turn our spear and wound from the other side with the spear head. And this will be his counter.
Explanation – Master
With a staff to hand, the 2nd master of mixed weapons makes the interesting choice of using it solely for defence and relying on the dagger for a counter attack against his opponents armed with spears.
The description is extremely clear. With your dagger poised to strike, and the base of the staff on the ground, swing your left hand across your body. This is a purely defensive move. Although the context is slightly different, the defence is thematically identical to Spear Posta Tutta Porta di Ferro.
As your opponent attacks, beat the thrust aside by sliding your left foot to the right of your staff and swinging your left hand to point directly at your opponent. Given the triangulation that your straight arm provides, and the fact that your body is moving to the right, this does not have to be a large movement. Bringing your staff back to vertical will be enough. Excessive movement here will only slow you down.
Lunge in with your right foot to close the distance with your opponent. In the unlikey event that the beat with the staff coupled with your stepping offline was not sufficient to keep the spear out of your way, you can also cover it with your dagger blade as you step through.
As soon as you are within range, stab your opponent. Stay in tight and keep stabbing until they fall over. As long as you stay in narrow play, you will have all the advantages.
Explanation – Players
The counter to this is the same used by the Counter to the first 3 masters of spear on foot, the Counter to the second 3 masters of spear on foot, and the 2nd scholar of spear vs horseback.
If you are attacking with the spear, as soon as your initial thrust is beaten aside, keep the momentum of that turn going, so that your spear spins a full 180 degrees. Make a second strike with the opposite end of your spear. Be sure to adjust your footing if necessary so that your attacks are always made keeping your opponent at a distance.
The only thing that sets this counter aside from the others is that Fiore recommends you preempt the defence entirely. Turn your spear around, making the initial strike with the butt. That way, your counter, which is the strike intended to do all the damage, will be delivered using the spears head.
This is the play of the master who waits for those two with the spears. The master has in his right hand a dagger, and in the left he holds the staff in front of him. He can do this play, and I do it also. But if this player was skillful, the dagger thrust could be well avoided. If he had widened his grip on the spear, and with the extra spear shaft that came after, he had covered under my dagger by crossing it, this would not counter him. And so his spear would wound me if he had been able to do the counter.
In this play, the scholar demonstrates what the 2nd master and players have previously described. Having used the staff to knock the point of the spear to the side, you now close in fast to your opponent. Use the staff to jam the spear. Your opponent has both of their hands occupied in holding their weapon, but they are too crowded to use it. Take the opportunity to stab them mutiple times before they can recover.
If your opponent manages to keep their head, they can still fight you off. Your staff only covers your left side. By taking a wide grip on the spear, turning it perpendicular to the line of attack, and pushing up under your dagger, they have effectively made the cover of the 6th master of dagger.
By then pivoting back on their left foot, they can sweep your dagger aside and break free of the narrow play. This will leave your right side exposed so that they can strike or stab you with the butt of the spear. For your own safety, once you get in close, you must do everything you can to stay there until you have finished your opponent.
This master will defend himself with these sticks against the spear in this way. When the one with the spear is near enough to strike, the master uses his right hand with the stick for the head of the spear. And immediately after that one he goes with his other stick, covering the spear, and with his dagger he strikes to the chest according to what is drawn after.
Here, you are essentially running down the opponents spear until you are close enough to use your dagger. The sticks the 3rd master uses could be any improvised weapon held with a single hand. It would work just as well with empty hands. It is worth noting that the dagger is implied, but not actually drawn.
As your opponent delivers their attack, step offline with your front foot, turn your hips anticlockwise, and use your right hand to brush the spear point past your left shoulder. There is no need to push the spear point way off to the side. As long as it has missed, you have moved it enough. Any further will be an unneccesary expense of time and movement, which will simply slow you down.
Step through with your right foot. As you do so, use your left hand to push against the spear and define your left edge. There is no need to push it further away. You are simply creating a barrier. The greatest danger at this point is that your opponent will strike with the butt of the spear from your right side. To prevent this, be sure to step in close and crowd your opponent.
As you step, either club your opponent with the stick in your right hand, or drop it, so as to be able to draw your dagger and stab them. The lesson of this play is not so much the finish, as how to close on your opponent down the length of the spear shaft.
I do what was described by the master before me, but if you knew the counter, it would be very difficult for me to do this. If you had lifted your hand with the spear under my dagger, then in such a way you would spoil it. Have this for not knowing what to do.
Against a spear thrust from your opponent, you have climbed down the shaft as described by the 3rd master. The use of rough cut branches here implies improvisation. Any sword like weapon will work just as well, be it a hammer, a candlestick, or a length of wood.
Use the right hand to make a brushing block against the spear head, moving it to your left. Do not spend the time and energy pushing it far off to the side. If it misses by just an inch, it has still missed.
Step through with your right foot. Using your left hand, define your left boundary. There is no need to push the spear away. You are just ensuring that you know where it is and keeping it out of harms way. Another valid option would be to drop whatever is in your hand, and grab the spear shaft.
Finish by making a strike with your right hand. The description of the master and scholar suggests that you drop the stick in your right hand and draw your dagger. Although a dagger is deadlier than an improvised weapon, such a move is dangerously slow. If you had a dagger to draw, you would be better off using it from the start. Using whatever weapon you are holding in your right hand, strike appropriately with it. As both your opponents hands are occupied with holding the spear, they will be wide open. As long as you stay close, you will have the advantage.
All your efforts have involved closing your left side and removing your opponents advantage of distance. If your opponent can keep their wits, they will keep their weight low and step back with their right foot, preventing you from closing. As they do so, they will anchor their right hand against their shoulder and push forward with the left hip and hand. This will drive the spear up under your right side in a tight fast arc, effectively making the counter to the scholar of the first 3 masters of spear.
In such an event, your best option would be to step through a second time so as to remain close. Sweep your left hand across to your right to jam the counter, and continue your attack with a roverso strike. Above all, keep pressing in and stay close. It is the only safe place for you to be.