Horseback - 8th master, Uncategorized

Horseback – 8th master

Folio 43 v. d

Translation

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.

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

Sword in two hands - Narrow play, Uncategorized

Sword in two hands – 5th scholar of the 3rd master – Narrow play

Folio 28 v. b

Translation

When I am crossed, I pass with a cover and boldly sweep both your arms like this. And I put this thrust in your face. And if I advance my left foot, I can bind both your arms. Or else, in the next play that comes after me I grab you. That is, I bind you at the sword and hold the hilt.

Explanation

In this play, you find yourseld in the same position as the 3rd scholar of sword in one hand, although you arrive here by a different path.

From the master play, which leaves you both crossed in the middle with the right foot forward, step through with your left foot to close with your opponent. As you step, make a hooking block with your left hand. Move your forearm in a tight arc which sweeps across the front of your body, leading with the thumb. As you make contact with your opponents right wrist, your hand is ready to roll your hand over into a grab. Simultaneously raise your right hand into posta fenestra . This is the position shown.

Having arrived at this point, Fiore gives us three options.

Firstly, you can hold your arms reasonably still and pivot your hips anticlockwise. As you complete the grab on your opponents right hand, this will simultaneously pull their sword off to your left and drive the point of your own sword into their face.

Secondly, by making a quick shuffle step, moving your back foot then your front, you can step to the outside of your opponent. As you do so, spiral your left arm from the inside, over the top of your opponents elbow, and then lock your arm close to your body. It will feel like making the start of a middle bind in the way it slides over the arm. You will find yourself in a very similar situation as the 8th scholar of the 3rd master of sword in two hands, except that your sword point will be facing forward.

Thirdly, you can progress to the 6th scholar.

Sword in one hand, Uncategorized

Sword in one hand – 1st scholar

Folio 20 v. a

Translation

What the Master said, I have done well. That is, I passed off the line with a good cover. And I find the player uncovered so that I can put the point to his face for certain. And with my left hand I want to try to send his sword to the ground.

Interpretation

Having beaten the attack aside as described by the master, you are now in Posta Fenestra. The structure of the player was unfortunately strong enough to resist your beat, and they still dominate the centreline.

Leading with your thumb, reach out with your left hand for a hooking block. Your wrist should sit in the angle formed by the players hand and the crossbar of the sword. As you roll your hand over the players wrist, the crossbar forms a small lever, twisting the sword offline to your left. Pull your left hand back so that your elbow locks into your hip. The blade of the sword will run down the length of your forearm. This is all done as a fast, smooth, circular motion. The player will probably still maintain their grip, but will be pulled off balance.

With the central line now wide open, thrust your sword straight into your opponents face.

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.

Sword in one hand, Uncategorized

Sword in one hand – 2nd scholar

Folio 20 v. b

Translation

I find you uncovered throughout, and will certainly strike you in the head. And if with my back foot I want to pass forward, I can make narrow plays against you, namely binds, breaks and grapples.

Interpretation

The 2nd scholar performs a very instinctive of all the sword in one hand plays. From the guard taken in the Master play, slide your front foot offline and make a diagonally upward cut from left to right, beating your attackers sword to the right. Move your feet forward if need be to gain the correct distance, and then cut back down along the same line. You are aiming to strike at the base of your opponents neck as shown.

If your opponent is well armoured and your aim has been slightly off, this may not have been enough to finish the job. You can still step your left foot through and enter narrow play, pinning your opponent with your left hand and striking again.

This same technique is also used in a different context in the 2nd Sword Play from Horseback.

Dagger - 5th Master, Uncategorized

Dagger – 1st scholar of the 5th Master

Folio 38 v. a

Translation

This is another way to damage the arm. And to come to other plays and locks, I start with this play. Also I say that if I were caught by a spear, with such a strike I would either unpin myself or break the head from the shaft.

Explanation

Although the application here is slightly different, the mechanics at play are the same as those used by the 5th Master. As your opponent grabs you, move your left arm so that your elbow is on your hip and your forearm is horizontal. Rotate your hip slightly clockwise so as to chamber your right hip. Grab your left wrist with your right hand.

Keeping your left elbow reasonably still, rotate your left forearm around to strike against your opponents elbow. Use your right hip to drive forward, simultaneously punching with your right hand and adding that force to the movement of your forearm. You will be in a nice Tutta Porta di Ferro Dopia.

You will hyperextend and damage your opponents elbow by doing this. How much damage is done depends largely on your opponents grip. If their grip is immovably locked into a grab, you should inflict a large amount of pain. At the very least, you will knock their hand free and turn them slightly. Either way, you will be left holding the initiative while standing primed to attack on their outside line.

Fiore notes that this will also work against a spear thrust which may have caught in your (presumably very thick) jacket or armour. Using the same mechanics in a different context, you can either knock the spear aside or potentially snap it altogether.

Pollaxe - Plays, Uncategorized

Pollaxe – 4th scholar

Folio 37 r. a

Translation

Because of this grip that I keep you in, I will strike you in the head with my pollaxe, and with my arm I will put you in the strong lower bind, which more than the others is mortally dangerous.

Interpretation

To make this play, you need to begin by breaking your opponents attack to the right. This gives you the opening you need to move to the outside line.

Holding the head of both weapons down and to the right, lunge in with your left foot. As you do so, scoop under your opponents right arm with your left arm. Make sure you are very close to your opponent. You will need to be able to reach the back of their shoulder with your hand. As you move, you can release the cover and raise your pollaxe for a strike, as the picture shows.

Pivot on your left foot, arcing your right foot behind you in a clockwise direction. Push into your opponenrts hips as you do so. Lock your left elbow into your body and lever down on the back of your opponent shoulder. They will bend forward at the hips, trapped in a lower bind.

You will now have the time and space to slide your hand to a more balanced single handed grip on your weaopn. There is a clear opening to strike to the back of the head, stab into the neck, or simply hold your opponent in submission. Other examples of the lower bind or variations of it, can be seen in the following plays.

Sword in two hands - Narrow play, Uncategorized

Sword in two hands – 8th scholar of the 3rd master – Narrow play

Folio 29 r. a

Translation

The scholar who is before me completed the play and now I do what he described. Your arms have been bound in the middle bind. Your sword is imprisoned and it cannot help you. And with mine I can injure you. I can put my sword around your neck without a doubt. And I can do the play that comes after me straight away.

Interpretation

Coming from the master play, you have stepped through with your left foot. Moving on the inside line, you move past your opponents sword and wrap your left arm over both your oppponents arms. The text tells us this play follows the 7th scholar. You could also arrive at this point as a continuation of the 5th scholar.

Be sure to step in very close. As you wrap your opponents arms, chamber your sword for a pommel strike. You will be in the position shown.

Lock your left arm tight to your body to hold your opponents arms. You are perfectly placed to make a series of pommel strikes into your opponents face. These will work best if you think of the handle of your sword as the blade of a dagger which you are using to make a series of fendente strikes. You want the sword to move in a straight line forward and back along the line of the blade. If you swing it in arc, you will rapidly lose power and control of your strikes.

The 7th scholar tells us that you can strike until you are exhausted. In practice, you should be able to deliver between two and five good solid strikes until your momentum runs out and your opponent collapses. This should be more than enough to finish the fight, however, if you choose, you can still continue as the 9th scholar.

Sword in armour - Plays, Uncategorized

Sword in armour – 7th scholar

Folio 34 r. b

Translation

When I come to the guard in the narrow cover, if I cannot wound with a cut, I use the point. If I cannot injure with either of these, I will strike with the cross guards or pommel. This is done according to what I decide. And when I am in the narrow play, and the player believes I want to use the sword, I am going to grapple if it gives me the advantage. And if not, I am going to strike him in the face with the cross guards as I said before.

Interpretation

Having made the master cover, the scholar needs to flow on to another technique. When cutting and stabbing are not options, pommel striking and grapping come under consideration. In the end, the 7th scholar opts for a cross guard strike.

The master cover has swept your opponents sword off to your right side. The very close range and the mechanics of the play mean that it is safe to move in false time. Keep your left hand reasonably still in space and step your right foot past it. As your toes touch the ground, begin the strike with your right hand. It will feel something like you are punching your opponent in the forehead. Pivot the blade around the left hand and make contact as your weight sinks onto your front foot.

There is no need to try and drive this technique through your opponent. Stop the sword at vertical and then transition to something else. Eyes are particulalry vulnerable to stabbing attacks. At the very least, your opponent will be momentarily blinded, allowing you a free shot. In a perfect hit, it is possible to drive the cross guard straight through the eyeball and socket and into the brain, causing your opponent to collapse dead at your feet. Most likely is they will suffer a fractured eye socket and be unable to either see or continue fighting.

Sword in two hands - Wide play, Uncategorized

Sword in two hands – 7th scholar of the 2nd master – Wide play

Folio 26 r. d

Translation

In this play, I fiercely kick you in the balls, and I do it to inflict pain and to make you lose your cover. This play wants to be done quickly to remove all doubt. The counter to this play must be done quickly, which is that the player has to take the right leg of the scholar with his left hand, and he can throw him to the ground.

Interpretation

Having made a posta frontale in the master play, the 7th scholar continues with the unexpected move of fiercely kicking their opponent in the groin. As Fiore alludes to in the opening sentence, even if you miss when making a groin kick, it is extremely distracting. Your opponents attention will be entirely drawn away from the sword.

It is interesting to notice that the scholar kicks with the toe rather than the instep of the foot. Either will work, but kicking with the toe gives a little more distance. Also notice that the kick is delivered with the foot that moves on the inside line. If the scholar in the above picture was to kick with the left foot, the kick would most likely skim harmlessly off the opponents thigh.

Delivering a kick like this is a four part process. First of all, you need to raise your knee to point at, or slightly above, your target. Keep your back straight, your elbows in, your shoulders down, and your head up. Keep the sole of your foot parallel to the floor. You will need to bend your supporting leg. Many people telegraph their kick by bobbing their head and sticking their elbows out. Dont be one of them.

Secondly, use the hip to flick the foot out. Keep the attacking knee still. If your are kicking with the toe, bend your toes back, and actually deliver with the ball of the foot. Even with the protection of footware, if you kick with the point of your toe, you will end up hurting yourself.

When kicking with the ball of the toe like this, other good targets include just above the pubic bone, and into the solar plexus. A well delivered kick to either of these targets will fold your opponent in half. If you kick with the instep of your foot, kick up into the groin. Be sure to get your distancing right, as if you connect with your toes, you will hyperextend your own ankle.

The third step is the reverse of the second. Without moving your knee, get your foot back as fast as possible. The return should be faster than the delivery. You will know you are doing it properly when you kick yourself in the arse with your heel. Your foot should still be parallel to the floor.

Lastly, put your foot down and attack with the sword. Where you put your foot and how you continue the attack depends entirely on the success or otherwise of your kick. Be sure to do it in a controlled and balanced manner.

If you deliver your kicks like this, they will be fast, tight, easily controlled, and capable of delivering a huge amount of power. For such a beginner level technique, few people kick well, and many telegraph their intent.

If you are on the recieving end of a front kick, reach your left hand out and catch their shin just below the knee. From there, you can do one of two things.

Easiest and fastest is to step through while sweeping your opponents leg across to your right. Use this in a similar way to the many examples of an elbow push. Given the more direct effect it has on your opponents balance, you will find it extremely effective at turning your opponent. Be sure to cover their sword as they turn. They will be left wide open to an attack.

More difficult and dangerous is to scoop your hand under your opponents calf muscle and throw it up and forward as you step through. Your opponent will fall on their back, probably with a torn hamstring. Stab them before they can recover.

Dagger - 8th and 9th Masters, Uncategorized

Dagger – 9th master

Folio 17 v. c

Translation

I am the ninth remedy master of dagger and I no longer hold a dagger. And this grip that I do against an attack from below is the same that the fourth remedy master of dagger makes against an attack from above, except I do it below. But my plays are not the same as his. The grip is worthy in armour and without, and from it I can make very strong plays, especially those that follow me. In armour or unarmoured, they are not doubted.

Explanation

As Fiore points out, the cover of the 9th remedy master and the cover of the 4th remedy master are essentially the same. They are just applied to a different set of circumstances. The 4th master defends against a fendente strike and tends to direct the opponents wrist. As the 9th master, you defend against a sottano attack, and more direct your opponents elbow. The mechanics of this means that although the grip is the same, the plays which follow from each different master are quite different to each other.

In both cases, the cover is the same you would use to grip a sword. With your left hand, take your opponents wrist. Grip tightly with the thumb and bottom two fingers. Use the top two fingers to provide direction and control. Your right hand grips half way up the forearm in a similar manner.

From here, you have lots of control over your opponents arm. You can easily manipulate their balance, and transition onto the plays.

Dagger - 5th Master, Uncategorized

Dagger – 4th scholar of the 5th master

Folio 38 v. d

Translation

This is a play to make you let go. Also, if I advance my right foot behind your left foot, you will be thrown to the ground without fail. And if this play is not enough, I will use others to give you a taste of your own dagger, because my heart and eyes watch for nothing else except for taking your dagger without delay.

Explanation

As with all defences of the 5th master of dagger, you are defending yourself here against another attempted grab and stab by your opponent.

Pin the hand against your chest with your left hand. With your right forearm held vertically, lift it over your opponents elbow and drop it straight down. As you do so, twist your opponents hand to the right, and make a shuffle step forward so your right foot is behind your opponents left.

Your opponents forearm is completely pinned. This throw actually comes from pressure delivered to the lower inside part of their humerus. Your opponent will twist and fall to the right. Your training partner will appreciate this throw. It is much more gentle on the recieving arm than simply twisting the wrist alone.

A slight variant, which I personally prefer, is to pin your opponents hand with your right hand, and then drop your elbow down the inside line as described above. This will leave your left hand completely free to cover agianst the dagger.

Sword vs Dagger, Uncategorized

Sword vs Dagger – 2nd scholar of the 1st master

Folio 19 r. d

Translation

If the master who is in the guard position with the dagger is attacked with the sword by a blow to the head, he passes forward and makes his cover and turns his opponent by pushing on the elbow. And he immediately follows with a strike. Also he can bind the sword arm in the same way as the fourth play of the sword in one hand can do. And also from the third play of the first dagger master you will find that middle bind that is near the face by a hands span.

Explanation

You are defending yourself against a fendente attack. The basic cover of the 1st master is the common pattern of stepping offline with the front foot, and then sweeping across the body as you step through with your back foot.

In this instance, you need to step forward with your right foot as well as across to the outside line. Holding the blade of the dagger against your forearm, cross the sword at the strong of the blade. This will make your cover much safer and give you far greater control over your opponents weapon.

Lifting your right elbow as high as shown here is mechanically weak and the arm is in danger of collapsing under the blow. Always keep your hand higher than your elbow. Ideally, the forearm should be held at a 45 degree. The attack should be directed to slide down the forearm to the right.

As you make the cover, reach forward to catch your opponents elbow. You will be at the position depicted.

Step through with your left foot. As you do so, push the elbow. This will leave you in a stable position, with a clear line to strike into your opponents neck or the right side of their ribs. Alternatively, you could reach over the sword arm, and stab then in the front.

Fiore also suggests that instead of pushing the elbow as you step through, you could slide your left hand under your opponents forearm and enter a middle bind. This will twist your opponent, leaving a clear line for you to strike down the centre to the face or chest. Examples of this counter can be seen being used by the 4th scholar of the sword in one hand, and the 1st scholar of the 1st master of dagger.

Dagger - 6th and 7th Masters, Uncategorized

Dagger – 2nd scholar of the 6th master

Folio 16 r. c

Translation

This half turn was made from the cover of the sixth master of dagger, and I have placed myself to quickly strike you. And even if you were armoured, I would care little, because I would push this dagger into your face, although here I have put it in the chest because you are not armoured, and do not know close plays.

Explanation

Block any overhead dagger attack using Posta Mezana Porta di Ferro. To continue as the 2nd scholar, you need to crowd right on top of your opponent. Your intended counter attack only has a very short range. In many ways, it can be considered an exchange of thrusts in miniature.

As soon as you complete the block shown in the master play, shuffle your back foot up. Much of the power of the block derives from the anchor of the back foot, so moving it will release the block to some extent.

As your back foot moves up, drop your right elbow to lock onto your right hip. Turn your hips clockwise. Keep the forearm facing forward. Roll the left hand over the top, so that your two hands define the vertical plane which is your right edge. This will turn your opponent slightly. Step your left foot forward so that it is behind your opponents front foot.

With an anticlockwise twist of your hips, transfer your weight onto your front foot and push into your opponent as shown in the picture. Use the twist to drive your dagger into your opponents centreline.

Aiming for the solar plexus will be the shortest and easiest attack, as your dagger tip should naturally roll there anyway. You may have to target your opponents face, throat or armpit, depending on their armour. Only do it if you must. The lower you strike, the faster and more powerful your attack will be.

Sword in two hands - Posta, Uncategorized

Sword in two hands – Posta di Donna la Sinistra (Lady’s Guard on the Left)

Folio 23 v. d

Translation

This is the Posta di Donna la Sinestra (Lady’s Guard on the Left) and she is always ready to cover and wound. She makes great blows and breaks the thrusts and beats them to the ground. And enters the narrow play due to her skill in traversing. These plays such a guard knows how to do well.

Interpretation

Posta di Donna Sinestra mirrors Posta di Donna Destra. At first glance, they appear to be functionally identical, but there are subtle differences between the two.

One of the pulsativa (pulsing or beating) guards, from here you can make powerful cuts, using them to either directly attack your opponent or break the thrust. With the sword chambered so far around behind the body that is rests pointing forward, this generates tremendous momentum.

In particular, from Posta di Donna la Sinestra, by stepping through with the left foot, you can easily enter narrow play, using your left hand in front to pin or bind the opponent, while your right delivers attacks using the sword.

Dagger - 6th and 7th Masters, Uncategorized

Dagger – 4th scholar of the 6th master

Folio 16 v. a

Translation

From the cover of my master, I made this hold. Armoured and unarmoured I can strike you. And also I can put you in the upper bind of the first scholar of the fourth remedy master of dagger.

Explanation

This play is functionally identical to the 1st scholar of the 6th master, although there are some subtle differences. Primarily, where the 1st scholar steps in close, the 4th scholar delivers the counter attack from where the cover is made.

Against a fendente attack, make the cover of the 6th master. You will find yourself in a high Posta Mezana Porta di Ferro. As you make contact and cover the attack, raise your right hand slightly and roll your hands to the inside line.

Your left hand slides to the attackers dagger hand and grips the wrist. Fiore shows the grip with the thumb up. This works fine for this play, however, if you want to transition to an upper bind as suggested, it will work better if you slide your hand under the wrist and grab with the thumb down. In dong so, you would have made the cover of the 1st master.

As you grab the wrist, roll your right hand back to chamber on your ribs, and then stab straight forward into your opponents solar plexus.

The scholar also tells us you can transition into the soprano ligadura – the upper bind. To do this, you need to grab the opponents dagger hand with your thumb down as explained above. Either before or after stabbing your opponent, drop your dagger. Reach behind your opponents right hand, and grab the whole hand, inluding the dagger, just like the 1st scholar of the 4th master. Cut straight down behind your opponents spine, causing them to fall down and back.

Grappling - Plays, Uncategorized

Grappling – 8th scholar

Folio 7 v. b

Translation

This one is a play with a leg throw which is not well assured in grappling. And also, if anyone wants to make the leg throw, they must use force and speed.

Interpretation

Fiore refers to this throw as ‘gambarola’ – leg throw. There are several subtle variations on exactly what he intended the throw to be, but a good interpretation would be the judo throw ‘osoto guruma’ – large outer wheel.

The object of this throw is to cut out both of your opponents legs as you twist them down. Begin from an upper grapple with your right arm over your opponents left shoulder and your left arm under their right. Shuffle your left foot forward slightly so it is level to or just behind your oppnents foot. Swing your right foot through so that it is completely behind your opponent as shown.

With your right ankle, catch your opponents left leg at the achilles tendon and scoop it upward. Straighten your right leg by raising it behind you. Put all your weight onto your left leg and with a straight back, twist forward at the hips. This will push your opponents shoulders backward as well as twist them to your left. Your opponent will roll over your hip and land on their back in front of you. You will be left holding their left arm to control and lock as you choose.

Be sure to move assertively and with constant flow. At the point just before entering the throw, both combatants are at a point of equalibrium. You hold the advantage because you control the movement, but if you hesitate at the point shown in the picture, your opponent can counter by using the same throw against you. This is why Fiore warns us the throw is not assured and must be carried out with speed and force.

Sword in two hands - Posta, Uncategorized

Sword in two hands – Posta Breve (Short Guard)

Folio 24 r. c

Translation

This is Posta Breve (Short Guard) that wants a long sword and is a malicious guard, but has no stability. Also always move and see if you can enter with a thrust and step against the opponent. It is more appropriate to use this guard with armour than without armour.

Interpretation

Rest your left forearm against your body, with your hand resting on your centre of gravity. Adjust your right hand so that the point of the sword is aimed directly at your opponents eyes. Relax your arms and keep your elbows in.

The blade runs straight along the centreline to your opponent. Pointing the blade directly at your opponents face gives a strongly foreshortened view. To a certain extent, this hides the action of the blade.

Although you cannot make effective cuts from here, posta breve is very good for making probing thrusts against your opponent.

Fiore confusingly classes this as a stable guard, and then immediately states it has no stability. As you can see, the sword is attacked directly to the hips, providing it with a great deal of strength, especially in the vertical plane. This is what causes it to be classified as stable. Fiores advice to keep moving when in this guard, as well as his claim that it is better to use in armour, suggests that it is limited in its capability and risky to wait in. This could be what he means when he states it has no stability.

In the ‘one is like the other’ section, Fiore tells us that each posta is its own counter, with the exception of those guards with the point on the centreline, such as this one. In this case the longer sword holds the advantage against its shorter counterpart due to its increased reach.

Grappling - Plays, Uncategorized

Grappling – 11th scholar

Folio 8 r. a

Translation

Because you have taken both your arms under mine, I strike with my hands firmly in your face. If you were well armoured I would leave this play. The counter of this play is that the scholar who is injured by the player in the face puts his right hand under the elbow of the players left arm and pushes strongly, and the scholar will remain free.

Interpretation

The 11th scholar does not feasably flow from the master play. Instead, your opponent leaps in to grab you around the waist, pinning your arms inside theirs in an attempt to throw you to the ground.

As they close in, step back to give your self some space, and bring your hands into the centreline close to your body. Put one hand on top of the other and hold them with the palms forward. Fiore shows the right hand on top, but it really makes no difference, just as long as one hand supports the other.

Put your hands into your opponents face as shown. As your opponent applies the grip, they will pull you towards them. Emphasise this move by extending your arms and lunging your front foot forward. This will push their head right back, unbalancing them and leaving them open for a throw.

There is some scope for variations in exactly how you place your hands here. You could open the fingers on your front hand into two pairs, and drive them into the eyes. You can use the heel of your hand to strike at the base of the nose and break it. You can grab the point of the chin and lever it backward. You can cup your front hand slightly to stengthen it and drive the fingertips into the hollow of your opponents throat. Although each of these will give slightly different results, they are all extremely painful and unpleasant to recieve.

As should be fairly evident, and as Fiore points out, if your opponent is wearing a helmet, this play will not work. It can also be countered which is explored in the next play.

Pollaxe - Posta, Uncategorized

Pollaxe – Posta Coda Longa (Long Tail Guard)

Folio 36 r. a

Translation

I am Posta Coda Longa (Long Tail Guard). I want to counter Posta di Fenestra and I can injure him every time. And with my downward blows I will beat both pollaxe and sword to the ground, and powerfully close to the narrow play as you will find in the plays that follow. Watch them one by one, I beg you.

Interpretation

Posta Coda Longa using a pollaxe is the same in mechanics and application as when making it using a sword in two hands. Take a rear weighted stance. Hold your left forearm close to your body and resting over your centre. With your right hand, extend the weapon behind you. This hides it from view, and allows you to generate plenty of momentum in your blows.

Although it appears to be very open, this is a good stance to wait in, watching your opponent. You can transition to another posta or move to the attack with surprising speed.

This is an excellent posta to move from when entering narrow play. Keep your left elbow locked to your hip. Use it as the pivot point for a strike as you step through. Your strike will be tight and very fast with lots of momentum. This will beat aside anything in its path and cause great wounds.

Sword in two hands - Posta, Uncategorized

Sword in two hands – Posta Frontale (Frontal Guard)

Folio 24 v. c

Translation

This is Posta Frontale (Forehead Guard), called by some masters Posta Corona (Crown Guard), which for crossing blades is good and for thrusts is also good. Also if the thrust is high, she crosses swords and passes off the line. And if the thrust is too low, she also goes off the line and beats its point to the ground. Also you can do otherwise, in that striking with the point return with the back foot and strike with a downward cut for the head or arms, then move to Posta Dente di Zenghiaro and immediately throw a thrust or two while advancing the foot and return with a downward cut to that guard.

Interpretation

Posta Frontale is more of a transition point than a position you would hold. From a separate chambered posta, you will arrive here typically after beating aside an incoming attack. Less frequently, you might also use it to sweep aside your opponents weapon to initiate an attack of your own. As it is drawn, you would come to this position from a posta which is chambered on the right. You could also just as easily move from a sinistral posta to posta frontale. The mechanics would be essentially the same, except you would end with your right foot forward instead.

From your starting posta, drop your elbows close to your ribs. Ideally, they should be no more than a handspan from your body. Extending your elbows will weaken the structure, however, the circumstances you are facing may demand this to a certain extent. How you hold the forearms determines the height of the sweep you are making. The illustration shows the hands held quite high. In other examples throughout the book, the hands are held almost as low as the knees. Keep the blade upright, but with the point tipping somewhat forward.

You want to move your hands in something of a horizontal circle. Catch your opponents blade at the furthest point with the flat of your blade. Your own blade will sweep across your body completely, brushing your opponents blade offline. As you lock your arms and sword in place, they will trace back slightly along an arc. Your sword will naturally twist along its axis, flicking your opponents weapon to the side. When done properly, it will have a soft quality to it. It is more a scoop than a beat. This is the moment pictured.

From here, you can step forward, making an exchange of thrusts. You can also continue the momentum downwards, breaking the thrust.

Fiores last suggestion is a combination set. Exchange the thrust, which will leave you in posta longa. From there, follow up with a fendente cut to posta dente di zenghiaro. Continue with a second thrust and cut combination from there, returning again to posta dente di zenghiaro.