Sword in two hands – 11th scholar of the 2nd master – Wide play

Folio 26 v. d


The scholar who is before me beat the sword of the player to the ground, and I complete his play in this way. Beating his sword to the ground, I forcefully put my right foot over his sword. I can break it, or bend it in such a way that he will no longer be able to use it. And this is not enough for me, for as soon as I place my foot on his sword, I use the false blade of my sword to strike with intent under his beard into his neck. And immediately I go back with a downward cut of my sword for the arms or the hands, as drawn.


This play is a variation on the 10th scholar of the 2nd master. From the crossing of the master play, beat your opponents sword to the ground as the 10th scholar describes, clearing a space for you to enter into your opponent.

Step through with your right foot, except here, place it on your opponents blade. Use the ball of your foot to ensure the blade is tipped slightly. Then with the sole of your foot safely on the flat of the blade, put your weight down, landing in posta dente di zenghiaro.

This will cause the sword to either bend, snap, be levered from your opponents grasp, or some combination of all of those things. The sudden leverage will also tend to tip your opponent forward slightly, exposing their head.

With a fast double cut action, strike up with the false blade into the neck, then down again onto the hands. This ostensibly easy movement is worth exploring in some detail.

Because your right foot is holding down your opponents sword, your own feet are pretty much stuck in place holding it there. You cannot effectively pivot on your right foot to change your angle, nor can you lunge forward without releasing your hold. As it happens, your distancing should be excellent, but just bear in mind you have a second or two of relative immobility.

As you start from posta dente di zenghiaro, your elbows should be lightly resting against your ribs, making a soft, yet firm, connection to your core. Do not move them throughout the cut.

Bend your knees, drop your weight down, and throw your left hip forward. Although the ball of your foot maintains your grounding, lift the heel off the ground to get some extra distance and power. The ball of your foot, your heel, your knee and your hip should all be aligned, pointing directly at your opponent. This will drive your hip forward around 30 cm and solidly ground your technique. Keep the elbows touching your ribs and bound to your core, acting like the pivot point of a pendulum. Keep the forearms and wrists relaxed, and allow the momentum to fling the blade upwards into your opponents neck. This is a very fast, very tight attack.

Even tipped forward as they are, you are going to have a small target. You are aiming to put the blade over their shoulder, but under the chin. Specifically, you want to hit the carotod artery just under the corner of the jaw. If this is unprotected, such a strike will cause your opponent to dramatically spray blood everywhere and be dead within a couple of seconds. Even if they have neck protection, such percussive force to such a vital area will be seriously compromising.

Your hips are now fully loaded to make the same movement in reverse. Pull your left hip back, and with the elbows still touching your body, use your forearms to throw the sword down, aiming for your opponents wrist, just at the base of the thumb.

This is a short cut. The distance from neck to wrist is only around 60 cm, so it is not like you are going to cut the hand off. Be sure to keep your forearms relaxed, and drive this second attack with the force of your hips. It will certainly be enough to cut deep into the bone and damage the arm beyond use.

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