Sword in armour - Plays

Sword in armour – Master

Foilo 33 r. c

Translation

I come from Posta di Vera Croce with this cover, passing off the line by stepping diagonally. And of this cover, you will see what I can do, for my scholars will show it. They will compliment my play with a fight to the bitter end. Their art will show without doubt.

Interpretation

The Sword in Armour Master uses Fiore’s common theme of stepping offline with a beat and entering narrow play. Passing offline while beating your opponents weapon is also shared by the following.

From Posta Vera Crose, slide your right foot offline to the left. Step through with your left foot and sweep the blade across the body. Keep your right hand low and your left hand high so as to cover your whole body and make the action a smooth roll over. The step will provide plenty of hip motion to give this power.  Bring your right forearm back to your so as to chamber your own weapon for a strike. This will leave you safely on your opponents outside line ready for narrow play.

Sword in armour - Plays

Sword in armour – 1st scholar

Folio 33 r. d

Translation

I am the first scholar of the master who is before me. I do this thrust because of its cover. Also the Posta di Vera Croce and Posta di Croce Bastardo can do this thrust. I say that immediately the player delivers a thrust to the master or scholar that was in one of these guards, then the master or scholar should keep their body low and pass off the line, crossing their opponents sword and keeping the point directed at the face or chest, and the sword low as shown here.

Interpretation

The first scholar exchanges the thrust and immediately enters into narrow play. This is a natural consequence of following the cover of the Master of Sword in armour.

From either Posta Vera Crose or Posta di Crose Bastardo, step the front foot offline. If you move it to the right, you will dominate the centreline. If you slide to the left, you will change the angle of attack. Sweep your sword across your body from left to right, redirecting your opponents attack to the side. You do not need to move it very far. As soon as it clears your right arm, you are safe.

Step through with your left foot. Because both you and your opponent are using a half sword grip, you need to fight from the narrow play. When your left foot lands, the point of your sword should be nearly touching your opponent without needing to extend your arms at all.

Lock your right forearm onto your hip. Use your left hand to direc the point to a gap in your opponents armour. Push forward with your right hip, driving the point in.

You will also see the exchange of thrusts in the following plays.

Sword in armour - Posta

Sword in armour – Posta Breve la Serpentina (Short Serpent guard)

Folio 32 v. a

Translation

We are six masters who know combat well, and every one of us knows how to do that art well. And hand held weapons we care very little about. Of cuts and thrusts we defend ourselves against all who come against us. I am Posta Breve la Serpentina (Short Serpent Guard) and I put myself as better than the others. Those I give a thrust to will be well decorated by my mark.

Explanation

Holding the sword in this manner practically transforms it into a very heavy dagger, or a very short spear. It is a slightly lighter version of its counterpart with the pollaxe. This posta is primarily for delivering thrusts down the centreline, similar to the players attacking the Eighth and Ninth Masters of dagger. It can also sweep defensively across the body, strike with the pommel or use the point to hook around the neck for a throw. For these techniques to be effective, this Posta must be used at very close range.

This posta cannot effectively be made on the left side of the body. Making a pass from here will leave you in Posta Vera Crose.

Sword in armour - Posta

Sword in armour – Posta de Vera Croce (True Cross Guard)

Folio 32 v. b

Translation

The Posta de Vera Croce (Guard of the True Cross) is the counter I want to do to you. Your thrust cannot get through to me. I will cover you in the pass that I do, and with a thrust I will injure you without fail. You and the other guards do not do much to me. I know so well the art of combat that I cannot fail the crossing, for in passing and in crossing and in wounding, this is the art that does not fail.

Explanation

This is a rear weighted stance with the point of the sword facing away from the opponent. The sword handle is held low, while the point is high. The hand controlling the point is held with the palm up.

Posta Vera Croce is a sinistral stance and can only effectively be recreated on the right side of the body if you are left handed. A mezza volta will leave you in Posta Breve la Serpentina, which, although it shares similarities, has its own particular strengths.

Posta Vera Crose makes use of a common theme throughout armizare in that it can sweep across the body and then immediately counter. By half swording with this grip, the sword in many ways acts as a short spear, and indeed, both the Spear and Pollaxe sections contain a Posta Vera Crose. In all examples of this posta, an effective thrust with the point must be preceded by a pass and cover.

By heavily bracing the sword, this posta can very strongly beat aside attacks, and then deliver a powerful thrust through the opening it has created. The mechanics of half swording mean that it cuts very poorly, and has a fairly short striking range.

This posta can go on the offensive by using a pass to open a hole in the opponents defence and then driving the point through it. Alternatively, you can use the pommel to strike directly to the face (Armour – 8th scholar) or use it to hook around the opponents neck and throw them backwards (Grappling – 7th scholar/ Armour – 9th scholar).