Sword in two hands - Posta

Sword in two hands – Posta Tutta Porta di Ferro (Full Iron Gate Guard)

Folio 23 v. a

Translation

Here the sword guards of two hands begins and there are twelve guards. The first one is Posta Tutta Porto di Ferro (Full Iron Gate guard) that is like a great fortress. And it is a good guard to wait in against any hand held weapon, long or short, as long as you have a good sword with not too much length. She passes with cover and goes to the narrow play. She exchanges the thrusts and puts hers in. Also she breaks the thrusts to the ground, and always goes with a step. And she covers every blow. This guard gives those who use it great defence and does it without tiring.

Interpretation

Posta Tutta Porta di Ferro appears in variants across several weapon systems within armizare, being used not only in sword, but also grappling, dagger and spear.

Adopt a stance with your left foot forward. Keep your weight on the balls of your feet, your back straight, and your core engaged. Bend your knees slightly and drop your weight. This will give you a very fast, mobile platform to deliver your techniques from.

The real key to this posta is keeping your shoulders and arms relaxed. Your arms will hang naturally in front of your hips. Hold the sword lightly, gripping with the last two fingers of each hand. It is this relaxation as you wait that allows you to explode into action when the right moment presents itself. By relaxing, you also hold your energy in reserve and so do not tire yourself out.

Posta Tutta di Ferro appears open and unprepared, but gives you the ability to sweep your sword across, covering the entire body. As the hands are already near your centre of gravity, a sweep is achieved using a minimum of body movement, making it a deceptively fast action. When accompanied by a step, this is very well suited to exchange or break a thrust and simultaneously enter the narrow play.

Sword in two hands - Posta

Sword in two hands – Posta Fenestra (Window Guard)

Folio 23 v. c

Translation

This is the Posta de Fenestra (Window Guard) and cunning and deception always lend themselves to it. And of covering and wounding, she is a master. She questions all the guards, both the high and low. And she often goes from one guard to the other to decieve the opponent. And she knows well how to make powerful thrusts and to break and exchange such plays.

Interpretation

Posta de Fenestra is classed by Fiore as one of the unstable guards. Fast, mobile and deceptive, from here you are able to make cuts, thrusts or beats.

Take a rear weighted stance, keeping your body at a long distance from your opponent. Your front foot is able to quickly and easily move without being seen, allowing you to rapidly change your angle of attack. Hold your swords point of balance in the centreline of your body and keep the point threatening your opponent.

A volta stabile should be enough to drive the point straight forward into your opponents face, or by dropping the hands you can sweep the blade across your body and exchange the thrust as first described by the 8th scholar of the 2nd Master.

By pivoting the sword around its balance point, you will make fast tight cuts to either attack your opponent directly or break their attack.

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.

Sword in two hands - Posta

Sword in two hands – Posta Longa (Long Guard)

Folio 24 r. a

Translation

This is Posta Longa (Long Guard), full of deception. She is feeling the guards of the opponents to decieve them. If she can wound with a thrust, she will do it well. She dodges the blows and can strike back. She can do it more than the other guards who cannot use such deception.

Interpretation

Posta Longa holds the blade in the centreline with the arms extended, as if having just delivered a long thrust to the face.

It is one of the instabile (unstable) guards. The hands are separated from the core and it lacks structural strength. It is easily beaten to the side, however, the position of the hands means it is quite strong in the vertical plane, and so is not easily beaten up or down.

By constantly extending toward the opponents face, Posta Longa creates an unnerving barrier which keeps them at a long distance. To make any kind of attack, they must first beat aside the point, which is the reference to feeling the guards of the opponents.

Because the opponent is so far away, their techniques are more easily seen. This gives you time to avoid them by dropping back out of the way and making a counter attack.

Downward cuts and high thrusts all pass through Posta Longa.

Sword in two hands - Posta

Sword in two hands – Posta Mezana Porta di Ferro (Middle Iron Gate Guard)

Folio 24 r. b

Translation

This is Posta Mezana Porta di Ferro (Middle Iron Gate guard) because it is in the middle. And it is a strong guard, but needs a long sword. She throws strong thrusts and forcefully beats the sword up and then back with a blow to the head or arms, and so returns to her guard. But it is called a gate because it is strong, and is a strong guard who hurts as it breaks without danger and coming to the close.

Interpretation

With Posta Mezana Porta di Ferro, your sword is aligned straight down the centreline to your opponent, with the point of the sword hovering just above the ground. Keep the elbows relaxed, but held close to the body. This posta is classed as one of the stable stances, and it is the direct association of the blade to the hips that makes it so.

Used across almost every chapter of armizare, there are easily transferable descriptions of this posta. It appears in both the Sword in armour and Pollaxe sections. It also appears in the Dagger and Spear on foot sections where its application is conceptually the same, but in practice comes off as something of a variant due to the polar extremes of the weapon lengths.

Defence from Posta Mezana Porta di Ferro mostly comes from a strong beat up and to the right, followed by a cut down along the same line. It is also very possible to flick the point up, allowing a heedless opponent to run onto it, or lunge easily into a thrust. Given the straight line opposition of such tactics, these are safer with a long sword.

In all of these regards, it performs very similarly to Posta Dente di Zenghiaro. You can think of them as wide and narrow versions of each other. Where Posta Dente di Zenghiaro emphasises the beat and cut, the direct line of Posta Mezana Porta di Ferro more stongly emphasis the thrust.

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.

Sword in two hands - Posta

Sword in two hands – Posta Dente di Zenghiaro (Boars Tusk Guard)

Folio 24 r. d

Translation

This is Posta Dente di Zenghiaro (Boars Tusk Guard), because the wild boar uses this method to strike. It makes great underhanded thrusts into the face without stepping through, and returns with a downward cut to the arms. And sometimes it thrusts to the face and it goes with the point high, and in thrusting, steps forward with the front foot, immediately returning with a cut to the head or arms, then returns to this guard and immediately makes another thrust with an advance of the foot. Also it defends against the narrow plays.

Interpretation

Posta Dente di Zenghiaro is one of the stable guards. The sword is firmly connected to the core and driven directly by the hips. This is a forward weighted stance. A line from the toes of the right foot to the point of the sword form the base of a long isosceles triangle, with the left foot forming the triangles apex. When delivering a mandritto fendente cut, you should stop at or pass through this posta.

As the description makes very clear, by driving the left hip forward, the sword will deliver a powerful upward thrust or false edge cut. Delivering these while keeping the feet in place gives a fairly short range technique. Lunging forward with the right foot on delivery will obviously increase the range.

Regardless of whether you lunge or not, you will be perfectly placed to make a return cut along the same diagonal line, returning to your starting point, ready to repeat the pattern. The double motion of up and back along the same line gives a very short fast delivery. This is ideal for use in the narrow play, either as an attack or a defensive beat.

Sword in two hands - Posta

Sword in two hands – Posta Coda Longa (Long Tail Guard)

Folio 24 v. a

Translation

This is Posta Coda Longa (Long Tail Guard) that stetches down to the ground behind you. She can thrust and also cover in front and wound. And if it passes forward and strikes with a downward cut, it enters the narrow play without fail. This guard is good to wait in to quickly change to other guards.

Interpretation

In this posta, the sword is held low and behind you. You will need to turn your hips slightly more to the front than usual. Keep your left elbow resting at your hip, with the forearm crossing your centre of gravity. This anchors the blade directly to your core. It is this connection to your centre that puts the posta in the stable (stabile) category. Extend the blade behind you with the true edge down. The length of the sword is hidden from your opponent behind your arms.

By keeping the left elbow still and pivoting the sword from there as you step, it is possible to deliver a cut which has not only the momentum of a large swing, but which is also delivered with surprising speed. This is a good method to sweep away your opponents defences or attack directly as you rapidly close to the narrow play.

You can see other examples of Posta Coda Longa in the following.