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 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 two hands - Narrow play

Sword in two hands – 2nd scholar of the 3rd master – Narrow play

Folio 28 r. c

Translation

This is another play that comes from the crossing of my master. And from that crossing I can make this play and the others which follow me here. That is, I can take the player in this way and strike him in the face with the pommel of my sword. Also, I can strike him with a downward cut to the head before he can cover himself.

Explanation

In the play of the 3rd master, both swords were crossed at the mid point of the blade.

Drop your weight down low and step through with the left foot. As you do so, raise your hands to head height. Duck under you opponents blade while turning your own sword so that the handle faces your opponent and the blade extends over your shoulder. Keep the point of the bind stationary, and be sure that everything rotates around that point. This will allow you to safely roll under your opponents blade to the other side.

Keeping your elbow in close to your body, sweep your left hand across to grab your opponents right wrist. You do not need to push their hand. Just ensure that it stays out of the way.

Align your sword to your target. Use the handle of your sword as a heavy dagger, and make a fendente strike straight forward at the base of their nose. If you allow the sword to move off its alignment and swing in an arc, it will dramatically lose speed and power. Take care in all the excitement not to slide the blade of your sword across your own shoulder.

Your opponent will be left either with a savagely broken nose, spitting out a number of teeth, or both. Cut them down at your leisure.

Sword in one hand

Sword in one hand – Master

Folio 20 r. d

Translation – players

Here are three players that want to kill this Master. One to stab him, the other to cut, the other wants to throw his sword against the said master. It will be a great deed that he is not killed, for God has made him very skillful.

Translation – Master

‘You are cowardly wretches and of this art you know little. Do the deeds that you can only talk of. Come one by one, if you dare, and if you were a hundred I would ruin you all, this guard is so good and strong.’ I advance my front foot a little off the line and with the left, I cross sideways. And in that step across, beating your sword aside I find you uncovered, and make sure I hurt you. And if a spear or sword is thrown I will beat them all as I described by passing off the line, as you see in my plays that come after. Please watch for them. And even with a single-handed sword I will do my art as it is said in these papers.

Interpretation

The master of sword in one hand makes a universal defence which is common to Fiores weapon systems. Whether the master advances their front foot to the left or right is something Fiore never elaborates on throughout the many plays that use this basic concept of defence. Either side works, but the different steps give different qualities to your actions.

Defence begins with rear weighted Posta Coda Longa. Note that the right elbow is anchored to the hip. As the masters hip revolves clockwise, the sword will sweep across the body, providing either attack or defence as circumstances require.

Regardless of which of the players attacks, the Master uses the same defence. Cut upwards with a roverso sottano, beating the attack to your right. As you do so, step through with your left foot, so closing in on your opponent. This leaves you a clear line of attack to proceed with the plays which follow.

Sliding your front foot to the right is not only an instinctive way to move, but is also implied by the way different plays following on from both this master and others who use the universal defence. You will almost always be sliding your right foot to the right. Doing so puts you directly in the line of your opponents attack. You must be greatly assertive when beating the attack aside as it leaves no room for error. To your advantage, however, is that widening your stance will open your hips right up, and allow you to put a great deal of power into your beat. In doing so, you will dominate the centerline. The directness and mechanical ease of opening your stance will also make this method slightly faster.

Sliding your front foot to the left closes your hips off quite substantially and robs you of a lot of power, however, it also moves you off the line of attack. There is no need to beat your opponents attack wide, as you will no longer be standing where the attack is directed. You are more defining your right edge and will need to step past it. This changes your angle of attack and so opens up previously unavailable targets. The need to move further makes this a slightly slower method. Although a viable option, sliding offline like this is an unusual exception, usually done for tactical reasons rather than making a direct assault.

Sword in armour - Plays

Sword in armour – 2nd scholar

Folio 33v. a

Translation

When I see my thrust cannot enter either in the chest or face, because of the visor, I remove the visor and put the point in his face. And if this is not enough for me, I will use other, stronger plays.

Interpretation

This play is a variant on the exchange of the thrust. From the master play, you pass your front foot offline. Step through with your left foot and use the resulting hip movement to beat your opponents attack to the right. Keeping your hands low and your point high, lunge forward, stabbing your opponent.

What makes this play stand out is that it is a response to a very specific point in armour development. Helmets had evolved to a stage where visors were strong enough and common enough to be recognised as making certain previously legitimate techniques redundant. Fiore is writing at just the moment after visors require a workaround, but before they are being latched closed as part of a typical build.

Having made the beat, you will be in the range of narrow play. Just as your hips finish their rotation to the right, position your sword to its line of attack, then reach out with your left hand and push the visor up. Your right forearm should be locked to your right hip. Push the right hip forward and use that motion to drive the sword point into your opponents face.

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

The 3rd scholar of pollaxe also resolves the problem of visors in much the same way.

This play ends with the delightfully pragmatic piece of advice that if it doesnt work, then try something else.

Sword in two hands - Narrow play

Sword in two hands – 7th scholar of the 3rd master – Narrow play

Folio 28 v. d

Translation

When I am crossed, I come to the narrow play. I put the hilt of my sword between your hands and I raise both arms high with my sword. I will throw my left arm over both your hands, and I will wrap both arms with your sword under my left arm. And I will not stop striking you until I am tired. The play that follows me, that the scholar does, is my play and I want to do that next.

Explanation

When the swords are crossed at the middle as the 3rd master, with both combatants having their right foot forward, you are in a momnet of equalibrium. As the 7th scholar, you take the initiative by binding your opponents arms.

Using the flat of your blade, slide your sword down the length of your opponents blade until you hit their crossbars. Using the contact point of the crossbars and the blade as a pivot point, push your hands forward. You want the crossbar of your own sword to go between your opponents hands and underneath their hilt. As you do so, you will need to step through with your back foot. This is the moment shown in the picture.

Be sure to step in as deep as you can into your opponents space. Keeping your elbows in tight, drive your arms straight up. This will lift your opponents sword and hands. With your left hand, let go of your own sword and roll your hand over both your opponents arms. This is a movement from the inside to the outside, in a similar manner to a hooking block.

This will bind your opponents arms under your left arm. Your sword will be chambered to deliver the devastating flow on techniques of the 8th and 9th scholars.

Sword in two hands - Wide play

Sword in two hands – 4th scholar of the 2nd master – Wide play

Folio 26 r. a

Translation

This play is called the ‘Peasant Strike’ and is made in this way. Wait in a short stance with the left foot forward for the peasant to strike with his sword. Immediately that the peasant strikes, advance the left foot to the left side. And with the right foot, traverse off the line, taking the blow in the middle of your sword. Allow the sword to slide to the ground and immediately respond with a blow to the head or arms, or with a thrust to the chest as drawn. Also this play is good with a sword against the pollaxe, or against heavy or light staff.

Explanation

The peasant in this play is your undertrained, over enthusiastic opponent. Caught up in the excitement of combat, they make an instinctive and powerful mandritto fendente cut from their right shoulder moving diagonally downward.

Draw your opponent in with a short stance if possible. As they make their cut, slide your left foot off to your left side and block the attack in the middle of the blade with a Posta Frontale as shown in the master play. Your stance will need to be quite wide at this stage.

Step through with your right foot, bringing it across the line of attack. You have effectively switched feet and stepped to the left. As you do so, use the crossing of the swords as a pivot point. Drop the point of your sword and raise your hands, as the drawing shows.

At the end of our move, you should be looking under your right arm at your opponent. The sensation is something like a Posta di Donna Soprano, except that the sword is over the front shoulder rather than properly chambered behind you. Your opponents sword will slide off to your right.

Make a second step to the left with your left foot. Where it lands will determine the distance of your counterattack. The further around you step, the closer you will end up to your opponent. As you land, your hips will be fully wound up.

Unwind your hips and use the motion to deliver a thrust or roverso fendente cut to your opponent. You will need to arc your right foot around behind you to a certain extent as you do so to provide stability and give the exact angle of attack that you want.

This play can be used as a generic defence against any weapon being used to make an overcommitted attack.

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.

Horseback - 8th master

Horseback – 4th scholar of the 8th master

Folio 44 r. d

Translation

This is the fourth play. The scholar wants to strike his head and then take his sword in the way that you see drawn here.

Interpretation

This play does not concern itself so much with the strike as what to do next. Beat your opponents sword to the right and strike along the inside line, similar to the 1st scholar of the 8th master. Having hit, but not necessarily killed or unhorsed your opponent, you are now disarming them.

Scoop your right hand back towards yourself so that you are contacting the inside of your opponents forearm with your own. Hook your hand so that the pommel goes over the top of their arm as shown. The movement of the horses will slide your forearm down to the wrist until your hand goes under the crossbars of the sword, levering it from their grip.

Although shown working from the inside of the arm, this play works equally well from the outside. If you make your initial strike from the left, as shown by the 2nd scholar of the 8th master, you can just as easily drop the pommel onto the inside of your opponents arm, sliding your forearm along the outside. Although the application is slightly different, the mechanics of the disarm are the same.

Having completed the play, you can safely turn to finish off your wounded and disarmed opponent. Although it does not appear earlier, there is absolutely no reason why you could not use this disarm with a sword in one hand when fighting on foot.

Sword in two hands - Wide play

Sword in two hands – 6th scholar of the 2nd master – Wide play

Folio 26 r. c

Translation

When someone strikes at your leg, pull the front foot back, or step backwards and deliver a downward cut to his head as drawn here. Although with a sword in two hands you should not strike to the knee or below as there is too much danger to the one who strikes, because whoever strikes to the leg has no cover. If one has fallen to the ground, then you may well attack the leg, but otherwise, do not do it standing sword against sword.

Interpretation

With a sword in two hands, you should not strike at the knee or below. Here, the 6th scholar of the 2nd master gives a clear demonstration as to why not. It all comes down to geometry.

Imagine a circle whose centre is at the shoulder and whose radius extends along the line of the arm and sword. The circumference of the circle is at the swords tip. Where the radius of the circle is horizontal, it will reach the opponents head. This is shown by the scholar. Where the radius of the circle reaches for the opponents legs, it will fall short, as you can see with the player.

In practice, this makes for quite a simple technique. A cut to the leg is a relatively large movement, and you should be able to see it coming. Do not bother trying to cover it, but simply slide your front foot back out of range. Try to keep your shoulders in more or less the same place. As you step out of the way of your opponents cut, make a cut of your own to their head.

Your strike will be like a short snap driven by your arms rather than your hips. You should finish in Posta Longa. It is not a powerful cut, but instead relies on accuracy and a complete absence of cover from your opponent. Strike right into the centre of your opponents forehead.

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 one hand

Sword in one hand – 3rd scholar

Folio 20 v. c

Translation

I can wound with both a cut and a thrust. Also if I advance the foot which is front of me, I can put you in the middle bind which is shown previously on the third play of the first master of dagger. Also I could do the play which comes after me and in this way I can both wound you and also bind you.

Interpretation

Having beaten your opponents sword aside as described in the master play, use your left hand to control their sword hand. This action has been decribed in detail in the 1st master of dagger. Keeping your elbow in close to your body, lead with your thumb to catch your opponents hand. Once you make contact, roll your hand smoothly over, grabbing and controlling their wrist. This will turn your opponents sword to the left slightly, leaving you an open line on the inside.

With your sword in posta fenestra, and controlling your opponents weapon, you have a variety of options at your disposal.

By pushing forward with your right hip, you can stab your opponent in the face, as demonstrated by the 1st scholar. You could also make a cut to their head or neck.

Another option is to step forward with your left foot, spiralling your left arm along your opponents right arm. This will put them in a ligadura mezana (middle bind) as first demonstrated by the 1st scholar of the 1st master of dagger.

As mentioned, the 4th scholar of sword in one hand continues by both binding and striking at the same time.

The 5th scholar of the 3rd master of sword in two hands finds themselves in the same situation as presented here. They go on as the 6th scholar of the 3rd master to bind the weapon by grabbing the swords cross bar and locking the blade against the arm.

Always bear in mind that none of these responses should be formulaic. Although the entire book is written in the structure of ‘in situation a, perform technique b, followed by technique c,’ in truth, they are simpy options which would reasonably flow on. By learning the base actions that the plays are built upon, your aim is to be able to respond instinctively.

Horseback - 1st to 7th masters

Horseback – 1st Master

Hrs M1 p1
Folio 41 r. b

Translation

I carry my lance in Posta Dente di Zenghiaro (Boars Tusk Guard) because I am well armoured, and have a shorter lance than the player, so I can beat his lance offline diagonally upwards. And if I strike with my lance an arms length along the shaft, my lance will find his body and his lance will pass offline away from me. In this way I will do it.

Explanation

Carrying the lance low like this allows you swing it it diagonally up, knocking the players lance offline and leaving yours on target. There is a degree of timing required to get this to work well. Aim to contact the players lance in the middle of the shaft for best effect.

Sword in armour - Plays

Sword in armour – 8th scholar

Folio r. c

Translation

As you can see, the scholar who came before me wounded the player in the face with the cross guard of his sword, and I can readily wound him with the pommel in his face as you see below.

Interpretation

This play can be used either as an alternative to, or a continuation of, the 7th scholar of sword in armour. You have already used the master play to cover your opponents attack and close the distance between you. Take a second step with your right foot to move in to very close range. Cover yourself with your sword as you step through, using it to jam your opponents movement. At this point, you can make the play of the 7th scholar if the opportunity is there. Whether you make that play or not, continue your movement so that the axis of your sword lines straight up at your opponents face, and your right elbow points over their shoulder as shown.

Keeping your elbow still, pivot your hips clockwise and swing your forearm up into your opponents face. It should feel a lot like making an upwardly angled roverso strike with a dagger.

This will cause a great deal of damage against an opponent with an open faced helmet. Even striking against a visor or bevor will, at the very least, disrupt your opponents balance and win you the initiative to make the next move. This play can smoothly transition to the 9th scholar to throw your opponent.

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.

Sword in two hands - Wide play

Sword in two hands – 8th scholar of the 2nd master – Wide play

Folio 26 v. a

Translation

This play is called ‘exchange of thrusts’ and you do it like this. When your opponent delivers a thrust, you quickly advance your front foot off the line and with the other, pass across also off the line, crossing the sword with your arms low and with the tip of your sword raised to the face or chest, as drawn.

Interpretation

Exchanging the thrust is a crucial play to understand in armizare. From a stance with your left foot forward against a thrust from your opponent, slide your front foot off the centreline and beat the thrust with a transition to posta frontale. This leaves you making the cover of the 2nd master of sword in two hands.

Sliding offline to either side will be effective, although each option will have slightly different qualities. If you slide your foot to the left, you widen your stance, putting your body firmly on the centreline of your opponents attack. You will need to have a strong and assertive beat to win the space, but will also have a slightly shorter, and so quicker, line to counter along. If you slide to the right, you move your body out of the way of the attack, and then redefine the centreline as you step through. This is safer and requires less force, but is also very slightly slower in delivering a counter. Fiore tells us that both feet step offline, suggesting that it is the second option that he prefers.

Regardless of which side you step to, catch your opponents blade with the flat of your own. As you lock into posta frontale, give your sword an axial spin, to flick your opponents blade to the side. Keep your hands low and the point up, so as to maintain a cover against your opponent. Step through with your right foot, driving the point into your opponents face, throat or chest, as shown.

Although there are a number of steps involved, in practice this plays out as a single smooth motion. Also bear in mind that although described as a parry and counter, you can transition into this, or any of the 2nd masters scholars, from any situation which finds you crossed at the middle of the blades when in wide play.

Sword in one hand

Sword in one hand – 4th scholar

Folio 20 v. d

Translation

Your sword and your arm are well trapped and you cannot escape that you are humiliated by my means, because you show you know little of this play.

Interpretation

Against an attack, you have responded as the 3rd scholar. You have already moved from the master play to beat the attack aside. With your sword landing in posta fenestra, you have reached out with your left hand to smoothly catch the attackers right wrist. Then you rolled your hand over their wrist in a grab to control your opponents weapon.

This is the position of the 3rd scholar which the 4th scholar continues the attack from.

Shuffle your right foot up and then step out with your left foot so that you are stepping into your opponents space. As you do so, slide your left arm over your opponents right arm, so that the inside of both elbows press against each other. Keep your sword point directed at your opponents face. This is the moment depicted.

To finish the bind, keep rolling your left forearm around. You should end with your hand at shoulder height, your elbow in close to your body, and a 90 degree bend in your arm. Your opponents arm will be completely bound and they will be twisted off balance to your left.

Keep pushing your sword point into your opponents face. This will not only wound them terribly, but also push them so far as to ensure that the bind turns into a throw.

To put on the middle bind effectively, the action of the left hand has to be one continuous movement across the plays of both the 3rd and 4th scholars. You can also see the middle bind in the following plays.

Sword in two hands - Wide play

Sword in two hands – 9th scholar of the 2nd master – Wide play

Translation

This play comes from ‘exchange of thrusts’ which is before me. Immediately that the scholar who is before me does not put his thrust into the face or chest of the player, because perhaps it was that the player was armoured, the scholar should pass forward with the left foot and in this way he should take the players sword and he can then injure well with his own sword because the players sword is taken and he cannot escape.

Interpretation

The general theme of armizare as a broad rule is to rapidly close the gap from the point of contact to narrow play and finish the fight from there. This should ideally happen in two passes with the feet. The 9th scholar is a great example of the end point of this chain of events.

From wide play, you have first made contact with your opponent as the 2nd master of sword in two hands. At this point, you can still safely back out, but sensing an advantage, you have made the play of the 8th scholar of the 2nd master, stepping through your opponents defensive shell to deliver a thrust at them. The 9th scholar then takes a second step to grappling range so as to finish them off.

The play of the 8th scholar has failed to deliver a finishing blow, due to your opponents armour or clothing either deflecting or absorbing the damage. From the thrust, the point of your sword was high, but your elbows were anchored to your body and your hands held low. Keep your hands in this position as you step through and off to the side with your left foot. With your sword locked to your core like this, use the strength of your step to push the opponents blade, clearing a space for you to step into.

This will lever your opponents blade off to your left. Once the momentum of this move is assured, let go with your left hand and reach over the top. Grab your opponents sword hilt between their hands and twist it outward to emphasis this disruption, as shown in the picture.

If you need to, you can pivot on your left foot, arcing your right foot around behind you to an appropriate angle and distance. The further you pivot, the closer you will end up. As your right foot anchors onto the ground, use it to slide your sword between your left arm and your opponents blade into your opponent. The face, neck, or right armpit should all be appearing as likely targets. From there, you can make a repeat thrust or withdraw the sword completely to posta fenestra and start striking with either the blade or pommel.

Although this is a series of individual steps, it should all be performed as a single flowing movement from the moment of contact as the 2nd master through to the completion of the 9th scholar.

Sword in two hands - Posta

Sword in two hands – Posta di Donna Destra (Lady’s Guard on the Right)

Folio 23 v. b

Translation

This is Posta di Donna (Lady’s Guard) who can do all of the seven blows of the sword, and she can cover all blows. And she breaks the other guards with the great blows that she can make. And to exchange the thrust, she is always ready. The foot which is in front steps off the line and that which is behind passes across. And the opponent will be unprotected and this will hurt him quickly and surely.

Interpretation

Fiore gives us five different images of Posta di Donna Destra. Outside of this example, we can also see forward and rear weighted variants in the One is like the other section. From the six guards, we also see two more masters in Posta di Donna Destra. One of these is also in a forward weighted variant, and the other carries a boar sword.

Althouh most often shown looking over the shoulder, a feasable variant of this guard is to raise the lead elbow and look under you arm at your opponent. This will change the mechanics slightly and make for an exceptionally powerful downward cut. Such a variant is called Posta di Donna Soprano.

Rear weighting the stance move both your torso and hands out of range, while still leaving loads of potential to deliver an attack.

Regardless of the weighting of the stance, your left shoulder faces your opponent. The sword is chambered over the right shoulder and wound so far back that the point is in line with your left knee. The height of the sword tip varies in the different images, but is more often held down.

Turning the sword this far around means it has to travel a long way to reach your opponent. The distance involved means it loses a little in speed, but maximizes the momentum delivered in every technique. It is this momentum that allows the posta to make the claim that she breaks the other guards with the great blows she makes.

Posta di Donna Destra along with Posta di Donna Sinestra and Posta Porta di Ferro, is one of the Pulsativa guards. Pulsativa translates as to beat or pulse. In these positions you can move from a point of stillness to explode into action.

Sword in one hand

Sword in one hand – 5th scholar

Folio 21 r. a

Translation

Here I can easily wound you and take your sword without fail. By turning it around the hand, I will send you over in such a way that it is better for you that the sword be released.

Interpretation

The 5th scholar is a simple disarm to use. From the master play, step offline with your front foot, and beat the attack up and to your right, bringing your sword to posta fenestra.

Step through with your back foot. As you do so, extend your left hand out in a straight line from your hip to the pommel of your opponents sword. Keep your elbow in. With your thumb up, grab the pommel at the same moment your foot lands. You should be in the position as drawn.

As your weight sinks onto your front foot, continue the momentum of your left hand on an arc moving in to cover the body, and then back out. At the end of your movement your left elbow should be a fists width away from your ribs, your arm should be bent at 90 degrees, and your hand should be at shoulder height. Pull your hips back to square as you lock into this position.

In doing so, you may pull the sword out of your opponents hand. At the very least, they will completely lose control of it and the blade will be extending harmlessly out to your left side.

Continue your hip movement in an anticlockwise direction. With your left hand, you either take the sword or, if they dont let go, you pull your opponent further off balance. They will be wide open. Use your right hand to push straight forward with a stab to the face.

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.