The Masters of Longsword

Fiore dei Liberi and his treatises Fior di Battaglia/Flos Duellatorum c.1410.
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The Masters of Longsword

Postby Michael Chidester » 30 Jan 2011 18:37

I'm often struck by what seems to me to be a marked contrast between Fiore's two longest sections, the dagger and the longsword. The dagger section is carefully and intelligently organized, with sections on how to defend with each of the different dagger guards in sequence; it's probably the best presentation on the weapon in any manual I've studied. The longsword, on the other hand, seems scattered and lacking any sort of logical sequence. The several Masters don't seem related and the order of plays often seems arbitrary.

Am I missing something? Does anyone know of a good article somewhere that could change my perspective on this?
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Re: The Masters of Longsword

Postby Joeli » 30 Jan 2011 21:45

I find even the dagger section a bit baffling, because it does not discuss the footwork of the attacker, the target areas can be a bit vague, how to hold a dagger is not discussed, and so on. Whereas the longsword, I find the stretto and sword in one hand OK once you go through the specifics of the crossing that leads to each play. The specifics on how to classify the plays are down to your interpretation and field-testing.

We look at those plays through the kind of a crossing you get - whether there's pressure in the bind, do you have the center line or not, are you crossed on the inside or the outside, do you have your point in a place where it threatens your opponent - and does your opponent have, can you leave the crossing safely - and how about your opponent, are you crossed at the tip, the middle or the full of the blade, and to which part of your opponent's blade are you crossed. This boils down to blade relation, pressure and blade position - but after a while you kind of just think of it as a crossing. And for one crossing you tend to get, there's one or two suitable plays in the book. Once you have some kind of situation-labels tagged on the plays in FdB, it starts to read more like the dagger section.

My teacher has a working draft of such an interpretation, you can get some sort of idea by digging through the article section of our school's website: http://swordschool.com/publications/articles.html
Especially this one: http://www.swordschool.com/assets/files ... Swords.pdf
But it's all a bit long winded, easiest to show with blade in hand.

What I would really, really like (short of Fiore bothering to post explanatory youtube clips) - is reading from a period source a bit of discussion about the general side of things - footwork, how to hold the sword, how to perform cuts, feints and parries, and so on. Now there's just biomech studies, cross referencing to other martial arts and sports and fencing people.
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Re: The Masters of Longsword

Postby Motley » 31 Jan 2011 17:05

I see it quite similar to Joeli, but then I am quite influenced by those articles and classes I have taken with Guy Windsor. It is the mental model of how the crossings work that makes the most sense to me. In my mind each technique needs context, you don't just randomly do something you need the right situation for it to work. Thinking about it like GW presents it helps me work out what is going on.

I am, as always, open to seeing other ideas.

For example Largo (this is roughly how it goes in my mind)

1RM, you have the line - thrust, he is supplying a little pressure to your tip - cut around.

2RM. his sword has been beaten wide in the cross - cut down to his hands and follow up with a thrust. The bind/cross is kinda neutral - step grab his tip and mess him up. He is super strong in the bind - colpi di vilano. He thrusts low - exchange, you don't get the point on - grab his hilt, or break it.

crossed at the full - kick him in the nuts/stomach

... etc

Stretto
His point is in presence and you can't just leave the bind or you eat steel - step to close and keep control and options are given. etc

Anyway that kind of thing. :-)

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Re: The Masters of Longsword

Postby Motley » 02 Feb 2011 18:15

no one else?
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Re: The Masters of Longsword

Postby Joeli » 03 Feb 2011 14:21

Well, until someone else with a word to say in this thread arrives, I could write my take on the sword in two hands section. It should hopefully be pretty damn close to how Guy Windsor interprets the book, since I teach at SES occasionally. I'm not much of a writer, but at least you will have something to chew on.

Guards: Collection of principles and tricks demonstrated with guard positions.
Classification of guards:
stabile - sword arm is well supported (and except in coda longa, the blade is available for your opponent to cross)
instabile - sword is not well supported, the blade is available for your opponent to cross
pulsativa - the sword is not available for your opponent to cross, hence you are the one to make the crossing

Largo:
1st master:
  • plays 1-2: you cross at the tips and you win or loose the center line.
2nd master:
  • plays 1-4: You cross and you win the crossing. Depending on the proximity of his tip and the height of his hilt, you might have to grab or kick to get a strike in his opening.
  • plays 5-6: You loose the crossing while playing the wide play.
  • plays 7-8: The widest (he abandons the crossing and strikes at legs) and the most narrow play (you both rush in, but the s words go wide) in largo
  • plays 9-10: exchanging the thrust
  • plays 11-16: breaking the thrust, lots of continuations, refers to stretto section
  • plays 17-18: switching to short thrust from a cut

So, when the blades go wide in the crossing, we have first have the tips, then at the middle of the sword, we have you winning to different degrees, and you loosing and stepping away from the center line under the crossing to make it wide. Then we have the two most extreme largo crosses and a long section on the thrusting.

Stretto:
  • 1st play: some exposition. My take is that the're is bind so that neither blade will get knocked wide by the initial contact. The points are threatening so that it is not safe to just leave the crossing without getting stabbed.
  • play 2: you win the crossing
  • plays 3-5: you intentionally loose the crossing
  • plays 6-10: the crossing is in the middle and you both play on the center line. Loads of continuations here.
  • plays 11-13: from left and right, you loose the crossing and immediately go for your opponent's weapon
  • plays 14-17: marrying the dagger material to stretto. actually just explodes the amount of plays once you start laying down the 1st master of dagger's plays here.
  • play 18: interesting tidbit - how to turn a left side mezzano attack into a stretto play. A good demonstration of the difference between largo and stretto, actually.
  • plays 19-23: disarms. you get your hands at his sword either over, under or through his arms.

So, you get basic crossing and you both winning, loosing and being more or less equal. Then going for the weapon from both left and right (strangely, you force the defender to knock your blade pretty wide because of the way you strike, I take it as going slightly against his weapon with your middle, while keeping your point close to your oponent). Then stretto and dagger, one seemingly unrelated play, and finally the disarms.
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Re: The Masters of Longsword

Postby Michael Chidester » 03 Feb 2011 15:18

Motley wrote:I see it quite similar to Joeli, but then I am quite influenced by those articles and classes I have taken with Guy Windsor. It is the mental model of how the crossings work that makes the most sense to me. In my mind each technique needs context, you don't just randomly do something you need the right situation for it to work. Thinking about it like GW presents it helps me work out what is going on.

Yeah, I'm completely ignorant of Guy's work.

Motley wrote:He is super strong in the bind - colpi di vilano.

Interesting, I have always equated this technique with Durchlauffen, not Schnappen.

Motley wrote:Stretto
His point is in presence and you can't just leave the bind or you eat steel - step to close and keep control and options are given. etc

Dividing the material into crosses at the weak, the middle, and the strong makes sense, of course, but there are strange outliers that don't really fit. How does punta falsa come from the second master? Or the play of slipping the leg and striking to the head? These don't seem to involve any kind of cross before they begin. And then there's the third (fourth?) master, who presumably owns the entire Giocco Stretto section, but a lot of those plays don't come from his crossing either. Not to mention organizational lapses like the counters to being disarmed appearing before the disarms section and the counter to covers on the left side appearing before (and in a different book than) the Master who covers on the left side.
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Re: The Masters of Longsword

Postby Motley » 03 Feb 2011 16:02

Hi Mike,

So Colpi di Vialno I kind of see as available from two places.

1) exactly as the text describes you know he is going to be a brute.

2) we are told that all plays descend from the cross, so I also see it as possible that we might not know he is going to be a brute until we cross then, oh feck he is heavy yeild.

I am not super familiar with with Liechty techniques you are referring to. I don't have my books here to check either. Could you expand what you mean or point me to the relevant Wiktenauer pages?

I see the Punta Falsa cross as being the light touch when he goes to cover your mezzani. It is still a cross of the sword. You sucker him into a strong cover which is about mid blade, hence 2RM. Or that is how I see it.

The hit to the leg again I see as one of two things. He just goes to hit your leg or you are crossed and for some reason he decides to leave the cross and go for your leg. To me the cross can be quite fleeting.

iirc the PD shows a left cross the Getty does not although it talks about it (ignoring sword in one hand for the moment, I think these are all options for a left cross in two hands too). I wonder sometimes if the side the cross is on doesn't matter so much? at the end of the section he tells us all the things he has shown us but all he really pointed out with the master was where on the sword it is not which side, so can we do it on either?

Why don't you think the stretto plays come form the cross of the of the stretto RM? What am I forgetting?

I see the stretto actions has happening then the points are inline so if you move you sword without controlling his weapon in some way then you will get stabbed, hence why most of the techniques are pins of some type.
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Re: The Masters of Longsword

Postby Joeli » 03 Feb 2011 18:40

Michael Chidester wrote:Interesting, I have always equated this technique with Durchlauffen, not Schnappen.

I have seen many play the colpa di villano like durchlauffen. The problem is, that it should then end as a double kill pretty often. Correct me if I am wrong, but with durchlauffen you mean that one would step through the point of crossing while yielding with his sword? The technique is much safer if your opponent is beating both of your sword wide, largo. If the opponent would leave his sword on the center line, you would be forced to keep it under control or you are risking double hits. That would be playing the narrow play.
Dividing the material into crosses at the weak, the middle, and the strong makes sense, of course, but there are strange outliers that don't really fit. How does punta falsa come from the second master? Or the play of slipping the leg and striking to the head? These don't seem to involve any kind of cross before they begin.
Not really crosses at the point, middle and full. The main factor with these thee remedy masters seems to be the position of the point. The first one is crossed at tips, points wide; the second is crossed at middle, points wide; the third is crossed at middle, points close.

The leg strike and punta falsa in my eyes employ some "falsita". You go for a crossing, but at the last moment do something completely different. Both plays start from the setting where one is striking and the defender expects to beat the attacker's blade wide. There's similar pre-emptive trickery in the first master of dagger, I will fetch the play number when I get to a computer (in a bus atm). [EDIT: it's the 10th play of the 1st dagger RM] I have seen the leg strike being played the both ways Dan said.
And then there's the third (fourth?) master, who presumably owns the entire Giocco Stretto section, but a lot of those plays don't come from his crossing either. Not to mention organizational lapses like the counters to being disarmed appearing before the disarms section and the counter to covers on the left side appearing before (and in a different book than) the Master who covers on the left side.
Yes, this is a bit messy. The position of the disarms is not the same in all of the books, and like Dan said, the master covering from left is only present in PD. To further confuse everything, plays of giocco stretto #2, 14 and 17 are pretty much disarms also, the last five plays of the stretto don't seem to be an exhaustive list of disarms in the system.
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Re: The Masters of Longsword

Postby Michael Chidester » 04 Feb 2011 04:04

Motley wrote:I am not super familiar with with Liechty techniques you are referring to. I don't have my books here to check either. Could you expand what you mean or point me to the relevant Wiktenauer pages?

Durchlauffen is running through (sometimes translated as 'charging through'). In a strange reversal, this is the only section where Liechtenauer really focuses on grappling options, whereas Fiore uses a cut. Liechtenauer's technique begins thusly:

Ringeck via Tobler wrote:Run through, let hang
with the pommel. Grasp if you want to wrestle.
When one comes strongly against you
the running through then remember.


Note: If he runs at you with his arms raised and wants to overwhelm you from above with strength, lift your arms and hold the sword with the left hand at the pommel over your head so that the blade hangs behind your back. Duck through under his right arm and jump with your right foot behind his...


Schnappen, or snapping, is a way of cutting out of the bind like this:

Anonymous via Tobler wrote:Or if he binds on your sword such that his point extends to your left side, then send your pommel over his sword and strike with your short edge to his head. This is called Schnappen [Snapping].
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Re: The Masters of Longsword

Postby Joeli » 04 Feb 2011 11:57

I did some reading of KeithFarrell's new Ringeck translation (thanks!) yesterday and found something about schnappen and zucken.

When Ringeck speaks of longpoint, he mentions: "Or if he meets the sword powerfully with the cut, let your sword snap round. Thus you strike in against the head."
In Fiore the pesant's blow is shown as a great strike all the way to the ground, to which the scholar makes a cover and turns his sword to the other side, so yeah - I'd say colpa di villano is close to schnappen.

But this one is a bit far fetched -- when Ringeck speaks of zucken, he mentions: "When you come against him in Zufechten, strike powerfully from above from your right shoulder in against his head. If he binds against the sword with a parry or suchlike, step in closer to him in the bind and twitch your sword up and away from his and cut back down against him on the other side of the head."
Up and slightly away during the moment of crossing is exactly how I do a punta falsa. Both sources speak of starting with a powerful cut. If the opponent responds accordinlgy, turn your sword around. The difference here is the angle of the initial cut and the blade action after the crossing, in the turn of the sword. While zucken and punta falsa maybe shouldn't be equated as the same technique, they do have a lot in common as they start from a similar set-up and have a similar aim. In Fiore terms, the second play of the crossing in punta di spada would look the same as zucken, even thoug the initial set up is different. (For example, to get a crossing in the points at the fighting distance where you could as well hit the head, the attacker must have re-directed his strike at the defenders blade)

It's maybe not too wise to assume you can equate between plays of Liechtenauer and Fiore, but they do provide interesting points of comparison.
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Re: The Masters of Longsword

Postby Motley » 04 Feb 2011 16:44

Michael Chidester wrote:
Motley wrote:I am not super familiar with with Liechty techniques you are referring to. I don't have my books here to check either. Could you expand what you mean or point me to the relevant Wiktenauer pages?

Durchlauffen is running through (sometimes translated as 'charging through'). In a strange reversal, this is the only section where Liechtenauer really focuses on grappling options, whereas Fiore uses a cut. Liechtenauer's technique begins thusly:

Ringeck via Tobler wrote:Run through, let hang
with the pommel. Grasp if you want to wrestle.
When one comes strongly against you
the running through then remember.


Note: If he runs at you with his arms raised and wants to overwhelm you from above with strength, lift your arms and hold the sword with the left hand at the pommel over your head so that the blade hangs behind your back. Duck through under his right arm and jump with your right foot behind his...


Schnappen, or snapping, is a way of cutting out of the bind like this:

Anonymous via Tobler wrote:Or if he binds on your sword such that his point extends to your left side, then send your pommel over his sword and strike with your short edge to his head. This is called Schnappen [Snapping].


Ah I see, I remember now, I would say closer to Schnappen then but cutting with the true edge. To me how you describe Durchlauffen looks more like like it's *place* would be filled with the single handed pommel strike although perhaps an interesting variation would be letting go with the right hand and running through. I am not sure that Fiore really hints at this though.
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Re: The Masters of Longsword

Postby Isto » 03 Jan 2012 15:07

Joeli wrote:[*]plays 11-16: breaking the thrust, lots of continuations, refers to stretto section


How plays 15 and 16 are related to breaking the thrust?
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Re: The Masters of Longsword

Postby CPenney » 29 Aug 2012 03:27

Rather than start a new thread I figured I'd add my two cents here on the masters of the longsword. I consider these to be the standard, "textbook" version of these techniques, and the crossings can come from other situations.

Gioco largo - the first two Masters come from a symmetrical crossing where one attack (dritto fendente) is blocked by a counter-cut (also dritto fendente). In this case, the attacker takes a step so that his right leg leads - the defender does not, and his left leg is leading as the incrosada is made. I feel that this 'standard' attack with a defence without a step can lead into either the first or second Master's crossings.

1st master of the gioco largo (crossing at the tip) - Fiore states in the Morgan that the crossing at the tip can withstand/stand nothing. I believe that this crossing at the tip is transitory, and the swords do not actually stop at this position. The defender covers by setting his opponents sword aside, and thrusts straight through, or cuts to the head.

2nd Master of gioco largo (crossing at the middle) - If the cover does not set the sword aside, and both cuts stay on target, and the crossing is made. Fiore says that this can withstand a little less than the crossing at the strong, and the simplicity of the plays reflect this. From this position, put the sword over the hands if you have the centre and thrust to the chest (with a step, which is as much to do with moving away from the centre line, thus staying away from your opponent's blade as it is to do with moving closer). If you do not have the centre and the opponent doesn't immediately take the initiative (he also wears a crown in the Morgan and P-D), grab the blade to cut to the head.

Master of the gioco stretto (crossing at the strong) - both players step into the play. At this point, both players are too close to effectively play with their swords in the conventional "two hands on the grip" manner (I don't get Guy Windsors view that the tips are more threatening here than in the gioco largo - there are no uses of the sword in the conventional maner in the gioco stretto - everything plays in too close). The Morgan says this crossing can withstand "a little", and this is where we see the most elaborate grabs, wraps and wrestling plays.

Anyway, that's how I see it. I feel I tend to think of it differently in places than other do, so I'm curious to hear what people think. :)
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Re: The Masters of Longsword

Postby admin » 29 Aug 2012 10:05

Hi, I pretty much agree with the second half of your post, but I have some issues with the first half.

CPenney wrote:Gioco largo - the first two Masters come from a symmetrical crossing where one attack (dritto fendente) is blocked by a counter-cut (also dritto fendente).


Why cut the person's sword? To hurt it? ;)
This is something I have seen a few Fiore groups doing on Youtube and frankly it makes me wince. It's bad fencing and goes against fencing principles and common sense. It is a reenactorism in my mind.
We may call this gioco largo incrossada a "parry". One person is cutting, the other is sticking their sword in the way (the images even cleary show the angling of the crossguard and the fact their point is up in the air). If you're cutting into it then you are doing it wrong (and making yourself an easy opponent to beat with feints). There is no reason to cut into someone's attack in gioco largo and it is to be possitively discouraged. This is not a zornhau, rebat or displacement, it's a parry. Hence the left foot still leading andf the point of your sword should end up in line to thrust - this is what prevents your opponent either making a volta to the other side and hitting you in the head or going gioco stretto and pommelling you in the face. If you cut instead of parry in gioco largo defence then you are making the most fundamental error.

1st master of the gioco largo (crossing at the tip) - Fiore states in the Morgan that the crossing at the tip can withstand/stand nothing. I believe that this crossing at the tip is transitory, and the swords do not actually stop at this position.


Yep, this is what pretty much everyone agrees.

The defender covers by setting his opponents sword aside, and thrusts straight through, or cuts to the head.


Say what? "Sets his opponent's sword aside". Do you mean offers a soft/collapsing cover? Setting people's swords aside in the conventional sense can not happen with foible against foible, because neither of you have any leverage to speak of.

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Re: The Masters of Longsword

Postby Motley » 29 Aug 2012 14:38

admin wrote:Hi, I pretty much agree with the second half of your post, but I have some issues with the first half.



I think the same as Matt here, but then Chris and I have discussed this at length many times :-)*

I think some nuances of what I think have changed recently but essentially I think I agrees with what Matt is saying in the rest of his post.

I think a lot of my issues stem from the 'counter cut' meme. I am really not sure where that comes from, it seems quiet entrenched in some Fiore interpretations this side of the pond though, but I don't see any evidence for it in Fiore.

Dan.

*EDIT: by which I mean I have gone in round in circles until I am dizzy! :-)
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Re: The Masters of Longsword

Postby CPenney » 29 Aug 2012 22:09

Hi, Matt.

admin wrote:Why cut the person's sword? To hurt it? ;)
This is something I have seen a few Fiore groups doing on Youtube and frankly it makes me wince. It's bad fencing and goes against fencing principles and common sense. It is a reenactorism in my mind.


To defend with a cutting motion is to present the most structurally sound part of your sword (i.e. the edge) against theirs. This defensive action is still oriented toward your opponent (i.e. if they step to cut, and only feint, they will still get hit. If they are actually cutting at you, then you ought to be able to make this cutting action that simultaneously blocks their attack, and yet stays on target towards them.

We may call this gioco largo incrossada a "parry". One person is cutting, the other is sticking their sword in the way (the images even cleary show the angling of the crossguard and the fact their point is up in the air).


Whatever you see in the orientation of the tip of the defender's sword that demonstrates that his defensive action is not a cut, the attacking player has the tip of his sword in the exact same orientation (i.e. if the point in the air means the defender isn't cutting, then the attacker isn't cutting, either). If there is any difference at all, the defender (at least in the Getty) has turned the true edge of his sword slightly into the sword of the other, which is consistent with how I perform the cover.

This is not a zornhau, rebat or displacement, it's a parry.


Fiore never says that they "parry" in this play - he says that they come to a crossing. He also shows that both players wear the crown of the Remedy Master (in three of four manuscripts). This is fundamentally inconsistent with the notion that one attacking player makes a certain attack, and the defender makes a different defensive motion that puts him into a uniquely advantageous position. On the contrary, what one can do, the other is supposed to be capable of (within the bounds of distance, and acknowledging that foot position will play a role as well).

The defender covers by setting his opponents sword aside, and thrusts straight through, or cuts to the head.


Say what? "Sets his opponent's sword aside". Do you mean offers a soft/collapsing cover? Setting people's swords aside in the conventional sense can not happen with foible against foible, because neither of you have any leverage to speak of.


I'm afraid I'don't know what you mean by a soft/collapsing cover. In the second play of the 1st Remedy Master, the Scholar has thrust straight through to the opponent's face/neck/chest directly from the crossing at the tip (note we are referring to about 1/3 the way down from the tip, according the drawings, so we're not talking about the last 4 inches or so). This means that a tip to tip contact, while "withstanding nothing," is able to defend the incoming attack and give the Scholar the centre line to thrust (or cut, as the Getty suggests). If this is an actual attack, with intent to kill, and the tip to tip crossing hasn't stopped the forward motion of it, it must have been set (deflected) aside so as not to threaten the defending Master. Looking at the image of the second play (at least in the Getty, and possibly the Morgan), the attackers sword definitely appears to have been set aside to his right.
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Re: The Masters of Longsword

Postby CPenney » 29 Aug 2012 22:32

Motley wrote:I think a lot of my issues stem from the 'counter cut' meme. I am really not sure where that comes from, it seems quiet entrenched in some Fiore interpretations this side of the pond though, but I don't see any evidence for it in Fiore.


Hey, Dan. I think it comes from the fact that posta di dona is shown as the 'standard' sword poste throughout the manuscript. It is shown as the attacking poste (one handed) in the sword in one hand, sword vs dagger, sword vs master in dente di zenichar and sword vs sword on horseback (basically everywhere we see a figure meant to show an imminent sword cut). The start of the of the sword in two hands section in the Getty shows the two figures in posta di dona, and describes how one stands before the other and is the contrary to the other.

On top of that is the fact that Fiore shows the masters of the sword in two hands (apart from the Master of the colpi di villano) in pairs of crowned figures, indicating that either combatant can perform the Masters plays, and aside from a minor turning of the sword orientation in the Getty (and the different feet forward) the Masters are shown (at least form the waist up) as being virtually identical.

Ergo, if you and a partner are in posta di dona, and he attacks dritto fendente, the same motion would be the most efficient way to put your sword in the appropriate position to defend yourself in a manner resembling the image.

Now, can the cover be made from other starting poste? Of course. Can we cross into finestra, as described in the description of that posta? Absolutely. I'm coming from the idea that we start with the basic "textbook" version of the play that is the least elaborate as possible, and agrees with the text by as may points as possible. Other variations are there to be explored, but I'm talking about the basic "sword lesson 1" that is shown in the text.
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Re: The Masters of Longsword

Postby admin » 29 Aug 2012 22:51

Thanks for the reply Chris. I don't want it to seem like I'm being bullish, but this topic is one of my pet peeves (not your fault!).

CPenney wrote:This defensive action is still oriented toward your opponent (i.e. if they step to cut, and only feint, they will still get hit. If they are actually cutting at you, then you ought to be able to make this cutting action that simultaneously blocks their attack, and yet stays on target towards them.


Well, I've stated my view above. If you want to whack other people's swords for some reason, rather than parrying them, leaving your point online and not being so vulnerable to feints, then you go for it. I'm not likely to be able to change your view through this medium. But in my view you're making yourself a much easier opponent to fight (or at the very least you'll be getting lots of double hits).
If you want to see pretty much identical parrying actions to the one I am suggesting just look at the Bolognese sources for more detail.

If there is any difference at all, the defender (at least in the Getty) has turned the true edge of his sword slightly into the sword of the other, which is consistent with how I perform the cover.


Either you are cutting at the sword or cutting at the attacker, you can't be attacking at both, not with that footwork anyway.

what one can do, the other is supposed to be capable of (within the bounds of distance, and acknowledging that foot position will play a role as well).


Gioco stretto is an equal incrossada, gioco largo is not. In the gioco largo 'section' the defender is in gioco largo and winning, the attacker is in gioco stretto. Thus the longsword section taken as a whole shows how both people can win if they pick the right play before the other person, regardless of which foot they find forward in the bind or what the distance is.
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Re: The Masters of Longsword

Postby admin » 29 Aug 2012 22:56

CPenney wrote:Ergo, if you and a partner are in posta di dona, and he attacks dritto fendente, the same motion would be the most efficient way to put your sword in the appropriate position to defend yourself in a manner resembling the image.


This is where the devil is in the detail though. The person who acts first is intending to cut a human body, the person who acts second is intending to prevent themselves from being cut and leave their point online for the thrust. You are not intending or needing to 'cut' their sword. Therefore the way you move the sword is different, both by necessity and also by design. Cutting into someone's sword is pointless, a waste of energy and slow unless you intend to beat it aside. Our beginners always start by trying to bat away attacks and then we teach them how to bind a blade - this is quicker, less vulnerable to feints, saves a huge amount of energy and leaves the point online for a controlled thrust. Flailing at incoming attacks is a quick way to get beaten in just about any form of fencing. Ask a sport sabruer or kendoka. Or a successful competition HEMA fencer.
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Re: The Masters of Longsword

Postby CPenney » 30 Aug 2012 12:22

Hi, Matt. I'll try to make a video this weekend, but I'm curious as to what this parry is you do, and where it is in the manuscript. In my "cuts as covers" post to Dan, I mention the sometimes circumstantial evidence I see for it, and I would also note that in other cases (like the sword in one hand, colpi di villano, exchange/break of point, spear and sword in armour) Fiore is very specific about how to make the defensive action (parry?), yet is silent on the matter regarding the crossing of the sword in two hands.

Again, this is proof of nothing, but I think that cutting towards the attacker, catching the sword as the attacker tries to take the centre with his cut is not only valid, in that it defends while covering the centre line, and leaves one in the exact place to do the Scholar's response. And if the attack was a feint with a step, I'd hit the 'attacker" in the case of a feint without a step, I should be better than to fall for it, or I'd end up in posta longa.
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