Coda Longa

Fiore dei Liberi and his treatises Fior di Battaglia/Flos Duellatorum c.1410.
Open to public view.

Re: Coda Longa

Postby Motley » 05 Feb 2012 19:15

Michael Chidester wrote:
admin wrote:The way I look at it is this: For a posta/guard to exist it must have a strength or advantage. Something that makes it worth using instead of something else. Coda Longa is found in lots of systems, but I'm not really clear on what its strength is. It doesn't strike any harder than Porta di Ferro (in my view), it isn't any better at waiting in, it isn't any better at covering or giving conventional attacks. Why use it?

I suspect that the answer to this question is simple. Fiore includes it in the SITH, not because it's uniquely capable, but because it's the foundation of his mounted swordplay and he's just pointing out that it can be used on foot as well. If you really want to delve into what technical advantages it offers, that would also probably be the place to start.

Sent from my Droid Incredible.


Isn't the Choda Lunga of the mounted section on the left, effectively the unnamed SIOH 'posta' I don't think it is shown low on the right mounted.
Dan Sellars
Context is everything
User avatar
Motley
Lieutenant General
 
Posts: 2566
Joined: 20 Jan 2008 17:04
Location: Great White North

Re: Coda Longa

Postby Michael Chidester » 05 Feb 2012 19:32

Correct. Holding it on the right without the support of the left hand is too weak. It behaves the same, though.

Sent from my Droid Incredible.
User avatar
Michael Chidester
Colonel
 
Posts: 1425
Joined: 28 Sep 2008 00:20
Location: Brighton, MA

Re: Coda Longa

Postby Sean M » 06 Feb 2012 07:13

This is another area where it would be nice to know more about 14th and 15th century Italian martial arts other than Fiore's and Vadi's. We see Coda Longa in Italian treatises from Fiore through Dall'Agocchie, but was it a "traditional" posta in northern Italy in 1410?

One of Guy's articles talks about how he interprets this passage in terms of his giocco largo/giocco stretto theory. (As always, just because I cite something doesn't mean I completely agree with it).
how could anyone resist becoming
part of what I thought you were?
Sean M
2nd Lieutenant
 
Posts: 341
Joined: 26 Feb 2009 13:14

Re: Coda Longa

Postby admin » 06 Feb 2012 12:20

IMO the Coda Longa shown with the one-handed sword and on horseback is quite different, because of the fact that you are using a weapon one-handed. Having the weapon pointing backwards gives you the extra motion and leverage that you need to make a strong rebat of the opponent's sword or lance, as shown in the both those sections.
The sword two-handed (or pollaxe) however has a hell of a lot more leverage, having the fulcrum of the grip, which is why I ask - what can the Coda Longa do that the Tutta Porta di Ferro can't? Your mileage may vary, but I think I can hit something/someone just as hard from Porta di Ferro as I can from Longa, plus it's a bit quicker as it travels less distance.
I also agree that Coda Longa is good for waiting against multiple opponents and changing guard quickly... but any more so than Porta di Ferro?
http://www.antique-swords.co.uk/

I like swords more than you.
User avatar
admin
Emperor
 
Posts: 35036
Joined: 13 Mar 2006 17:28
Location: Guildford, Surrey, England.

Re: Coda Longa

Postby admin » 06 Feb 2012 12:24

Michael Chidester wrote:I suspect that the answer to this question is simple. Fiore includes it in the SITH, not because it's uniquely capable, but because it's the foundation of his mounted swordplay and he's just pointing out that it can be used on foot as well. If you really want to delve into what technical advantages it offers, that would also probably be the place to start.


I don't think that is the answer. He already shows how to use that guard in the sword in one hand section on foot. All he does in the mounted section is expand on that. But the mechanics are quite different to the 'longsword' of course because of one being one-handed and on the left and the other being two-handed on the right.
http://www.antique-swords.co.uk/

I like swords more than you.
User avatar
admin
Emperor
 
Posts: 35036
Joined: 13 Mar 2006 17:28
Location: Guildford, Surrey, England.

Re: Coda Longa

Postby Motley » 06 Feb 2012 15:07

I have a couple of thoughts.

Do you think that the continuation of momentum from a riverso Fendente could have anything to do with it? If you don't actively stop in TPdF then the sword naturally ends up in CL as a more natural resting place. So while in principle it is not that different to TPdF it is somewhere you do end up. I know that this is not really relevant to the whole waiting points dei Libei makes but may hve relavence to why it is a posta as well.

I do think that perhaps more power could be generated from CL as you have a bit of a torso twist and stretch on the left arm, already set up that you don't get with TPdF. In the Getty for CL the left shoulder and torso is twisted back while TPdF is in a more natural resting position (not straight, there is still some twist).

?
Dan Sellars
Context is everything
User avatar
Motley
Lieutenant General
 
Posts: 2566
Joined: 20 Jan 2008 17:04
Location: Great White North

Re: Coda Longa

Postby admin » 06 Feb 2012 15:14

Yes I agree that it is a position you find yourself in when cutting all the way through with a fendente from the left. But as you say, that doesn't really tie up with the text for the guard which is mostly about starting from that point.
http://www.antique-swords.co.uk/

I like swords more than you.
User avatar
admin
Emperor
 
Posts: 35036
Joined: 13 Mar 2006 17:28
Location: Guildford, Surrey, England.

Re: Coda Longa

Postby Michael Chidester » 06 Feb 2012 19:09

admin wrote:IMO the Coda Longa shown with the one-handed sword and on horseback is quite different, because of the fact that you are using a weapon one-handed. Having the weapon pointing backwards gives you the extra motion and leverage that you need to make a strong rebat of the opponent's sword or lance, as shown in the both those sections.
The sword two-handed (or pollaxe) however has a hell of a lot more leverage, having the fulcrum of the grip, which is why I ask - what can the Coda Longa do that the Tutta Porta di Ferro can't? Your mileage may vary, but I think I can hit something/someone just as hard from Porta di Ferro as I can from Longa, plus it's a bit quicker as it travels less distance.

All of that is true, but I still would not be surprised if his primary reason for including it is the mounted connection. All of the mounted plays could be considered Stretto, as well.

I do have to question your initial premise, though. Nowhere is it writ that all of Fiore's guards are created equal. Liechtenauer says "there are lots of guards, but these four are the best". Fiore simply says "here are lots of guards". What is the vitally important function of Bicornio? I can think of a couple really cool uses for it, but they're all tied into German winding, not Fiore's techniques.

Some guards seem to just be included for completeness, not utility.
User avatar
Michael Chidester
Colonel
 
Posts: 1425
Joined: 28 Sep 2008 00:20
Location: Brighton, MA

Re: Coda Longa

Postby admin » 06 Feb 2012 21:36

Michael Chidester wrote:I do have to question your initial premise, though. Nowhere is it writ that all of Fiore's guards are created equal. Liechtenauer says "there are lots of guards, but these four are the best". Fiore simply says "here are lots of guards".


Well, he does say that there are 12 guards that are similar and contrary to each other, with the exception of the three thrusting positions of Longa, Breve and Mezza PdF, where the longest offends first.

Before that he lists the 6 other guards which are not similar or contrary... Make of that what you will! :)

What is the vitally important function of Bicornio?


I have always been candid about the fact that I haven't really got a clue. I have heard lots of theories and had lots myself, but at the end of the day I believe there is simply not enough evidence in any of Fiore's treatises to say what it's for.
We only really know that it is *not* listed as a centreline thrusting position like Longa, Breve or Mezza PdF, that it is 'instabile' and does what the other instabile guards can do, and that the name Bicorno means two-horned and was commonly the name of a type of blacksmith's anvil in use at the time.

Because of this I pretty much ignore Bicorno.

Some guards seem to just be included for completeness, not utility.


Quite possibly. Given the text for Tutta PdF I would say that Fiore favoured it over Coda Longa anyway (as I do). He is very complimentary about its qualities. At the end of the day maybe we're splitting hairs and maybe he was too - maybe Tutta PdF and Coda Longa are almost the same thing.
http://www.antique-swords.co.uk/

I like swords more than you.
User avatar
admin
Emperor
 
Posts: 35036
Joined: 13 Mar 2006 17:28
Location: Guildford, Surrey, England.

Re: Coda Longa

Postby Isto » 19 Oct 2012 18:28

Do you have any thoughts of why Coda Longa is stabile but tutta Porta di Ferro is pulsativa?

Does the second row in the description of the guard in the Pisani-Dossi manuscript really translate to "I can offend forwards and backwards" as written in the Wiktenauer?
Isto
Corporal
 
Posts: 43
Joined: 02 Jan 2012 19:49
Location: Finland

Re: Coda Longa

Postby Megalophias » 19 Oct 2012 19:30

I would translate it as "I always offend in front and behind", but I don't think it makes much difference.
Jon Pellett

How do you know but ev'ry Bird that cuts the airy way,
Is an immense world of delight, clos'd by your senses five?
Megalophias
2nd Lieutenant
 
Posts: 366
Joined: 25 Jul 2006 17:24
Location: Calgary, AB, Canada

Re: Coda Longa

Postby CPenney » 20 Oct 2012 15:39

Isto wrote:Do you have any thoughts of why Coda Longa is stabile but tutta Porta di Ferro is pulsativa?


I don't. If we think of coda longa as a posta from which we can launch strikes, then it would seem that it should be pulsativa. If not pulsativa it should certainly be stabile. I would suggest that the definitions probably represent what the poste can do best - they don't represent *all* they can do. Coda Longa can certainly strike, but the text seems to emphasize the waiting that you can do from the guard - hence stabile.

Honestly, labelling tPdF as pulsativa is harder to interpret, to me. People talk about striking fendente from the guard, but the description is wholly centred on defence, with no mention of initiating an attack. EIther we assume the guard is meant to do more than Fiore tells us, or perhaps we're not completely clear on what pulsativa actually means.
Chris Penney
Ottawa Medieval Sword Guild
User avatar
CPenney
Staff Sergeant
 
Posts: 157
Joined: 01 Jan 2007 22:00
Location: Ottawa

Re: Coda Longa

Postby Isto » 20 Oct 2012 16:12

CPenney wrote:If we think of coda longa as a posta from which we can launch strikes, then it would seem that it should be pulsativa. If not pulsativa it should certainly be stabile. I would suggest that the definitions probably represent what the poste can do best - they don't represent *all* they can do. Coda Longa can certainly strike, but the text seems to emphasize the waiting that you can do from the guard - hence stabile.


Sounds reasonable.

CPenney wrote:Honestly, labelling tPdF as pulsativa is harder to interpret, to me. People talk about striking fendente from the guard, but the description is wholly centred on defence, with no mention of initiating an attack. EIther we assume the guard is meant to do more than Fiore tells us, or perhaps we're not completely clear on what pulsativa actually means.


I like Joeli's description in the masters of longsword discussion: "pulsativa - the sword is not available for your opponent to cross, hence you are the one to make the crossing".

The sword is not available for your opponent to cross in Coda Longa but if the main function of the Coda Longa is not crossing then it makes some sense to call it stabile instead of pulsativa.
Isto
Corporal
 
Posts: 43
Joined: 02 Jan 2012 19:49
Location: Finland

Re: Coda Longa

Postby The false edge » 27 Feb 2014 20:38

Regarding the difference between TPdF and Coda Longa, I'd say that Coda longa offers a much more attractive target, which would make it both good for waiting and invite someone to come in closer allowing moving into stretto. TPdF displays the sword in a much more direct way, not really drawing someone in. The strikes/thrusts from both posta's are similar, just the reaction they (could/try to) provoke in the opponent is different.
Does this make sense?
The false edge
Recruit in training
 
Posts: 8
Joined: 29 Oct 2013 13:42

Re: Coda Longa

Postby CPenney » 27 Mar 2014 01:12

Now that we've resurrected a threat from a year and a half ago. :)
Isto wrote:
CPenney wrote:Honestly, labelling tPdF as pulsativa is harder to interpret, to me. People talk about striking fendente from the guard, but the description is wholly centred on defence, with no mention of initiating an attack. EIther we assume the guard is meant to do more than Fiore tells us, or perhaps we're not completely clear on what pulsativa actually means.


I like Joeli's description in the masters of longsword discussion: "pulsativa - the sword is not available for your opponent to cross, hence you are the one to make the crossing".

The sword is not available for your opponent to cross in Coda Longa but if the main function of the Coda Longa is not crossing then it makes some sense to call it stabile instead of pulsativa.


I'm not sure I agree that crossing isn't its main function. Fiore says that you can enter the gioco stretto with a fendente, so crossing is certainly one of it's functions. Based on that, might we not consider coda longa to be a pulsativa guard?

Matt, I'd also disagree that one could strike as hard from tPdF - at least, Fiore says nothing about striking from the guard, where he explicitly does mention the fendente from coda longa. I also think starting from as far back as coda longaallows for much greater power generation.
Chris Penney
Ottawa Medieval Sword Guild
User avatar
CPenney
Staff Sergeant
 
Posts: 157
Joined: 01 Jan 2007 22:00
Location: Ottawa

Re: Coda Longa

Postby admin » 11 Apr 2014 11:06

In theory, of course this is correct - it is further away from the target and can therefore spend more time accelerating.
However, is that really applicable or useful in a fight against an opponent? What advantage would striking that hard and taking that long to arrive at the target possibly confer?
Personally I think the reason he mentions the fendente is because looking at the position it is not immediately obvious that you can cut downwards from it, so he's reminding you. Much like the thrust by moving the hands over the head.
http://www.antique-swords.co.uk/

I like swords more than you.
User avatar
admin
Emperor
 
Posts: 35036
Joined: 13 Mar 2006 17:28
Location: Guildford, Surrey, England.

Re: Coda Longa

Postby CPenney » 13 Apr 2014 14:22

admin wrote:In theory, of course this is correct - it is further away from the target and can therefore spend more time accelerating.
However, is that really applicable or useful in a fight against an opponent? What advantage would striking that hard and taking that long to arrive at the target possibly confer?
Personally I think the reason he mentions the fendente is because looking at the position it is not immediately obvious that you can cut downwards from it, so he's reminding you. Much like the thrust by moving the hands over the head.


Before getting into possible advantages of striking hard, I first look at the manuscripts. Fiore shows his most powerful striking guards (i.e. posta di dona) almost exclusively rear-weighted, which is primarily going to add power. This is one of the reasons that I suspect that Fiore emphasizes the rear-weighted guards.

I'd say that the advantage would be that a powerful strike could blow through a less powerful cut generated by the wrists/forearms (I have a pet theory that this is what Fiore means when he refers to fendente and posta di dona "breaking guards"). This does lead me to wonder about the balance between quickness and power - it's clear that most practitioners seem to emphasize the quickness of strikes, but I think that there is ample evidence in the manuscript supporting the value of power. There is also a question of degrees here - I'm not saying full power, no matter how long it takes, though a lot of videos I've seen to seem to show people putting virtually *all* emphasis on the quickness of their strikes.

I definitely agree that coda longa is a difficult posta to interpret, but to me, the part of the posta that requires further explanation is the notion that the guard is "good for thrusts", rather than the reference to fendente.
Chris Penney
Ottawa Medieval Sword Guild
User avatar
CPenney
Staff Sergeant
 
Posts: 157
Joined: 01 Jan 2007 22:00
Location: Ottawa

Re: Coda Longa

Postby admin » 14 Apr 2014 12:30

CPenney wrote:Before getting into possible advantages of striking hard, I first look at the manuscripts. Fiore shows his most powerful striking guards (i.e. posta di dona) almost exclusively rear-weighted, which is primarily going to add power.


But as you know, he clearly states that all posta can be forward or back weighted, so this point is moot. Back-weighting is done for all sorts of reasons - it was normal in some later fencing, for example certain rapier masters did it, many smallsworders did it and some sabre teachers (eg. Angelo) did it - they were not doing it to give more powerful strikes :).

In my humble opinion, when people back-weight their posta di donna in order try to hit as hard as possible from it, they generally end up being slow, clumsy and tend to get skewered in short order. Striking like a villano is not clever fencing. :)

The volta stabile transition from back-weight to front-weight should be done lightly, quickly and smoothly. We aren't chopping trees down.

This is one of the reasons that I suspect that Fiore emphasizes the rear-weighted guards.


He doesn't though. He shows both front and rear-weighted guards and specifically says that any guard can do either. Some guards he even illustrates both versions.
http://www.antique-swords.co.uk/

I like swords more than you.
User avatar
admin
Emperor
 
Posts: 35036
Joined: 13 Mar 2006 17:28
Location: Guildford, Surrey, England.

Re: Coda Longa

Postby Mark Lancaster » 16 Apr 2014 07:50

Out take is that the development of the Fendente is much 'cleaner' as it's linear in direction. From PdF the blade has to be brought across into the cutting line.

This makes for a Fendente that is formed earlier and so gives it more development (rather than power) and so entry behind the cut to Stretto.

We don't raise the Fendente high, so the hands aren't doing that much different when compared to a PdF cut.

So our approach is that the earlier cut development allows for the entry into Stretto using the stronger Fendente cover. This isn't Pulsativa though :)
Mark Lancaster
Staff Sergeant
 
Posts: 198
Joined: 22 Jan 2008 00:54
Location: Norfolk

Re: Coda Longa

Postby CPenney » 18 Apr 2014 03:38

admin wrote:But as you know, he clearly states that all posta can be forward or back weighted, so this point is moot. Back-weighting is done for all sorts of reasons - it was normal in some later fencing, for example certain rapier masters did it, many smallsworders did it and some sabre teachers (eg. Angelo) did it - they were not doing it to give more powerful strikes :).


Why, then, does Fiore do it? To get a little tangential, why and when would any Fioreist do breve, longa or frontale rear-weighted? The passage you quote is one that I have heard a lot, but if this is what the quote means, how do people actually put this into practice, and for what purpose?

To be truthful, I consider that whole passage a bit of an enigma, but I have wondered if he is referring specifically to posta di dona doing volta stabile and mezza volta.

In my humble opinion, when people back-weight their posta di donna in order try to hit as hard as possible from it, they generally end up being slow, clumsy and tend to get skewered in short order. Striking like a villano is not clever fencing. :)


In my experience, people that do this (and people absolutely do) tend to just pull it out of thin air every once in a while. They do not tend to spend any time training the rear-weighted poste. I would suggest that the lack of control is a consequence of their poor training, rather than a flaw in striking from the rear-weighted di dona.

The volta stabile transition from back-weight to front-weight should be done lightly, quickly and smoothly. We aren't chopping trees down.


You'll get no argument from me.:) To me, the power from the rear-weighted position is about getting the whole movement of the body behind a blow, not about adding muscle or tension, nor is it about generating all possible strength with consideration for nothing else.

This is one of the reasons that I suspect that Fiore emphasizes the rear-weighted guards.


He doesn't though. He shows both front and rear-weighted guards and specifically says that any guard can do either. Some guards he even illustrates both versions.


Well, only in the Getty does FIore tells us that all guards can be both rear and front weighted. Furthermore, he shows weighted variations only in the Getty - the forward-weighted di dona at the start of the sword in two hands section (and again in the "first six" poste), and his unique "middle boar's tooth". Other than that, between the four different versions of the manuscript, guards are consistently shown one way or the other - including versions with the pollaxe and spear. Any reader (historic or contemporary) that didn't have the Getty manuscript would not have any evidence that guards could do both versions.

To go back to di dona, there are about 18 versions throughout all four versions, only two of which (both in the Getty) are front-weighted. If you do not consider FIore to have emphasized the rear-weighted version of di dona, I don't know what else he might have done! :)
Chris Penney
Ottawa Medieval Sword Guild
User avatar
CPenney
Staff Sergeant
 
Posts: 157
Joined: 01 Jan 2007 22:00
Location: Ottawa

PreviousNext

Return to Fiore dei Liberi

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest