Posta di Donna and all seven strikes of the sword

Fiore dei Liberi and his treatises Fior di Battaglia/Flos Duellatorum c.1410.
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Re: Posta di Donna and all seven strikes of the sword

Postby Mark Lancaster » 28 Aug 2012 13:04

CPenney wrote:
Mark Lancaster wrote:
CPenney wrote:I'm also curious about this exercise, but I will say that, given other instances of Fiore being what I'd call a little loose with some of his descriptions, that I'm totally comfortable with the idea that he didn't intend to throw all 7 strikes directly from the one PdD image where he makes the statement. I think it's just as reasonable that he was referring to PdD on either side. Of course, I have no proof of that :?

I disagree with this. Fiore is very specific about actions from Posta and you can't do all 7 colpi from PdD senestra without dropping into a two (or three) time move.


I will acknowledge that I haven't spent a lot of time trying to do all seven blows from right PdD, but I meant that all seven blows might come from both poste together (i.e. not seven blows from each). And from right PdD Fiore already acknowledges one two-time move (the thrust).

Hi,

Having the 7 colpi available across all versions of PdD is possible but that means that he's putting in confusing statements so it doesn't really scan for me, especially when they can all be done from this particular PdD.

Teaching that way would also be a nightmare "no, no when I said you can do all 7 I only meant 3 with this version"

The thrust isn't two time as you don't transition into Fenestra - simply raise your sword as you thrust (1.5 time at worst). It's no slower than a Fendente from this posta.
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Re: Posta di Donna and all seven strikes of the sword

Postby Mark Lancaster » 28 Aug 2012 13:15

Motley wrote:Mark, thanks for the extra details, are you assuming any footwork with the strikes or just cutting?

Is there anything in the language of the passage that would lead to this interpretation?

Cheers,
Dan.

Hi Dan,

It could be without any step as it is a back weighted posta (ie making distance with time of the body) or is could be a step with the normal mezzano and and acrease/gather with the reverse.

There isn't anything within the language as such. It's all from practical approach - starting with the mezzani text and trying to apply that to this PdD and then taking what works back to the mezzani text to see if it had possibly been misread.

It's still work in progress but so far it's fitting together. If this is correct about the mezzani colpi then it makes for some interesting points (a different thread maybe).
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Re: Posta di Donna and all seven strikes of the sword

Postby Bulot » 28 Aug 2012 16:55

Thanks Mark, I understand you point better now, it makes sense in respect of the text, and I actually like the fact that there are still people ready to shake interpretation to the very basics of the system.

The possible caveats, in my opinion :
-The "crossed-wrists" problem : One of the main reason I like throwing mezzanis from the left side with the false edge is that it's the best way to keep my wrists uncrossed in front of me (and fall in the all stretto/disarm trap).
-Postas : when I send a mezzani false edge from the left side, it ends in long point or full iron door or right lady's guard (depending if it lands high or low). It's convenient. Were I to send a high mezzano true edge, I easily see how it could end in a window-like position, but if I want it to end in a low position, I either have to awkwardly turn my sword to end in Iron door, or to end in something looking like a right Plough.
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Re: Posta di Donna and all seven strikes of the sword

Postby Mark Lancaster » 28 Aug 2012 17:37

Hi Benjamin,

Totally understand what you are saying and agree to certain degree. There may be a slight different in our cutting mechanics, but I don't get a "large" cross-hand issue. Also I'm only suggesting this from a left leg lead - if it is a right leg lead then I'd throw a false edge Mezzano from the left.

Going back to this PdD, to mezzano with the false edge on the reverse involves turning the blade and starting with the wrists crossed - however doing it with the true edge (which is already orientated towards the player) is much quicker and a stronger blow. This, of course, accepts your caveats, but it's a high horizontal cut so you'll probably be looking for a high posta on the right, including this PdD.

This gives the option for a good good quick blow that cannot be done easily false edge ... start in this PdD, body back; strike with a reverse mezzano true edge gaining distance by bringing the body forward; immediately drop back by moving the body back into this PdD and pulling the hands back above the head. That is a strong, quick attack and leaves you with the option of doing any of the 7 colpi :)

Cheers,

Mark
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Re: Posta di Donna and all seven strikes of the sword

Postby Isto » 28 Aug 2012 19:30

Fiore shows mezzani from the left side in the 14th play of the sword in two hands, the text clearly states it's done with a false edge.

http://www.getty.edu/art/collections/im ... 350601.jpg (lower right corner)

The blow done with a true edge would be more effective in the terms of destructive power (especially when done from the high position) but not as good in tactical point of view.
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Re: Posta di Donna and all seven strikes of the sword

Postby Bulot » 28 Aug 2012 20:56

Isto wrote:Fiore shows mezzani from the left side in the 14th play of the sword in two hands, the text clearly states it's done with a false edge.

http://www.getty.edu/art/collections/im ... 350601.jpg (lower right corner)

The blow done with a true edge would be more effective in the terms of destructive power (especially when done from the high position) but not as good in tactical point of view.


This is a right leg led mezzani. It doesn't contradict Mark's theory. Actually, I don't see anything in the treatise contradicting it explicitly, my disagreement comes from what I see as some of the system principles. I admit this is a very subjective reading, and it is up to debate.

Mark, I actually don't have a lot of difficulty throwing false-edge mezzanis from a dextra PdD. It does start with the wrists slightly crossed, but uncrossing the wrist while pulling on the pommel is actually what gives its power. I admit it feels very awkward at first, but with a bit of training it turns out to be perfectly doable.
I guess on this one, there is no absolute, and it comes down to personal preference. Thanks for offering an other point of view :)
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Re: Posta di Donna and all seven strikes of the sword

Postby CPenney » 28 Aug 2012 22:20

Mark Lancaster wrote:Hi,

Having the 7 colpi available across all versions of PdD is possible but that means that he's putting in confusing statements so it doesn't really scan for me, especially when they can all be done from this particular PdD.

Teaching that way would also be a nightmare "no, no when I said you can do all 7 I only meant 3 with this version"

The thrust isn't two time as you don't transition into Fenestra - simply raise your sword as you thrust (1.5 time at worst). It's no slower than a Fendente from this posta.


Hi, Mark. Even with the Getty and/or Morgan text, I think there are several passages, particularly in the sword poste, that may simply be unknowable without further information. While I agree (of course!) that the statement abut 7 blows has to mean something, it also seems difficult to interpret literally without re-interpreting or even ignoring other parts of the texts, such as the description of colpi mezzana. When they seem to be at odds with one another, which takes precedence?

As for a slightly more abstract interpretation that might refer to the posta in general, and not specifically to the stance and side illustrated, I think that is perfectly consistent with the manuscript - at least it's seen elsewhere in the texts. That's not to say I have proof of it...
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Re: Posta di Donna and all seven strikes of the sword

Postby Mark Lancaster » 29 Aug 2012 00:07

Hi Chris,

Hi, Mark. Even with the Getty and/or Morgan text, I think there are several passages, particularly in the sword poste, that may simply be unknowable without further information. While I agree (of course!) that the statement abut 7 blows has to mean something, it also seems difficult to interpret literally without re-interpreting or even ignoring other parts of the texts, such as the description of colpi mezzana. When they seem to be at odds with one another, which takes precedence?


But I don't think there is a conflict - Benjamin is happy with the false edge reverse and I've introduced a possible alternative that would allow for a true edge reverse, but both still allow for the PdD to be in line with the description of the mezzani.

I'd be interested to hear which other Posta you are meaning - although this is probably a different thread.

Cheers,

Mark
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Re: Posta di Donna and all seven strikes of the sword

Postby Mark Lancaster » 29 Aug 2012 00:17

Bulot wrote:Mark, I actually don't have a lot of difficulty throwing false-edge mezzanis from a dextra PdD. It does start with the wrists slightly crossed, but uncrossing the wrist while pulling on the pommel is actually what gives its power. I admit it feels very awkward at first, but with a bit of training it turns out to be perfectly doable.
I guess on this one, there is no absolute, and it comes down to personal preference. Thanks for offering an other point of view :)


Definitely no absolutes :D and I'd like to see that false edge blow at somepoint - it'd be interesting to compare with the way we do it.

As a final "brain strain" - all of the colpi also apply to one-handed use, so .... take a one-handed, left foot forward, sword in a right position/posta and then try a reverse mezzano. Most people will find this much easier and natural as a true edge cut - not proof but interesting thought and it doesn't stop the illustrated "3 bad men" posta giving the same mezzano false edge as it's a right leg lead.

(I can also break my own argument/points, but it's the examination that is important)

Cheers,

Mark
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Re: Posta di Donna and all seven strikes of the sword

Postby Motley » 29 Aug 2012 19:05

Mark,

I tried this last night and I can kind of see what you are saying. However I cannot really reconcile it with either the public Exiles, Matt's or Tom Leoni's translation.

I am going to have to remain unconvinced for the moment.

Sorry,
Dan.
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Re: Posta di Donna and all seven strikes of the sword

Postby Mark Lancaster » 30 Aug 2012 00:24

Hi Dan,

Which bit of the translation(s) do you think it conflicts?

Cheers

Mark
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Re: Posta di Donna and all seven strikes of the sword

Postby CPenney » 30 Aug 2012 00:38

Mark Lancaster wrote:I'd be interested to hear which other Posta you are meaning - although this is probably a different thread.


Hi, Mark. Here is where I'm coming from, but I don't know if it's enough to start a new thread over. The first play that took me a while to get before I realized Fiore wasn't talking directly about the illustration was in the dagger play from the Pisani-Dossi:

Image
Eighth Master Third Play
In armour this is a strong crossing Because from above and from under I can bind him This goes to the under bind And the one from above goes to the middle

Perhaps it seems silly now, but when I first read these (this must have been 2003), it took a while to realize that he was talking about both the crossed-arm cover above and below:
Image

I was stuck on the idea that the text had to refer specifically to the image it was with. Now, this is proof of nothing, but it was a minor revelation (to me) that sometimes the text does not always exclusively refer to the corresponding image, but to other situations/plays. To me, it is altogether possible that the seven strikes posta di dona line refers to posta di dona in general, not just that one left-foot forward position.
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Re: Posta di Donna and all seven strikes of the sword

Postby Mark Lancaster » 03 Sep 2012 21:00

Hi Dan,

Motley wrote:Mark,

I tried this last night and I can kind of see what you are saying. However I cannot really reconcile it with either the public Exiles, Matt's or Tom Leoni's translation.

I am going to have to remain unconvinced for the moment.

Sorry,
Dan.


Just asking about this again (not to change your mind or continue the discussion) because I'm really curious as to which text it goes against.

Hi Chris,

CPenney wrote:
Mark Lancaster wrote:I'd be interested to hear which other Posta you are meaning - although this is probably a different thread.


Hi, Mark. Here is where I'm coming from, but I don't know if it's enough to start a new thread over. The first play that took me a while to get before I realized Fiore wasn't talking directly about the illustration was in the dagger play from the Pisani-Dossi:

Image
Eighth Master Third Play
In armour this is a strong crossing Because from above and from under I can bind him This goes to the under bind And the one from above goes to the middle

Perhaps it seems silly now, but when I first read these (this must have been 2003), it took a while to realize that he was talking about both the crossed-arm cover above and below:
Image

I was stuck on the idea that the text had to refer specifically to the image it was with. Now, this is proof of nothing, but it was a minor revelation (to me) that sometimes the text does not always exclusively refer to the corresponding image, but to other situations/plays. To me, it is altogether possible that the seven strikes posta di dona line refers to posta di dona in general, not just that one left-foot forward position.


I'm afraid I remain really unconvinced (as before and for the same reaons). To paraphrase the play you've quoted ...

"This is a really good crossing in armour and you can bind him if he attacks from above or below. This particular illustration shows the attack from below and you'd then go to an under bind, if he attacked from above then you'd go to a middle bind."

So, I have no problem with that text (and I accept that the PD has to fit within rhyming couplets - so sometimes can be "squeezed" when compared to the Getty and Morgan).

Fiore is always cross-referring (e.g. the 3rd Play First Master Dagger is referred to in several places) and I just see this as part of a single integrated system.

It doesn't, however, lead me to think that the 7 colpi are "spread" across the various PdDs. The one we have been discussing is specifically named and if we break specific text from it then we can also mix-and-match the two Porto di Ferros (for example).

Apart from that - this PdD can do all 7 copli, but the others can't :)
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Re: Posta di Donna and all seven strikes of the sword

Postby Motley » 04 Sep 2012 14:26

Mark Lancaster wrote:Hi Dan,

Motley wrote:Mark,

I tried this last night and I can kind of see what you are saying. However I cannot really reconcile it with either the public Exiles, Matt's or Tom Leoni's translation.

I am going to have to remain unconvinced for the moment.

Sorry,
Dan.


Just asking about this again (not to change your mind or continue the discussion) because I'm really curious as to which text it goes against.


Sorry I didn't get back to you before.

The text in each of them just seems to be talking simply about cuts from the reverso side. I don't see how this hints at anything to do with which leg is forward more than simply whether it is a mandritto or reverso blow. These have been pretty universal definitions in any Italian fencing text I have read. There seems little room for reading more into it here.

Regards,
Dan.
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Re: Posta di Donna and all seven strikes of the sword

Postby Mark Lancaster » 05 Sep 2012 00:12

Cheers Dan,

It's difficult when forum text is the only medium. Hopefully we'll be able to meet up at some point and go through it (you must visit relatives over here???).

I have a sneaky suspicion that you may rotate your right hand to create a true edge cut - but it's best face to face.
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Re: Posta di Donna and all seven strikes of the sword

Postby Motley » 05 Sep 2012 15:44

Mark Lancaster wrote:Cheers Dan,

It's difficult when forum text is the only medium. Hopefully we'll be able to meet up at some point and go through it (you must visit relatives over here???).


I do, in fact I will be over in November, unfortunately my travel is severely restricted what with time and family commitments especially this time as my sister is getting married. The only free time I am likely to have is when I am in Scotland even then it is tight.
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Re: Posta di Donna and all seven strikes of the sword

Postby Mark Lancaster » 05 Sep 2012 16:47

Dan - I'll PM you.
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