Spadone – Lesson 15

Lesson 15 – The Thrust in 2nd Intention

Whilst we have briefly touched on this in the past, the thrust is also a devastating redoubled attack with the spadone. The only caveat is that this technique is really for one on one fights, not for melee. Most authors recommend the thrust be omitted from melee situations as the flow of the spadone can be broken quite easily during the thrust.

Thrust on 2nd Intention Partner Drill

This drill is taken directly from Alfieri's Lo Spadone, Chapter 10.

  1. Both start in Right Guard, Point Behind.
  2. Attacker throws a mandritto on a right step to the head.
  3. Defender parries with Left Head Guard, turning the vita into the parry with a volta stabile.
  4. Attacker rolls the hands up anti-clockwise to deliver an imbroccata to the head, lengthening the right step into a lunge.
  5. Repeat 5 times then switch roles.
  6. Switch to Left Guard, Point Behind, throwing riverso and rolling up clockwise to deliver an imbroccata to the head on a left step. Repeat 5 times each.

Thrust in 2nd Intention on a Pass Partner Drill

  1. Both start in Right Guard, Point Behind.
  2. Attacker throws a mandritto on a right pass to the head.
  3. Defender parries with Left Head Guard, turning the vita into the parry with a volta stabile.
  4. Attacker rolls the hands up anti-clockwise to deliver an imbroccata to the head, whilst completing the corrective step.
  5. Repeat 5 times then switch roles.
  6. Switch to Left Guard, Point Behind, throwing riverso and rolling up clockwise to deliver an imbroccata to the head on a left pass. Repeat 5 times each.

Thrust in Low Line on 2nd Intention Partner Drill

  1. Both start in Right Guard, Point Behind.
  2. Attacker throws a rising mandritto on a right step to the flank.
  3. Defender parries with rising mandritto, turning the vita into the parry with a volta stabile.
  4. Attacker rolls the hands up anti-clockwise to deliver a stoccata to the belly, lengthening the right step into a lunge.
  5. Repeat 5 times then switch roles.
  6. Switch to Left Guard, Point Behind, throwing rising riverso and rolling up clockwise to deliver a stoccata to the belly on a left step. Repeat 5 times each.

Thrust in Low Line 2nd Intention on a Pass Partner Drill

  1. Both start in Right Guard, Point Behind.
  2. Attacker throws a rising mandritto on a right pass to the flank.
  3. Defender parries with a rising mandritto, turning the vita into the parry with a volta stabile.
  4. Attacker rolls the hands up anti-clockwise to deliver a stoccata to the belly, whilst completing the corrective step.
  5. Repeat 5 times then switch roles.
  6. Switch to Left Guard, Point Behind, throwing riverso and rolling up clockwise to deliver an stoccata to the belly on a left pass. Repeat 5 times each.

Controlled Bouting

  1. In pairs with one person designated as attacker, and one as defender.
  2. Attacker attempts to hit to arms and body with redoubled attacks.
  3. Defender attempts to hit with parry riposte or counterattacks to arms or head.

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It’s all one system!

I’ve been teaching Bolognese swordsmanship for many years now, and one of the most important things to understand is that it’s actually all one system, not a collection of tricks for each weapon combination.

I work primarily out of Manciolino, with some additions from Marozzo. Both of these authors use sword and small buckler as their primary teaching system, and I follow this pedagogy as well. The buckler teaches dual hand use right from the start, and also gives students a great focus point for cutting actions.

One of the things that many people miss is the instructions for how to use the buckler. We get some simple instructions regarding how to hold the buckler in Manciolino and a relatively unhelpful instruction for how to use it to parry. What we really need to understand is that the use of the offhand in defence is really embedded in the sword and dagger material, which is where Marozzo really comes into his own due to his quite comprehensive instructions.

A prime example of how this works is  the crosswise parry with the offhand against the riverso. (Right handed fencers is assumed in this discusssion.) In the buckler material we get the unhelpful instruction to “defend the head with the buckler” from both authors. In sword and dagger though, Marozzo tells us to turn down the point and parry the blow with the true edge. This thumb down hand position (1st hand position in Classical Italian fencing) is a strong skeletal alignment, that forms a true cross against the opponent’s sword. The parry is also made close to the furniture on the oponent’s forte, preventing redirection. Now when it comes to holding the dagger, the hilt is held exactly the same way we hold the buckler handle, so this parry should work exactly the same way in sword and buckler and lo and behold it does. Our natural inclination  to make the buckler parry with the hand in 3rd (thumb up) creates a weak collapsible skeletal alignment,  but the thumb down position doesn’t! 

Without this dagger instruction, we wouldn’t understand the buckler parries, which is to use it exactly as we would with a dagger true edge parry. The instructions for holding the buckler tell us how to hold the dagger, but the dagger material really fills in the blanks for using the buckler to parry. Together, it all makes one comprehensive teaching  system! So the upshot of this post is that if you want to study Bolognese Swordsmanship, you can’t study the individual weapon combinations in isolation but need to look at the material holistically. I’ve been teaching the sword  and dagger material this way over the last term in 2016, with reference back to the buckler material, and have seen  the understanding of my students go through the roof!

Bolognese Swordsmanship isn’t just a collection of tricks for using different weapons combinations, it’s actually a beautiful art and system that teaches you core principles that can be applied to all weapon combinations! I love it, and it will reward you if you take the time to really plumb it’s depths.

Giganti Lesson 10 – Invitations

Review Lesson 9

Attacking on the pass

  • Threaten the face, then pass and hit to the stomach / chest
  • Repeat, but this time hand check the opponent's hilt for greater security
  • Invite to the outside, cavazione to draw the parry, the pass and hand check

Invitations

Invitations are a passive action designed to place your opponent into obedience, so that you can control their attacking action with a suitable defensive response. We have 2 primary types of invitations being taught in this lesson: those designed to set up parry response and those designed to evade blade engagement with cavazione.

The first type of invitation is the classic type of invitation, where we leave a line open for the opponent to make a direct attack, setting them up to hit them via parry riposte. The key here is to make the invitation in such a fashion that the opponent is constrained in the available options for a direct attack, and that they do not feel threatened by our sword point.

The second type of invitation is one where we place our point in line, so that the opponent must first engage our blade to make their attack. We will use the tempo of their gaining action to avoid the contact and then hit them with an attack by disengagement. The key here is to place the point in line in such a manner that the blade engagement is readily obvious, forcing the opponent to move into a particular line. We want them to feel threatened by our point in line, so that they are forced to attempt to engage our sword.

Invitations to Enable Parry Riposte

Invitation in 3rd

  1. From Guardia Terza, the move the hand so that the sword moves to close the high outside line (Invitation in 3rd), exposing the high inside line to a direct attack.
  2. In response to the invitation, the opponent shall extend their arm and begin a direct attack on the lunge to the high inside line.
  3. As the opponent commences their attack, deflect the extended sword with a parry of 4th (gain to the high inside line), and riposte with a thrust by glide to the opponent's high linside line.
  4. Opponent takes the hit.
  5. Repeat 5 times then reverse roles.

Invitation in 4th

  1. From Guardia Terza, the move the hand so that the sword moves to close the high inside line (Invitation in 4th), exposing the high outside line to a direct attack.
  2. In response to the invitation, the opponent shall extend their arm and begin a direct attack on the lunge to the high outside line.
  3. As the opponent commences their attack, deflect the extended sword with a parry of 3rd (gain to the high outside line), and riposte with a thrust by glide to the opponent's high outside line.
  4. Opponent takes the hit.
  5. Repeat 5 times then reverse roles.

Invitation in 2nd

  1. From Guardia Terza, the move the hand so that the sword moves to close the low outside line (Invitation in 2nd), exposing the low inside line to a direct attack.
  2. In response to the invitation, the opponent shall extend their arm and begin a direct attack on the lunge to the low inside line.
  3. As the opponent commences their attack, deflect the extended sword with a parry of low 4th (gain to the low inside line), and riposte with a thrust by glide to the opponent's low linside line.
  4. Opponent takes the hit.
  5. Repeat 5 times then reverse roles.

Invitation in Low 4th

  1. From Guardia Terza, the move the hand so that the sword moves to close the high inside line (Invitation in 4th), exposing the high outside line to a direct attack.
  2. In response to the invitation, the opponent shall extend their arm and begin a direct attack on the lunge to the high outside line.
  3. As the opponent commences their attack, deflect the extended sword with a parry of 3rd (gain to the high outside line), and riposte with a thrust by glide to the opponent's high outside line.
  4. Opponent takes the hit.
  5. Repeat 5 times then reverse roles.

Invitations to Enable Attack by Disengagement

Point in Line High Inside

  1. From Guardia Terza, extend the sword so that the point threatens the opponent on the high inside line. The sword tip should be in front of the opponent's guard and about a fist length up and to the inside of the opponent's guard, along the diagonal line.
  2. In response to the extended sword, the opponent moves to parry the sword with the parry of 4th (gain to the high inside line).
  3. As the opponent moves to parry / gain the sword, cavazione clockwise to engage the opponent's sword in the high outside line, followed immediately with a thrust by glide to hit in the high outside line.
  4. Opponent takes the hit.
  5. Repeat 5 times then reverse roles.

Point in Line High Outside

  1. From Guardia Terza, extend the sword so that the point threatens the opponent on the high outside line. The sword tip should be in front of the opponent's guard and about a fist length up and to the outside of the opponent's guard, along the diagonal line.
  2. In response to the extended sword, the opponent moves to parry the sword with the parry of 3rd (gain to the high outside line).
  3. As the opponent moves to parry / gain the sword, cavazione counterclockwise to engage the opponent's sword in the high inside line, followed immediately with a thrust by glide to hit in the high inside line.
  4. Opponent takes the hit.
  5. Repeat 5 times then reverse roles.

Point in Line Low Inside

  1. From Guardia Terza, extend the sword so that the point threatens the opponent on the low inside line. The sword tip should be in front of the opponent's guard and about a fist length down and to the inside of the opponent's guard, along the diagonal line.
  2. In response to the extended sword, the opponent moves to parry the sword with the parry of low 4th (gain to the low inside line).
  3. As the opponent moves to parry / gain the sword, cavazione counterclockwise to engage the opponent's sword in the low outside line, followed immediately with a thrust by glide to hit in the low outside line.
  4. Opponent takes the hit.
  5. Repeat 5 times then reverse roles.

Point in Line Low Outside

  1. From Guardia Terza, extend the sword so that the point threatens the opponent on the low outside line. The sword tip should be in front of the opponent's guard and about a fist length down and to the outside of the opponent's guard, along the diagonal line.
  2. In response to the extended sword, the opponent moves to parry the sword with the parry of 2nd (gain to the low outside line).
  3. As the opponent moves to parry / gain the sword, cavazione clockwise to engage the opponent's sword in the low inside line, followed immediately with a thrust by glide to hit in the low inside line.
  4. Opponent takes the hit.
  5. Repeat 5 times then reverse roles.

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Spadone – Lesson 14

Lesson 14 – Introduction to Counterattacks

As with any weapon, the counterattack is an important part of the repertoire in spadone. In spadone vs spadone fights it really comes into it's own since the actions can be relatively slower compared to a single handed sword or longsword fight.

4 Cuts Line Partner Drill

  1. Partner drill, attacker back to wall, defender facing wall
  2. Attacker steps forward cutting the 4 true edge cuts (mandritto, riverso, rising mandritto, rising riverso)
  3. Defender retreats parrying with the 4 true edge cuts
  4. Switch roles at the end of the hall. 
  5. Repeat this time throwing a redoubled tondo with each main cut.

Counterattacks to the hand / forearm

  1. Partner Drill, each in Right Guard Point Forward.
  2. Attacker throws a mandritto to the head on a right step.
  3. Defender counterattacks with a mandritto to the forearms on a pass right at 45 degrees.
  4. Repeat 5 times each
  5. Repeat the sequence, starting from Left Guard, Point Forward, and throwing riversi.

Counterattacks to the Head

  1. Partner Drill, each in Right Guard Point Forward.
  2. Attacker throws a mandritto to the head on a right step.
  3. Defender counterattacks with a mandritto tondo (helicopter cut) to the head on a pass right at 45 degrees.
  4. Repeat 5 times each
  5. Repeat the sequence, starting from Left Guard , Point Forward, and throwing riversi.

Pass & Turn Partners Drill

  1. Drill in groups of 3, with attacker in centre with spadone, defenders with boffers.
  2.  Attacker starts from Right Guard, Point Behind, and steps forward throwing mandritto on a right step and riverso on a left step (X cuts). Volta stabile to the rear and on the left step throw a riverso followed by a mandritto on a right step.
  3. Repeat 2, throwing the rising cuts instead of the descending cuts.
  4. Defenders at either end parry using Head Guard or rising cuts. Defender will have to correct the distance when the attacker switches which foot is stepping
  5. Switch roles after the attacker has done all 4 cuts, and continue until all 3 partners have been the attacker.

Defend the Bridge

  1. Drill in groups of 3, with attacker in centre with spadone, defenders with boffers.
  2. Attacker starts from Right Guard, Point Behind, and throws redoubled cuts at the person in front, and then turns and attacks / counterattacks the person on the other side.
  3. Defenders try to hit the spadone wielder.
  4. Continue until either the defenders or the attacker is dead.

Note: This is a coached bouting drill.


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Bolognese Sword & Buckler Curriculum – Lesson 11

Lesson 11 – The Falso Parry &  Riposte

Revision

  1. Stance
  2. Grip
  3. Footwork
  4. Cuts

Concept 1 – Falso Parry against the Thrust

From Porta di Ferro Stretta, when the enemy passes with the left foot extending the thrust, parry it with a falso…
[Manciolino – Libro 1, Capitolo 14 & Libro 4, Capitolo 9]

Class Note

There are 3 variants to this parry, and we explored all 3 of them, and looked at the problems with trying to parry the low outside line with a falso.

  1. When the opponent thrusts into our high inside line, the falso parry is performed by cutting a falso with the point up from Porta di Ferro Stretta to Sopra il Braccio.
  2. If the thrust drops to the low inside line, the transition is a point down falso to Sotto il Braccio.
  3. If the thrust is to our high outside line, the falso parry is made as an extension into Guardia di Faccia, whilst turning the hand into 4th in 3rd.
  4. If the thrust goes to the low outside line, you do not parry it with a falso, as it doesn’t close the line.

Concept 2 – Parry And Riposte Against The Thrust And Riverso

From Porta di Ferro Stretta, when the enemy passes with the left foot to throw the thrust, parry with the false edge without moving your feet. When the enemy throws the riverso, pass left parrying the riverso by turning your true edge towards his sword, and defending your head with your buckler. Riposte by checking the enemy's sword with your buckler and throwing a stocatta to the face or chest, and then jump backwards, ending in Porta di Ferro Stretta.
[Manciolino – Libro 4, Capitolo 9]

Class Note

This drill is to teach defence against a redoubled attack. Since the feet do not move for the falso parry, all you have to do is pick the correct parry for the line through which the attack is made. In this case, because the redoubled attack will be riverso, the initial thrust by the opponent must be a provocation thrust to the inside, since a provocation to the outside just closes the line through which we wish to attack. For the defender it becomes…

  1. Parry with falso sweeping sword to left
  2. Parry with true edge cutting to right
  3. Check their sword and stab them with a rising thrust.

This sequence actually shows how the falso parry sets you up to quickly parry an subsequent redoubled blow, which is the teaching aim of this drill.

Concept 3 – Parry Riposte Against Thrust & Riverso To The Leg Combination

From Porta di Ferro Stretta, when the enemy passes left to throw the punta, traverse with the left foot and parry with a falso, ending in Guardia di Faccia. When the enemy throws the riverso to the leg, pass right and parry with a rising mezzo riverso, and riposte with a mandritto traversale to the sword arm, defending the head with your buckler. Pass back with the right foot into Guardia di Faccia, and then pass back the left foot ending in Porta di Ferro Stretta.
[Manciolino – Libro 4, Capitolo 9]

Class Note

This time the enemy provokes with the thrust through the high outside line, so that they can redouble to the low outside line. The falso is done as the extension into Guardia di Faccia with a traversing step of the left foot. This helps reorient the extending sword into the incoming thrust, creating a good crosswise opposition to the incoming sword. We then follow this with the correct parry against any outside blow to the leg, which is the rising mezzo riverso cut into the blow, and should be recognisable to modern fencers as the parry of 2nd. The riposte to the sword arm is made on the corrective step, and we finish with another classic Bolognese defence, the retreat behind the extended sword. (Colloquially called the F$%# Off defence when I teach it!) It’s designed to stop the enemy chasing you down.


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Bolognese Sword & Buckler Curriculum – Lesson 12

Lesson 12 – Thrust Provocations

Warm Up Drills

  1. Mandritto to Sopra il Braccio & riverso to Coda Lunga from Guardia Alta on a pass left and a pass right.
  2. Mandritto to Sotto il Braccio & rising riverso to Guardia Alta from Guardi Alta on a pass left and right.
  3. Fendente & Tramazzoni from Guardia Alta on a pass left and right.

Revision

  1. If the thrust is to our high outside line, the falso parry is made as an extension into Guardia di Faccia, whilst turning the hand into 3rd in 4th.
  2. When the opponent thrusts into our high inside line, the falso parry is performed by cutting a falso with the point up from Porta di Ferro Stretta to Sopra il Braccio.
  3. If the thrust drops to the low inside line, the transition is a point down falso to Sotto il Braccio.

Concept 1 – Thrust Provocation to the High Inside

  1. From Porta di Ferro Stretta, attacker throws a thrust to the high inside line.
  2. Defender parries with a falso to Sopra il Braccio.
  3. Attacker redoubles with a riverso to the head on a left pass

Concept 2 – Thrust Provocation to the High Outside Line

  1. From Porta di Ferro, attacker throws a thrust to the high outside line on a left pass.
  2. Defender parries with falso extension to Guardia di Faccia
  3. Attacker redoubles with a mandritto to the head on a traverse right.

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Spadone – Lesson 13

Lesson 13 – Redoubled Actions Revision

This week we revised redoubled actions with the spadone. This is in response to the difficulty students had in the previous lesson with the bridge drill.

Redoubled Cuts

Mandritti

From Right Guard, Point Behind throw a mandritto to the head on a right step forward. Without moving the feet, allow the sword to continue in a descending circular path, returning for a 2nd mandritto to the head.

Riversi

From Left Guard, Point Behind throw a riverso to the head on a left step forward. Without moving the feet, allow the the sword to continue in a descending circular path returning for a 2nd riverso to the head.

Mandritto with Redoubled Tondo

  1. From Right Guard, Point Behind throw a mandritto to the head whist stepping forward with the right foot.
  2. Continue the cut as a circular and as the sword begins to travel upwards, lift up your hands and turn them such that the sword travels over your head finishing as mandritto tondo to the left temple of the opponent.
  3. The tondo cut should have a slight downwards angle to provide some cover to the head.
  4. After the tondo cut is complete, recover back into Left Hanging Guard with a volta stabile.

Riverso with Redoubled Tondo

  1. From Left Guard, Point Behind throw a riverso to the head whilst stepping forward with the left foot.
  2. Continue the cut as a circular cut and as the sword begins to travel upwards, lift up your hands and turn them such that the sword travels over your head finishing as riverso tondo to the right temple of the opponent. (Some people found this easier as the false edge cut.)
  3. The tondo cut should have a slight downwards angle to provide some cover to the head.
  4. After the tondo cut is complete, recover back into Right Hanging Guard.

Rising Mandritto with Redoubled Tondo

  1. From Right Guard, Point Forward throw a rising mandritto to the flank whilst stepping forward with the right foot.
  2. Lift the hands up to head height and allow the cut to continue as a circular cut, turning the hands so that travels over your head finishing as a mandritto tondo to the left temple of the opponent.
  3. After the tondo is complete, recover back into Left Hanging Guard.

Rising Riverso with Redoubled Tondo

  1. From Left Guard, Point Forward throw a rising riverso to the flank whilst stepping forward with the left foot.
  2. Lift the hands up to head height and allow the cut to continue as a circular cut, turning the hands so that travels over your head finishing as a riverso tondo to the right temple of the opponent.
  3. After the tondo is complete, recover back into Right Hanging Guard.

Redoubled Molinetti

  1. From Right Guard, Point Behind throw a mandritto on a right step to draw the parry.
  2. Redouble with a riverso on a left step.
  3. Repeat for the rising cuts.

3 on 1 drill

  1. Attacker with spadone, 3 defenders with broadswords.
  2. Attacker uses redoubled actions to hit the defenders. Defenders attempt to hit the attacker.
  3. Repeat changing the attacker after 30 seconds.

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Spadone – Lesson 12

Lesson 12 – More Molinelli Applications

This lesson builds on the work from the previous lesson with molinelli. In this one we look at the horizontal molinelli applications which provide different results than the vertical molinelli of the previous lesson.

Molinelli Revision

  1. From each guard descending true edge molinello on a pass
  2. From each guard rising true edge molinello on a pass
  3. From each forward guard true edge molinello on a crosswise pass
  4. From each rear guard false edge lead descending molinello on a pass

False Edge Molinelli Deflection

  1. From Right Guard, Point Forward against the mandritto cut falso dritto to Right Head Guard on a volta stabile and continue the horizontal molinetto into a mandritto on a right step forward.
  2. From Left Guard, Point Forward against the riverso cut falso manco to Left Head Guard on a vlota stabile and continue the horizontal molinetto into a riverso on a left step forward.

Expulsions

  1. From Right Guard, Point Forward against the riverso cut mezzo riverso to Right Head Guard, and then push the tip over the sword and down sweeping with the false edge to the left (mandritto tondo falso) to expel the sword and then return with a riverso tondo to the flank.
  2. From Right Guard, Point Forward against the mandritto cut mezzo mandritto falso and then push the tip over the sword and down sweeping the true edge to the right (riverso tondo) to expel the sword and then return with a mandritto tondo falso to the flank.
  3. From Left Guard, Point Forward against the mandritto cut mezzo mandritto to left Head Guard and then push the tip over the sword and down sweeping the false edge to the right to expel the sword and then return with a mandritto tondo to the flank.
  4. From Left Guard, Point Forward against the riverso cut mezzo riverso falso and then push the tip over and down sweeping the true edge to the left to expel the sword and then return with a riverso tondo falso to the flank.

Defence of the Bridge

  1. Two on one drill, the two using single handed swords at either end, with the spadone wielder in the centre.
  2. Spadone wielder uses pass and turn with molinelli to to keep the swordsmen from crossing.
  3. Swordsmen attempt to hit the spadone wielder with a good down right blow.

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Spadone – Lesson 11

Lesson 11 – Molinelli

Molinelli are full circular cuts that deliver one of the most powerful cuts possible with the great sword. The key to the cuts are gravity and momentum, however this is also the factor that can also lead to losing control of the weapon.

Learning the Mollinelli

The purpose of these drills is to learn the basics of the molinelli, and how to control the high levels of momentum they harness. In all case we are practicing the molinelli both as mandritti and as riversi.

  1. From each guard descending true edge molinello on a pass
  2. From each guard rising true edge molinello on a pass
  3. From each forward guard true edge molinello on a crosswise pass
  4. From each rear guard false edge lead descending molinello on a pass

Parries with Molinelli

The advantage of the molinello is that it will initially pass through the hanging guard position, which allows us to parry our opponent's attack safely and follow it with a powerful riposte, all in one continuous motion. The key to these drills is understanding that the transition into the hanging guard is not only our parry position, but the initial charging to allow gravity and momentum to allow us to smoothly continue the action to deliver the riposte.

  1. From Right Guard, Point Forward defend the mandritto with a molinello and mandritto on a right pass. The parry should be when the sword passes through Left Hanging Guard.
  2. From Right Guard, Point Forward defend the riverso with a molinello and riverso and crossing right pass to the left. The parry should be when the sword passes through Right Hanging Guard.
  3. From Left Guard, Point Forward defend the riverso with a molinello and riverso on a left pass. The parry should be when the sword passes through Right Hanging Guard.
  4. From Left Guard, Point Forward defend the mandritto with a molinello and mandritto and crossing right pass to the right. The parry should be when the sword passes through Left Hanging Guard.
  5. From Right Guard, Point Behind defend the mandritto with falso mandritto and mandritto (false edge led molinello) on a right pass.
  6. From Right Guard, Point Behind defend the riverso with a falso dritto and mandritto tondo on a right pass.
  7. From Left Guard, Point Behind defend the riverso with riverso falso and riverso on a left pass.
  8. From Left Guard, Point Behind defend the mandritto with falso manco and riverso tondo on a left pass.

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Italian Duelling Sword sources

I’m half way through the second term of classes in Italian Duelling Sword that I’ve been offering at Stoccata Drummoyne. I’m actually loving the chance to teach this material, because it’s me putting into practice my Instructor at Arms certification from Sonoma State University.

Italian Duelling sword is just a fancy description for Classical Fencing, which is not generally understood by the public. Rather than trying to explain what it is everytime, I’m finding people get it straight away when I call it Italian duelling sword! It also happens to be the description used by one of the 19th Century authors, so I feel like I’m on solid ground here. We’re working on the thrusting sword material to begin with (fioretto & spada) and I’m aiming to work into the sabre material in future terms.

So this post is mostly for my students who wanted to know the sources for what I teach. So here’s the list of text I’m working from.

Thrusting sword:

  • William M. Gaugler, The Science of Fencing: A Comprehensive Training Manual for Master and Student: Including Lesson Plans for Foil, Sabre and Epee Instruction, Laureate Press; Revised edition, June, 2004
    – this is the foundation text I use for planning lessons etc, and where most of the terminology comes from.
  • Masaniello Parise, The Roman-Neapolitan School of Fencing, (Christopher Holzman trans.) Lulu, June 2015 (http://www.lulu.com/shop/christopher-holzman/the-roman-neapolitan-school-of-fencing/paperback/product-22225765.html)
    – This is the source of the guard names I actually use in class, and the basis for the more extended guard I teach compared to Gaugler’s material.
  • Luigi Barbasetti, The Art of the Foil, E.P. Dutton & Co., Inc (reprinted 1998)

Sabre:

  • William M. Gaugler, The Science of Fencing: A Comprehensive Training Manual for Master and Student: Including Lesson Plans for Foil, Sabre and Epee Instruction, Laureate Press; Revised edition, June, 2004
  • Luigi Barbasetti, The Art of the Sabre and the Epee, 1936
  • Giuseppe Radaelli, The Art of the Dueling Sabre, (Christopher Holzman trans.), SKA Swordplay Books, 2011 (http://shop.swordplaybooks.com/product.sc?productId=12&categoryId=15)

So in summary, if you can find a copy, get Gaugler. Regardless, buy a copy of Chris’ translation of Parise and that will cover you for thrusting sword. For sabre, the Barbasetti manual is online, just have a dig for it. Again Chris’ translation of Radaelli is really good and well worth buying as well.