Giganti Lesson 11 – Inquartata

Lesson 11

Warmups

  1. Weight exercise
  2. Translate & Turn
  3. Lunge with resistance
  4. Footwork drills
  5. Lunge drills

Review Lesson 10

  1. Invitations to hit through an open line, so that you can parry riposte
  2. Invitations to gain the sword, so that you can hit with cavazione & riposte

Inquartata

The inquartata is our first introduction to the concept of counterattacks, as well as being a characterisically Italian fencing action. The inquartata is a body voiding action, that simultaneously closes the inside line as we move our body towards the outside. When done properly it almost looks like the sword has stayed stationary in space, and we've moved our body behind it to close the inside line.

For teaching purposes, I primarily teach the more classical style of inquartata which looks like an angled reverse lunge. The inquartata demonstrated by Giganti is what I call the volta, as a way of differentiating the form.

giganti-volta
[caption id="attachment_654" align="alignnone" width="794"]parise_inquartata Parise’s Inquartata (the classical inquartata) (ref 2)

The main reason for teaching the later classical form is that it helps the student understand the timing of the action, allowing them to build up to the full volta shown by Giganti. I've found that by starting with the classical version, students are much less likely to be counterhit (a very common problem when you get the timing wrong) when you perform the full volta style inquartata.

Inquartata as a Direct Counterattack

This is the initial teaching action, where we teach the actual sequence of the counterattack in response to the high inside gain of the sword by the opponent.

  1. Student will invite a thrust to the inside line (Invitation in 3rd).
  2. Opponent will make a direct thrust on a lunge to the student's high inside line.
  3. As the opponent begins, the student will gain and glide to the inside (parry 4th), stepping with inquartata, hitting to the face. The inquartata step is where the rear foot steps backwards and to the side at 45º as the front knee bends, forming the lunge position with the legs.

Inquartata as an Indirect Counterattack

The inquartata can also be performed as an indirect counterattack, where we invite the opponent to first gain our sword and then respond wih a cavazione and inquartata.

  1. Student extends the sword in the high outside line, inviting the opponent to gain on the high outside line (Gain in 3rd).
  2. Opponent gains the sword in 3rd, and then attacks with a thrust by glide to the high outside line.
  3. As the opponent begins the glide, the student will cavazione counter-clockwise to gain on the high inside line (disengage under the sword), stepping with inquartata, hitting to the face.

The indirect inquartata can also be performed with the cavazione over the opponent's sword.

  1. Student extends the sword in the high outside line, inviting the opponent to gain on the high outside line (Gain in 3rd).
  2. Opponent gains the sword in 3rd, and then attacks with a thrust by glide to the high outside line.
  3. As the opponent begins the glide, the student will cavazione clockwise to gain on the low inside line (disengage over the sword), stepping with inquartata, hitting to the chest with sword hilt raised (point under their hilt).

References

  1. Newe Fechfust, oder Schawplatz darauffallerhand Arten Zuversten und zusschlagen mit del Rapier allein und mit Rapier un Dolchenzusamen vortestellet by Nicoletto Giganti, Jakob de Zetter(trans), Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbüttel, http://diglib.hab.de/drucke/xb-7532-1s/start.htm?image=00042
  2. Trattato teorico-pratico della Scherma di Spada e Sciabola di Masaniello Parise, Tipografia Nazionale, Roma 1884.

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