The False Edge Attack From Coda Lunga Alta


Tonight we continued our look at the actions out of Coda Lunga Alta, this time looking at the second most common opening action – the falso. There are 3 possible types of falso that can be thrown from Coda Lunga Alta, which are the falso dritto, the montante, and the falso manco that ends in Guardia di Faccia.

Falso Dritto Actions

The falso dritto actions are really a rising falso that passes partially into Sopra il Braccio. Rather than fully completing the transition into Sopra il Braccio with the sword hand crossing the buckler near the elbow, it only actually crosses near the wrist of the buckler arm.The first action shows us how it can be used to directly attack our opponent's sword hand, which can be reached if the fencers are at wide distance, even though we would have to pass to actually hit the head or body. The second action again uses this rising falso action, but instead is more gainfully employed as a back edge beat against the opponent's sword, which we can then turn into a mandritto to the opened target. The sword movement is best visualised as a path tracing a cone, with the apex centered on the sword hand. Whilst it's possible to still attack the sword hand, the falso has a tendency to catch on the opponent's sword furniture if they respond to the attack and thereby nullifying the posibility of making the redoubled mandritto. This doesn't occur if we attack their sword instead. The final action builds on this but teaches us to use the mandritto feint and riverso, which we can employ against faster or more experienced fencers who are capable of parrying the redoubled mandritto.

Offensive Action Using Falso
Throw a rising falso to the sword hand without moving your feet.
(Manciolino Libro 4, Capitolo 10)

Offensive Combination Using Falso And Mandritto
Pass right throwing a falso on the right step and a mandritto on the left step.
(Manciolino Libro 1, Capitolo 19)

Offensive Combination Using Falso, Mandritto Feint & Riverso
Pass right throwing a falso on the right step and a mandritto feint but hitting with a riverso on the left step.
(Manciolino Libro 1, Capitolo 19)

Montante Actions

The montante is a directly ascending false edge cut. Used from Coda Lunga Alta it really acts as a big clearing action, setting us  to follow with a powerful offensive action. The second drill teaches us the safest way to redouble from Guardia Alta, with the tramazzone. The descending false edge turn that starts the tramazzone can create either a powerful intimidating imbroccata-like thrust creating hesitation in our opponent, or deliver a ready made sweeping false edge parry outside our buckler arm. It helps when bringing the hand up to Guardia Alta on the first part to start turning the true edge behind us once we've cleared our opponent's furniture, before we completely enter Guardia Alta. This really accelerates the redouble action with the tramazzone.

Offensive Action Using Montante
Pass forward with your right foot, throwing a montante that goes into Guardia Alta, and then withdraw your right foot near to your left, and you will have furnished the play.
(Manciolino Libro 2, 3rd Assault)

Offensive Combination Using Montante & Tramazzone
Pass right and throw a montante that ends in Guardia Alta on the right step, and a tramazzone that ends in Porta di Ferro Larga on the left step.
(Manciolino Libro 2, 2nd Assault)

Falso into Guardia di Faccia

The falso extension into Guardia di Faccia clears the opponent's sword towards our outside, and pushing it across the face of our opponent. The extension should be more like we are pushing a thrust than as a false edge beat. This thrusting type extension gives us a powerful pressure deflection as we end up pushing our forte onto the opponent's debole, similar to the one we gain the sword in Italian rapier. We get a large lever arm with which to push their sword out of the way. This really pushes them into a position where the only way they can feel safe is to roll their sword hand into Guardia d'Alicorno, which we strongly encourage with our riverso feint. This feint then leaves the opponent's left flank or leg as a vulnerable target within easy reach of our mandritto. The pushing action also sets us up for the riverso feint, which becomes very difficult if we do the extension as a fals edge beat as we have overcommitted the falso action, and placed us in a poor biomechanical position for throwing the riverso feint. Credit goes to Gavin Fuller for noticing the deficiencies of the falso beat action vs the extension with sword pressure. (I never did the action as a beat, so I didn't notice the biomechanical problems it created.)

Offensive Combination Using Falso, Riverso Feint & Mandritto
Pass forward with your right foot, throwing a rising falso that ends in Guardia di Faccia. Immediately redouble with a riverso feint to this right temple, but strike his forward leg with a mandritto that ends in Sotto il Braccio, guarding your head with the buckler.
(Manciolino Libro 2, 3rd Assault)