Category Archives: Italian Rapier

Posts covering Italian rapier lessons and notes

Giganti Lesson 12 – Cuts and Their Counters

​Lesson 12

Warmups

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

Review Lesson 11 – Inquartata

  1. Invite the opponent to gain on the outside. As he begins the glide, cavazione to the inside, stepping with inquartata, hitting to the face.
  2. Invite the opponent to gain on the outside. As he begins the glide, cavazione to the inside, stepping with inquartata, hitting to the chest with sword hilt raised (point under their hilt).
  3. Invite the opponent to gain on the inside. Cavazione to the outside and push against the opponent's sword. If they push back, cavazione to the inside and perform inquartata.

Cuts and Their Counters

Cuts as afencing action actually consists of two actions, a percussive element and a slicing element. Each of these elments are needed to deliver an effective cut, otherwise you just have an impact blow with the edge that doesn't do any real damage to the opponent. Cuts with a rapier are far less forgiving of poor technique due to the relatively thinner blade profile that has less mass behind the blow.

Mandritto to the Head

From Guardia Terza, we need to perform a charging action to take the point offline so that the edge is now in line for the cut. This charging action is centered around a rotation action from the elbow. The mandritto to the head is performed on the lunge, with the actions coordinating during the lunge as follows:

  1. Starting from Guardia Terza, the sword hand lifts from the elbow pulliing the hand back to charge the blow. Some people may find it easier if they allow the thumb to turn to the 11 o'clock position as they do this. The action of the hand lifting should also be accompanied by a slight hand movement that moves the pommel from in line with the wrist to in line with the heel of the hand.
  2. When the hand reaches about temple height, rotate the forearm to turn the thumb to the 2 o'clock position and begin extending the arm forward, keeping the pommel in line with the heel of the hand.
  3. As the arm reaches the extended position the legs drive the body forward into the lunge position. The sword hand continues moving until it is aligned in front of the the left shoulder. (Right handed fencer assumed)
  4. Initial impact to the opponent's head occurs as the front foot lands on the heel during the lunge. The sword should be forming a line across the line of engagement from in front of your left shoulder to the left temple of the opponent. The sword edge should be impacting just in front of the blade's percussion point.
  5. Complete the lunge with the weight rolling forward onto the front foot. As you do so, push the thumb of the sword hand forward, transitioning the pommel to in line with the wrist to provide a forward slicing action. The hand should stay in front of the left shoulder as this maintains the pressure of the slicing cut.
  6. Recover as per usual, making sure the arm withdraws last.

Note: The mandritto to the head can be made from the chest to the head.

Counter to the Mandritto to the Head

The charging action for the mandritto presents the perfect tempo for a counterattack against the cut. The key to the counterattack is to perform it in such a mannner that it simultaneously parries the mandritto as you hit the opponent.

  1. The opponent begins the mandritto on the lunge as described above.
  2. As the opponent's arm starts to extend forward to deliver the cut, turn the true edge of the sword upwards to between 10-11 o'clock and extend a counterthrust to the face. The sword hand should be at about the height of your left cheek, to ensure that the head is covered against the mandritto by the forte of the sword.

Note: One of the key problems that will result in double hits is the failure to turn up the hand first to cover the head. This is typically a result of the fencer rushing to hit with the counterthrust, neglecting the simultaneous defence.

Mandritto to the Leg

The mandritto to the leg is performed in the same manner as the mandritto to the head.

  1. Starting from Guardia Terza, the sword hand lifts slightly from the elbow pulliing the hand back to charge the blow. Some people may find it easier if they allow the thumb to turn to the 11 o'clock position as they do this. The action of the hand lifting should also be accompanied by a slight hand movement that moves the pommel from in line with the wrist to in line with the heel of the hand.
  2. When the hand reaches about shoulder height, rotate the forearm to turn the thumb to the 2 o'clock position and begin extending the arm forward, keeping the pommel in line with the heel of the hand.
  3. As the arm reaches the extended position the legs drive the body forward into the lunge position. The sword hand continues moving until it is aligned in front of the the left side of the chest. (Right handed fencer assumed)
  4. Initial impact to the opponent's leg (usually the thigh) occurs as the front foot lands on the heel during the lunge. The sword should be forming a line across the line of engagement from in left side of your chest to the inside of the thigh of the opponent's leading leg. The sword edge should be impacting just in front of the blade's percussion point.
  5. Complete the lunge with the weight rolling forward onto the front foot. As you do so, push the thumb of the sword hand forward, transitioning the pommel to in line with the wrist to provide a forward slicing action. The hand should stay in line with the left side of the chest as this maintains the pressure of the slicing cut.
  6. Recover as per usual, making sure the arm withdraws last.

Note: The mandritto to the leg can also be made from the flank down to the knee.

Counter to the Mandritto to the Leg

The counter to the leg relies on geometry and body positioning to counterattack the opponent as they throw a mandritto to the leg. The counter is performed as follows:

  1. Opponent throws the mandritto ot the leg as described above.
  2. As the opponent extends the arm beginning their lunge, slip back the front foot to your rear foot and extend a straight thrust at the opponent's face. The leg should be clear of the incoming cut, and the opponent should lunge into your extended point.
  3. Opponent takes the hit.
  4. Recover backwards out of distance.

In this particular case, our safety derives from the geometrical advantage we achieve through the slipping action. Our counterthrust is on the side of the right angle triangle formed by our body and the 2 sword arms, however the opponent's sword and arm is on the hypotenuse and therefore needs to be proportionately much longer to reach the leg.

Riverso to the Leg

Surprisingly, Giganti doesn't discuss the way to throw the riverso at all in his manual.  The method for throwing the riverso is from Capo Ferro, and is in concordance with how Giganti describes the throwing of the mandritto.

  1. The action begins with the opponent gaining the student's sword to the high inside line.
  2. In response to the opponent's gaining action, the student disengages clockwise, and as the sword hand passes under the opponent's sword tip allow the thumb to turn to the 11 o'clock position presenting the true edge towards the opponent's leg. The disengage should also be accompanied by a slight hand movement that moves the pommel from in line with the wrist to in line with the heel of the hand.
  3. When the hand reaches about the middle of the chest,  begin extending the arm forward, keeping the pommel in line with the heel of the hand.
  4. As the arm reaches the extended position the legs drive the body forward into the lunge position. The sword hand continues moving until it is aligned in front of the right side of the chest. (Right handed fencer assumed)
  5. Initial impact to the opponent's leg (usually the thigh) occurs as the front foot lands on the heel during the lunge. The sword should be forming a line across the line of engagement from in right side of your chest to the outside of the thigh of the opponent's leading leg. The sword edge should be impacting just in front of the blade's percussion point.
  6. Complete the lunge with the weight rolling forward onto the front foot. As you do so, push the thumb of the sword hand forward, transitioning the pommel to in line with the wrist to provide a forward slicing action. The hand should stay in line with the right side of the chest as this maintains the pressure of the slicing cut.
  7. Recover as per usual, making sure the arm withdraws last.

Note: The riverso to the leg can also be made from the flank down to the knee.

Counter to the Riverso to the Leg

The counter to the riverso to the leg is described by Giganti, and we are told is made using the same counter we use against the mandritto to the leg. In other words, this is a universal defence for attacks to the leg. The counter is performed as follows:

  1. Student gains the opponent's sword in the high inside line.
  2. Opponent throws the riverso ot the leg as described above.
  3. As the opponent extends the arm beginning their lunge, slip back the front foot to your rear foot and extend a straight thrust at the opponent's face. The leg should be clear of the incoming cut, and the opponent should lunge into your extended point.
  4. Opponent takes the hit.
  5. Recover backwards out of distance.

Capoferro also states that as we slip back the right leg we can also throw a stramazzone to the opponent's sword arm. This is performed using an anti-clockwise cavazione action, to cut to the outside of the opponent's sword arm.

Riverso to the Head

Again Capoferro provides us with an explanation of how to throw the riverso to the head, this time as a forced glide action against the gain by the opponent.

  1. Opponent gains the student's sword on the high inside line.
  2. In response to the gain the student lifts their sword tip up and placing it over the opponent's sword so that the forte is closing the inside line, whilst turning the sword hand into 4th. This will move the opponent's sword tip to be in line with just outside the left side of the student's chest.
  3. Student then glides down the oppoent's sword beginning their lunge sequence, keeping the forte in contact with the sword. As they reach the medole of the opponent's sword, turn the hand over into 2nd, cutting with riverso to the opponent's right temple. The cut finishes with the pushing action used with the completion of our lunge.
  4. Opponent takes the hit.
  5. Allow the tip to lift up and turn the sword hand into 3rd, and cut downwards with mandritto fendente, using the lunge recovery to make the slicing action. The student should return to Guardia Terza.

Counter to the Riverso to the Head

This counter is from Capoferro, and is interesting in that it's nearly identical to the counter against the mandritto to the face given by Giganti.

  1. The student gains the opponent's sword to the high inside line.
  2. Opponent begins the riverso to the face as described above.
  3. As the opponent lifts their tip up to engage the student's debole in 4th, the student will cavazione clockwise lifting their sword hand up and turning the true edge upwards to between 10-11 o'clock, and immediately lunges to hit to the chest. The sword hand must stay high to prevent the opponent from being able to make their riverso, and should be ideally in line with the right shoulder.
  4. Opponent takes the hit.
  5. Recover back to Guardia Terza.

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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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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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Class Review 3 Feb 2016

Introduction

Second class back for Term 1 in 2016 at Stoccata Drummoyne, and I started introducing some new staples into the lessons. One of the biggest difficiencies I think we've had for the classes so far is lack of consistent practice of the basic foot work for each system. So for each system I've started to introduce a footwork form that we'll be practicing each week to cement this skill. I'm really happy with how the footwork forms were received, and after a couple of walk throughs I could see people becoming cleaner and more confident in their footwork. We'll keep doing these over the next couple of weeks, and hopefully people will learn them and we'll move through them at a much faster rate.

Bolognese Swordsmanship (Sword & Buckler)

We started with the Basic Bolognese Footwork Form, which I posted earlier today in all it's glory.

The rest of the class was then taken up with the introduction of the  Guardia di Faccia Clock Drill.

We worked through the specific attacks and defences for the attack by thrust and attack into the low inside line. We'll work through the rest over the coming weeks.

Italian Rapier (Single Rapier)

We started with the rapier footwork form developed by Guy Windsor's School or European Swordsmanship. The full details can be found on their curriculum wiki, which includes a video of Guy working through the form. We only did the first 3 steps of the form, but a lot of repetitions. We'll be building the rest of this form over the coming weeks.

We then worked through some basic lunging drills, laying the foundation for rapier and dagger work later this term with the introduction of offhand hand checks.

  1. Direct thrust in response to partners invitation, working the high inside and high outside lines.
  2. Thrust by gain and glide in response to partner's point in line, working the high inside and high outside lines.
  3. Thrust with hand check in response to partner's point in line.

The last drill is the new one, and unfortunately we only got to do the drill in the high inside line. The drill is as follows:

  1. Beginning in perfect measure, patient agent presents the point in line to the active agent's high inside line.
  2. The active agent first finds the sword in the back weighted stance, engaging the patient agent's sword by crossing debole over debole. (Point at the parrot on the patient agent's shoulder.)
  3. Once the sword is found, the active agent then translates the torso forward to gain the sword. As they do this the offhand is extended forward near the sword hand turning the off hand into 1st (palm to outside). This places the offhand palm onto the debole of the patient agent's sword, creating the hand check.
  4. The active agent then makes a direct thrust with a lunge, gliding down the flat of the patient agent's sword with their offhand maintaining the handcheck preventing the patient agent's cavazione. The patient agent takes the hit, after which the active agent recovers back to perfect measure.

Giganti Curriculum – Actions on the Blade – Change of Engagement

Introduction

These are the class notes for the Italian rapier class held at Stoccata Drummoyne on 14 Oct 2015.

The change of engagement is the next action on the blade after the blade seizure. The purpose of the blade seizure is to quickly change the engagement so that when the opponent perceives the initial engagement, their reflexive response is defeated by this action on the blade.

Change of Engagement to High Inside Line

  1. Instructor presents point in line (tip high).
  2. Student, from out of distance, extends the hand to engage the presented sword in 3rd on a step forward.
  3. Student changes engagement from 3rd to 4th and lunges to hit with a thrust by glide..
  4. Instructor takes the hit, after which the student recovers back out of distance.

Change of Engagement to High Outside Line

  1. Instructor presents point in line (tip high).
  2. Student, from out of distance, extends the hand to engage the presented sword in 4th on a step forward.
  3. Student changes engagement from 4th to 3rd and lunges to hit with a thrust by glide.
  4. Instructor takes the hit, after which the student recovers back out of distance.

Change of Engagement to Low Inside Line

  1. Instructor presents point in line (tip low).
  2. Student, from out of distance, extends the hand to engage the presented sword in 2nd on a step forward.
  3. Student changes engagement from 2nd to low 4th and lunges to hit with a thrust by glide..
  4. Instructor takes the hit, after which the student recovers back out of distance.

Change of Engagement to Low Outside Line

  1. Instructor presents point in line (tip low).
  2. Student, from out of distance, extends the hand to engage the presented sword in low 4th on a step forward.
  3. Student changes engagement from low 4th to 2nd and lunges to hit with a thrust by glide..
  4. Instructor takes the hit, after which the student recovers back out of distance.

Notes

  1. The step forward as you engage the blade is not optional. The hand precedes the foot as always but the engagement and step must end at the same moment, thus the step is very quick to make this happen.
  2. The blade presentation is either with the tip just above the height of the extended hand, or just below. The threat should thus be either above or below the opponent's hand when they are in guard.
  3. The change of engagement must be subtle to prevent the opponent reacting during the change.

Giganti Curriculum – Actions on the Blade – Blade Seizure

These are the teaching notes for the Italian Rapier class held at Stoccata Drummoyne on 7 Oct 2015.

Warm Ups

1. Footwork Drills
2. Lunges
3. Parry Riposte drill – high inside & high outside

Actions on the Blade – Blade Seizure

Blade Seizure to High Inside Line

Instructor Student
Presents point in line (tip high) From out of distance, extends the hand to engage the presented sword in 4th on a step forward
  Lunges to hit with a thrust by glide
Takes the hit Recovers back out of distance

Blade Seizure to High Outside Line

Instructor Student
Presents point in line (tip high) From out of distance, extends the hand to engage the presented sword in 3rd on a step forward
  Lunges to hit with a thrust by glide
Takes the hit Recovers back out of distance

Blade Seizure to Low Inside Line

Instructor Student
Presents point in line (tip low) From out of distance, extends the hand to engage the presented sword in low 4th on a step forward
  Lunges to hit with a thrust by glide
Takes the hit Recovers back out of distance

Blade Seizure to Low Outside Line

Instructor Student
Presents point in line (tip low) From out of distance, extends the hand to engage the presented sword in 2nd on a step forward
  Lunges to hit with a thrust by glide
Takes the hit Recovers back out of distance

Notes

  1. The step forward as you engage the blade is not optional. The hand precedes the foot as always but the engagement and step must end at the same moment, thus the step is very quick to make this happen.
  2. The blade presentation is either with the tip just above the height of the extended hand, or just below. The threat should thus be either above or below the opponent's hand when they are in guard.

Giganti Lesson 9 – Attacking on the Pass

Review Lesson 8

  • The 3 measures – close, wide, out of distance
  • Covering the line from out of measure, then using footwork to come into measure with a gain.

Attacking on the pass

The attack on the pass can be used as an alternative to the attack with a lunge. The primary advantage of using the pass is the increased measure at which the attack can be thrown. Since the action takes us to the outside of our opponent the action preceding the attack on the pass must pull the opponent’s sword to the high inside line.

Attacking on the Pass with Feint Disengage

  1. From Guardia Terza, feint a thrust to the opponent’s high inside line.
  2. As the opponent moves to parry 4th, cavazione clockwise, extending to hit to the stomach or chest and passing forward with the rear foot to deliver the thrust with the hand in 2nd.
  3. Repeat 5 times and then reverse roles.

Note: The torso as it comes forwards leans over the now forward left leg, which pulls the torso to the side and away from the opponent’s sword.

Increasing Our Safety With The Hand Check

The attack on the pass relies on speed and the opponent being caught out of position. The technique used in the above drill does however leave the fencer susceptible to a counterattack in the high outside line.

  1. From Guardia Terza, feint a thrust to the opponent’s high inside line.
  2. As the opponent moves to parry 4th, cavazione clockwise, extending to hit to the stomach or chest and passing forward with the rear foot to deliver the thrust with the hand in 2nd.
  3. As you extend the sword to make the hit, simultaneously reach forward with the offhand, bringing the palm towards the opponent’s hilt or blade to prevent the counterattack in the high outside line.
  4. Repeat 5 times and then reverse roles.

Attacking on the Pass From the Opponent’s Engagement

  1. Opponent engages the sword in the high outside line.
  2. Cavazione counterclockwise to make a thrust feint to the high inside line.
  3. As the opponent moves to parry 4th, cavazione clockwise, extending to hit to the stomach or chest and passing forward with the rear foot to deliver the thrust with the hand in 2nd. Hand check to the high outside line with the offhand.
  4. Repeat 5 times and then reverse roles.

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