Giganti Lesson 3 – Gain and Glide

In the first 2 lessons, we have practiced 2 very distinct skills that lay the foundation of Italian rapier fencing. In this lesson we will put them together to create a safe way to hit the opponent, that does not leave us vulnerable to being simultaneously hit as we hit our opponent.

This is the 2nd rule that we derive from the Prime Directive of Fencing
ie Control the Sword when you attack, so that you don’t get hit!

Warm Up Drills

  1.  Hand weight exercise
  2. Dynamic Lunge Stretch
  3. Translate & Turn
  4. Lunge with Resistance bands

Review Lesson 2

  • Gain to the Inside
  • Gain to the Outside
  • The gain in the high line is made by pointing just out side the shoulder (Kill the parrot on the shoulder)
  • The gain in the low line is made by pointing at the hip, (Kill the monkey on the butt)

Using Offensive Angles & Power Ramps To Hit The Opponent In Safety


The safest attack with a lunge begins with the gaining of the sword. As you translate forward, turn the true edge towards the enemy’s blade. This creates a ramp pointing sideways that continues to direct the opponent’s sword to outside the torso, and brings the point back onto the target. You can now hit to the chest and head in safety.

The chest target is the flat spot created by the pectoral muscles on the sword side, and the face target is the right eye. both of these are flat sites, that also allow for us to make an effective killing shot with a thrust if the swords were sharp.

This attack is called a gain and glide, because we first gain the opponent’s sword and then glide down their sword to deliver a thrust that leads to their destruction. This contact with the opponent’s sword is important for teaching the correct technique. As the student gains skill, we will return to this action in later lessons but complete it without contact of the blades.

Gain – Lunge – Hit on the inside

  1. Begin in the Terza Guardia.
  2. Extend the arm to gain the sword on the inside.
  3. As you translate forward, turn the hand into 4th, bringing the tip into line. The hand stays in line with the left side of the torso.
  4. Hit to the chest or face.
  5. Repeat 5 times and then swap roles with your partner.

Gain – Lunge – Hit on the outside

  1. Begin in the Terza Guardia.
  2. Extend the arm to gain the sword on the outside.
  3. As you translate forward, turn the hand into 2nd , bringing the tip into line. The hand stays in line with the right side of the torso.
  4. Hit to the chest or face.
  5. Repeat 5 times and then swap roles with your partner.

Parry and Riposte on the inside

  1. Begin in the Terza Guardia.
  2. The opponent will lunge, aiming to hit on the inside.
  3. Parry by extending the arm to gain the sword on the inside.
  4. The opponent’s lunge attack should complete without hitting you.
  5. Immediately translate forward, turn the hand into 4th, bringing the tip into line. The hand stays in line with the left side of the torso.
  6. If the enemy has not yet recovered, you should hit them in the chest or face on the translation forward. If they have started to recover, continue your lunge and hit them during the time of their recovery.
  7. Repeat 5 times and then swap roles with your partner.

Parry and Riposte on the outside

  1. Begin in the Terza Guardia.
  2. The opponent will lunge, aiming to hit on the outside.
  3. Parry by extending the arm to gain the sword on the outside.
  4. The opponent’s lunge attack should complete without hitting you.
  5. Immediately translate forward, turn the hand into 2nd, bringing the tip into line. The hand stays in line with the left side of the torso.
  6. If the enemy has not yet recovered, you should hit them on the translation forward. If they have started to recover, continue your lunge and hit them in the chest or face during the time of their recovery.
  7. Repeat 5 times and then swap roles with your partner.

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