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Lafayette C Curtis




Location: Indonesia
Joined: 29 Nov 2006
Reading list: 7 books

Posts: 2,689

PostPosted: Fri 29 Dec, 2006 10:40 am    Post subject: Stupid Marozzo question         Reply with quote

Recently, I've begun to try studying the Renaissance Italian swordsmanship tradition, but since I'm just starting out I haven't had the time or the resources to accumulate much first-hand knowledge of the primary sources--and neither I am working under the benefit of the personal instruction of an experienced practictioner. So, I find that there is one important point that keeps nagging me to no end:

Did Marozzo or Manciolino really advise cutting only from the elbow and wrist in their books? I know di Grassi did and the cutting exercises I've been working on are mostly his, but his system is a much more thrust-oriented one than the two other masters I mentioned so I can't help wondering if there are any differences. Of course, having seen a translation of Manciolino's two-sword plays, it does make sense to restrict the cutting movements that way. I'd still like to know what the masters themselves really have to say.

I'd rather feel stupid now than later when I find that I've been doing things wrong for years and years.
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Bill Tsafa




Location: Brooklyn, NY
Joined: 20 May 2004

Posts: 599

PostPosted: Fri 29 Dec, 2006 2:44 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I am also recently began studing Manciolino. He is very vague on many things and his discriptions are hard to understand. I am about 1/3 of the way through his work and I don't see any details on how exactly the cuts should be executed.

Perhaps he left certain things vague for a reason. I have concluded that the weapon will best determin how the cut will best be executed. If it is light enough, you will do it from the wrist otherwise you will have to use the elbow and perhaps the shoulder.

Myself I was specificly looking for details on the use with sword and shield (or buckler) when I decided to read Manciolino. So far I have more questions then answers. I have my own concept of what works for my own fighting experiance but I want to know what he thougth and practiced.

A big factor is that the poor quality of the translations themselves. Pehaps someone that can read Italian will have some insight.

No athlete/youth can fight tenaciously who has never received any blows: he must see his blood flow and hear his teeth crack... then he will be ready for battle.
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Lafayette C Curtis




Location: Indonesia
Joined: 29 Nov 2006
Reading list: 7 books

Posts: 2,689

PostPosted: Wed 03 Jan, 2007 6:49 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, one reason why I'm wondering is the presence of such guards as the coda lunga distesa and the guardia sotto il braccio/sopra il braccio, which seems to be quite suitable as the starting point of devastating full-armed cuts. I haven't practiced with all the stated transitions and permutations from those guards, though, so I'm not yet sure about the conclusions.
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Nicholas Zeman





Joined: 09 May 2005

Posts: 57

PostPosted: Wed 03 Jan, 2007 5:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

From what I understand of the Bolognese school most cuts with the sidesword are made with the elbow or wrist, however there are full arm cuts in Marozzo and his contemporaries as well. Viggiani, a contemporary and follower (he is an outlier, however) of the Bolognese school has a discussion on making full cuts (from high to low) and making half cuts (high to middle). I think it definitely depends on the situation and the Guardia you are standing in. If you are in a guard that is primed for a full arm cut then you will use it, if you are in a guard that has the point aimed at the opponent then you are more likely to make a wrist cut. This is a trade-off of speed, power, and covering the line that you will find differences of opinion and technique among most schools of the sword. A wrist cut is not as powerful, but it is faster, requires no "wind-up" and can keep you covered as you attack.
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Lafayette C Curtis




Location: Indonesia
Joined: 29 Nov 2006
Reading list: 7 books

Posts: 2,689

PostPosted: Fri 05 Jan, 2007 9:07 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hm. Strange. What I noticed is that some wrist cuts still require some winding of the sword, but they can do it in a much tighter circle than an elbow or shoulder cut--almost like a cavazione fllowed by a cut rather than a thrust. Or am I doing things wrong?
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