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Vincent Le Chevalier




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PostPosted: Tue 11 Oct, 2011 2:56 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Vincent Le Chevalier wrote:
Thinking about it some more, the clearest depictions that I've read of parrying with the edge in a relatively static stance, then riposting is in Lovino (1580). For example in sequence IIII

Gee, looking a bit further there is an even more glaring example in sequence LIV, along with the illustration. The text describes how to parry a forehand blow to the head with a longsword (spada da una mano e mezza), by going to the inside guard and lifting the sword to receive the blow on the edge. Here the drawing is even done in perspective so that we see the swords intersecting edge on edge (see a scan of the manuscript p.68 in this PDF). The text also describe the same parry against a backhand blow, without even any riposte.

Regards,

--
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Randall Pleasant




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PostPosted: Tue 11 Oct, 2011 3:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dustin R. Reagan wrote:
Yes, absolutely a straw man. You are tilting at windmills.

Steve Reich has never, to my knowledge, made the claim that what he is talking with respect to the above quoted passage from Viggiani has anything to do with "the edge-to-edge fighting seen in stage combat, the SCA".

Dustin

Steve did not say "SCA", but he did say the following:

Steven Reich wrote:
If this whole thread has gotten back to a matter of "were there ever instructions for edge-on-edge blocks?" Then the answer is a clear "yes". Numerous examples exist in the Bolognese texts but perhaps the clearest is that described by Viggiani where he discusses using a rising riverso against the opponent's downward cut.

Steve very clearly states he thinks the technique involves an "edge-on-edge block". If that is not what he meant then I'm sure he will post a correction to the above statement. A block is a block is a block....

Dustin R. Reagan wrote:

You have proven nothing. Instead what you have done is taken a simple instruction:

Viggiani wrote:
...the swords meet each other true edge to true edge.

And through a convoluted line of "logic" ended with this result:

Randall Pleasant wrote:
leaving the defending blade impacting the flat of the other blade and beating it aside

Occam's razor would dictate that you take the (very clear) text literally and do exactly what it says:

"meet each other true edge to true edge."

An interpretation of a technique must be made from the complete text describing the technique rather than just a simple peice of a sentence taken from the middle of the text. There is absolutely no way you can understand the technique unless you study the full context of the technique. So once again I am posting enough of Viggiani's text so as to give a complete description of the technique. I"m also bolding important parts of the text so to help make clear to you what is happing during the technique. Just follow Viggiani own words.

Viggiani wrote:
ROD: It behooves you (to deliver your enemy some desired blow) that (being in that guardia stretta, difensiva with your right foot forward) you turn the point of your sword toward your left side, diagonally, so that the point faces that same side, and the pommel [82V] is on your right, as if you wanted to lay hand to the sword, and from here uniting all the strength of your body together, do the same rovescio tondo with those same turns of the hand and the feet of which I have told you, and in the same manner; but pay heed that in this delivering of the rovescio, the swords meet each other true edge to true edge, but that the forte of your sword will have met the debole of mine, whereby mine could be easily broken by virtue of the disadvantage of such a meeting, and also because of the fall of the cut; and you will also be more secure, being shielded by the forte of your sword.
CON: How should I avenge myself of the insult?
ROD: While my mandritto is beat aside by your rovescio tondo, it will go by your right side; lift up your sword hand somewhat, and turn the true edge toward the sky, and make the point of the sword drop somewhat, and move yourself toward me with your right foot forward with a big step, and then immediately drop your left arm, and make your right shoulder throw your right arm forward, declining toward me from high to low, with that punta sopramano offensiva, accompanying it in all of the said manners;...


What part of "...beat aside by your rovescio tondo, it will go by your right side..." are you not understanding? When you block a sword cut you completely stop his blade on your blade. A blocked cut is not beaten aside to go by your side. It is a big assumption to assume that "beat aside" means to block! Sorry but you seem to have cut yourself on the razon. Razz

Just take Viggiani at this own words!

Ran Pleasant
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Marcus O





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PostPosted: Tue 11 Oct, 2011 4:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

As far I can tell from the text that has been posted, the swords do indeed meet true edge to true edge, with the attacker's weak against the defender's strong, and the defender then beats the attacker's sword to the side, presumably by simply completing the strike, which in turn removes the potential threat and allows the defender to riposte.

Note: I have not studied Viggiani so this interpretation may be wrong, but it seems to make the most sense.

Marcus
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Johan Gemvik




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PostPosted: Tue 11 Oct, 2011 5:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Randall, if I may just most humbly and non antagonizingly point out a detail about your earlier quote.

SCA heavy combat practitioners do not perform weak-to-weak edge-to-edge hard contact unless in dire emergency as a very last resort, it simply doesn't work to stop an attack in the rules system, or is useless altogether.
I'll readily agree there are a lot of hard Edge-to-Ricasso contact happening in SCA heavy combat sport (one of several martial activities practiced within the SCA, where HEMA manual steel fencing and Rapier fencing are others). Most often the contact is at an angle due to human body dynamics but at times, actually rarely, with straight on direction.
But a ricasso square "thin" side is not an edge. Nor is a blunt well rounded sturdy Forte an edge. This last has been stated clearly by Clements in his books.
Am I to understand your standpoint on what constitutes and edge is contradictory to his or is the "SCA" in the clear then?

Another point to make is that Heavy combat in the SCA is constantly changing, constantly evolving. What one knew or thought they knew about it from even a few years ago can be outdated.
New ideas and practices are starting to influence and even dominate the scene today, such as the Pressure-Tension system. If one uses the modern pressure tension approach to SCA heavy combat properly, one would bluff away the opponents guard without moving your loaded weapon and strike the opening without contacting his sword and/or shield. This is seemingly like magic or mind control, but in reality a matter of systematically sending out false body language signals and taking advantage of the reactions from them. Seems to me this modern sport system would be pretty ideal for preserving a real blade in combat, except for damage from striking armour or heavy bone.

Clearly this last bit is not what you see on cinema? Wink

"The Dwarf sees farther than the Giant when he has the giant's shoulder to mount on" -Coleridge
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Mackenzie Cosens




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PostPosted: Tue 11 Oct, 2011 7:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mackenzie Cosens wrote:
Vincent Le Chevalier wrote:
Randall Pleasant wrote:
Vincent Le Chevalier wrote:
Conversely, the quote from Viggiani, regardless of how you envision the action, indicates that some parries were made with the intent to damage the other guy's sword as an added bonus.

I disagree about the intent. Viggiani only says that the tip of the other blade can be easily broken. He is not expressing that one should be intent upon that action. The goal of the technique is to displace the adversary's blade and counter-attack all in a single motion. If it happens then it happens.

OK it's not the main goal of course, but you don't do and describe that kind of action in those terms if your concern in all actions is the safety of the edges. It's a high impact edge on edge that can result in a sword breaking. Of course it's tactically more refined than the infamous stage fighting hacks to the other sword but from the point of view of the integrity of the edge I'd say it's about the same...

Regards,


The two times that I have been involved in tips of swords breaking have been cuts neither to the flat nor edge but at an angle to both say about 45 degree to the true edge in a pulsitiva defense to a fendenti. One sword was old and the other probably had a temper problem.

it is very exciting when the tips go flying off to the empty corner, and you realize how glad you are that no one was standing there.

mackenzie


After discussing the first incident with with a friend he remembers that first break was due to a true edge to true edge block.

m
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William Carew




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PostPosted: Tue 11 Oct, 2011 7:50 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It would be helpful if we could agree on our terms, starting with a clear, agreed upon definition of a parry.

Here is mine (based on dictonary definitions with the addition of the weapon):

Parry: the action of using a weapon to ward off a thrust or blow

This includes hard stops (with the true edge of the forte), softer deflections and slides (with the flat) and lots of other actions that are used defensively even though they can be counter attacks (e.g. Liechtenauer's 5 hews, absetzen etc).

What quickly becomes apparent is that not everyone is using the same definitions. So it would help if posters could define their terms before arguing against others with a different definition.

Now for some historical source input on how to parry in ways that will often involve some edge to edge contact. These are quotes from Joachim Meyer (1570), translated by Dr Jeffrey Forgeng. Though by no means an exhaustive list, they demonstrate plenty of evidence for parrying with the edge in Renaissance fencing.

Defending with the edge in the longsword book:

Quote:
“A good counter against all high cuts [Oberhauwen](Meyer 1.64v.1 - Forgeng translation pg 110)

Note when he cuts in against you from above, and step with your left foot toward his right, that is to your left, well out to the side; along with this stepping out, cut upwards with your long edge against his incoming cut, so that in cutting upwards you push your pommel through under your right arm, and thus catch his cut with crossed hands up in the air on your long edge forte...

Setting Off [Absetzen]

1.18v.1 (Forgeng translation pg 63)
For instance, if you come in the Onset into the Change, and he cuts at you from above, then go up with the long edge against his stroke and step the same time with your right foot toward his left and set him off; then at the moment it clashes, turn the short edge and flick it at his head.

Slicing Off [Abschneiden]*

1.21v.2 (Forgeng translation pg 66)
Hold the sword with your arms extended long in front of you, or sink into the guard of the Fool; if your opponent cuts at you with long cuts, then slice them off from you with the long edge to both sides, until you see your opportunity to come to another work more suitable for you.

*My comment: Abschneiden is usually used againt the opponent's arms, but it can also be used against the opponent's weapon, depending on the measure

Chasing and the slice are also hidden within this slicing off. Therefore Liechtenauer also writes of this in a maxim where he says:

Slice off the hard ones
From both dangers.

That is, slice off the hard strokes from you from both sides...

Barring [Sperren]

1.22v.1 (Forgeng translation pg 67)
Note when an opponent stands before you in the Change or guard of the Fool, and fall forcefully with your long edge on his blade, and as soon as it clashes or touches, then cross your hands and bar him so that he cannot come out.

Longpoint [Langort]

1.42r.2 (Forgeng translation pg 86)
Item, when you see that your opponent will bind or cut at you, then send your sword in against him, as if you intended to bind, and just when the blades are about to connect, push your pommel up quickly, and turn your blade up from below through the Rose, catching his stroke on your long edge…”


From the dussack book:

Quote:
“Chapter 11: The Straight Parrying [Gerade Versatzung] or Slice [Schnitt]

2.33R (Forgeng translation pg 148 – 151)
In this parrying, position yourself thus: stand with your right foot forward and hold your dusack in front of you with your arm extended, so that your long edge stands toward the opponent and the tip of your weapon is forward…

2.33v.1
Now when you come before your opponent in the Straight Parrying, then note when he will cut forth at your face: turn your long edge against his cut, and catch it in the air toward his right;

2.33v.2
Next, if he cuts in front at your face, then turn your long edge against his cut as before. As soon as the dusacks knock together, then pull your dusack back away again, around before your face, and cut outside at his right arm.

2.33v.3
Item, parry his High Cut with your long edge as before, and when the dusacks knock together, then jerk your hilt up toward your left so that you come into the left Steer.

2.34r.1
Item, parry his stroke with your long edge as before, and when it connects, pull your dusack back again toward your right and around your head; step and thrust outside over his right arm at his face.

2.34r.2
Item, if you stand in this parrying, and your opponent cuts outside at your right, then parry his cut with your long edge, and at once deliver a Low or Middle Cut from your right at his left through his face;

2.34r.3
Item, if you stand before your opponent in Straight Parrying, and he cuts outside at your right, then as he cuts in, quickly step out from his stroke toward his right with your left foot, and meanwhile turn your long edge against his cut;

2.35r.1
If an opponent cuts at your right or left, then parry him with your long edge, and as soon as it clashes, then pull back up, and cut straight from above back to the nearest opening, with stepping out.

2.36R
And lastly when you stand in this Straight Parrying then note as I have also said before, if your opponent cuts at your right or left, then turn your long edge against his cut, and along with this parrying, thrust your point forth at his face.”


Note: the actions above result often in a degree of edge to edge contact - the design of many dussacken is such that attempting to parry with a dussack against another dussack by striking strictly against the flat with your edge will often leave the attacking dussack free to slide through and hit anyway because the dussack lacks the trapping ability of a longsword with a crossguard.

From the rappier book:

Quote:
“How you shall fight and defend yourself from the Straight Parrying [Gerade Versatzung]

2.74r.1 (Forgeng translation pg 195 - 196)
In the Onset, position yourself in the Straight Parrying… approach him thus with extended and firm parrying. If he cuts or thrusts from his right diagonally toward your left, then turn your long edge and hilt up against his incoming cut or thrust… catch his blade upon your forte near your hilt.

2.75r.1
Now if he cuts or thrusts from the other side (that is from his left) at your right side, also diagonally from above, then again turn your long edge and hilt with extended arm against his incoming blade to parry or catch it; then at the same time step out sideways from his blade with your left foot toward his right.

2.76r.1
If he thrusts or cuts at you from below or across, whether from the right or left, from whichever side he thrusts or cuts, then step out from his incoming thrust or cut with your rear foot (that is with your left) toward the other side, and send it down away from your out sideways with extended long edge.”


Lest I be accused of being a biased 'edge hacker' and cherry picking my quotes, Meyer also provides ample evidence of parrying with the flat as well:

Quote:
"Hanging [Hengen] (Meyer 1.22r.1 – Forgeng translation pg 66)

When you stand in the Plow [Pflug] and your opponent cuts at you, then go up with your hilt so that the blade hangs somewhat toward the ground, and catch his stroke on the flat of your blade. Then work with winding to the nearest opening.

Hanging Point [Hangetort] (Meyer 1.39v.2 – Forgeng translation pg 84)

Now if he cuts at your right from above, then catch his stroke on the flat of your blade and step out toward his right; when the swords have connected together, you can remain with your blade on his and wind the short edge in at his head. Turn the sword quickly out of the wind into the Longpoint [Langort], so that you can send his counterattack away from you with the long edge”


Cheers

Bill Carew
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Steven Reich




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PostPosted: Tue 11 Oct, 2011 9:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Randall Pleasant wrote:
The mis-interpretations we have seen of this one techique from Viggiani demonstrats the truth of Clements statement. To recreate the sword arts of the Renaissance and Medieval periods one cannot push the Baroque concept of parry & riposte back into earlier peiods, that is bad scholarship! This techinque from Viggiani is an excellent examle of cutting into kron (crown) and then cutting out of kron all in a single motion. If you want to get Viggiani right you better go read Clements' article again.

Sorry to play the "argument by authority" card, but the truth of the matter is that neither you nor Clements have read nearly as much of the Bolognese material as I have--unless you can read Italian--because the bulk of the corpus just isn't in English. To say that the "parry and riposte" isn't in the material and the the parries aren't made with the edges is clearly coming from the point of view of someone who has read a fraction of the text...and with a biased eye. There are literally countless examples of two-tempo "parry and riposte" actions in the Bolognese material of exactly the type that a classical swordsman would understand (although very often not using a classical parry position). The Viggiani technique is "two-tempi" by definition, even if it isn't a "stop" and "riposte" because the first tempo is the cutting parry and the second is the riposte, although it isn't a "baroque-style parry-riposte".

Frankly, I don't need to read Clement's article right to get Viggiani's action(s) correct. Instead, I'd say that you need to learn to read 16th century Italian and read Marozzo, Manciolino, and the Anonimo Bolognese manuscript in the original language (and a few other 16th century Italian texts for good measure would be a good idea, too--I'd strongly suggest Altoni and Lovino for starters). And yes, I have read all of all of these (and several others I haven't named)...in Italian (lest you think I don't put my money where my mouth is).

Sorry to be blunt, but there it is...

Steve

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Steven Reich




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PostPosted: Tue 11 Oct, 2011 9:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Randall Pleasant wrote:
Steven Reich wrote:
If this whole thread has gotten back to a matter of "were there ever instructions for edge-on-edge blocks?" Then the answer is a clear "yes". Numerous examples exist in the Bolognese texts but perhaps the clearest is that described by Viggiani where he discusses using a rising riverso against the opponent's downward cut.

Steve very clearly states he thinks the technique involves an "edge-on-edge block". If that is not what he meant then I'm sure he will post a correction to the above statement. A block is a block is a block....

Well, I guess we can argue the semantics of "block"--i.e. whether it means "static stop" or merely "preventing his blade from striking you somehow by utilizing your blade against it". Of course, the problem is that arguing semantics of "block" is patently ridiculous when the original text is in Italian. If we're going to argue the semantics of the word, we must do so with the original, untranslated version. However, we might run into a problem typical in Italian texts if, for example, he uses the term "parare". This means "parry" you say? hmmm...well, that specific word can be used to indicate three things (perhaps more, but I remember three specifically): "to parry" by way of placing your sword into a location to receive a blow upon it (such as in Guardia di Testa against a cut to the head), "to parry" by way of a striking blow, of even "to protect yourself", such as by retreating while directing you sword point at your opponent (to give a specific example). Thus, to argue about "block" without knowing what the original word was and also how the original word is used in the text is fairly meaningless.

Now as to what I meant by "block"--my sword preventing the opponent's from hitting me, whether actively or passively. Apologies if I wasn't adhering to a standard interpretation of what this word means.

Steve

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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Tue 11 Oct, 2011 9:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You have parry in English but there is a word in French " PARER " which sounds very much the same and one of it's definitions is " Détourner, éviter: Parer un coup " which translates into:

A) Détourner = Redirect.

B) Éviter = Avoid ( Get out of the way/void )

C) Parer un coup = Parry a blow.

In general to counter an action but this is very non-specific in how one does it as getting out of the way is given the same weight as actively opposing something to stop it by getting in it's way, make it ineffective by neutralizing it's action, counter it with equal and opposing force etc .....

So the same word could mean many different actions and subject to interpretation.

The English word seem very likely to have come from the French or Italian or even Latin ( Maybe? I'm not familiar enough with Latin, but all the " Romance " language come from the Latin ).

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Aleksei Sosnovski





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PostPosted: Tue 11 Oct, 2011 11:43 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There seems to be too much argument here :-) We indeed need a common vocabulary. Looking at all the evidences both for and against edge-to-edge blocks (and by "block" I mean action that stops the incoming blow) I see a lot of very different quotes from manuals written in different centuries and addressing different weapons.

Some of these quotes don't describe blocks at all, for example "Hold the sword with your arms extended long in front of you, or sink into the guard of the Fool; if your opponent cuts at you with long cuts, then slice them off from you with the long edge to both sides, until you see your opportunity to come to another work more suitable for you" (posted by William Carew, longsword): this technique is not a block, but a deflection.

There are quotes from rapier manuals (and specifically thrusting rapier manuals such as Capo Ferro). Well, rapier is not a cutting weapon. Some rapiers could cut better than others, but in general cutting with a slender rapier is risky. And rapiers often had cross sections that allow blocking edge-to-edge. There are different weapons, we should understand that what works with one weapon may not work very well with another.

There are quotes from dussack manuals. Again, dussack is a short but broad weapon, without a crossguard and relatively cheap. This weapon can withstand deep nicks far better than for example a longsword. Also one-handed dussack cuts are much weaker than two-handed longsword cuts. By the way, were there any sharp dussacks?

And there are even some pictures without proper quotes. Vincent Le Chevalier, picture on p. 68 of the manual looks as if both opponents are cutting at each other's swords in mid-air, non of the fighters seems to be aiming at his opponent. Please quote description of this technique, or next time I will post a picture from Mac. Bible as a proof that it is possible to cut a maille-clad opponent in two. No offence, I just like original sources and am very suspicious of interpretations.

What I want to say is
1) I don't think anyone here says that edge was not used for parrying. What people including me say that edge should not be used for parries that inflict heavy damage to the defender's weapon. Such parries are hard edge-to-edge blocks. "Hanging" executed with an edge that I described earlier would leave a cutting edge totally blunt. Not an irreparable damage but having an edge of a cutting weapon totally blunt is not a good idea, is it? So it is also not a thing to learn.

2) Some weapons are better suited for edge-to-edge blocks than others. Thrusting rapier can be used for blocking cuts from another thrusting rapier because it is thick, does not need (and often does not have) an edge suitable for cutting and cuts with such weapon are rare and are very prone to breaking the attacking blade. And of course edge can be used for deflecting thrusts.

3) Weapons of same type can have very different design. I am pretty sure that forte of this weapon can be safely used for blocking edge-to-edge.

4) Overall economical, technological and cultural situation can have a great effect on fencing style. Military saber fencing manuals that show almost exclusively edge-to-edge blocks (at least I have such impression) are a good example. Most proofs for edge-to-edge blocks come from late 16th century sources. There are probably many reasons. One of these reasons may be dominance of the rapier that was well-suited for edge-to-edge blocks. But maybe weapons became cheaper and overall quality of steel also improved? I don't know.

5) There even seems to be dedicated sport fencing. Were there any sharp dussacks? I have an impression that dussack was a purely training weapon.

We should be more precise in our statements and not blindly apply what is said about one time period, region and weapon to other regions, weapons and time periods.
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Wed 12 Oct, 2011 6:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Aleksei Sosnovski wrote:
5) There even seems to be dedicated sport fencing. Were there any sharp dussacks? I have an impression that dussack was a purely training weapon.


Yes, see here: http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=13659 . Happy

Happy

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Steven Reich




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PostPosted: Wed 12 Oct, 2011 6:56 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Aleksei Sosnovski wrote:
1) I don't think anyone here says that edge was not used for parrying. What people including me say that edge should not be used for parries that inflict heavy damage to the defender's weapon. Such parries are hard edge-to-edge blocks. "Hanging" executed with an edge that I described earlier would leave a cutting edge totally blunt. Not an irreparable damage but having an edge of a cutting weapon totally blunt is not a good idea, is it? So it is also not a thing to learn.

Actually, I think parrying such that you damage your opponent's weapon is a great idea.

The thing is, the "hanging parry" against a Mandritto (i.e. against a cut to the left side of your head) is exactly a parry described in Dall'Agocchie (1572) as one of his primary defenses, and also in Marozzo (1536) in one or two places. I won't argue one way or another about edge damage, in fact, I think it's very likely that it did do damage. However, the parry is detailed in the text, so I do it.

Steve

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Aleksei Sosnovski





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PostPosted: Wed 12 Oct, 2011 7:14 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Steven Reich wrote:

Actually, I think parrying such that you damage your opponent's weapon is a great idea


I agree with that. But only if your own sword is not put in danger of breaking.

Steven Reich wrote:

The thing is, the "hanging parry" against a Mandritto (i.e. against a cut to the left side of your head) is exactly a parry described in Dall'Agocchie (1572) as one of his primary defenses, and also in Marozzo (1536) in one or two places. I won't argue one way or another about edge damage, in fact, I think it's very likely that it did do damage. However, the parry is detailed in the text, so I do it.


I don't think that what described there is "handing". "Hanging" as I understand it is a deflection when attacker's weapon slides along the defender's blade from forte to point. Do it once with the edge, and your sword will turn into a poor club. Well, at least it will no longer cut. Your weapon will be damaged more than your opponent's. If it's OK with you-do it. I would do it with a thrusting rapier. But a longsword or dussack? No!
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Steven Reich




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PostPosted: Wed 12 Oct, 2011 9:30 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Aleksei Sosnovski wrote:
Steven Reich wrote:

The thing is, the "hanging parry" against a Mandritto (i.e. against a cut to the left side of your head) is exactly a parry described in Dall'Agocchie (1572) as one of his primary defenses, and also in Marozzo (1536) in one or two places. I won't argue one way or another about edge damage, in fact, I think it's very likely that it did do damage. However, the parry is detailed in the text, so I do it.

I don't think that what described there is "handing". "Hanging" as I understand it is a deflection when attacker's weapon slides along the defender's blade from forte to point. Do it once with the edge, and your sword will turn into a poor club. Well, at least it will no longer cut. Your weapon will be damaged more than your opponent's. If it's OK with you-do it. I would do it with a thrusting rapier. But a longsword or dussack? No!

Against a Mandritto it will be a hard stop--or at most sliding up to the hilt. Against a Riverso (i.e. to the right side of your head), it would be a deflection, as it would be against a Fendente (i.e. a vertically descending blow). That parry is used against all three types of cuts in Dall'Agocchie.

I guess we can discuss what we mean by "hanging", but the more relevant point is whether or not hard stops made by static parries on the edge are described anywhere and they are in the Bolognese material. Now those aren't the only parries described--in fact, just about every type of "parry" is used in that system from voids to deflections to yields to hard, jarring stops. In fact, the most violent defense I've found isn't even a static parry, but a a Riverso Ridoppio used to parry a Riverso Sgualembrato. It just doesn't get much for violent than that and I can see it very likely breaking the attacker's sword of the defender catches the attacker's debole with his own forte.

Steve

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Sean Hendriks





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PostPosted: Wed 12 Oct, 2011 10:01 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Aleksei Sosnovski wrote:
There are quotes from rapier manuals (and specifically thrusting rapier manuals such as Capo Ferro). Well, rapier is not a cutting weapon. Some rapiers could cut better than others, but in general cutting with a slender rapier is risky.


I suggest you take a look at your copy of that manual again, if only to amuse yourself with the number of times you are advised that a cut is an appropriate action. Those crazy renaissance masters sure knew nothing about what they were talking about.
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Justin H. Núñez




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PostPosted: Wed 12 Oct, 2011 12:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Steven Reich wrote:
Aleksei Sosnovski wrote:
Steven Reich wrote:

The thing is, the "hanging parry" against a Mandritto (i.e. against a cut to the left side of your head) is exactly a parry described in Dall'Agocchie (1572) as one of his primary defenses, and also in Marozzo (1536) in one or two places. I won't argue one way or another about edge damage, in fact, I think it's very likely that it did do damage. However, the parry is detailed in the text, so I do it.

I don't think that what described there is "handing". "Hanging" as I understand it is a deflection when attacker's weapon slides along the defender's blade from forte to point. Do it once with the edge, and your sword will turn into a poor club. Well, at least it will no longer cut. Your weapon will be damaged more than your opponent's. If it's OK with you-do it. I would do it with a thrusting rapier. But a longsword or dussack? No!

Against a Mandritto it will be a hard stop--or at most sliding up to the hilt. Against a Riverso (i.e. to the right side of your head), it would be a deflection, as it would be against a Fendente (i.e. a vertically descending blow). That parry is used against all three types of cuts in Dall'Agocchie.

I guess we can discuss what we mean by "hanging", but the more relevant point is whether or not hard stops made by static parries on the edge are described anywhere and they are in the Bolognese material. Now those aren't the only parries described--in fact, just about every type of "parry" is used in that system from voids to deflections to yields to hard, jarring stops. In fact, the most violent defense I've found isn't even a static parry, but a a Riverso Ridoppio used to parry a Riverso Sgualembrato. It just doesn't get much for violent than that and I can see it very likely breaking the attacker's sword of the defender catches the attacker's debole with his own forte.

Steve



I am just a lowly "sport/Olympic" fencer who took lessons with two fairly prominent French masters (Leon Auriol and Gerard Poujardieu Jr.) and they always reminded me that fencing is fencing whether on the piste or in an alley and that there are many different types of parries and different ways to do them according to the situation. They always said in their thick accents "it depends on what the circumstance is on which one you should do. That is whole point of studying fencing." What is my point? Maybe there isn't one but to listen to what the masters are telling you and do what they say, but you do have to learn their language.

"Nothing in fencing is really difficult, it just takes work." - Aldo Nadi
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Mackenzie Cosens




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PostPosted: Wed 12 Oct, 2011 3:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Justin H. Núñez wrote:


I am just a lowly "sport/Olympic" fencer who took lessons with two fairly prominent French masters (Leon Auriol and Gerard Poujardieu Jr.) and they always reminded me that fencing is fencing whether on the piste or in an alley and that there are many different types of parries and different ways to do them according to the situation. They always said in their thick accents "it depends on what the circumstance is on which one you should do. That is whole point of studying fencing." What is my point? Maybe there isn't one but to listen to what the masters are telling you and do what they say, but you do have to learn their language.


I really like what you said.

The masters I am interested in have been dead a long time, I was fortunate that they wrote down some of what they had to teach. I am doubled fortunate in that there is group of dedicated scholars who can read the original lessons in the original language and who have had the generosity to translate and publish what those long dead masters wrote so I can read it.

Now I can put aside what I think, and do what a master in arts who has been dead 500 or perhaps 700 years says to do. I can practice what the master says until my body stops rebelling and then I can begin to understand a fraction of what the master has to teach.

For me the secrete to martial arts that I currently study is: what I think about the art doesn't matter it's what someone long dead knew that matters.

mackenzie
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Mackenzie Cosens




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PostPosted: Wed 12 Oct, 2011 4:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sorry I do not remember reading this entire thread so perhaps these two questions have already been aswered:

1) Does anyone know of a historical source that says something to the effect of: "Don't bock with your edge cause you'll damage your sword"?

2) I have only a cursory understanding of Bolognese style of sword play, but is there any restriction of what could be called edge to edge blocks to either the plays of spada da filo(sharp sword) or spada da gioco (artistic/sport sword) or are they general techniques found in both types of plays?


mackenzie
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Aleksei Sosnovski





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PostPosted: Wed 12 Oct, 2011 11:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sean Hendriks wrote:
Aleksei Sosnovski wrote:
There are quotes from rapier manuals (and specifically thrusting rapier manuals such as Capo Ferro). Well, rapier is not a cutting weapon. Some rapiers could cut better than others, but in general cutting with a slender rapier is risky.


I suggest you take a look at your copy of that manual again, if only to amuse yourself with the number of times you are advised that a cut is an appropriate action. Those crazy renaissance masters sure knew nothing about what they were talking about.


Even if out of 10 actions described in a manual 5 are cuts it does not mean that your every second attack is a cut. These actions might as well describe what to do in a situation where a "normal" action (that is a thrust) cannot be made very well.

Also, there are cuts and cuts. Look at rapier slicing/cutting video on this page http://www.thearma.org/Videos/NTCvids/testing...rials.htm. Rapier can do some damage, but one cannot rely on a cut to incapacitate his opponent (and please note, I am talking about SLENDER rapier such as shown in Capo Ferro). Such cuts would be pretty useless against heavy clothes. And they certainly won't penetrate the scull. And some rapiers even didn't have an edge at all! So these cuts are aimed at distracting opponent rather than killing him. But to distract an opponent one does not need to cut hard. Weaker cut at the face would still be very unpleasant and at the same time one doesn't risk to break his blade. Now if cuts are not very strong why not use hard blocks against them? Especially if forte is thick and strong.

I repeat myself: what suits for one weapon does not suite another. And what works against one weapon does not work against another. You wouldn't attempt a hard block with a one-handed sword against a pollaxe, would you? Same thing for thrusting rapier and longsword. But if I have a longsword and my opponent cuts with a rapier... You got the idea.
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Sean Hendriks





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PostPosted: Thu 13 Oct, 2011 3:17 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Aleksei:

Aleksei Sosnovski wrote:
Even if out of 10 actions described in a manual 5 are cuts it does not mean that your every second attack is a cut.


At no point was anything like that suggested. The manual does not provide a description of random strikes, it provides instructions/suggestions/advice on what offensive actions to take in various scenarios.

Aleksei Sosnovski wrote:
These actions might as well describe what to do in a situation where a "normal" action (that is a thrust) cannot be made very well.


If you wish to invoke rapier treatises, I advise you to read them first. Let's take Capoferro (your suggestion), specificaly Swanger & WIlson's translation which is readily available online. We'll start with plate 7, the first exchange (as it were) listed, in which the text ends us being told 'that if C had been a shrewd person,' he would parry the opponent's sword to the outside with the false or true edge, and followed up with a mandritto to the face or an imbroccata to the chest.

Does that sound like suggesting a cut if a thrust is not available?

On to plate 8, where when C attempts to strike D's leg with a riverso, D will strike C with a stramazzone to the arm or thrust to the face, with the usual 'shrewd person' suggestion being for C to strike with a riverso to the face followed by a mandritto fendente to the head.

So as not to leave you without something to respond about, in plate 9 all strikes listed are with the point.

Aleksei Sosnovski wrote:
Also, there are cuts and cuts. Look at rapier slicing/cutting video on this page http://www.thearma.org/Videos/NTCvids/testing...rials.htm. Rapier can do some damage, but one cannot rely on a cut to incapacitate his opponent (and please note, I am talking about SLENDER rapier such as shown in Capo Ferro).


If a modern day HEMA practitioner cannot effectively make cuts with a sword, an action which is heavily used in historical treatises, I would suggest the problem lies not with the sword or the treatise, but with the practitioner. Even if it is Capoferro's SLENDER rapier.

Aleksei Sosnovski wrote:
I repeat myself: what suits for one weapon does not suite another...


I don't recall anyone taking issue with that generalisation, although you should have thrown a 'necessarily' in there.
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