There'd be so much other things to blog about than the swordsmanship project, too. Hopefully I get around to putting something in writing some time Real Soon Now(tm).
This picture shows a strike to the chest, together with pushing the sword down and separating it from the dagger.
It's very simple. Honestly! You'll get it, just look at the picture.
You are in terza, with your sword withdrawn and your dagger together with your sword. He is in the same guard as you, or in quarta.
Begin with a stringere on the inside, in quarta. Lower your dagger to the middle of your right arm, in an oblique line.
When he disengages to strike(1), strike him on the outside to the chest, and at the same time, lift the hilt of your sword a bit and parry downwards and outside with the flat of your dagger.
This is almost guaranteed to make him lose his weapon(2).
(1) He actually says that he disengages to strike in quarta, which I find weird. If he has me on the inside, and I disegage, would I not go to seconda, not quarta? The picture shows the hand of the adversary in quarta, though, and obviously the disarm thingy works better that way.
(2) Translator says it is actually very difficult to really disarm someone this way. I'll take their word for it, but I do not think that an actual disarm - as in, him completely letting go of the sword - is necessary, and it's also not shown in the picture. The wrist position shown is such, however, that in effect the adversary's hand on the sword is no longer in any sort of control of it, which as far as I am concerned qualifies as "losing the weapon".
Sometimes I wonder if I will have any readers left after this project is over - all the normal people have left, bored, and all the swordsmen will leave once I stop.
The basic idea on this plate seems to be to draw a dagger parry by attacking on a high line, then disengage that over the dagger to attack, which will take care that his dagger on the wrong side of your sword for effective usage. However, the guards as described don't make sense to me, almost as if he would have meant "seconda" when he says "quarta", in both cases. I probably just completely misunderstand the thing. I'll render it below the best I can for my own future reference, but I suspect no one will benefit for reading it at this point...
Here we see a strike in seconda to the chest, after a feint and disengage over the dagger.
You could do the same thing in quarta too.
The adversary begins from low terza, with the sword withdrawn, and the dagger forward, together with the sword.
You take a high terza. Feint outside of the dagger to the face in high quarta or terza(1).
When he raises his dagger to parry you, in order to attack in quarta(2), disengage over the dagger(3) and, in the same tempo, parry his sword with your dagger to the inside and strike him in seconda to the chest (shown).
(1) That's what it says. But how the hell do you feint outside of the dagger in quarta, when presumably he has the dagger in his left hand? Feinting either in quarta or outside of the dagger could make sense; doing both looks anatomically painful.
(2) Picture shows the adversary in seconda, though.
(3) The picture shows him after the disengage on the inside of the dagger. So the "outside of the dagger" in the previous must be correct, and you want to draw a parry towards his left, your right. However, being in quarta for that just does not make any sense to me.
No, I did not go on strike over being asked to do dagger stuff, I've simply been sick for about a week and not been able to make head or tails of CF - I did try, but I just simply was not able to parse anything. But here we go again.
This picture demonstrates how after just one sort of parry with the dagger you can trust in three different places, namely face, chest, or thigh. The following pictures will have some fancier parry stuff too.
These strikes are in quarta. You have the adversary stringered on the inside. Does not matter which guard, as long as it's suitable for inside. He will then disengage and will try to strike you either in the face or the chest.
The picture shows how when he disengages, you will use your dagger to parry, with your dagger over your right arm and his sword towards his inside.
Now in the first case [if he tried to stike you in the face], you can strike him wherever you please, face, chest, or thigh. But in the second case [if he was aiming at your chest], you can strike him in the face or the thigh.(1)
(1) It is not immediately clear to me why not in the chest too, but I think it is simply that if he is attacking correctly, his sword closes the middle line.
The Guy said I should not skip the dagger stuff. While I do not actually believe him, I trust him enough that I will go against my better judgment here just because he said to (for nitpickers: and I do not see anything morally objectionable in reading this stuff).
Disclaimer: I have done very, very little of rapier and dagger stuff in my whole life - maybe 5-6 times total, ever. So this is going to be messy and probably more amusing to the experienced people than useful to anyone, including me.
Figures with sword and dagger, demonstrating a stringere of an adversary in high prima(1).
Note that if the sword of the enemy is aimed at your right shoulder, then you should find it on the outside, and also that you can adopt this same manner stringere in gaining the low guards.
I put this stringere stuff here because more plates on sword and dagger stuff will follow(2).
But it's really bothersome, because I cannot in one picture show every possible stringere, in or out, high or low. So figure it out yourself(3).
I'll just give these rules of thumb. If his point is aimed at your right shoulder, you should be on the outside. And if you stringere a low guard, your own sword should be on a downward sloping line(3).
(1) I know prima! That's the guy on the right, labeled A.
(3) Yes, seriously. "Deferring in this to the discretion of the reader", but same difference.
(4) Presumably, it is implicit in the necessity of this rule of thumb that having a dagger in the other hand makes lower lines safer. How, is beyond me.
The number on this plate looks like a 22 to me, but then there is another 22 and this looks like what's described in the text...
There's some footwork related to the parry I am confused of. Like the translators suggest, it probably relates to what is said in Terminology, #7, Of parries, but that does not much help me because I did not get it then either. I still don't have a copy of the original; I'll try and remember to check it out at the salle tomorrow.
After this one there will be some sword and dagger stuff. I don't like rapier and dagger, it feels like a completely different sport to me, and more combat than sport, which I am supposed as a member of a martial arts school to like, but I don't. Sue me. I am tempted to skip all that stuff on this pass through.
This picture shows a strike in the face in seconda with a pass and with a grip of the enemy's sword arm with the left hand(1).
Basic sequence: C closes in on the outside. D disengages to thrust. C parries in quarta with a beat of the right foot(2), and, all as one action(3), passing and turning the body as well, strikes D in seconda in the face while controlling his sword with his left hand (shown).
Variation: C can of course also strike D in quarta without passing, although in two actions(4).
Counter: Had D been an experienced fencer, on C's parry in quarta(5), D would have disengaged(6) to the outside and hit C in the face in seconda. Withdrawing to terza while controlling C's sword, D would have been safe and C hit instead.
(1) And indeed, so it does.
(2) This is the total WTF bit for me.
(3) Momentarily, it seems that this might suggest that the parry in quarta and riposte in seconda should be done as one tempo, but my brain suggests this is quite impossible, it is two motions no matter what you do. It is possible that he means that you need to do it "very quickly", as in, in the time it usually takes to achieve one lunge and strike (the other meaning of "tempo"). It can also be that the "all as one tempo" refers only to the pass and strike, but the "although" in the variation would speak against this.
(4) Since (obviously) the thrust is on such a range that you do not need to pass for it, and obviously passing takes you very close, the question arises if the first variation actually has some maneuvering in it to move the left foot back before passing, to gain range? The fact that this bit specifies "without passing" might support it. Or not.
(5) The translation actually has "when C disengaged to parry D", which the translators also point out is not consistent with the above. My guess is that this one is simply a mistake, either in translation or in the original. Try this paraphrasing stuff yourself and you will notice that making mistakes in describing who does what is very easy. And CF did not even have modern word processing software... the poor thing.
(6) Actually "counterdisengaged", but since I decided there is no cavazzione there cannot be a contra- either.
Olkoon mieli ja ruumis ravitut
Hallitkoon hallitsijat oikeudenmukaisesti
Vallitkoon kaikkialla maailmassa
rakkaus ja lempeys
tieto ja viisaus
onnellisuus ja hyvyys
Tulkoot vuodenajat ajallaan
Antakoon maa hyvän sadon
Varttukoon seuraavat sukupolvet
Karkottakoon oikeus ja vapaus pelon
Eläköön jokainen ihminen
sata tervettä vuotta
(Vanhaa intialaista rukousta mukaillen.)
Let us be well
Let my body and soul be nourished
Let those who rule do it justly
Let there be in all the world
Love and kindness
Knowledge and wisdom
Happiness and virtue
Let the seasons come and go on time
Let the harvests be bountiful
Let new generations be born and grow
Let justice and freedom end fear
Let poverty vanish
Let every human being
live a hundred healthy years.
(Freely translated from a Finnish translation of a traditional Indian prayer.)
Note that this figure also shows the ending of the counter on Plate 18, even though we arrive to it more directly.
This figure shows the strike in quarta with the crossing of the left leg behind [that was discussed just previously].
Basic sequence: C closes in on the outside. D disengages to thrust C in the face. C turns to quarta, passes his left leg behind his right, off the line, and strikes D in the face (shown).
Counter: Had D been an experienced fencer, she would have disengaged first to gain his sword on the inside(1), and then passed immediately forward with her left leg and given C a thrust in his chest.
Variation: Alternatively, she could disengage and beat his sword and then attack with a riverso to his face. Retreating in terza, she would be very safe.
(1) The scanzo of the basic sequence can work against a proper disengage to gain the sword before attack, but it makes the timing much trickier. The pass with the strike makes it even more so.
The Guy today at a private lesson: "Think of it as going so slow that you can AAR in the middle of combat". No, he does not play EVE with me. He reads my blog. It sort of helped, though the idea is bizarre.
To be honest I thought we did this plate already but I am too lazy to go back to see what the difference was. I should really go through CF and tabulate all the sequences according to lines, steps, and timings used to see what the pattern is there. I assume there must be one, and he is not just putting together sequences as they occur to him. Call me naive. But for now, it is enough that I practice "seeing" sequences in my head as I read them, I think.
This picture shows a thrust to the throat with a pass of the left foot.
Basic sequence: C closes in on the outside. B disengages to thrust C in the face. During B's disengage, C turns to quarta and strikes her in the face or the throat with a pass.
Counter: Had B been an experienced fencer, she would have disengaged to a feint, her body held back a bit. When C comes confidently forward with his strike, B passes her left leg behind her right, turning 90 degrees off the line, and strikes him in the chest.
Fancy talk about how training makes me feel would go here, if not being allowed to train had not made me (uncharacteristically) feel all "LESS TALK MORE FENCING" instead.
Now experimenting with "close" for stringere. I did not promise that the language will stay consistent. If I ever do a rewrite of all this stuff with actually reading the original and all that jazz, I will settle on one translation, but for now, I am just toying around.
This picture shows a strike near the ear with a step off the line with the right foot(1).
Basic sequence: C closes in on the outside. B disengages to strike in quarta. C steps off the line as shown, and strikes B in the head, near his ear.
Counter: had B been a sharper person, he would have disengaged with a feint, holding his body back for a bit. When C comes confidently forward with her strike, B would meet her sword on the outside, lower his point to seconda and pass with the left leg, all in the same time, striking her in the side and controlling her blade with his left hand(2).
(1) No kidding? We have eyes, Mr CF.
(2) See scannatura, Plate 13.
Note that we had a similar plate on an attack on the outside before. Here the counter has a beat, not a feint and a change of line, but both in fact work on both sides, though I do feel that a beat is easier in a quarta and a counterattack in seconda. Seconda might be just me being a mutant, but I think the beat being easier in quarta is some body mechanics stuff I cannot at this point explicate very well. (I need more basic body movement work. Crap. I hate that stuff.)
This and the next pictures demonstrate things you can do on the inside line. We always start with a stringere on the outside by one party, and a disengage to strike by the other.
Basic sequence: C stringeres on the outside. D disengages to strike. C turns to quarta and thrusts. Depending on the distance, the thrust can be with a fixed or advancing foot.
Counter: Had D been a sharper person, he would have disengaged with a beat, attacked, and withdrawn in terza.
Variation: Instead of a thrust, after the beat, D can also attack with a riverso cut.