The Tournament is now over and we’d like to give a big thank you to everyone who came and got involved!
We’re now returning to our normal schedule of training with four weeks of Giacomo di Grassi’s single handed sword taught by Roman (14th Aug – 4th Sept) followed by 8 weeks (11th Sept – 16th Oct) of Giovanni Dall’Agocchie’s sword and dagger taught by Roger (this will contain a refresher for those who have not attended one of Roger’s classes before).
Ant will also be running re-enactment training on Sunday afternoons for anyone who is interested. HEMA1 (novice) training will be continuing as normal so please do continue to invite anyone interested along.
Dall’agocchies’s second form is less well known than his first but is more useful. It runs through a number of responses to simple attacks. Practicing this form will help you commit the responses to muscle memory and then be able to reproduce them without thinking during sparring. Ilkka Hartikainen’s video below explains how it is performed. If you are struggling with the Italian fencing terms there is a glossary here you can use to understand them.
If you prefer something written, the translated text from Dall’agocchie’s treatise is copied below:
[Step 1] Then we could pose the case that you were arranged with your sword in coda lunga stretta, and that your enemy threw a mandritto to your head. You would proceed to parry it in guardia di faccia, advancing forward with your right foot, and thrust the point in his face all in one tempo, then immediately return your right foot back a pace, followed by a riverso sgualimbro, with which you’ll fix yourself in coda lunga alta.
[Step 2] Now, if you’re in the said guard, and he wants to throw an overhand thrust at you, you’ll pass forward with your right foot, making your left one follow it, and parry it with a mandritto sgualimbro and turn a riverso tondo to his face all in one tempo, followed by a riverso with which you’ll go into coda lunga stretta.
[Step 3] But if the enemy responds with a mandritto to your leg, you’ll protect yourself from that with the false edge of your sword, and turn two dritti tramazzone to his head in the same tempo, making the last one fall into porta di ferro stretta.
[Step 4] But if you’re in said guard and he turns a riverso to your upper body, you’ll parry it with a riverso sgualimbro, passing toward his right side in that tempo with your left foot, and advancing immediately with the right one, you’ll wound him with an imbroccata to his face, followed by a dritto tramazzone with which you’ll go into porta di ferro alta.
[Step 5] And if he throws a stoccata to your face, you’ll advance forward with your right foot and go with your sword into guardia d’entrare, joining your true edge onto the enemy’s sword all in one tempo, sticking the point into his chest. Having done which, you’ll draw your right foot back a pace, together with a dritto tramazzone, with which you’ll fix yourself in cinghiale porta di ferro.
[Step 6] Now if you find yourself in the said guard, and he responds to you with a mandritto, a riverso, or a thrust, against any one of these blows you can hit your true edge into the enemy’s sword, and then immediately pass forward with your right foot and stick an imbroccata into his chest followed by a dritto tramazzone with which you’ll settle yourself into porta di ferro larga.
[Step7] But if perchance he thrusts a punta riversa to your face in order to give you a mandritto tondo, you’ll hit the said thrust with your false edge. And when he turns the mandritto, you’ll immediately go into guardia di faccia with your sword, sticking your point into his face in that tempo, and for your shelter you’ll turn your right foot back a pace together with a riverso tramazzone with which you’ll go into coda lunga alta.
[Step 8] And being in the said guard, if he wants to wound you with a fendente to your head you’ll pass forward with your right foot, raising your sword into guardia di testa, and thereby you’ll protect yourself from it; but all in one tempo you’ll cast your left hand onto his sword from beneath your own, performing a grip on him and immediately giving him a mandritto to his head or leg, as you wish; having done which, you’ll return into coda lunga stretta.
Dall’agocchie’s “Stepping in the Guards” is a good way to practice common cuts whilst moving through a selection of guards. It is a solo form that you can practice yourself and use to become more fluid. You can see it being performed in the following video:
The full text description from Dall’aggocchie’s manual is given below:
Suppose you have your sword at your left side, in the act of laying hand upon it, and the heel of your right foot near your left one. Both your knees will be straight and not bowed, arranging yourself with as much grace as possible.
Having done this, you’ll put your right foot forward toward your right side, and in that tempo you’ll extend your arm and do a falso, and a riverso sgualimbro; or do two riversi, the first tondo and the second likewise sgualimbro; thereby going with your sword into coda lunga stretta.
And from here you’ll step forward with your left foot toward your left side, doing a falso and mandritto sgualimbro in that instant, and the sword will fall into cinghiale porta di ferro.
And then you’ll go forward one pace with your right foot, and in that tempo you’ll turn a dritto tramazzone, which will end in porta di ferro stretta.
Then you’ll advance with your left foot, doing a falso, and a riverso sgualimbro, and the sword will go into coda lunga alta.
Then you’ll step forward with your right foot and in the same tempo you’ll throw a riverso ridoppio, stopping the sword in guardia d’alicorno.
And being fixed in the said guard you’ll drive an imbroccata without any taking any step, and the sword will stop in porta di ferro stretta.
From here you’ll withdraw your right foot a pace, and all in one tempo you’ll execute a falso and a riverso sgualimbro, and the sword will return to coda lunga alta.
Then you’ll draw your left foot back, and next turn a mandritto tramazzone, which will end in porta di ferro stretta.
Then you’ll return your right foot back a pace, turning a dritto tramazzone in that tempo, with which you’ll fall into cinghiale porta di ferro.
And from here, you’ll draw the left foot back, doing a falso and riverso sgualimbro in that instant, and the sword will return to coda lunga stretta, and thus you’ll be returned to the same place with the same guards.