Today we’ll be looking at the plays in Plate 19 of La Scherma by Francesco Ferdiando Alfieri. You can snag the Terminiello copy over on Amazon and the Tom Leoni version over on LuLu. I’m cross-referencing both in this chapter.
This is the last Single Rapier chapter in Alfieri’s manual where he talks briefly about disarms, and then teases some other ideas. Alfieri starts off by talking about how disarming an opponent is no common feat.
Play #1. Gentleman 36 has an opening on the inside line. Gentleman 37 moves into measure and strikes. In this same tempo, he grabs Gentleman 36 with his off-hand and twists, disarming his opponent.
Play #2. This same blow can happen if Gentleman 37 feints to the inside line. As Gentleman 36 moves to parry, to perform a cavazione and thrust in terza (see illustration). You then grab him by the arm and wrench the sword free, over your own blade.
Play #3. If you want to change things up, you could also strike the chest in quarta to the inside or to his head or under his sword arm along Line B, with your body low and your hand in seconda.
These don’t read as other disarms as much as Alfieri is just reiterating your other options in this engagement. Variety is the spice of life, and all that jazz.
Alfieri’s disarms are similar to some of the disarms in this video, for some added reference. The video’s instructor mentions Alfieri’s Plate 19 at 3:30 and then again at 7:35, so you can see it in action.
I’ll reiterate what the video says and be careful with disarms when playing with your friends (and opponents). We aren’t fighting for life or death and disarms can create a lot of torque on a person’s wrists. So be nice. Play safe. Have fun.
That’s it for Single Rapier. He then goes on to talk about all the cool things he’d like to reach you, but you have to go see him in person for it. The Buzzfeed Fencing Master is apparently sponsored by EA. Can’t get these cool items unless you buy the DLC:
- How to face, unarmed, a man with a dagger — disarm & strike him
- How to face a man armed with a dagger/stiletto within narrow confines, unsheathe your sword and strike him in one tempo
- In single-sword combat, how to free your sword from someone who’s grabbed it with a mail-glove, while also disarming him
- How to safely tage a targa/buckler from a strong-armed opponent; how to throw the cape at the opponent & obstruct his sight and strike him.
Next up: Imma gonna backtrack a bit and go over the guards and then we’ll hit sword & dagger.