Alfieri Part 2, Chapter XIV: On Wounding by Voiding the Body Without Passing

Today we’ll be looking at the plays in Plate 13 of La Scherma by Francesco Ferdiando Alfieri. You can snag a copy over on Amazon if you want to follow along.

There’s also a new translation of Alfieri that came out last week by Tom Leoni. Tom’s well known for his rapier manual translations. Mine’s been in transit in my city since 5am. It’s 10pm. I’m assuming it ain’t making it today. 😦

Waiting for Leoni's Alfieri translationYou can also find the rest of my Alfieri & other historical rapier research over in the Historical Fencing section.


In today’s chapter, we’re going over some more body voids. We’ve hit a little of it before with some passing steps but today’s chapter is voiding sans-passing step, as we can see in Plate 14.

Alfieri starts off saying that by voiding the body “we make ourself master of our enemy’s life.” And who doesn’t like that? Continue reading Alfieri Part 2, Chapter XIV: On Wounding by Voiding the Body Without Passing

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Alfieri Part 2, Chapter XIII: How to Wound From a Firm Foot an Enemy Who Tries to Gain an Advantage by Circling

Today we’ll be looking at the plays in Plate 13 of La Scherma by Francesco Ferdiando Alfieri. You can snag a copy over on Amazon if you want to follow along.

You can also find the rest of my Alfieri & other historical rapier research over in the Historical Fencing section.


In today’s chapter, we go over Alfieri’s ideas for combating opponents who like to circle — aka Destreza fighters.

La Verdadera Destreza is the Spanish school of fencing which can be marked by its upright stance and penchant for circling opponents to gain blade & measure advantage. For additional information on Destreza, I highly recommend the blog Black Birds and Blades. It’s run by my friend Doroga who has put tireless amount of hours and effort into researching different Destreza masters.

Destreza rapier
Destreza in action

It’s a fun and interesting style of fence.

Of course, stepping off-line isn’t saved for just Spanish school of fencers. You run into with a wider variety of opponents, even those who concentrate in the Italian schools. Destreza just happens to be known for its circling. Continue reading Alfieri Part 2, Chapter XIII: How to Wound From a Firm Foot an Enemy Who Tries to Gain an Advantage by Circling

Alfieri Part 2, Chapter XII: On Wounding a Furious and Resolute Opponent

Today we’ll be looking at the plays in Plate 12 of La Scherma by Francesco Ferdiando Alfieri. You can snag a copy over on Amazon if you want to follow along.

You can also find the rest of my Alfieri & other historical rapier research over in the Historical Fencing section.


In Part 1, Alfieri goes over the different types of fighters one might come across, each based off the four humors. He spent some time talking about dealing with furious opponents on a philosophical level. In this chapter he talks about some actual plays one cane employ.

Note: We don’t run into “furious” opponents often in the SCA. The closest we could compare this to is someone who fights with little regard to their own person; someone who’s willing to take the double-kill as often as allowed; a bull-charger. Continue reading Alfieri Part 2, Chapter XII: On Wounding a Furious and Resolute Opponent

Alfieri Part 2, Chapter XI: How to Wound the Enemy While He Tries to Attack with a Mandritto or Riverso to the Legs

Today we’ll be looking at the plays in Plate 11 of La Scherma by Francesco Ferdiando Alfieri. You can snag a copy over on Amazon if you want to follow along.

You can also find the rest of my Alfieri & other historical rapier research over in the Historical Fencing section.


In this chapter, Alfieri goes over why it’s super dumb to attack someone’s legs, doubly so by a cut as a first intention. This is a pretty universal thought in the Italian school of rapier.

Intro

He starts off by referring to an early chapter in which he explained that by rotating the hand so it forms a circle the extremities are always the most distant point.

He also mentions that defending yourself by voiding the body and striking in the same tempo is “immensely advantageous.”

He further goes on by saying that one should follow the rule to feint a cut if you wish to wound by cutting, and feint the point to wound by the point. His reasoning is that to feint one and then to wound another takes a long time and puts one at grave risk. Continue reading Alfieri Part 2, Chapter XI: How to Wound the Enemy While He Tries to Attack with a Mandritto or Riverso to the Legs

In Memory of Duke Kenric æt Essex

This weekend has been a lot of short bursts of thinking of Kenric followed by long bouts of trying not to. Fortunately, I was with a large portion of my fencing family, which is exactly who I wanted/needed to be with.

I remember my first interaction with Kenric pretty clearly. It was Sommerdraw of his & Avelina’s first reign, and I had won the day’s Rapier Novice Tourney. I was asked to spell my name so I could be called up into court. I was excited; I had never been called into court before.

Eventually my name was called and I strode up there as proud as could be. I’m sure my bow was awkward as all hell, and I took a knee. He looked at me and in a relatively soft & solemn voice asked if I was nervous. I said no. He smiled, said a few words, and then handed me a bottle of hard cider… to which I learned how fast you make new friends in the SCA when you have booze on you.

His Majesty King KenricFrom there, Kenric was part of a lot of milestone moments in my SCA life. Later in that same year, he and Avelina handed me my AoA.
Continue reading In Memory of Duke Kenric æt Essex

Alfieri Part 2, Chapter X: On Wounding the Enemy with a Thrust in Quarta, From a Firm Foot, While He Attempts to Cut

Today we’ll be looking at the plays in Plate 10 of La Scherma by Francesco Ferdiando Alfieri. You can snag a copy over on Amazon if you want to follow along.

You can also find the rest of my Alfieri & other historical rapier research over in the Historical Fencing section.


In this chapter, Alfieri talks about the dangers of throwing a cut while in measure and how a fencer can respond to an opponent who’s attempting to throw a cut.

Continue reading Alfieri Part 2, Chapter X: On Wounding the Enemy with a Thrust in Quarta, From a Firm Foot, While He Attempts to Cut

Alfieri Part 2, Chapter IX: On Wounding to the Outside Under the Sword, Passing with the Left Foot

Today we’ll be looking at the plays in Plate 9 of La Scherma by Francesco Ferdiando Alfieri. You can snag a copy over on Amazon if you want to follow along.

You can also find the rest of my Alfieri & other historical rapier research over in the Historical Fencing section.


This chapter is going to bit of a hot mess, thanks to Alfieri’s lack of details in this manual, specifically what the wounded fencers do in the plays. So strap yourself in ’cause this is gonna be a bumpy ride.

Fencer Thoughts
Me, trying to figure out if this translation is bad or if the mechanics is just weird.

Continue reading Alfieri Part 2, Chapter IX: On Wounding to the Outside Under the Sword, Passing with the Left Foot

Researching swords, gonnes and garb during the 16th and 17th Centuries.