Tag Archives: Alfieri

Alfieri Part 2, Chapter XIX: On Wounding & Disarming

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.

DisarmSpoiler: The disarms aren’t nearly as ridiculous as this. Probably for the best.

Continue reading Alfieri Part 2, Chapter XIX: On Wounding & Disarming

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Alfieri Part 2, Chapter XVIII: On Wounding an Enemy Who Passes with the Left Foot

Today we’ll be looking at the plays in Plate 18 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 chapter goes over how to defend, attack and wound an opponent who attacks with too much rashness, specifically by an opponent who’s trying to kill you with the passing step.

I think it would be fun to go over this plate while working on the plays from Plate VIII and IX. Continue reading Alfieri Part 2, Chapter XVIII: On Wounding an Enemy Who Passes with the Left Foot

Alfieri Part 2, Chapter XVII: How to Wound a Left-Handed Opponent

Today we’ll be looking at the plays in Plate 17 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 chapter is meant to help right-handed fencers deal with those pesky southpaw (see: lefty) fighters. For many, running into lefties is a rare occurrence where lefties running into a righty is pretty common, giving them a smidge of a tactical advantage.

Left-handed

The good news is that a lot of the same techniques we use against right-handed fencers can work against our left-handed counterparts. The system is great that way, but it does take a little bit of rewiring your brain to see the proper openings and attacks. This chapter by Alfieri should get you on the right track.

Continue reading Alfieri Part 2, Chapter XVII: How to Wound a Left-Handed Opponent

Alfieri Part 2, Chapter XVI: How to Wound While Lowering the Body without Parrying

Today we’ll be looking at the plays in Plate 16 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.


Chapter 16 continues attacks via body voids. Chapter 14 & 15 dealt with voids stepping toward your outside line. Chapter 16 talks about lowering the body in the void (typically toward the outside line).

Limbo!

These are some of my favorite voids in the Italian system. Continue reading Alfieri Part 2, Chapter XVI: How to Wound While Lowering the Body without Parrying

Alfieri Part 2, Chapter XV: On Wounding While Carrying the Body Out of Presence

Today we’ll be looking at the plays in Plate 15 of La Scherma by Francesco Ferdiando Alfieri.  There are now two different translations out that I’m cross-referencing for these blog posts. I’ll eventually will go back to previous chapters and re-interpret them. A few chapters have some stark differences in translations. You can snag the Terminiello copy over on Amazon and the Tom Leoni version over on LuLu.

This post will go over Chapter XV, which is wounding your opponent while carrying the body out of presence, which is a more extreme version Chapter XIV, which covered voiding the body without a passing step.

BodyVoid


So in more direct terms, “carrying the body out of presence” means removing your body out of line. This means your opponent’s attack will drift by your body safely. Alfieri says the move takes subtleness/finesse and mastery/proficiency to judge where/when the attack is coming from. Continue reading Alfieri Part 2, Chapter XV: On Wounding While Carrying the Body Out of Presence

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

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