I had a great day of fencing on Saturday at Balfar’s Challenge. Not only did my rapier melee team (Remy’s Angels II: Electric Boogaloo) came in first place, I also finished strong in second place in the afternoon’s Pennsic Qualifer Tourney in which I rolled out with single rapier the entire time.
I had to fight through my entire fencing family tree which was amusing in its own right. This fight against my cadet, Gregori, on the anniversary of his caddeting, was possibly the most memorable one ’cause of how I won — with a low line void & strike under the opponent’s sword arm.
His reaction was also pretty fantastic. We were laughing a good five minutes after this.
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.
Spoiler: The disarms aren’t nearly as ridiculous as this. Probably for the best.
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.
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.
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).
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.