Tag Archives: Historical Fencing

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

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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

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

Alfieri Part 2, Chapter VIII: On Wounding on the Outside Over the Sword, Passing with the Left Foot

Today we’ll be looking at the plays in Plate 8 of La Schermaby 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.


The first two plays we looked at were pretty standard bread & butter Italian rapier plays, starting off with basic find-gain-attack on the inside and outside lines, and then some alternate plays.

In Chapter VIII we move away from lunges and work on passing steps which are a great way of closing more distance than a lunge. They also tend to be a little easier for fencers with bad knees.’

Let’s go!

Continue reading Alfieri Part 2, Chapter VIII: On Wounding on the Outside Over the Sword, Passing with the Left Foot

Alfieri Part 2, Chapter VII: On Wounding in Seconda From a Firm Foot (Plate 7)

Today we’ll be looking at the plays in Plate 7 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.


While Chapter VI dealt with quarta and attacks starting on the inside line, Chapter VII revolves around wounding your opponent in seconda and other outside line plays.

Like we discussed in Chapter VI, Alfieri has a problem with leaving out certain details of his plays, specifically actions that the wounded player does. But because Alfieri’s techniques are rooted in the Italian rapier tradition, we can fill in the blanks using other masters of the time. It’s not ideal, but it’s the best we can do with what’s being given. Continue reading Alfieri Part 2, Chapter VII: On Wounding in Seconda From a Firm Foot (Plate 7)

Alfieri Part 2, Chapter VI: On Wounding in Quarta From a Firm Foot (Plate 6)

Been a while since I’ve updated this. I’ve put Capoferro on hold (for now) to give Francesco Ferdiando Alfieri a read. A new translation edition of his fencing treatise La Scherma came out over the fall. You can snag a copy over on Amazon if you want to follow along.

Since La Scherma was originally printed in 1640, it’s closer to my SCA persona’s period (1630s). Post-period, but a lot of rapier manuals we use in the SCA are. *Shrugs*

I’ll eventually dig into Book 1, which is more the theory and philosophy stuff. But I want to dive right into Book 2, which has the sexy “How to Actually Kill a Swordbro” plates.

Let’s dig in to the first plate & plays. Continue reading Alfieri Part 2, Chapter VI: On Wounding in Quarta From a Firm Foot (Plate 6)