Thursday, April 11, 2013

Coverta within Fior Di Battaglia


If we jump forward to r32 we see what is colloquially called the "universal parry." On this page we are given a set-up of attackers preforming various cuts, thrusts and throws.


"Io 'spetto questi tre in tal posta, zoè in dente di zengiaro e in altre guardie poria 'spettare, zoè in posta de donna la senestra, anchora in posta di finestra sinestra, cum quello modo, e deffesa che farò in dente di zenghiaro. Tal modo è tal deffesa le ditte guardie debian fare. Senza paura io 'spetto uno a uno, e non posso fallire nè taglio nè punta nè arma manuale che mi sia lanzada, lo pe' dricto ch'i ò denançi acresco fora de strada, e cum lo pe' stancho passo ala traversa del arma che me incontra rebatendola in parte riversa. E per questo modo fazo mia deffesa, fatta la coverta subito farò l'offesa."

"I am waiting for these three in this guard, Dente di Cinghiaro. I could wait in other guards as well - like Left Posta di Donna or Left Posaa di Finestra - and still be able to defend as I would from Dente di Cinghiaro. Each of these guards use this defence. I'll wait for my opponents one by one, without feat or failure from any cut, thrust or handheld weapon thrown at me. I'll preform an accrescimento with my leading right foot, pass obliquely against the opponent's weapon and beat it to his left side. After making my parry, I'll instantly attack." - Tom Leoni

Here we are told to again beat away attacks from all of the left guards. We are told to beat the weapon to his left side, while passing obliquely and while covered from his weapon attack. This text virtually duplicates the text from the sword in one hand and repeats ideas we have seen in the spear and mounted sections.

That is, Fiore has told us to beat all manner of weapons making all manner of attacks away and to the outside. These beats are often given with instruction to preform a step with the front foot fora di strada and a pass ala traversa (which I take as instruction to pass away from the weapon or in to the man - or both) under cover and to then strike with a turn of the sword. We are even told that these beat actions should occur on the middle of the opposing weapon. These instructions are repeated and explicitly defined though the manuscripts. With the exception of the specific plays of coplo del villanoscambiare de punta, punta falsa, and posta frontale vs high thrusts we see no other form of initial parry or cover action described with any detail anywhere.

It is clear to me, given the often verbose instruction and frequency of Fiore's use of beats that this method of defence is critically important to this art. No other form of parry is defined or outline with this level of detail. In both stretto and largo we find our selves shown a number of crossings along with a great deal of plays from them but are given no instruction as to how to get there. It is my postulation that this rebatter is largely the mechanism by which you find your self in these positions. Fiore spills much ink describing the actions of the beat and the expected results. Could these many plays shown be the result of beats which did not have the perfect outcome? Could the text in these plays is describing methods to deal with these unsuccessful beats?