First Giganti Redux 6: The Lunge

After teaching guards and counter-guards and the basics of theory, the first action Giganti moves to instructing is the lunge. There’s a good reason for this: If your entire plan is to take a single tempo and strike, the lunge is the best option. It covers the most distance with the fewest moving parts. Since […]

The Importance of Discombobulation

First of all, let us make one thing clear up front: “discombobulate” is a great word and tremendously fun to say. It is one of those rare words that does exactly what it means if you say it too fast or too often.

It is also a pretty terrific thing to do to your opponent. […]

First Giganti Redux 5: Tempo

Many sport fencers and SCA fencers who’ve inherited the traditions of sport fencing talk about “the tempo of the fight,” meaning the speed of actions and the rhythm of actions and counter-actions. This works for the weapons and style of strip fencing – light, whippy, and able to land valid touches without actually having your […]

First Giganti Redux 4: Measure

“That distance from which you can hit him with a firm-footed attack [lunge]”

For the longest time I thought this was the only thing Giganti really had to say about measure. I reached this conclusion because in his chapter on Measure and Tempo, that was the only thing he said about measure. He devoted seventeen […]

First Giganti Redux 3: Counter-guards

Having provided his list of the qualities of a good guard, Giganti then basically says to ignore that because good fighters don’t form guards, they form counter-guards.

A counter-guard at its most basic is a guard (still with most of the qualities of a good guard) which positions the sword and your body so that […]

First Giganti Redux 2: Guards

Giganti starts off with discussion of guards and counter-guards. At times I’ve tried to approach instruction on Giganti by starting first with the theory pieces (tempo, measure, line) because the reasoning behind Giganti’s instruction on guards is tied directly to his application of theory. However, this invariably ends up with the feeling of putting the […]

Giganti First Redux 1: Introduction

Four years ago, I worked through Nicoletto Giganti’s Scola, overa Teatro (as translated by Tom Leoni) and documented it on what was then Wistric’s Weekly Warfare. In full disclosure, it was, I think, my third read through, but the most detailed and considered I’d been till that point. It took the format of quoting an […]

Giganti Second XII: Giganti’s Third Books

At the end of Giganti’s first book, he mentions that, God willing, he will one day produce a second book where he would explore more fully the use of the dagger, buckler, targa, rotella, and cloak. At the end of my first pass through his first book, I planned to make at least one post […]

Second Giganti XI: Dagger Fighting

Giganti prefaces the dagger section by pointing out more men are killed with daggers than with swords. He then promises a third book on fighting with dagger alone against “a variety of weapons.” Maybe that one’s also in the Wallace collection.

His basic approach strongly echoes his rapier fighting: When they attack, push their dagger […]

Second Giganti X: Cloak

or, The off-hand that’s NOT just like dagger


In contrast to all the other off-hands, Giganti treats the cloak as not just like a dagger. The obvious reason being it’s not rigid. He advises not to use a cloak made of silk or other lightweight material. These are useless, and in his words “I […]