Giganti 19: Body Voiding Out of a Lunge   11 comments

Here we have some of the few instances of duo tempi, in this case for the purposes of yielding out of range of a lunge to attack on the tempo of the recovery.  Which was, as, like, two people remember, one of the lessons we learned from advance-lunge drills a few weeks back.  Being able to retreat to just out of range, and be in a state where you can immediately counter-lunge when the attack ends, and being able to lunge and recover smoothly, are essential to… well… fencing.  But especially these lessons.  Lessons like…

How to Use the Sword to Parry a Lunging Thrust while Bringing Your Body Back


three ways to parry a lunging thrust

The first of these three chapters sets out the basics of how this will go, kind of hinted at above in my rambling attempt at an introduction

Keep your sword and body forward, presenting somewhat of an opening to the chest

Sort of a “Sir Christian’s Goober Guard” (Lazy man, but with the sword, well, doesn’t really matter, and the head and chest thrust forward as bait, because Christian rolls that way) but less so.

[when] the opponent delivers a lunging thrust, bring your body back and parry with the sword.  In that tempo you will be safe because you pull your body back.

It’s worth noting a couple of things.  First, and least important, though this is in the sword and dagger section, the parry is done with the sword, and this is applicable in all forms.

Second, and much more important, the feet DO NOT MOVE.  Measure here is controlled only by the withdrawal of the upper body to the limit of the opponent’s lunge.  Instead of, as is most often seen on the rapier field, a pall mall panicked retreat that doesn’t stop until the opponents need semaphore to communicate any touches, the body is merely pulled back.  “Measure is that range from which you can attack your opponent”.  The upper body, here, is the dictate of measure, and this sort of void (though don’t confuse it with fancy little voltes and passo sotos) is the height of the “mastery of measure”.

But, having lowered his body, he will have disordered himself and will now be vulnerable

That whole “don’t lunge like a dumbass” in the advance-lunge drills.  The most common symptoms, in those drills, of lunging like a dumbass present as having your own knee pressed into your armpit, and a dope slap to the back of the head (Letia, how many times did you get that?  And, yes, it’s been a few years).  The most common symptoms, in a fight, of lunging like a dumbass tends to be an ensuing lack of lung, heart, and brain function.

So you can strike him with an extension of your front foot and recover as described

But you can only do so if you haven’t retreated, indeed, as a dumbass.  Two dumbasses don’t make a smartass.  Instead:

Be advised that when you parry and when you get back, you stand steady on your feet

Not steady on your feet and able to strike with an extension of the front foot?  Then you don’t get the cookie, your opponent doesn’t get the dope slap, and we end up with two drunk monkeys squabbling, rather than a master of defense defeating a dumbass.  Man, I said dumbass a lot.  At least I didn’t say fuck.

How to Parry with the Dagger with Your Body Back

This is basically the same thing, but parrying with the dagger instead of the sword.  Really, like, there’s no point listing out the steps.  Take the above, and where it says “parry with sword” think “parry with dagger”.  Still, the last paragraph says something interesting.

By keeping your feet steady and your sword free

Yeah, that’s it.  Keep your feet steady!  Well, also…

He will give you the tempo [to do many things before he recovers in guard] by virtue of his having lunged and lowered his body

So, he lunges, you withdraw your body so he comes up just short and bind his sword with your dagger.  Now you have a free sword and he’s trying to recover from his over-extended lunge and his only defense is that dagger.  How many ways can you kill a dumbass from this position, children?  Why don’t you count them now.  I’ll wait.  Meanwhile…

Dagger-parry with the Body Back, with Simultaneous Sword Strike

In the last two… I had you parry… and your body back, and then strike.  i.e. employing two tempi

There is only one other instance that I’ve found of him using two tempi (see Giganti 4).  In general, and whenever possible, you can and should use one tempo.  Life is short, why waste tempi?  Instead of the “void back and parry, then counter,” though, this follows a different pattern (for those playing at home, this may seem familiar from the third section of Giganti 11).

as [the opponent attacks], you need to do three things in the same tempo:

Parry with the dagger

Bring your body back by pulling your front foot next to your rear foot

Extend your arm so as to deliver a thrust to his chest

Same way you defend against an attack to the leg, just a slightly different measure since the target is slightly different.  This is also part of Walter’s Drill of 5 Things; thing number 5 I believe.

Of course, you can’t do this in the glove drills, though Rachel was doing it last week.  But there’s a general ban on parrying in the glove drills, mostly from the time that Philippe of Black Diamond and I slammed our gloves into each other and both our arms went numb.  Nothing else in fencing has ever had that effect.

This manner of parrying and striking is so deceitful that he won’t be able to defend

True.  Just make sure you hit what you’re aiming for.  But even if you don’t, you haven’t exposed yourself to any threat, and you can recover out of measure, wash rinse and repeat until you land your shot.

And that’s about it for this week.  Next week we’ll – wait, what?  Yes I’m Wistric Oftun…  Why… It’s a letter from the Doc!  HE’S IN FIFTEEN EIGHTY-FIVE?!?!

PS: The correct answer to the number of ways to kill a man once you have his dagger and he’s over-extended his lunge?  I have no idea.  I crunched down to the tootsie roll center after 3.  So, three.

Posted January 11, 2011 by wistric in Giganti, Italian Rapier

11 responses to Giganti 19: Body Voiding Out of a Lunge

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