It’s Like Soup   Leave a comment

Today Rory and I discussed Fabris’s Extended fourth guard and discovered that….

Fabris’s Extended Fourth Guard is like chicken soup with a side of cheese toast!

No really it is, and I don’t even eat chicken soup….

Fabris’s extended fourth guard is when you have the blade in fourth (suppinated/palm up grip), the arm fully extended, and the torso bent forward. This puts the knuckles and the strong edge of the blade on the inside. (Plate 14 for those following along at home)

Fabris states that “This guard’s greater strength is to the outside, from which line it cannot be attacked…”

But does this contradict the idea that the true edge of the blade is the strongest?

At first glance it actually seems that it may, however there are several elements that make up a strong guard. Consistently having the true edge toward your opponent is only one factor in a guard.

In some ways the true edge is like cheese, and a guard is like soup.

There are many soups that are enhanced by cheese, like broccoli cheese soups, but there are some soups for which cheese goes better as a side dish. That is where the chicken soup comes in. I am told chicken soup is made of all things delicious, although, it seems to lack cheese. In fact, if I insinuate that cheese should be added to chicken noodle soup it would be seen as highly disagreeable. It has all the ingredients it needs to be considered tasty and complete, but adding more tasty ingredients like cheese does not enhance the soup. A side of cheese toast, however, is a nice addition.

Similarly the extended fourth guard has all the ingredients to be a strong guard to the outside. The addition of the true edge to the outside is not necessary. Now if you add your tasty true edge to the inside, the inside line can be protected with more ease. “…to the inside, it is kept safe by the position of the hand with the knuckles pointing in that direction.” (The rest of Fabris’s earlier statement)

There are many forces that can be used to create strength and advantages in a guard: angle of blade, placement of forte, gravity. You don’t have to use them all in the same direction for it to be a strong guard. Some things are better as side dishes….like cheese toast.

Posted January 22, 2012 by Letia in Musings

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