Second Giganti III: Defense Against Cuts to the Leg

Giganti’s system for defense against low-line cuts is fairly simple, though laid out over three plates mostly for reinforcement.

As he instructs in his first book, the best defense is to stab your opponent in the face as he primes the cut.  This works when your sword is not already engaged, so in his second book Giganti turns to addressing what to do when your sword is already engaged.  Two of the three plates begin with the assumption that you’ve attempted a thrust, your opponent has parried, and answered with a cut to your legs.  In all cases, you parry with the true edge and forte, of course, delivering a slight counter-cut to his blade powered mostly by gravity (so you don’t have to commit your muscles to the effort, which would lengthen the tempo of your response).

Like the answers to the cuts to the head, the preference is for responses that can be delivered with a tempo of the wrist only.

Unlike the answers to cuts to the head, cuts to the leg are not answered with opposite cuts.  A mandritto is answered with a thrust in secunda.  A roverscio is answered with a thrust in quarta or a roverscio.  In each case the target is the face and head, which are exposed by the low line taken by the opponent’s sword.  The preference for these answers is in each case the result of choosing a response with the tempo of the wrist over any larger response.

Parrying a roverscio in a secunda with the tip low, a circle from the wrist brings the true edge in to cut against the opponent’s temple.  A rotation of the wrist turns the sword into quarta and brings it online for the thrust.

Against a mandritto to the legs, the parry is formed in quarta with the tip low.  The rotation of the wrist brings the sword online in secunda.  A circle of the wrist here would deliver a mechanically weak dritto to the temple, or require motion of the elbow to generate any power slowing down the response, thus the preference for the thrust.

 

In sum:

Parry, letting gravity do the work, then thrust.  If it’s a roverscio, you can also return a roverscio.

2 comments to Second Giganti III: Defense Against Cuts to the Leg

  • Indy

    Interesting. For clarity, a mandritto is a cut from the high strongside to lower weak side, and a roverscio the opposite, correct? It works in my mind that way, but I am unfamiliar with the Italian terms.

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