Second Giganti X: Cloak   6 comments

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 consider the sword along better than the sword with a silk cloak”.  Which sounds pretty familiar to anybody exposed to the bulk of the cloak instruction in Atlantia (since in the SCA the bulk of our rapier cloaks are really little capes.  Instead he prescribes a cloak made of “cloth”.  We can guess he meant something wool or cotton.

He instructs to hold the collar, let it fall over your arm up to the elbow, and wrap it around your arm either once or twice, which drives its tactical use.

The cloak wrapped once around the arm and extended forward blocks access to your left flank.  With the sword held against the edge of the cloak (he says “on” but illustrates it as next to), he then considers attacks will only come above your arms, all of which are blocked with your sword while keeping the cloak against it, and below your cloak (cuts to your legs) which you can bat aside with the cloak while stabbing your opponent.  Also, he notes you can throw the cloak on his weapon and stab him while he’s entangled.

The cloak wrapped twice around the arm (so there’s very little left over) becomes a rigid parrying device, and is now just like a dagger.  He recommends this for use against opponents who like to cut, and “Since most men don’t know how to fence they attempt a lot of cuts.”

Really, I’m just going to let that quote sit there for a minute.  Men who don’t know how to fence attempt a lot of cuts.  Heh.  Hehehehehehe.

Anyway, with the double-wrapped cloak you can parry high and middle cuts, but not cuts to the leg.  These you parry with your sword, just like with sword and dagger.  Thrusts also get parried with the sword.  In all cases, thrust in the same tempo as your parry.

Posted July 31, 2014 by Wistric in Giganti, Italian Rapier

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