Giganti 4 – Interlude: How to Play Single Sword against Single Sword, with Full Intent Thrusts   Leave a comment

Having established a better conception of tempo, Gavvin and I digressed from page 2 all the way to page 24.  Why?

There are many who attack the opponent with full intent and deliver thrusts without any respect to tempo… but always throwing blows with fury and vehemence.

Sound like anybody you know?  Say, anybody who on his blog has talked about how much he enjoys cowboying his way on in on an opponent?  Now that spring is come, the Kappellenberg practice is back up to 9-10 fighters a week, and of these, anywhere from three to four can be trusted to use overwhelming brute force to batter their way through an opponent.  And 30-40% seems a good estimate for the overall fencing community.  There are great fencers, many carrying the Atlantian white scarf, who still go for the shock-and-awe attack.  So a young fencer like Gavvin, looking at a major tournament the next weekend, and at a field of former strip fencers and students of Wistric, would be wise to study this section.

This is the kind of play that will unsettle every good fencer

It’s true.  I’ve seen it.  Hell, I’ve relied on it.  Intimidation and over-stimulation can freeze a fencer into paralysis.  Bets have been placed as to whether or not it would be my prime strategy in a fight.

which is why it is important to know what to do against it.

Yet again, time to discuss at length how to crush my own attack.  Start out of measure in a defensive counter-guard…

As the opponent delivers [an attack], beat his blade with your forte and immediately follow with a thrust to his face or chest [with a lunge].

So, he attacks, you beat his sword aside, and attack.  Recover out, and if he tries a cavazione, you do it again.  And again and again, until he gives.

Giganti recognizes that this takes two tempi (the beat and the attack), executed during the opponent’s single tempo.  But he feels it is safe, because the two tempi together should be shorter than the opponent’s single tempo: The opponent’s aggression and momentum will cause his attack, once deflected by the beat, to go far enough off line that your strike will land before he can recover.

I tell most strip fencers who cross over that they should remove beats from their repertoire (afterall, they’re big, they’re slow).  I add the caveat that I do them sometimes, but shouldn’t.  But, hey, looks like another thing I was wrong about.  Damn you, Giganti!

Posted May 27, 2010 by wistric in Giganti, Italian Rapier

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