Mair’s Sickle fight 9: Alius habitus praecendentis formae   1 comment


From the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek.  Patiente on right, at the start of Agente’s counter


Translation by Rachel Barkley

Another position of the preceding form

You will adapt yourself as such in mutual combat to already-named manner[1].  You should fix forward the right foot and you should hold the raised sickle with the right hand from the right side[2]. The left hip is positioned to the left.[3] From this point thus pursue with the leftward matching of your body[4], and wound the adversary’s neck on the left side with the sickle.

But if the enemy has attacked you by the same manner and you have placed forward your right foot against him, and upward you hold the sickle with the right hand, the left hip having been positioned leftward, then you should pursue his right arm next to the shoulder with the left hand, directing the blow upwards from below. And if you will be able to just as strongly, you will have dragged him toward you and you should deflect his incision. Meanwhile, however, you should plough up your adversary’s head.

If however he likewise attempts to scratch your head, then with your left hand, when his right hand is seized impetuously if you will have removed that against the left side, the hostile incision will be repelled. Thence, finish the transaction, quickly seek his forward right foot from here with the sickle and retreat.



[1] See note below about themes in the guards

[2] Note how you are angling the blade as compared to previous plates

[3] More squared up than previous guards

[4] Step in with the left


Interpretation by Owen Townes


Right foot forward
Sickle extended in middle guard[1]

Right foot forward
Sickle extended in middle guard


Onside ‘scratch’ to neck[2]

Left hand blocks Agente’s Right arm near shoulder and directs upwards
Draw Agente towards you[3]
Plough head

Seize Patient’s Right hand
Pull to Left side
Strike foot[4]
Retreat out of measure


Notes and Comments:

[1] There are are only two guards.

“Left Shoulder” and “Middle” (“sickle toward enemy”, you could almost conceive of it as longpoint).  There is a sort of third guard,  the “position of lower incision”, formed like Middle but with the sickle downward.  No attacks start from here, though, only counter-attacks.  It serves as an invitation and counter-guard, but not as a platform to initiate action from.

The attacks (terminology and target) are consistent based on which foot is forward at the time of the blow (sometimes the guard starts with the right foot forward, but steps in with the left before striking.  So this is really the left foot forward guard).

Left Shoulder/Right foot: Plough up head from right
Left Shoulder/Left foot: Plough up Right arm

Middle/Left foot: Scratch head/neck (or left side, once)
Middle/Right foot: Scratch right arm or Plough up Neck or Head (or right foot, once)

There’s also the play where the attack comes from a left-handed Middle guard, with Left foot forward, and ploughs up the Left foot.  It’s the mirror of the Right-handed Middle, Right Foot, Ploughing up Right Foot.

The target then is basically arm, head/neck, or leg, and is dictated by measure.

[2] Based on the system described above, Agente’s left foot comes forward, placing him in Left foot forward/Middle guard, the same guard as started Plate 8, and the attack from this guard is identical.

[3] Pull in with rotation of hips

[4] The drop of the arm, combined with the rotation of the hips, frees it from Patiente’s grasp

Posted July 26, 2012 by Wistric

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