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Wednesday (Manciolino)

Submitted by Ludwig von Rege... on August 24, 2011 - 5:07pm

Continuing with Manciolino's first Assalto, and starting his plays from Gioco Stretto.

In the Assalto, we added the approach (the first bit):

  1. Pass with the right foot obliquely towards your right side, while delivering a Falso against the boss of your buckler and going into Guardia Alta, with the buckler held in front of your face like a mirror. [I interpret this as meaning that your buckler will be a bit higher than usual]
  2. Pass forward with the left foot and perform a Ritocco of the buckler [Leoni suggests this is a blow to the inside of the buckler with the pommel], placing your sword in Guardia di Testa and lowering your buckler alongside your left thigh.
  3. Pass forward with the right foot and lift your sword into Guardia Alta [Note it says "sword", so keep your buckler down].
  4. Pass forward with the left foot, executing a Montante accompanied by a Mandritto Sopra il Braccio, and gettting into Guardia di Testa. [We timed the step to land with the Mandritto, raising the buckler only when going into Testa]
  5. Pass forward with your right foot, hit the boss of your buckler with a Falso and execute a Montante up to Guardia Alta.  [There was a bit of discussion about how to do this: we are continuing to lift the sword after the Falso, bringing it around behind to start the Montante]

As usual, this is Tom Leoni's translation with my capitalisation and comments in square brackets.

The approach, embellishment and first part of the engagement means we have learned about half of the Assalto.

Plays from Giocco Stretto:  Manciolino says you arrive in close play one of two ways, either true edge to true edge (both in fourth with the opponent on the inside) or false edge to false edge (both in fourth with the oppoonent on the outside).  We started with true edge to true; these are all right foot forward.

  • First Stretta, True Edge on True Edge
    • Pass with your left foot towards the opponent's right and deliver a pushed Riverso to his right temple.  Finish with compass step. 
      • Question is whether to stay on the inside, pushing the sword across with the pass, or to swing the sword around to make Riverso on the outside.  Possibly either works.
    • Counter: As he passes turn a half Mandritto to his head going up into Guardia di Faccia.
      •  This means cutting in along the top, roughly parallel to his sword (not cutting into it at right angles).  Quite subtle (to my eyes) but effective.
  • Second
    • Pass left towards the opponent's right, delivering an ascending Riverso to his sword-arm; then immediately step back with your left foot delivering a Mandritto to his face.
      • Similar to the first.  Is the use of the word "step" significant?
    • Counter: Defend the arm with the buckler; as he withdraws the left foot hit him in the right temple with a sideways Riverso.
  • Third
    • Turn a Riverso to his right temple.  If the opponent goes to parry, hit his sword with your hilt towards your outside, and deliver a Fendente to his head.
      • This is tricky to interpret.  We took a guess at the intended parry from the description of the counter (true edge).  What is really meant by "hilt": the blade near the hilt? the quillons? the knuckle-bow?  And how hard is "hit"?  We wound up using the Riverso to draw the parry, then hitting the opponent's debole with the forte.
    • Counter: As he turns the Riverso, parry it with the true edge; as he tries to hit your sword with his hilt, immediately lift your sword upwards thereby voiding his blow, and deliver a Riverso to his head in the same tempo.
      • Not easy to see the hilt hit coming.

Final thoughts:  I'm returning to the idea that there is implicit footwork in many of Manciolino's descriptions -- I think our initial approach was along the right lines, even though the details were wrong.



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