Fiore’s One-Handed Sword – Basic Parries from the First Master

Here is the first posture for the use of one-handed swords.

image

Red: Base line showing both feet are inline. This indicates a narrow profile, which would offer less of a target against thrusts.

Orange: The leg lines show that the right leg is straight while the left knee is somewhat bent. This implies that the weight is mostly on the back leg.

Blue: The centerline of the body is shifted towards to the left leg, again indicating the weight is mostly to the rear.

Green: One foot is pointing somewhat forward, the other somewhat backwards.

Purple: This arm line shows that the hand is hanging slightly the rear rather than straight down.

Head: The head is looking over the right shoulder at the opponent.

Cyan: The sword length line comes to about the middle of the chest. This is probably the true length of the weapon because the hand doesn’t appear to be rotated and thus there isn’t any foreshortening.

False Edge Parry

This is the easy parry that everyone learns. One simply rotates the front foot forward and beats the opponent’s sword with a rising, false edge cut. This parry is often immediately followed with a fore-hand strike to the head, left shoulder, or exposed arm so don’t parry so hard that your sword goes off line.

This leads into the Third Play.

True Edge Parry

The true edge parry is done with what us Bolognese fencers would call a mezzo-mandritto. That is to say a forehand parry with the true edge. The rear foot rotates to 90 degrees. The front foot rotates to be in line with the sword, which means it is not quite straight forward.

This leads into the Second Play.

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