Fabris, Chapter 14

Note: This pictures are not an exact match for the words, but they are close enough to fit within the broader categories implied by Fabris.


The blade is at an angle, the arm barely extended. The hand is in third, just above the right knee, or in second to the outside of the knee. This is a typical SCA guard and can be seen in Capo Ferro’s 3rd.

The sword is stronger, but your opponent can get closer and has larger openings.

The larger angle makes the cavazione harder as it takes much longer. You could cavazione in second, but your opponent could just attack in a straight line and bypass your forte.

Parries require large motions.

Angles are an offensive position. They can easily pass by other angles and even straight lines.

Angles are slow to mutate and especially dangerous in the measures.


The blade is nearly a straight line from tip to elbow. This reminds me of Capo Ferro’s fourth and Agrippa’s third.

It is much better to hold the arm withdrawn. It can easily gain advantage for the purpose of attack, parry, and cavazione while keeping the point on line and the forte defending the body. WTF? Didn’t Fabris spend the rest of chapter promoting the extended arm?



The arm is mostly extended and there is a straight line from shoulder to point.

This position is tiring. Your opponent is going to hope this fatigue will cause your point to go off-line and he can pass under it.

This will make it easier for your opponent to find your sword. This is due to the great distance between your body and sword. So don’t worry about it, keep your arm extended and learn to react to his attempts. See chapter 9.

Once mastered, this method will leave you with a very small opening that is difficult to attack. Your opponent will have to find your sword, as the point will be a constant threat.

Since your opponent’s debole must pass by your forte before striking you, you have a lot of time to defend.

Before attacking, your opponent must get your sword off to one side and void to the other. He will not be able to reach you without closing past your point. Once there, he won’t be able to safely retreat and has no option but to pass all the way to you.

Use short steps to keep your lower body out of range.

Use short steps, it will give you more distance in both attacking and retreating.

Keep your opponent at a wide measure so he won’t have a chance to pass.

This is a good stance for parrying cuts. High attacks will find the forte without fail, low ones give you enough time to hit him before he hits you.

The sword arm is a target for cuts. Use slight motions to move the blade to where it will catch the sword.

It takes a lot of practice to keep the sword on line throughout the attack.

Don’t fling your arm using this technique, attack only with the body and the feet.

This is a defensive position. Straight lines can defeat other straight lines, with the stronger sword always pushing the weaker.

Angles vs Straight Lines

When confronted with an angle, be wary of double kills. Make sure you have an advantage of both the sword, body, and foot.


You should master all three techniques, as their use is situational.

The safest of all is not quite extended, but more extended than not, with the point on line or nearly on line. This is stronger and less fatiguing. It also harder for your opponent to attack under than a fully extended guard.

Don’t stop for more than a moment in any guard, all guards have shortcomings.

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1 Response to Fabris, Chapter 14

  1. Pingback: Practice Notes – Dealing with the Spanish | Grauenwolf's Study of Western Martial Arts

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