Fabris Chapter 5 – Measure and how to gain it

Misura Larga – Wide Measure

Misura Larga or “wide measure” is when you can wound your opponent by taking a step with the right foot.

To obtain wide measure, start by forming a counter-posture just outside of his measure. Advance carefully by moving the foot forward. Paying close attention to your opponent, if he is in a static guard he can use the tempo of your foot step to attack. Try to unsettle your opponent’s posture, perhaps by throwing a feint, so you can attack immediately upon entering range.

Once in range, you can attack immediately if you see your opponent move his feet to settle his stance. You don’t even have to wait for him to move his sword. But be careful! If he moves his feet to break measure, then he can follow with a counter-attack.

Don’t attack when if moves his sword without moving his feet. Tempos of the sword are much faster than those of the foot, giving him time to parry. Or he could retreat outside measure, which could be immediately followed by a counter-attack.

If you have a strong counter-posture, and he moves only his sword, use this tempo to gain misura stretta.

Don’t chase an opponent who break’s measure, it may be a trap.

Misura Stretta– Narrow Measure

Misura Stretta or “narrow measure” is when you can wound your opponent just by leaning the body.

Moving into narrow measure requires two action, lifting the foot and setting it back down. (Don’t slide the foot, it may cause you to stumble on rough ground.) This makes the prospect very dangerous, so make sure your counter-posture is solid.

When you lift your foot to advance, what happens next depends on your opponent. If they attack, parry and attack in counter-time. If they retreat, turn the attack into a lunge. Since you are both moving, you should still be in wide measure despite his movement. (Note, Fabris doesn’t use the word ‘lunge’, but he does describe it.) If he does nothing, finish taking narrow measure.

Always advance with the foot first, then the body. Don’t move them as one when entering narrow measure, it’s just too risky.

Flow Chart

This chart assumes that you are in a good counter-posture the entire time.


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