Commentary on dall’Agocchie’s footwork

Start: Suppose you have your sword at your left side, in the act of laying hand upon it, and the heel of your right foot near your left one. Both your knees will be straight and not bowed, arranging yourself with as much grace as possible.

1: Having done this, you’ll put your right foot forward toward your right side, and in that tempo you’ll extend your arm and do a falso, and a riverso sgualimbro; or do two riversi, the first tondo and the second likewise sgualimbro; thereby going with your sword into coda lunga stretta.

Begin with an offside horizontal cut. Arc it high so you can immediately follow with an offside diagonal cut. These are your riverso tondo and roverso squalimbro. You will end in long tail narrow with the right foot forward. This sword will be forward and outside the knee. If you hold it somewhat low and angled you can better protect the forward leg, but don’t go too low though or you will jeopardize the head.

From here you should be able to easily thrust to the side of the head or lower the tip and gut check the body.

2: And from here you’ll step forward with your left foot toward your left side, doing a falso and mandritto sgualimbro in that instant, and the sword will fall into cinghiale porta di ferro.

The falso is basically a quick snap with the back edge of the sword, in this case aimed at the left cheek. It will arc around to an onside diagonal cut to the left temple.

It ends in wild boar iron gate, with the hand a little bit inside the knee and blade angled to the right to protect the body.

3: And then you’ll go forward one pace with your right foot, and in that tempo you’ll turn a dritto tramazzone, which will end in porta di ferro stretta.

The tramazzone is a circular cut. When executed correctly, your opponent will at first think this is a normal downward cut that may be followed by a rising cut from below. So fooled, he will lower his sword to protect that line. But since this is really a circular cut, it will arc around and attack the same high line, usually the head or shoulder, that it just left.

This cut doesn’t go to the ground. Rather it ends in iron gate. Iron gate is a balanced defensive guard with the hand above the knee and the blade angled neither left nor right. It is called the iron gate because it can swing closed on either side, or above, using easily executed cuts.

To be effective the arm must be extended and the point about face level. Iron gate can be high or low, but is never so far out that the blade is nearly horizontal. (That is known as long-point and is used differently.)

4: Then you’ll advance with your left foot, doing a falso, and a riverso sgualimbro, and the sword will go into coda lunga alta.

The falso from iron gate is a snap to the chin, with power they should look like a Pez dispenser. Follow this with a quick offside diagonal. I like to throw the first cut with the shoulder and the second with the elbow.

Long tail high is just like the first long tail, except with the hand held somewhat higher because you don’t need to protect the left leg. In fact, you want someone to attack that leg, If they try, you can easily pull the left leg back and hit them on top of the head.

5: Then you’ll step forward with your right foot and in the same tempo you’ll throw a riverso ridoppio, stopping the sword in guardia d’alicorno.

The riverso ridoppio is an offside, diagonal cut that starts low. To start this you need to rotate your tip downward just before starting the step.

If you perform this correctly with the true edge, your sword will end in the unicorn guard with the right foot forward.

6: And being fixed in the said guard you’ll drive an imbroccata without any taking any step, and the sword will stop in porta di ferro stretta.

From unicorn, jab them in the face. Then crank your arm down into iron gate with your point in their skull.

7: From here you’ll withdraw your right foot a pace, and all in one tempo you’ll execute a falso and a riverso sgualimbro, and the sword will return to coda lunga alta.

At this point your enemy is dead, but may not yet know it. So retreating with safety is important. With another chin/temple combination, take one step back.

8: Then you’ll draw your left foot back, and next turn a mandritto tramazzone, which will end in porta di ferro stretta.

Without pausing, turn take the motion from the sgualimbro and turn it into tramazzone. That is to say, arc it around to hit the top of the head while taking a step back

9: Then you’ll return your right foot back a pace, turning a dritto tramazzone in that tempo, with which you’ll fall into cinghiale porta di ferro.

Repeat the head strike using the same arc and another step back.

10: And from here, you’ll draw the left foot back, doing a falso and riverso sgualimbro in that instant, and the sword will return to coda lunga stretta, and thus you’ll be returned to the same place with the same guards.

Thinking you’ll try a third descending head strike, instead do a rising false edge cut to the face. Again, this is paired with an offside diagonal to the head.


This entry was posted in Arming Sword, Giovanni dall’Agocchie and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Commentary on dall’Agocchie’s footwork

  1. Pingback: Commentary on dall'Agocchie's footwork | Grauenwolf's Study of ... | WMA - Swordsmanship in the Modern World |

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