Cutting Verbs: Throw and Turn, Drop and Ascend

It was explained to me that there is an important difference between throwing a cut and turning a cut. Consider this passage from Manciolino:

Accordingly, posing the case that you and your enemy are in guardia alta, and that you are the attacker, you can throw a mandritto at his sword hand which will go over your arm, and then turn a riverso also to that hand. Then ascend with a montante to return to guardia alta; if you will do these three blows, your enemy will be unable to throw anything toward you that could offend you, because he would always come to collide his hand into your sword.

A thrown cut would be a normal cutting action with the wrist and elbow. To throw a second cut the arm must usually be pulled back in preparation.

A turned cut is done mostly with the wrist and snapping motion. While the tip of the blade may move quite a but, the hilt stays pretty much in the same spot. It can push straight forward a bit to improve the power of the snap, but that’s about it.

If you view our previous video on Alta Part 1 you’ll see that we are throwing the second cut, not turning it. This makes it much slower than it needs to be and exposes our attacker more than it should. I hope to have a new video demonstrating our new understanding soon.

To drop a cut would be to basically use gravity to do the work, leaving you in a low guard.

To ascend is the inverse and puts you into a high guard.

Can you think of any other verbs that modify the way a cut is thrown?

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2 Responses to Cutting Verbs: Throw and Turn, Drop and Ascend

  1. Mark Nelson says:

    I was recently thinking the same thing, but thought I was reading too much into it, because Manciolino uses synonyms a lot. Who explained this to you?

    • Grauenwolf says:

      A rapier fencer who had extensively studied Fabris and has a working knowledge of several other authors.

      He made that claim while trying to help me interpret dall’Agocchie’s half swording techniques. Though I’ve only just begun my reinterpretation of the Bolognese masters so far it seems to be proving fruitful.

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