Manciolino’s Sword and Buckler – Second Attack from Porta di Ferro Stretta

The second attack from Porta di Ferro Stretta seems pretty simple at first glance, but hides some pretty important concepts.

step forward with your left foot extending a thrust2 to the face, and then pass forward with your right foot, turning two tramazzoni.

When interpreting this play, the first issue that arose was which side of the sword to thrust against.

Inside Thrust from Crossed Swords

When the swords are crossed at the weak, you can begin this play by stepping diagonally to the left while thrusting over the top of your opponent’s sword in third. Done correctly, it will push your opponent’s sword to his right, leaving him open for a cut on the left side.

The step the to right it critical for this technique. If you pass directly forward you will encounter the buckler and possibly the sword as well. The fist tramazzoni should be directed to the left shoulder, the second to whatever is uncovered.

Inside Thrust with Free Swords

If you are standing a bit further away so the swords are not crossed then it becomes difficult to attack over the blade. Usually what will happen instead is that as you begin the thrust your opponent will parry your blade to the right (his left).

If that happens, stepping to the right is of questionable merit. You can do it, throwing the first tramazzoni to the right shoulder and the second to the left. However, some members of my club have argued that it would be better to leave the script and instead step to the left so that your feet and sword are in agreement and you are moving away from your opponent’s tools.

Outside Thrust with Free Swords

Assuming again the swords are not crossed, you can choose to thrust from the outside using a punta riverso. A wide step to the left is even more important here. If you were to instead step directly forward along the original center line you would impale yourself on the opponent’s point.

In this variant, the opponent will most likely parry to his right, making the step to his left most advantageous. As with the first interpretation, the first tramazzoni will be directed at the left shoulder.


There are multiple ways of performing the technique as described in the manual and they all seem to work. For each variant the important part is moving off-line. Rather than trying to muscle through your opponent, you are rapidly shifting the center-line to where his tools are ineffectual.

It should be noted that this is not circling. You are moving off-line during the attack, not before. If you were to circle your opponent prior to attempting this technique then he would know your predisposition for doing so and be able to anticipate your attack.

This entry was posted in Antonio Manciolino, Sword and Buckler and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Manciolino’s Sword and Buckler – Second Attack from Porta di Ferro Stretta

  1. With respect to the second action, it’s also possible to use the start of the first tramazzoni as a clearing action with the false edge of your sword, expelling the enemy’s sword to your left as you traverse right! This is a variation on the elsa e tira technique.

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