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

The first attack for Porta di Ferro Stretta is simply, “you can turn a tramazzone”.

At first glance this seems kinda silly. Why bother telling someone to make a single, basic attack against someone waiting in guard? No combinations, no provocations, just a really basic strike.

My theory is to illustrate the difference between a tramazzone and a simple riverso. If you use a riverso against someone waiting in porta di ferro stretta they can usually parry it with a small movement.

The tramazzone, when properly thrown, comes in at a steep angle that nearly matches the opponent’s blade. If the opponent makes the same small movement that worked so well again the riverso, then your blade will slip in behind his on the outside.

How to throw a Tramazzone

In the context of this play, we found the tramazzone is best performed by first dropping the to the left. The sword hand moves beneath the bucker hand such the the wrists are crossed. The step, which can be advancing or passing, begins as the point begins to ascend for the cut.

There are certainly other ways of performing a tramazzone. One can allow the tip to fall to the right. One can cut over the buckler instead of under it. The tramazzone can be rising instead of falling. So I don’t wish to say any of them are invalid or inferior in a general context; this is just what worked for us for this particular play.

After the Tramazzone

Lacking any further direction, at this point we follow the traditional German theory of indes and then proceed to attack whichever opening happens to reveal itself until measure can be safely broke.

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