L’Ange – Chapter 7, One Play with Multiple Drills

When you first read chapter 7 it may seem like a series of individual drills, but in actuality they all flow together into one play.

Gaining the Weak

First you gain the weak using what we learned in the pervious chapters. Take care to ensure you have a strong constraint; don’t try to use an overly long lunge to make up for only having a weak constraint.

If your constraint is too strong and you find that you are driving down your opponent’s sword, use the Flanconade. Otherwise continue…

Thrusting the Quarta and Its Counter

We’ve already discussed the first thrust in Quarta. For the purpose of this exercise, the patient’s counter is to simply parry in Quarta.

Disengage to the Outside

As soon as the agent notices his attack will be parried, he is to disengage to the outside. This must be done while breaking measure. By pulling back the lead foot, you give yourself enough time to complete the disengage safely.

Breaking measure while disengaging is a common theme in Italian rapier. While L’Ange certainly doesn’t ignore it, Capoferro takes great pains to repeatedly warn his reader to not try to disengage while in measure. For if you attempt to do so, you can be hit by during the disengage.

Thrust in Third Over the Arm

The thrust in third is a technique that is often overlooked. Though mentioned in several manuals, many fencers erroneously believe that they need to turn their hand into second when thrusting on the outside.

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Note that this does not violate the general rule that says you should turn your true edge towards the opponent’s blade. Since you are thrusting over the blade, rather than alongside it, your true edge needs to be down.

The Second Disengage

The patient fencer can parry your attack in tertia by turning his hand into second and counter-thrusting. If it appears that he desires to do this, you must immediately break measure while you bring your hand low and to the right so that you are on the inside.

L’Ange warns you must anticipate his response, so speed is of the essence here. Don’t waste time by waiting until you have already broken measure to move your sword; the foot and hand must be coordinated in this action.

One of the advantages of this technique is that your opponent loses track of your sword. And since they don’t know where your sword is, their thrust won’t be able to oppose your blade. What’s worse, your opponent probably won’t even realize he lost your sword until he is in the middle of his thrust.

Parrying with the Krump in Secunda

If the patient fencer attacks in second, the agent shall parry using the action depicted in the illustration below. This isn’t named in the text, but is essentially a Krump or Crooked strike that goes up and over the blade from the inside and the pushes it to the outside.

image

From there you counter-attack in secunda under his arm. If the patient recovers high from his failed thrust, it will look like the next illustration. If instead he recovers somewhat low, it will look like the Flanconade but with the hand in second instead of fourth.

image

Parrying with the Flanconade in Quarta

If instead of thrusting in Secunda, the patient fencer thrusts in Tertia the agent should parry in Quarta and thrust over his arm using the same Flanconade that we discussed earlier.

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Video Interpretation

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