The extended Prima is what Fabris refers to as the “properly formed” version of the guard.
- The width of the stance is narrow (left) or crossed (right)
- The length of the stance close, approximately half a foot-length apart
- The right leg is straight with the knee over the rear foot
- The left leg is bent with the knee over the same foot
- The hips are back, well behind the feet
- The head is just past the front foot.
- The shoulders are over the feet
- The right hand is shoulder high
- The right arm is straight and extended
- The right shoulder is higher than the left
- The left hand is by the face
- The eyes are looking slightly beneath the sword
The differences between this and the Withdrawn Prima are in bold. As you can see, the most significant difference is the straight arm. Everything else is effectively the same.
Comments by Fabris
- This prevents your opponent from placing his sword above yours, that being the weakest part of the sword in this posture.
- The opponent’s sword will always be closer to your forte than your body, making parries easy.
- You can parry cuts without turning the hand.
- You can unsettle your opponent by advancing without making a mutation by continuously approaching him.
- If his sword is on the inside, you can easily push it to the outside.
- This posture is tiring. (Fabris’ words, though I agree.)
Attack over his sword on the outside by widening your step and lowering your body.
If he disengages (to the inside?), attack under his sword by widening your step and lowering your body.
After either attack, quickly withdraw the right foot and return to the original posture with your sword over your opponent’s.
Shifting the hips back is essential for supporting the weight of the sword. If you keep your hips centered, you have to stand more upright.
We see this idea of the true edge being the weaker side in many of the plates that follow.
While parrying riversi (cuts to your right side from his left) are easy, we’re still trying to figure out how to parry the mandritto (a cut to your left side from his right) without turning the hand. One of my members thinks you step offline to the right, then girata to complete the void.
The hand is close to the face as a failsafe for parrying thrusts. It doesn’t need to be extended because you shouldn’t need it and it could be cut, but you might as well put it somewhere useful.
Comparison with Other Styles
None of the other sources I reviewed have the sword arm straight at shoulder-height while resting in Prima.