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Fencing and History Nut Extraordinaire. While I am tending toward 16th century at the moment, I am and have been interested in history for a long time. Hence the fencing focuses more on the Renaissance period than the modern. This explains two out of three of my blogs. The third is a more personal one focusing on fibromyalgia. What I write in these blogs, I hope will be of use to people.
 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

di Grassi - Of Sword and Buckler, Square Target and Round Target - from the second part

Greetings,

This is a transcription from the second part of di Grassi's (1595) His True Art of Defense. No spelling, punctuation, or grammar has been altered in any way. The only difference is the formatting which has changed due to the difference in width in the original text as compared to the transcription. This has been posted as a public service, anyone who would be interested in a more convenient version is free to contact me with regard to this.

Cheers,

Henry.

Of Sword and buckler, ſquare Target and round Target.

            Being of opinion that as touching deceite, there is but one conſideration to be had of all theſe weapons, and for becauſe all the difference which may be between them is laide downe and declared in the true arte, in the conſideration of the forme of each of them: Therefore I am willing rather to reſtraine my ſelfe, then to indeuoure to fill the leafe with the idle repetition of one thing twice.
            All theis three weapons ought to be borne in the fiſt, the arme ſtretched out forwardes, and this is euidently ſeene in the ſquare Target and buckler: the round Target alſo, becauſe by reaſon of his greatnes and waight, it may not be holden in the onelie fiſt, & forwarde, in which kind of holding, it would warde much more is borne on the arme, being ſtretched foorth with the fiſt forwardes, which is in manner all one, or the ſelfeſame. Therefore one may falſe as much with the one as with the other, conſidering there is no other falſe vſed with them then to diſcouer and frame diuers wards, bering no reſpect to any aduantage. And yet there is this difference betweene them, that with the round Target, one may eaſely warde both edgeblowes and thruſtes, and with the ſquare Target, better than with any other, he may warde edgeblowes, becauſe it is of ſquare forme: and the edge of the ſword may eaſely be retained with the ſtreight ſide thereof, which is not ſo eaſely done with the buckler: for ouer and beſides the warding of thruſtes, the buckler is not ſo ſure of itſelf, but requireth aide of the ſworde. Edge-blowes alſo when they come a thwart (for in that caſe, they incounter the circumference thereof: the which if it chaunce, the ſword not to encounter on the diameter, or halfe, in which place the ſword is onelie ſtaied, but doth encounter it, either beneath, either aboue the ſaide diameter (maie eaſelie ſlippe and ſtrike either the heade or thighs: therefore let euerie man take heede and remember, that in ſtriking at the buckler, either with the poynte or edge of the ſword, he deliuer it croſſing or a thwarte.
            As concerning the falſes and deceites, which may be vſed in the handling of theis weapons, as at the ſingle ſworde, they are infinite, ſo at theis weapons they are much more, if the number of infinite may be exceded. For beſides, that with the ſword one may falſe a thruſt, an edgeblowe, on high, a lowe, within, without, and frame diuers other vnorderlie wardes, There remaineth one deceite or falſe properlie belõging vnto theis, which is, to beare the bukler, ſquar Target, or round Target, wide from the bodie, and therewithall to diſcouer himſelfe, to the end the enimie may be hindred, and loſe time in ſtriking, being therewithal ſure & nimble to defend himſelfe & offẽd the enimie. And this he may practiſe in euerie ward, but more eaſelie with the ſquare Target than with the other two, becauſe it is bigge and large inough, & may eaſelie encounter and find the enimies when in commeth ſtriking: but this happeneth not in the rounde Target, becauſe his forme is circuler, neither in the buckler, becauſe, beſides his roundnes, it is alſo ſmall: by meanes of which two things, blowes are very hardly encountred except a man be very much exerciſed in the handling thereof. And becauſe there are two weapons, the one of offence, and the other of defence: it is to be conſidered, that when by meanes of a falſe thruſt or edgeblowe, the enimies round Target, ſquare Target or buckler, is onely bound to his warde, and his ſword remaines free and at libertie, one reſolue not himſelfe to ſtrike immediatly after the falced thruſt, for then he may verie eaſelie be hurt by the enimies ſword. Therefore let him remember for the moſt parte, to falſe ſuch thruſtes, againſt the which, beſides the weapon of defence, the ſword be alſo bound to his warde, or elſe to falſe edgeblowes from the knee downewards: for ſeeing the round target, or any of the other two, may not be vſed in that place, of force the ſword muſt be there placed at his defence, which as ſoone as it is found, and thereby enſured that it may do no hurte, a man may then ſtep forwardes, and deliuer ſuch a blowe as he beſt may without daunger.

An Aduertiſment concerning the defences of the falſe of the round Target.

            Everie time that one vſeth to falſe with round Target, ſquare Target, and buckler, or as I may better ſaie, with the ſword accompanied with them, he falſeth either an edge-blowe, either a thruſt, either leaueth ſome parte of the bodie before diſcouered. Againſt all the falces of the edge, which come from the knee vpwards, the round Target or any of the reſt, muſt be oppreſſed, and then ſuddenly vnder them a thruſt be deliuered, againſt that parte which is moſt diſarmed. But if blowed come from the knee downwardes, they of force muſt be encountred with the ſword, and alwaies with the falſe, or backe edge thereof, whether that the blowe be right or reuerſed: & therewithall the enimies legge muſt be cutt with the edge prepared without mouing either the feete or bodie. And this manner of ſtriking is ſo ſhorte that it ſafely ſpedeth. Moreouer, all thruſts and other edgeblowes, aſwell high as lowe may, naie rather ought to be warded, by accompaning the target or other weapon of defence with the ſword, whoſe poynt would be bent towards the enimie, & as ſoone as the enimies ſword is encountred, if it be done with the falſe edge of the ſword, there is no other to be done, then to cut his face or legges.
            But if the ſword be encountred with the right edge then if he would ſtrik with the edge, he muſt of force firſt turne his hand and ſo cute. And this manner of ſtriking and defending, doth properlie belong vnto the round Target, ſquare Target and buckler, and all other waies are but vaine and to ſmall purpoſe: for to encounter firſt and then to ſtrike, cauſeth a man to finde himſelfe either within the enimies Target or ſword, by which meanes he may eaſelie ſtrike, before either the ſword or Target may warde againe.
            But if any man aske why this kind of blowe carrieth ſmall force, and is but weake? I aunſwer, true it is, the blowe is but weake, if it were deliuered with an axe or a hatchet, which as they ſaie, haue but ſhort edges, and maketh but one kind of blowe, but if it be deliuered with a good ſword in the foreſaide manner, becauſe it beareth a long edge, it doth commodiouſly cut, as ſoone as the edge hath founde the enimies ſword, and eſpecially in thoſe partes of the bodie which are fleſhy and full of ſinnowes. Therefore ſpeaking of deceite or falſing, a man muſt alwaies with the ſword and round Target and ſuch like, goe and encounter the enimies blowes, being accompanied to gether. And as ſoone as he hath found the enimies ſword, he ſhall within it, cute either the face or the legges, without any farthar recouerie of his ſword, to the intent to deliuer either thruſtes, or greater edgeblowes: for if one would both defende and ſtrike togeither, this the moſt ſhorte waie that is.

            But when the enimie diſcouereth ſome parte of his bodie, thereby prouoking his aduerſary to ſtrike, and then would beate off the blowe and ſtrike withall: in this caſe, either a man muſt not ſtrike if he perceue not that his ſword is more neare the enimy, then his owne Target is to the enimies ſword, or elſe if he ſtrik and be further off, he muſtrecouer his ſword & void the enimies blowe, ſtriking comodiouſly ether aboue ether ſome wher els. And it is a very eaſie matter to loſe much time, for the Target and ſuch like are heauie, and if theſe motions meete with no obiect or ſteye, they paſſe beyond their ſtrength. But if it ſo happen or chaunce, as I haue before ſaide, that a man findes himſelfe more neare to hurte the enimie, then the enimie is readie to defend himſelfe, then he muſt not falſe a blow firſt, & then recouer his ſword, but ſtrik & driue it home at the firſt, as reſolutlie & as nimblie as he may poſsiblie: & this maner of ſtriking pertaineth rather to true art then to deceit or falſing.