Study of strikes and poste within distance with longsword

A sample drill

So often while in distance, with swords being thrown about and feeling as if in the middle of chaos, fighters frequently loose track or become confused as to what to do next, in particular, when exchanges are occuring in real time. This drill is a contrivance of a couple of Fiore's poste and the deliveries of fendente from a couple of poste included in this drill, essentially, Liberi's 1st and 2nd plays of gioco largo and Vadi's half sword/crossing of the swords. It is thought that this might enhance one's reaction time, and become familiar with the various poste and their appropriate deployment in real time.

Segment Description
Slow Hand: Free scholler Aldo Valente (left) assisted by Scholler Clovis Kari demonstrate the movements in "slow hand" time. The sequence is as follows:
  1. Aldo: fendente parried by frontale (Clovis),
  2. morph to fenestra followed by a second fendente on other side - parried by another frontale (Clovis),
  3. roll into fenestra to fendente on the right - parried by fenestra (Clovis),
  4. back to #1, but now led by Clovis.
    Half-speed: This video clip is of the same drill, but now delivered at approximately half-speed. This demonstrates the expected flow to achieve in the exchanges between the fighters.

    Also note that the footwork is quite simple, in that the fighters are simply moving from left to right to left. The idea here is to focus on the strikes and parries at speed and within distance.


    Drills are merely "tools" used to highlight certain attributes of historical fencing, and therefore, usually are quite simple in their execution. The intent is to focus on one or two aspects, and therefore, may appear to be a contrived scenario, but for the sake of working on one or two aspects, drills such as this are useful.

    Becoming comfortable with striking and parrying within distance is an important element of fencing, because so often, the bouts take both combatants into distance, and this drill's intent is to reduce the "brawl" which often appear to materialize in close exchanges. When combatants remain "in form", in other words, retain the Fiore system, the bouts usually will demonstrate better form and function, despite the speed and closeness with respect to distance.


    1. AEMMA. Arming Sword (spada) and Unarmoured Longsword (spada longa) Training @ AEMMA. June 12, 2003.
    2. Flos Duellatorum (Pisani-Dossi MS): F. Novati, Flos duellatorum: Il Fior di battaglia di maestro Fiore dei Liberi da Premariacco (Bergamo, 1902)

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    Released: March 2, 2010