Introduction of the Style
Presentations of the Sword
Movement of the Fight
Where to Put the Sword
Distance and Measure
Putting it All Together
Advanced Concepts
Saviolo's Actions
What to Wear

Part VI


Up until now, you have been doing drills that get you familiar with distance, measure and movement. They have been light on attack and defense and have not covered use of the off hand. Now we can start to put everything together, and in doing, be able to add more to what is envisioned in this method.

Each learning point used here is going to be layered like an onion. Each layer is a foundation for another. It all needs to be stacked together to be functional. or too long, the SCA approach has been to take a bit of what works here, and there; and try to put it to some use. It is kind of like a charm bracelet; each thing on it is different and might not be related to the other. It's chunky and might not work together as a whole. Instead, think of a historical method as a string of pearls that all theme together to work. The footwork needs to be solid, and theories need to be understood and it all works together and in concert with another.

So, let's start putting it together.

Close The Line.

Closing the line is found in many different manuals at the time. The dagger helps to close the line by pre-emptively closing the line, instead of the sword. The primary defense is supposed to be done with the dagger, if at all possible.

If just using a sword, Saviolo uses two basic positions to parry with. If there is a dagger involved, the is no difference with the use of the sword for closing the line. Just use the sword AND the dagger to close the line together.

         Closing the line outside     Closing the line Inside

A lot like the onion again, we add layers to this in order to make it work. The bottom layer of the sword does exactly what it will do with or without the dagger. We just add the dagger into the mix, and not substitute the defense with the sword with that of the dagger. However, it will be the preference now that the dagger is added, to use it as a defensive option as much as possible. This frees the sword for offence, for what it was meant to do.

Three Tempo Drill

This drill is done with full kit, at full speed combat. Initially this drill is being presented as a sword drill only (Spada DeFilo) but can be used with off hand weapons, off and, etc. You can refer to this drill whenever you adopt a new weapon, offhand thing, or want to learn how to defend against something.

OK, so now that we have talked about what it is, WHAT DID IT LOOK LIKE?

Since I always am looking at my books to remind myself of what I forgot, I wrote up a basic explanation of the conversation Saviolo has with Luke. Minus the extraneous verbiage, it's a break down example of what he is talking about. Essentially, it's a walk-through of how Saviolo sees the fight going. The important takeaway here is that it shows what he thinks the counter or the reply is to each kind of action. You may notice a lot of things here where the reply looks like the attackerís action, in essence answering like for like. Another thing that may stand out is that in the counter moves, the sword may go to parallel the opponent. For example, if the opponent attacks in a Stoccata, there will be parry action to neutralize that and a return in an imbroccata, which puts the blades in a parallel or near parallel plain. Similarly with cuts, if the opponent cuts a roverso, it may be expected to defend that, then return a roverso back. This is taken from the "First Day's Instructions on Rapier and Dagger." Saviolo is using this to explain how his system looks at the fight, in a kind of conversational exchange.

  • First Ward: Sword held in broad ward. First is active dagger, second is active hand.
  • First Ward: Sword held in Low extended ward. Dagger is passive.
  • FIRST WARD: Stand in right lead, with the right leg slightly bent, weight on the left. Sword is in low extended ward, point is in the face. The first line is the Agent's actions, and the second line is the Patient's actions.

    -Right circle pace step
              -Re-assemble to right lead

    -Stoccotta in terza
              -Body void, offhand control to right

    -Right remove + roverso
              -Thrust to counter riverso, go to guardia defacia

    -"Break thrust to left"
              -Remove left foot, cut a dritto and thrust a stoccata

    -Go to "High Ward" defending the stoccata. This may be the so called Universal Parry
              -Right compas step + stoccata and beat left

    Thrust imbroccata in counter time
              -Beat left + fendente

    -Incartata, and gurardia defacia
              -Right compass remove + stoccata

    -Body void + right beat + right remove
              -Side step as much as possible

    -Remove to side, compass like
              -Imbroccata like a stoccata

    -Advice: With an opponent that presents a long stance, hand parry and do a left remove
    -Advice: Defend a roverso with a guardia alicorno, and from that guard hand parry and cut a roverso

  • Second Ward: Sword held in broad ward, left foot forward, dagger active
  • This one is from Saviolo's Second Ward. I should talk about the wards, as being different than the positions. The things such as low extended ward, first, second and third positions; etc. are not the wards in and among themselves. Saviolo's wards are more like ideals of how to approach the fight. The second ward is more in common with Agrippa's concepts of how a fight works, as in the dagger or off hand does all the defense and the sword is mostly reserved for attacking. Here, the ward is one with the left foot leading the sword back in broad ward, dagger and sword nearly meet. The left arm is totally straight with the arm in line behind the dagger. Keep the dagger out pointing straight at the opponent's face. When thrusting with the sword, step through to a right lead, transitioning to a right lead in an attack, removing to a left lead when needed. 

    Like in the previous similar actions... Agent is the first action, and the Patient is the reply.

    -Both assume second ward, defend all thrusts with off hand
    -Side step to the right, and assemble to a right lead using a compass step
             -Right remove to stay in measure

    -Hand parry a thrust and stoccata with a right compass step
             -Hand parry the stoccata away to the right, and a right remove with a punta roverso

    -Switch from right to left, extend the dagger straight up beat the sword to alicorno
             -Step to left lead and stoccata to the face

    -Retire to change ward, right remove and stoccata
             -Steal measure using gathering steps

    -Stesso tempo a stoccata
    Here Saviolo kind of breaks down into a little bit of advice and loses the exchange between fighters. He kind of gets back on track later.  Patient can do any three.
             -Sezzo tempo the stoccata by doing a stoccata to the face with an incartata
             -If the leg is attacked, remove and counter with a stoccata
             -If counted with a stramazone, defend with an alicorno braced with the left hand/and or dagger

    -Defend a cut to the face with a stoccata to the face. I assume he is referring to the stramazone
             -If the stoccata is given to the inside line, do an incartata with a roverso

    Agent has several optional actions, as well as the Patent's reaction
    -Alternate stance to right lead twist to the left and lean forward
    -Parry the stoccata with a cinghiara porta di ferro alta
    -Parry the stoccata with a codelunga alta
    -Thrust from the outside, redirect the sword with a right slope paced step
             -Switch to a left lead, and defend a thrust away with the left hand, keeping contact with the opponent's sword and cut a roverso
             -From a broad ward, three steps: To the right, back to the left and then to the right
    -Reverse lunge and stoccata to the left or right

    In the second ward, Saviolo shows what kinds of actions a fighter can take. The conversations on "Second Day Rapier and Dagger" here he shows how the ideas of the second ward work. Off hand with or without dagger is very active in the defense. Notice there is no advice to attack with the dagger, which I find odd, but that could be a factor of measure in that this stance offends with the sword and has a great potential to cover a pretty great distance with the thrust.

    Introduction of the Style
    Presentations of the Sword
    Movement of the Fight
    Where to Put the Sword
    Distance and Measure
    Putting it All Together
    Advanced Concepts
    Saviolo's Actions
    What to Wear