Fiore dei Liberi: Flos Duellatorum, 1410 (Pisani-Dossi, F. Novati, Bergamo, 1902)
 1 abrazare - grappling
 1.0 quatro poste - four guards
 1.0.1 posta longa click to hear the Italian text (long guard)

Synopsis: Liberi writes that the foundation of any and all fighting systems are based on grappling, introducing the archetype poste or guards from which all grappling would originate. If the student does not learn and internalize these archetype guards, and understand their meaning and function, the ability to deploy proper holds will never materialize and therefore, he/she will not learn the fighting art well and never become proficient in the art. We begin the exploration of abrazare with the examination of the four archetype poste, by reproducing or transcribing the original script into modern font for reference, followed by a translation of the text against a chalk coloured background. He writes:

Principiamo prima in nome de deio e de meser sant sorso de lo abraçare a pe a guadagnare le prese. Le prese non
son guadagnade se le non son cum auantaço. Pero noy .my. magistri cerchamo prese auantaçade chomo positi uedere dipento.

As was in the beginning, first in the name of God and of Saint George of grappling on foot we earn/gain holds. The holds are not earned/gained without some some preceding effort. Because none of my masters learn the holds before learning the guards.

Fiore's statement implies that abrazare is as "old" as God and He is/was the beginning and everything begins with God as is abrazare with respect to the armizare or the art, and therefore, critical to learning the art. He further emphasizes that the foundations of abrazare are the guards, and are illustrated and commented as the four poste described on the same page of the PD treatise.

click on image to view larger of the sameclick on image to view larger of the same
Per guadagnar le prese e' son aparichiato,
Se non te ingano, tu harai bon merchato.
To gain/earn the hold I am ready/prepared,
If I cannot deceive you, you'll have the better bargain.

Interpretation: Fiore writes in the first line of the couplet that in order to deploy a successful "prese " or hold, one must be prepared or setup properly which expanded means that the proper stance must be achieved and good footwork practiced. The second line of the couplet appears to convey that should the master be unable to deceive the zugadore by concealing the true intent of the posta longa which is to make a hold (an offensive maneuvre) or strike, potentially far more dangerous to the zugadore than a simple defensive guard, the zugadore may be able to turn this situation around by exploiting the out-stretched arm creating an advantage for him/herself and thus, having the better deal in the exchange with the master. Click on the images view a larger image of the same.

Application: The posta longa is achieved by the extension of the right or left arm, with the respective leg forward (right leg forward accompanying the right arm extended and vice versa). The forward leg will bear most of the weight of the combatant, with the trailing foot on the ball of the foot and heel slightly raised off the floor. The long guard can be deployed to throw the zugadore provided the prese has been properly obtained, or the extended arm may have been the result of a strike to the face or other sensitive part of the zugadore.

example applications
Section Play Carta
abrazare 3rd play: dente di zengchiar ==> posta longa [ 4 B ]
abrazare 4th play: shoulder grab ==> hip pull and face push [ 4 B ]
daga 1st play: first Remedy Master [ 6 A ]

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Released: December 2, 1999 / Last modified: December 17, 2008