Fiore dei Liberi: Flos Duellatorum, 1410 (Pisani-Dossi, F. Novati, Bergamo, 1902)
 4 spada longa - longsword
 4.1 poste (guards)
 4.1.11 posta de coda lunga e distesa click to hear the Italian text, stabile1 (guard of long and extended tail)

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Posta de coda lunga son in terra destesa
Denançi e dedredo sempre io faço offesa
E se passo innançi e entro in Io fendent
E' uegno al streto zogho sença faliment
I am the guard of the long tail extended to the earth
I can always be offensive forwards and backwards
And if I step forward and within it I throw a cut
And when we're in close play I feel infalible

Synopsis: A guard position that presents to the adversary, a completely unguarded body and therefore an extremely provocative position. This position is considered as one of two things, firstly, a ploy to provoke an attack by the opponent, given the completely undefended body presented to the opponent, and secondly, a rather pensive approach, in which by positioning the blade behind, one would effectively conceal the weapon from the opponent, and by removing the weapon from your current visual field, enables you to "study" the opponent in great detail. Given the structure of this guard, the opponent would certainly be distracted by this guard, providing the opportunity for a few moments to study and gauge the opponent's prowess and mental state with which to plan your next move.

Practical Application: In the AEMMA longsword training program, this guard is simply called the "guard of the tail" or simply the "tail guard". It is often employed during fechten (unstructured fighting, both au pleasaunce and o 'otrance forms of fechten). From our perspective, a very useful guard to "break" the concentration or intent of the opponent during these engagements. Of course, the other method is to simply lower your weapon and walk around the opponent, thus distracting his intent as well.

example applications/similarities
Reference Page
Hans Talhoffer 1467 (tafel 25) "Hat" (rear) Guard

  1. stabile refers to posta that can be deployed (thrusts or cuts) simply through the extension of the hands and arms keeping footwork stationary. This info was derived from the Getty's version of Liberi's treatise.

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Released: December 2, 1999 / Last modified: February 15, 2009