Fiore dei Liberi: Flos Duellatorum, 1410 (Pisani-Dossi, F. Novati, Bergamo, 1902)
 4 spada longa - longsword
 4.2 gioco sença arme (unarmoured plays)
 4.2.6 de punta schambiar / tuo mantigner tegno (exchange of points / grabbing your handle)

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Aguesto e de punta un crudelle schambiar
In l'arte piu falssa punta de questa non se pò far
Tu me traisti de punta e questa io t'ò dada
E piu seguro se pò far schibando la strada

Per tuo mantigner che io in mia man tegno
Cum la punta in lo uolot io te faço segno

This is a cruel exchange of the points
In this art a more false point than this cannot be made
Your point you gave to me and I transformed into this
And is more successful by getting off the line

For your handle which I grip in my hand
With the point in your face I'll make a token to you

Synopsis: click on image to view larger of the sameFiore uncharacteristically dives into great detail with this particular play, which he describes an "exchange of points". He indicates in the second line of the four line verse that in this art, there is no other greater thrusting play than this when the scholar (wearing the garter below his right knee) receives a thrust from his zugadore in which he transforms the inbound thrust to his (the scholar's) own thrust. Fiore indicates that the level of success is increased when the scholar steps off the "path" or the line.

The second play describes a close-quarters play in which the scholar, after what appears to be a crossing, is illustrated gripping the zugadore's sword handle. The crossing is made such that the point is in the zugadore's face. Fiore writes "I'll make a token to you" which can be translated as with the combination of the grip, and the point in the face of the zugadore, he creates a signal to the zugadore of the things to come, that is, a thrust to the face should the zugadore decide to not yield.

Practical Application: The first play illustrates a classic "exchange of points" which is extremely effective against an inbound thrust. The scholar is depicted as having made a passing step to deliver the returned thrust. This can be accomplished by moving in "single time" where a non-static bind is made against the inbound thrust and all the while, stepping traverse to deliver a thrust to the throat using the zugadore's own sword as a guide to assist in navigating the scholar's blade to its intended target. The zugadore is depicted as having been "spent", meaning the thrust was completed and the zugadore has definitely commited to the strike.

The second play depicts an alternative followup action to a bind. The zugadore is depicted as being spent deliver what may have been a fendente or mezana, and the scholar creates a cross and simultaneously, reaches and grabs the zugadore's sword handle and most likely pulls him into the scholar's point to the zugadore's face. The scholar is exploiting the momentum of the zugadore to accomplish this play while remain in-line of the initial strike.

example applications/similarities
Reference Page
Fiore de' Liberi 1410 gioco largo in incrosar a pigliare (long play with a crossing and taking hold of the sword)


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Released: October 21, 1999 / Last modified: March 31, 2009