Fiore dei Liberi: Flos Duellatorum, 1410 (Pisani-Dossi, F. Novati, Bergamo, 1902)
 5  spada longa in arme - armoured longsword
 5.1 gioco arme (armoured plays)
 5.1.4 cum lo mantiner in terra io te mando... (with this hold I condemn you to the earth...)

click on image to view larger of the same
Aqui te guastor le man per uegner a ligadura,
Aquella ch'e si forte che de arme niente cura
Cum lo mantiner in terra io te mando,
E cum la punta mia te andarò guastando
Here your hand is ruined because I tie you up (uegner?),
Being smart is strong because little do I care of your weapon.
I condemn you to the earth with this hold,
And with my point I will continue to damage you.

Synopsis: click on image to view larger of the sameConfidence in the translation of the first line of the left verse is somewhat low. Liberi may be indicating that it is preferable to engage in close-quarters combat given the reference to "close" or "tight" with the word streto. Therefore, the context may indicate that the master, transforms the longsword engagement at distance to close quarters and using the right arm/hand of the opponent, results in the opponent's weapon being nullified. The second verses on the right appear to warn the student that despite the apparent block deployed by the student, one should be wary that the master's hand although pressed by the student's guard, can be used to guide the master's sword to the face of the student in the form of a thrust. However, reference to the pommel pomo is unclear when related to the illustration, except for the possibility of the master beginning initially with the guard of the bastard cross or posta di croce bastarda and therefore "turning" the sword from the pommel oriented towards the opponent to the point oriented towards the opponent.

Practical Application: The illustration on the left clearly depicts the advantage of simply pressing in while gripping the blade and deploying the shortened-sword technique against an opponent holding the sword in a similar fashion. The master "slips" the point into the "hole" between the right arm and sword thus providing leverage to compressing the opponent's sword against his own chest. From this position, entry into close-quarters and grappling would be the next logical step. The master can use this technique to disarm the opponent by forcing the opponent's right grip from the hilt.

The illustration on the right depicts the master thrusting to the face despite a press by the opponent. This particular maneuvre can be deployed from an initial position of the guard of the bastard cross or posta di croce bastarda. With proper foot placement, the master can hook the opponent's neck on the opponent's left side, and provided the master's footing is such that his left leg is on the inside of the opponent, the hook can be used to take down the opponent towards the master's left.

example applications/similarities
Reference Page
Anonymous, Gladiatoria 1425-1475 pressing in


Copyright © 1999  All Rights Reserved  Academy of European Medieval Martial Arts (AEMMA)
Released: October 21, 1999 / Last modified: March 08, 2010