Fiore dei Liberi: Flos Duellatorum, 1410 (Pisani-Dossi, F. Novati, Bergamo, 1902)
 6  azza in arme - armoured poleaxe
 6.1 gioco arme cum azza (armoured plays with poleaxe)
 6.1.3 questa presa io farò (making this hold)

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Per questa presa io farò una uolta presta,
Tua aça perderai, la mia te ferirà in la testa.

Because of this hold I make you turn your hold,
You'll lose your poleaxe, and mine hurt you on your head.

Synopsis: click on image to view larger of the sameThis last play of armoured poleaxe depicts the scholar wrenching the poleaxe from the grip of the zugadore. There is no clue as to what happened to the scholar's poleaxe, but it can be surmised that the scholar may have dropped it in order to make the grip as depicted. The second line of the couple does indicate that the scholar was successful and was able to deliver a strike with the zugadore's own poleaxe.

Practical Application: Often when the plays take the combatants to gioco stretto, it takes a certain presence of mind while under duress to acknowledge that carrying a weapon, in this case, a poleaxe may not be in the best interest of the combatant, and at that moment, releases his grip on his own poleaxe. Based on the couplet describing the illustration, this may have been the case leading up to this close play. The scholar is now able to focus his attention on his wide grip on the zugadore's poleaxe, and wrench it from his hands by turning the weapon, probably towards the right as interpreted from the illustration. The most significant attribute of the zugadore for this to work, is that he continues to hold onto the poleaxe with his "monkey grip" in which he holds onto the poleaxe with all his might so that he does not lose what he perceives as his main advantage over the scholar. Should the zugadore simply release the poleaxe and then "jump" onto the scholar, close-quarters grappling would ensue.


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Released: October 21, 1999 / Last modified: March 12, 2010