Marozzo's First assalto of sword and buckler

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Facsimile
Opera Nova - two players with sword and targa.png
Capitolo 147: Two players with sword and targa.

The first of three assalti for sword and buckler described by Achille Marozzo in his treatise, Opera Nova. This assalto is broken into seven parts, plus an introduction. In addition, Marozzo instructs his students to complete each part with an embellishment, which is initially prescribed but later left up to the students' creative powers.

This assalto is "asymmetric" in the sense that Marozzo primarily focuses on the actions of one player, named the agente, only occasionally describing what his opponent, patiente, is doing.


Usage Notes

Translation

The source of this work is Academie Duello's "CNAT" translation, done in 2011. An older translation may be found here

The addition of numbers preceding lines of text is not from the original. It was added by the interpreter to create "verses" (a la the Bible) to allow for easy reference to passages.

Interpretive punctuation has also been added.

Interpretation tables

Each part has been interpreted as a series of actions designed to open tempi on the Patiente in order to strike them once or twice; it is not believe that every cut is designed to strike.

Each row of a given Part's interpretation (except for the last column) applies to the Agente.

In the text the Patiente's role is rarely specified. The interpreter has specified actions to aid understanding what the Agente is trying to accomplish and move against.

Bociollo

This is a specific action also known as the "Blossom". It appears in nearly every Part of Marozzo's assalti of sword and buckler and is thus specified here:

  1. cut a mandritto tondo to the legs with a withdrawl of the right foot
  2. cut a riverso sgualembratto to the sword arm with an advance of the right foot
  3. cut a montante with a withdrawl of the right foot, ending in guardia alta

Sequence

Introduction

From the Manuscript

Marozzo First Assault of Sword and Buckler Introduction Text.jpg

Translation

1 The first assault of the wide play of sword and buckler.

2 Now here begins the first assault of the sword and small buckler, that is beautiful and useful in sparring and teaching. Note: the first need of fencing is to find your partner.

3 I want you to place yourself in a corner of the hall with your buckler at your lower left side, that is on the thigh, and your right foot close to your left, withdrawn neatly, and with the sword in coda lunga e larga, your arm extended, and your body right and gallant as much as possible.

4 I want you now to step forward with your right foot, and in this step I want you to strike the falso of your sword to the dome of your buckler, and in this striking, turn the dome away from your face,

5 then step with your left leg in a grand pass in front of your right, and in this step beat the buckler and place your sword into guardia di testa with the arm well extended.

6 Then turn the point of the sword towards the ground with the false-edge towards your buckler and there you throw a falso of the buckler in this way:

7 cut upwards with your right hand

8 and in the cut make a molinello while passing forward with your right foot.

9 Then perform another bringing your left foot in front.

10 You will end above the buckler arm and you will beat the buckler with your pommel to the inside of the rim

11 and there throw your sword fist ahead of your buckler, turning the point towards the ground, and in this turn cut a rising falso of the buckler.

12 In this cut throw your right foot forward.

13 And make a rising montante, immediately withdrawing your right foot close to your left,

14 the sword ending in guardia alta with your buckler extended.

15 Then you cut a fendente along the rim of the buckler stepping your right foot behind

16 and that being done you pull the left foot alongside the right, and your sword will rest in coda longa e distesa.

17 Then you make a grand pass with the left foot ahead of the right, and in this step make a beat to the buckler and bring the sword to guardia di testa.

18 Cut again upwards a falso to the dome of the buckler, and in this cut make a grand pass with the right foot ahead of the left,

19 and make a rising montante along the buckler, immediately withdrawing the right foot close to the left.

20 Your sword will be in guardia alta with your arms well extended, and your left thigh away from the opponent, and your right foot well extended, and withdrawn gallantly. You, the agente, are now close to your opponent, as is the need whether you are the agente or the patiente.

Interpretation

Footwork Strike Ending in
Right advance False edge to buckler
Left pass False edge to buckler Guardia di Testa
Right pass Falso of buckler to rising molinello
Left pass Rising molinello above buckler arm
buckler strike
Right pass Falso of buckler
Right retreat molinello to montante Guardia alta
Right pass back fendente Coda longa larga e distesa
Left retreat
Left advance pommel to buckler & buckler punch to false edge Guardia di testa
Right pass Falso of buckler
Right retreat molinello to montante Guardia alta

Video

Devon Boorman of Academie Duello performing the introduction

First part

Translation

1 But being that you are the Agente, that is, the first to wound:

2 I want you to be in guardia alta and to step forward with your right foot and cut a mandritto sgualembratto that goes over the arm, with the buckler well extended toward the right side of your opponent.

3 Quickly recover your right foot close to your left, and, if in that tempo your opponent cuts at your head or leg with a mandritto or a riverso or a thrust or a stramazzone

4 I want you, in that tempo, to make a pass forward with your right foot

5 and cut a riverso sgualembratto along the rim of your buckler, arriving in coda longa e stretta.

6 And if your opponent cuts to your head, I want you to make a thrust under your buckler to your opponent's face.

7 Accompany your firm thrust with two stramazzone with your sword coming to rest in porta di ferro stretta.

8 If while resting in porta di ferro stretta your opponent cuts at your head,

9 I want you accompany your sword with your buckler together in guardia di testa, and there, parry his blow.

10 Having parried him, immediately cut a mandritto tondo to his leg while pulling your right close to your left,

11 then step forward again with your right and cut a riverso sgualembratto,

12 immediately, follow with a rising montante along the buckler,

13 with your sword coming to rest in guardia alta, drawing your right foot close to your left, gallantly arranged with your arms well extended.

14 From there I want you to embellish the play, that is:

15 pass your right foot behind your left while cutting a fendente along the rim of the buckler,

16 and in that cut draw the left foot close to the right.

17 I want you to then immediately re-advance your left leg ahead of your right and beat your buckler,

18 and in that beating make a half turn of your hand, directing the point of the sword toward the ground

19 and there beat the dome of the buckler with your false edge, with everything rising, bring your right foot ahead of your left and cut a montante to the buckler.

20 That done, draw the right foot close to the left and the sword arriving in guardia alta, with the buckler extended as much as possible.

Interpretation

Initiator Agente’s goal Footwork Strike Target Ending in Patiente
Agente Provocation (attack to miss) Right advance + recover sgualembratto (face) Deflection
Agente Provocation (attack to miss) Right advance R sgualembratto coda longa stretta Deflection
Agente feint firm stocatta face porta di ferro alta Break thrust
Agente strike (& cover) firm 2 x stramazzone face porta di ferro stretta riverso against the first cut
Patiente firm riverso to head
bociollo
embellish

Video

Devon Boorman of Academie Duello performing part 1.

Second part

Translation

1 Remaining in guardia alta I want you to step forward with your right foot while cutting a mandritto over the arm.

2 Immediately pull your right foot close to your left and then pass with your left foot toward the right side of your opponent,

3 and in that pass make a riverso toward his right temple;

4 your sword does not pass into guardia di testa.

5 In one tempo, step with your right foot toward your opponent's left side and make a fendente with a stramazzone to his head,

6 with your left foot following in-behind your right,

7 and the sword will not pass into porta di ferro alta.

9 And if your opponent cuts at your head, as he is likely to do, I want you to tightly bring your sword and shield together and forward, that is to say in guardia di testa,

10 with your arms well extended, and thus parry the blow of your opponent.

11 Immediately give a mandritto tondo to the leg, going beneath the buckler,

12 and in the next tempo make a riverso sgualembratto, and having made this cut make a montante upward,

13 and in this cut draw your right foot close to your left.

14 Now to embellish the play:

15 pass backward with your right foot behind your left, making a fendente along the rim of the buckler, with your arm well extended,

16 and in one tempo draw the left foot close to the right and immediately pass the same foot ahead and make a beat of the buckler, that is, with the pommel of the sword to the buckler,

17 and your sword entering into guardia di testa with the arm well extended in front of you.

18 And then turn the point of your sword toward the ground and beat the falso of your sword to the outside of your buckler moving upwards.

19 Pass forward during the beat, with your right foot ahead of the left, and in this pass make a montante cut along the rim of the buckler and your sword will arrive in guardia alta

20 with your right foot pulled close to your left and the buckler arm well extended to the right and the wrist oriented upward,

21 and your sword arm well arranged and extended in guardia alta, that is with the pommel of the sword turned away from the face of your opponent and your right foot withdrawn.

Interpretation

Initiator Agente’s goal Footwork Strike Target Ending in Patiente
Agente provocation (attack to miss) Right advance + retreat sgualembratto (face) strike
Agente feint left oblique R. sgualembratto temple riverso
Agente strike & cover right triangle fendente & stramazzone face strike to head
bociollo
embellish

Video

Devon Boorman of Academie Duello performing part 2.

Third part

Translation

1 Remaining in guardia alta I want you make a stramazzone that arrives in porta di ferro.

2 There, wait for the enemy to strike you with a mandritto, or a riverso, or a thrust, or a stramazzone at your head or leg.

3 If he gives you any of these strikes you will make a passing step, with your right foot, to the left

4 and, in this step, you will parry the strike of the opponent with the falso of your sword.

5 And if he gives you a riverso or a mandritto to the leg then you make a falso di riverso with your sword arriving in coda longa stretta;

6 if you make a falso and dritto your sword will arrive in porta di ferro larga.

7 And if then your opponent makes a cut at your head with a mandritto tondo, or fendente, or stramazzone,

8 I want you to go to a guard where you can parry with the true edge of your sword; protecting your sword hand with your buckler and directing the point of your sword at your opponent's face, parry the strike with your true edge.

9 And having parried the stramazzone or mandritto you will cut a riverso to his right temple,

10 staying firm with your right foot. But, let us say he makes a renewed strike at your head;

11 I want you in that strike to accompany your sword with your buckler, meeting it in guardia di testa, with your arms well extended and parry him another time.

12 And when you have parried their blow you will make a mandritto tondo to the leg arriving in guardia di sotto bracio

13 and without stopping you will make, justly, a riverso sgualembratto, rising immediately into a montante along the rim of your buckler, withdrawing your right foot close to your left and your sword ending in guardia alta.

14 And now embellish the play:

15 there you will make a passing step with your right foot behind your left and, in the step, you will cut a fendente along the rim of your buckler

16 and your sword will arrive in coda longa e distesa.

17 In that tempo draw your left foot close to your right, then immediately advance your left foot and make a ritocco to your buckler and your sword will arrive in guardia di testa with your arms well extended.

18 And, having made the ritocco, you will turn your sword towards the ground and you will make a falso to the outside of the dome of your buckler and make a montante,

19 bringing your right foot behind your left with your feet very close together.

20 And your sword will arrive in guardia alta with your arms and legs well arranged.

Interpretation

N.B. The silver and gold sets denote an "either/or" situation; do either the set in silver or the set in gold.

Initiator Agente’s goal Footwork Strike Target Ending in Patiente
Agente provocation (change of guard) right advance stramazzone porta di ferro stretta strike
Patiente soft parry right cross-line pass falso cut to leg
Patiente parry left compass r. sgualembratto coda longa stretta dritto to head
Patiente parry left compass dritto to head porta di ferro larga dritto to head
Patiente parry & strike firm thrust face guardia di facia break thrust
Agente strike firm r. sgualembratto temple none strike to head
bociollo
embellish

Fourth part

Translation

1 Remaining in guardia alta, with your opponent arranged like you, I want you to pass forward with your right foot

2 and, in that pass, you make a mandritto tondo that arrives in guardia di sopra bracci, immediately drawing your right foot close to your left with good buckler position.

3 And, if, in that tempo that you are over your arm, your opponent strikes, high or low, or from guardia alta,

4 I want you to advance your right foot and make a thrust to the face of your opponent, outside of their right side.

5 And he will parry your thrust, beating it with the falso of the sword to the outside and uncover his left side.

6 And you will immediately make a riverso in falso to his left temple.

7 And if he were to cover up the mentioned parts, you make a riverso to the right side without moving your feet or legs. And quickly,

8 to cover yourself, you make a rising falso to his right arm making, in this tempo, a mezza volta of your hand to make a fendente along the rim of the buckler with your right foot passing behind your left;

9 and your sword arrives in coda longa distesa, drawing your left foot close to your right.

10 And embellishing the play:

11 by advancing the left foot ahead of the right and making, in that step, a ritocco to the buckler, there arriving with the sword in guardia di testa with the arms well extended.

12 And there you make a mezza volta of your hand, turning your point towards the ground, and, in one tempo, beat your falso to the dome of the buckler, passing forward with your right foot

13 and cutting, in that pass, a montante to the rim of the buckler – well-arranged - and your sword will arrive in guardia di testa,

14 and pull your right foot close to the left with your arms and legs well-arranged, and your left foot pointed towards your opponent and your buckler hand turned with the wrist upward.

15 Remaining in guardia di testa, with your opponent in guardia alta,

16 I want you to make a pass forward with your right foot and make a mandritto under your arm, withdrawing the foot close to you,

17 and, if your opponent strikes at your head or leg,

18 I want you in that strike to step with your left foot, just enough to pass towards the right side of your opponent.

19 And there strike him with a riverso that takes his head, and so to his arms, ending at his feet on his right side and your sword ends in coda longa alta.

20 And, if suddenly your enemy strikes you in the head or the leg, I want you to make a pass, with your right foot towards the left, and in this step, put your sword and buckler close together and parry that blow.

21 And having parried the blow you give a mandritto to his leg and immediately draw your right foot close to your left.

22 And, in one tempo, step forward with the right foot and make a just riverso sgualembratto followed by a montante and your sword will arrive in guardia alta with your right foot drawn close to your left.

23 And there you will embellish the play in the usual way by making cuts and beats to the shield.

24 And having made cuts and beats to the shield you will lift the sword so that it arrives in guardia di testa with your arms well-extended and politely arranged.

Interpretation

Initiator Agente’s goal Footwork Strike Target Ending in Patiente
Agente provocation (attack to miss) right advance + retreat tondo ' 'sopra bracio descending attack
Agente feint right advance imbrocatta right temple parry to outside
Agente feint firm riverso in falso left temple parry to inside
Agente strike firm r. sgualembratto right side coda longa larga riverso
Patiente parry and cover right pass back falso sotano & fendente right arm coda longa e distessa
withdraw left leg, strike buckler and advance left to guardia di testa
falso of buckler and right pass to guardia di testa + right retreat
Agente provocation (attack to miss) right pass & retreat sgualembratto strike to head or leg
Patiente strike left oblique r. sgualembratto right temple coda longa alta strike to head
right cross-line pass guardia di testa
bociollo
embellish

Fifth part

Translation

1 Remaining in guardia di testa

2 and your opponent in guardia alta, or guardia di testa, or porta di ferro alta,

3 I want you, from there, to cut a stramazzone to porta di ferro larga.

4 And if your opponent strikes you with a fendente, or a riverso, or a stramazzone, or pushes a thrust to your face,

5 I want you, in that tempo, to beat aside his strike with the falso of your sword.

6 And you will saw, with a false edge, across his face with your left foot passing across from his right side.

7 And in one single tempo you will cut him with two stramazzone, counter-passing with your right foot towards the opponent,

8 and your sword arrives in porta di ferro stretta.

9 If your opponent responds to your head,

10 bring your sword and buckler together into guardia di testa and parry his blow;

11 pass with your right foot and give him a mandritto tondo to his leg,

12 arriving in guardia di sotto bracio, withdrawing in this cut your right foot close to your left.

13 And in one tempo make a riverso sgualembratto that takes his head, just, to the arms, ending at the feet of his right side.

14 And make a montante from below and pull your right foot close to your left with your sword ending in guardia di testa.

15 And there, embellish the play in the usual way.

16 That is: with cuts and beats to the shield.

17 And then, re-making the montante, your sword will end in guardia di testa and your right foot will draw close to the left,

18 well-arranged, with your arms well-extended and your body up-right.

Interpretation

Initiator Agente’s goal Footwork Strike Target Ending in Patiente
Agente provocation (guard change) firm stramazzone porta di ferro larga strike
Agente left cross-line pass falso sotano & falso push cut left face parry to inside
right compass 2 x stramazzone face porta di ferro stretta r. sgualembratto
bociollo (guardia di testa)
embellish (guardia di testa)

Sixth part

Translation

1 Remaining in guardia di testa,

2 I want you to immediately move your sword into porta di ferro alta and, if your opponent makes the same guard, or is where you want him with his right foot forward,

3 there you will make a thrust at his face outside of his sword

4 with your left foot passing towards his right side.

5 And he, in parrying that thrust, will uncover his opposite side.

6 And there cut with your sword to his right, pushing your buckler into his sword hand and,

7 in one tempo, step with your right foot strongly towards his left side, making another thrust to his right temple.

8 Or, wanting the flank: your left foot follows your right backwards.

9 And in that following you make two stramazzone to his head and your sword arrives in porta di ferro stretta.

10 And if, in that tempo, your opponent cuts at your head, there you will thrust at his face with your sword hand covered beneath your buckler and you will parry him with the true edge of your sword,

11 which is guardia di facia.

12 And there: cut a riverso at his side without moving your foot or leg, and your sword arrives at coda longa e stretta.

13 And if your opponent cuts you again, as above, there join your sword with your buckler and parry the blow.

14 Then make to him a mandritto tondo to his leg ending in sotto bracio without stopping

15 and then make a riverso sgualembratto

16 that goes from the head and ends at point of the feet

17 then rise to make a montante and your sword arrives in guardia alta.

18 And here it behooves you to beautify the play.

19 That is, with cuts, and beats to the buckler, and rising cuts.

20 And then you lift your sword, without passing into guardia di testa,

21 and your arm becomes very well-extended and neat.

Interpretation

N.B. The silver and gold sets denote an "either/or" situation; do either the set in silver or the set in gold.

Initiator Agente’s goal Footwork Strike Target Ending in Patiente
Agente provocation (guard change) firm porta di ferro alta' change to porta di ferro alta
Agente feint left oblique pass punta riversa right temple parry with buckler
Agente strike firm open gap with buckler, fendente sword arm porta di ferro stretta parry with sword
Agente covered retreat right cross-line pass punta riversa
Agente covered retreat left pass back 2 x stramazzone porta di ferro stretta cut to head
Patiente parry firm punta riversa right temple guardia di facia break thrust
Agente strike firm r. sgualembratto right flank coda longa stretta r. sgualembratto to head
bociollo
embellish

Seventh part

Translation

1 Here you withdraw from the play:

2 pass with your right foot behind your left and there cut under your arm with a mandritto

3 followed immediately by a rising riverso ridoppio from below.

4 And there make a montante, withdrawing your left foot strongly backwards.

5 From here you cut under your arm with a mandritto, drawing the right foot behind the left.

6 And let this cut pass close to your buckler so that it arrives underneath your left arm.

7 And there make two molinelli, advancing towards your right with your left foot,

8 and ultimately rising upwards with your sword on the right.

9 That is turning the sword towards the one who you play with.

10 Draw your right foot close to your left and there

11 make a pass with your right foot making in this pass 3 molinelli:

12 one to the outside, two to the inside,

13 rising,

14 ultimately arriving over your left arm where

15 you beat with the pommel of the sword to the inside rim of the buckler

16 drawing your left leg close to your right, well organized and arranged,

17 drawn up as much as possible.

18 And there you have finished withdrawing from the play

19 and you have finished the first assault.

Interpretation

Footwork Strike Ending in
Right pass back sgualembratto & r. falso sotano
Left pass back montante
Right pass back sgualembratto
Right triangle 2 x rising mollinelli'
montante guardia alta
Right retreat & pass 1 rising molinello to the outside, 2 to the inside
left advance pommel strike to buckler & montante guardia alta

Embellishments

Main article: Embellishment

Embellishments are "non-threatening" attacks at the end of each part of the assalti. They often involve attacking while moving backwards, or making excessive noise with the sword and shield. They are the 16th-century-equivalent of spiking the football in the end zone or growling and waving one's arms around. They can even be thought of (or used) as a flourish in a salute.

In the first part, Marozzo describes the following embellishment:

  1. Throw a fendente along the inside rim of the buckler, passing the right foot back, and followed by the left foot, ending in coda lunga e distesa
  2. Turn the buckler to the right and strike the center with the pommel of the sword, immediately pushing forward into guardia di testa with an advance of the left foot
  3. Turn your hand so the sword points to the ground, striking the buckler with the false edge of the sword and immediately cutting upwards, accompanied by a step forward of the right foot
  4. Cut a molinello into a montante, withdrawing the right foot beside the left foot, ending in guardia alta

Videos

See also

External links