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Italian zogho, gioco


  1. A set sequence of events used to demonstrate a particular combat technique or principal.
    For example: the second play in the wrestling section of Fior di Battaglia describes a sequence of steps to place an opponent in an arm bar. Plate 7 of the Gran Simulacro demonstrates a play whereby the agent forces their opponent to move their blade from the inside to the outside and then uses that opportunity to strike.

    A play is not designed to necessarily be used exactly as written in combat but simply to demonstrate a way that given principals might be put to use. Salvator Fabris does a particular good job of giving this perspective in Lo Schermo where the figures depicting each play are often accompanied by multiple explanations of how the given result may have been achieved.

  2. The act of fencing, i.e. playing.
    Typically used to describe fencing in practice. See also player (Italian: Giactore).

  3. Applying techniques in a given position or context.
    For example: when you are close or constrained by your opponent, this is sometimes referred to as narrow play (Italian: gioco stretto).[1]



  1. The first and second sections of sword in two-hands in Fior di Battaglia introduce first the concept of wide play, depicting sword focused actions done at distance, and then narrow play, depicting wrestling actions done at close proximity or when the sword is bound.