Chapter Three: Positions of the feet.

Comment/Interpretation

This section describes how the fencer should place his feet and what each foot position is for. It is important to note that in every case, the positions of the feet form a right angle. The different positions are well illustrated in figure five of plate one.

Accurate positioning of the feet is important and will allow the fencer to move as effectively as possible, whether closing, withdrawing, adopting a guard, freeing your weapon or countering a move by your opponent.

plate 1

Translation:

There are five positions for the feet. First: right foot forward with the left foot behind with the heels together making a right-angle. From this come the next positions. Second: lift up the left foot and place the middle of the left heel just at the end of the toes of the right foot and turn the toes out to the left again forming a right angle. Third: lift up the right foot and place it back next to the left foot so that the toes of the right foot are next to the middle of the heel of the left foot again forming a right-angle. Fourth: facing your opponent, place your heels together – or close together – and each foot pointing out at 45 degrees from the centre line – so again forming a right-angle. Five: this is made in the same way as the first position. The difference is that left foot is forward and the right foot is behind (plate 1, figure I).

These positions should be used in the following ways. The first is used to position yourself in profile towards your opponent. The second is used to close distance with your opponent and control his weapon. The third is for increasing the distance between you and your opponent as well as saluting and turning your body round to prevent a move by the opponent. The fourth is for picking up a weapon when it is on the ground or for presenting yourself chest on to your opponent. The fifth is to free your weapon and form a mixed angle.

Original Text

CAPITULO III

Posiciones de pies.

Las posiciones con los pies son cinco: primera, el pie derecho delante, el izquierdo detras con los talones juntos, formando en la union que hacen ángulo recto: de la formacion de esta se hacen las siguentes: segunda, se levanta el pie izquierdo sentándole frente de la hebilla del derecho, la punta vuelta hácia afuera, el talon arrimado, de manera que quede formando dos ángulos rectos: tercera, se levanta el derecho, sentándole junto al izquierdo; de modo que una la punta con el talon, las piernas tirantes formando en la union ángulo recto: quarta, puesto el cuerpo de quadrado, los pies unidos por los talones, ó muy poco apartados, las puntas hácia afuera, formando en la unión ángulo obtuso: quinta, esta se forma lo mismo que la primera, con solo la diferencia de ser el pie izquierdo el que ha de estar delante, y el derecho detras, como lo demuestra con sus números la estampa I, fig. 5.

Estas sirven: la primera para presentarse perfilado: la segunda para aproxîmarse á tomar ventaja sobre el arma contraria: la tercera para quitar la distancia, dar principio á la cortesía, y formar una línea curva con el cuerpo, para detener á su contrario: la quarta para tomar el arma quando está en el suelo, ó presentarse de quadrado: la quinta para poner el arma en libertad, y formar ángulo mixto.

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