Chapter 18: On Central Positions and Triangles

Comment/Interpretation:

This short chapter can seem confusing with its description of angles.  De Brea is trying to show how to use the circles to best advantage and how to remain balanced whilst doing so.

First of all, we need to remember that in destreza, there is an imaginary circle around each fencer, a straight line directly between them and a circle that they share, when they come into measure. This is the circle that we are looking at now and plate 12 shows the circle and the positions of the feet.

The idea is to keep sideways on to the opponent and using the feet to achieve this and pivoting as necessary. He even describes pivoting on the toes, if necessary and also specifically describes using the left hand to cover the inside line.

Translation:

On Central Positions and Triangles.

There are three central positions and triangles in the True Art. These are on the right foot, on the left foot and on both feet. Sometimes the positions will involve the fencer being on his toes and at other times, on his heels. This will depend on what action is being taken over the course of a fight. The positions are formed by three imaginary triangles: isosceles, scalene and equilateral. These can be used to help control the opponent’s weapon, form the different angles, thrust and attack and defend especially when in very close proximity to the opponent.

First central position: In a situation, where both fencers are within measure and the opponent is moving around the circumference looking to expose the fencer’s right hand side or back and wishes to bind the fencer’s weapon, then to prevent this, the fencer will move only his left foot and keep his right foot pointing at the centre of the circle. If the adversary moves around the circle on the other side, to try to create an opening towards the fencer’s chest, then the fencer will move his right foot and use the left foot as a central pivot. In this way, he will be able to stay sideways on to his opponent and successfully defend himself.

If the fencers are close to each other and the fencer has a bind on his opponent’s sword, then the opponent way to try to grab the hilt of the fencer’s sword. To stop this from happening, the fencer will twist his body to the inside on the points of his toes. At the same time, he will place his sword out of his opponent’s reach by raising it head high with the nails turned outwards. This will leave the sword pointing at his opponent’s chest. Whilst doing this, he will also use his left hand and arm to deflect his opponent’s sword. This can be seen in the diagram marked with the letter B in plate twelve.

Fig B Plate 12

Translation:

CA PITU L O  X VIII.

Cmtros  )’  tridngulos.

Los centres y triangulos en verdad era destreza son tres , sobre el pie deredw , sobre el izquierdo , 6 sobre los dos : unas veces convendra sobre las puntas , y otras sobre los talones. Estos se forman en distintos casos , y de dife­ rentes modos en rigurosa batalla , 6 segun lo pide el lan­ ce 6 disposicion en que se encuentran los dos combatien­ es. De su exccucion se forrnan los triangulos , aunque son unaginarios , y mudan de especies por el mas 6 mcnos Centro (como realmente las demostraciones lo iran ma· nifestando ): sus nornbres son is6sceles , escalmo ,y equild­ tero ; con ellos se mjet:i  el arma  contraria , se  forman los angulos rnixtos , se executan estocadas de pu.fio , se con­ cluye , se defiende y ofende a su contrario quando se en­ cuentran  rnetidos en el extremo propinquo.Centro pimero : Puest:os los dos cornbatientes en el med10 proporcional , siempre que el adversario vaya cami­ nando por la circunferencia para  descubrir  las  profundidades del costado derecho 6 espalda con anirno de sujetar el arrna , el diestro, para que no lo consiga , fra movien­ 0 -solo ·el pie izquierdo haciendo  centro sobre el derecho,0 al contr.u-io. Si el adversario diese los compases p<>r ellado opuesto pa ra descubrir las profundidades del  pecho, que  se  dice  gm1ar grados  al  perjil ; el diestro  para que lo consiga , ira moviendo el pie derecho ; y haciendo centro sobre el izquierdo , logrando por  este mt:dio   que­darse perfilado  y defenJido. Sohre  los dos piu: Suponganse a los  dos  combaticntes aproximados , y el diestro  sujetando  el  arma  contraria ,  y que  el adversario  quiere  echar  mano  a la  guarnicion  de  su contrario para concl uirle ; en ese instante el  diestro , para que no lo consiga , bornara el cuerpo hacia adentro sabre las puntas de los dos pies, y  metiendo  su  mano  izquierda por  entre las dos armas , impedira  la reduccion  de la  con­ traria ‘ y retirara la  derecha levantandola a nivel  de la   ca• bcza con las uifas afuera ; de modo que la punta de su ar­ ma le quede  en  el  pecho de su contrario , como lo  mani­ fiesta  la  figura seiialada  con 1 letra B de la estampa nu­mero 12.

 

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