Chapter 20: General Strategies


Chapter 20 is where Don Manuel presents three general approaches or strategies. The first one describes ways to engage with your opponent. The second is about how to control your opponent and especially, his sword. The third is about how to disengage.  Each strategy provides a series of options – do this, and if your opponent does X, then do that. In a way, you can think of these options as the ‘tactics’, underneath each one of the strategies.

There are seven different tactics under the strategy for engaging with an opponent. De Brea stresses using beats, feints and movement, forwards, up, down and sideways to create openings. He stresses ensuring safety before thrusting or cutting.

Binding, movement pressure and contact on the blade and feints are also central to the nine tactics that are part of controlling the opponent’s blade. De Brea stresses precise movements of feet and hands and mentions the use of the quillions as an aid to entrapping an opposing blade.

The starting point for the seven tactics under the strategy for disengaging is where the fencer has a weak bind on his opponent’s blade. The fourth and fifth tactics are interesting as they provide advice for when the fencer is in a difficult position. The first of these describes what to do when an opponent does not parry but charges forward (parry forward and down, beat offline and riposte). The second shows what to do if your opponent has your blade in a strong bind (don’t parry – you won’t have time, reverse the bind quickly and thrust).

De Brea finishes the chapter with a very helpful ‘warning’ section. He talks about the reality of feinting and that a fencer may need to feint as many times as necessary. He stresses the need to operate at or within measure. He also stresses how important it is to withdraw out of measure quickly to remain safe. He also counsels speed and precision of movement and not wasting time with superfluous movements of sword, body or arm.


Chapter XX

General Strategies

There are three general rules that the fencer needs to know in order to be able carry out the moves and attacks of the True Art. The first is the rule of engaging blades or bringing blades together. The second rule concerns binding or controlling your opponent’s blade and the third rule is that of disengaging the blade. There cannot be any more than these, despite several other Masters of Arms asserting that there are six. To justify this, they add rules about inclusion, transference and using the body. Although it is true that these should not be ignored and that it would be possible to implement these rules in isolation, all my experience of fighting with many people of different nationalities and with different weapons leads me to state that there are no more than three general rules. In Chapter XVI of this treatise, I warned that anything that someone might like to invent about the True Art will just be devices and they will need to begin and end with one of the three rules. In fact by the way that we put these ideas into practice, we can see that if we think about the three angles already described, then we can omit inclusion, transferring and using the body from the general rules as in each one of these, the fencer needs to form an angle with this knowledge, we can move on to look at each rule.

Strategies for Engaging

In order for these rules to be put into operation, the right conditions need to be in place. These are that the opponent needs to have his body, weapon and arm aligned along the diameter line. In this case, the fencer will present a right-angled position and choose his measure. If his opponent permits it, then the fencer can cover his opponent’s sword by simply using the position of the sword on the inside line. If the opponent moves his left foot backwards, then the fencer will move his right foot forward into second position and come into measure remembering the advice given in Chapter XIII on binds. If the opponent exposes enough of a target, then the fencer will attack using a mixed forwards and downwards movement. He should be able to glide his blade along his opponent’s and thrust into the right-hand side of the chest. This can be seen in diagram 1 of plate 10.

Fig 1 Plate 10

Second: If the exposed target is very narrow, then the fencer will do well to recur to a beat. Any type of beat will suffice and once the opponent’s blade has been beaten offline, the fencer can thrust in the exposed area.

Third: If the fencer sees that his opponent has moved his arm back and lowered the point of his sword to either change position or free his weapon, then the fencer can deflect on the inside line using the seventh oblique or angled position. Once he has deflected his opponent’s weapon off the line of the diameter, he can take the diameter line with his own weapon and attack any exposed area, which should be the outside of the arm.

Fourth: If the fencer observes that his opponent’s grip is weak, then the fencer should use a forwards and downwards movement to dominate his opponent’s weapon and then wound him on the right hand side of his chest. If he is not in a safe position to hit his opponent, then he can use any one of the beats to force his opponent to expose an opening.

Fifth: The fencer can take advantage of a feint. There are two types: the zero feint and the perfect feint. The way to perform the zero feint is as follows. The fencer lowers the point of his weapon and runs it along his opponent’s blade until the point is just below the hilt. He will rest his weight on his left leg and raise his right foot slightly as if he were about to advance and replaces it in the same position stamping his foot slightly. All of these movements need to be carried out at the same time.  If the actions are carried out sequentially, they will not work. This feint is called the zero feint or the imperfect feint as it is not designed to carry out an attack. It is aimed at putting your opponent off and making him think that you are about to attack and provoke him into a reaction that exposes an area that you can attack.

Sixth: If, when the fencer lowers the point of his weapon so as to carry out the zero feint (as described previously), the opponent reacts by thrusting, then the fencer will raise his weapon again to parry the thrust and without stopping and whilst maintaining contact with his opponent’s blade, the fencer will attack with a forwards and downwards movement and hit his opponent in the ribs or on the right hand side of his chest.

Seventh: If the fencer wishes to take advantage of the diagonal or oblique angle, then he can do this by moving with either his right foot or both feet but without losing measure. He can then either hit his opponent in the face or he will force a defensive reaction. As his opponent reacts, the fencer can attack using a backhand cut or a thrust. He could also continue to move around until he has a clear opening to attack. It is important to keep the body balanced whilst performing these movements and to return to a safe distance, out of measure, whether the attack is successful or not.

Strategies for Controlling

For these rules to be applied, both fencers need to be at true measure and the opponent weapon and arm are facing the fencer on the line of the diameter. The fencer needs to be in a position where he has placed a bind on his opponent’s blade using the outside line and can move his sword, increase the degree of force and  apply pressure to his opponent’s weapon. If his opponent resists the pressure to the blade, then the fencer can attack by gliding his blade along his opponent’s increasing the degrees of force and hitting his opponent in the chest. This can be called either the quarter circle or turning movement as the hand is turned so that the nails are pointing downwards. This can be seen in figure two of plate ten

Fig 2 Plate 10

and it allows the inside quillion to trap or dominate the opponent’s blade. If the fencer’s foil or smallsword does not have quillions, then the attack needs to be made with the nails pointing upwards but still with a quarter-circular motion. This is similar to the first, simple thrust made when the fencer’s blade has been freed from that of his opponent.

Second: If the fencer observes that when he has crossed into measure, his opponent responds by withdrawing his sword arm and lowering the point of his weapon and he looks as if he is adopting the low position of the sword arm, then the fencer can deflect the blade by keeping opposition with the blade and moving to his inside line to the eighth diagonal position. As soon as the opponent’s weapon is off target, then the fencer can free his own blade and thrust at the centre of the chest. Whilst making the thrust or attack, the fencer will need to change measure and continue to move so that he has a better angle of attack. He also needs to carry out the actions quickly so that he may defend himself and not allow his opponent to react to his sword being controlled.

Third: If the fencer should observe that opponent’s sword is lightly held, even when still in opposition, he should continue to move round the circle and change measure in order to create an opening. When an opening appears, the fencer can attack the right hand side of the chest.

Fourth: If the target area is narrow, then the fencer can avail himself of one of the beats and wound his opponent in any area that becomes exposed.

Fifth: If the opponent changes his position by raising his hand and straightening his arm and weapon at a 45-degree angle above the horizontal so that his sword points above the fencer’s head, he will expose his face or the upper part of the arm. In this case the fencer should stop binding his opponent’s blade and attack whichever part of his body is closest and most exposed by changing measure to improve the angle of attack and attacking the arm or the right hand side of the ribs.

Sixth: The best way for the fencer to use these techniques is as follows: just as the fencer stops binding his opponent’s blade, he should add one or two degrees of extra pressure. He should then drop the point as if going into a low sword arm position. At the same time, he should raise his hilt almost to the level of his face. His weight should rest on his back leg. He should then carry out the zero feint by slightly stamping his right foot to create the impression that he is about to attack. The fencer can then take advantage of the opportunity created when his opponent reacts to the feint by attacking the right hand side of the chest. The attack is made by running the blade under his opponent’s arm and taking care not to touch it so that it does not get in the way. This attack is called semi-circular as the hand moves in a semi-circle to make the attack.

Seventh: When he is in the same position as described at the beginning of the section, the fencer can carry out a perfect feint. To do this he moves his right foot about half a foot forward. At the same time and without stopping or parrying, the fencer will run his blade along his opponent’s and leave the bind as the point reaches his opponent’s quillions as if he were about to attack his opponent’s face. This will force the opponent to react or, if he does not, then the fencer can continue and the feint will become an attack to the face. This is called the perfect feint because it forces a response or a hit. If the opponent tries to parry or hold the attacking blade, then the fencer should take advantage of this moment to use his wrist to pass his weapon under his opponent’s arm and with weight equally distributed, the fencer should hit his opponent in the arm pit. This feint involves the hand moving in a circular motion – nearly a complete circle – as the fencer uses his wrist to position his sword. This feint is implemented with two aims. The first is to force the opponent to change position and secondly to prepare a cut, which may easily be converted into a thrust.

Warning: In order to force the required reaction or response from the opponent, the fencer may need to halt his point briefly in front of his opponent’s face. Seeing a point so close and being afraid of being hit, the fencer will probably react quickly and try to parry with his blade. This is what the feint is aiming to provoke. At the same time, the fencer will need to be aware that if, as he initiates his move, his opponent reduces measure, then the fencer will need to recover with his feet in order to carry out the attack successfully.

Eighth: If, as described at the beginning of this section, the fencer is at true measure, and has placed a bind on his opponent’s blade and in doing this he feels that the opponent’s blade is presented in a way that is strong but without sufficient movement, then, if the exposed target area is narrow, the fencer may run his blade along his opponent’s for one or two degrees and advance with his feet the same distance. He should then suddenly drop the point of his sword as if he were moving into the low sword arm position. At the same time, he should raise his hand with the nails turned out as if he were covering the fifth diagonal position. His weight should be on his back leg. He should stamp lightly with his right foot to create the impression that he is going to attack. The forward movement of the feet should not close measure excessively. As his opponent reacts and parries the feint, the fencer needs to take full advantage of this opportunity to attack the right hand side with the nails turned up. This called a feint in seconde followed by a thrust in quarte.

Ninth: If the opponent does not react to the feint but continues to occupy the line of the diagonal in a right-angled position, then the fencer should use a beat to deflect his opponent’s weapon offline in order to attack safely. If he does not wish to beat, then he can trap with the interior quillion and attack the chest. Whatever he decides to do, the fencer will need to change measure in order to stay safe and defend more effectively.

Strategies for Disengaging

First: In order for this strategy to work, we need to imagine the two combatants to be at true measure. The fencer’s blade will be held in opposition but exerting less pressure than his opponent. The visible target area will be above the waiting opponent’s arm. In the case, the fencer will free his weapon by thrusting forwards both lowering the point and raising his hand so that his hilt protect against his opponent’s blade. This can be seen in figure three in plate ten.

Fig 3 Plate 10

Second: The fencer will free his weapon and, at the same time, use his right foot to feint and give the impression that he is going to attack. His body and weapon need to move at the same time but without moving too far. When his opponent reacts and attempts to parry, then the fencer again frees his weapon and thrusts forward into the exposed target area. This thrust involves a semi-circular hand movement and is the result of the previous feint, which creates the opening.

Third: This is called the perfect attack. In order to carry this out, the fencer needs to free his blade and, immediately, run his blade above his opponent’s, passing over his arm and hilt until the point is near his opponent’s face. This very rapid movement is designed to give the impression that the fencer is about to wound his opponent in the face. When his opponent reacts either by parrying or by trying to seize the blade, then the fencer needs to hit his opponent in the armpit with rapid, direct thrust made using a complete circular movement of the wrist. Remember that when the fencer feints to the face and runs his blade over his opponent’s, the blade should not touch as this will impede the attack and the fencer will need to choose a different tactic.

Fourth: This occurs when the opponent does not try to parry but rushes forward trying to wound. The fencer should deal with his by cutting down on his opponent’s weapon. This should be easy to do as the fencer changes his balance and shifts his weight onto his left leg as his parries his opponent’s weapon. The fencer should then straighten his left leg and hit the nearest exposed target area with no risk to himself.

Fifth: If, whether by accident or design, the fencer has allowed his opponent to bind his blade by six degrees of force to three, then he should not try to free his blade as this will expose him to danger and he may not be able to parry an attack in time. What the fencer should do is try to reverse the bind so that he controls his opponent’s blade and then whilst maintaining opposition, he should attack the chest or right hand side of the chest. The sword will need to move forwards, downwards and towards the centre. If the fencer does this, it will be easier and he will not risk exposing an opening.

Sixth: One of the beats will help the fencer, if his opponent straightens up his body whilst his arm and weapon are still facing the fencer along the line of the diameter. The way to do this is for the fencer to shift his weight onto his left leg whilst advancing half a foot forward with the right foot, or if possible, with both feet. What matters is that the fencer’s body is balanced and controlled. He can then move his opponent’s blade offline and attack the nearest opening.

Seventh: Imagine a situation such as that described at the beginning of this section. The fencer’s blade is in weak opposition to his opponent’s blade. If his opponent suddenly changes position by withdrawing his arm across his body and moving into a low quarte sword arm position, the fencer should not be tempted to attack a possible target area either above or below the arm as he will be vulnerable to the opponent disengaging his own blade and counter-attacking. What the fencer should do is free his own blade and come back into opposition with his opponent’s blade and immediately force it offline by moving into the eighth diagonal. The fencer should then free his blade and immediately attack the right hand side of the chest by moving the blade up, forwards and towards the centre. If his opponent tries to parry, then the fencer should procure to hit along a line following the inside of sword arm. If the opponent does not parry, then the fencer can hit freely. He should, however, take care to keep sword arm, feet and weapon in balanced, triangular position. This can be seen in figure one of plate ten and is important as this will provide the fencer with a good defence. This method of attacking is called: second intention.

Warning: All of these attacks, whatever their nature, can be performed following either the inside or outside line. They can also be done under or over the arm or weapon. Sometimes, the fencer will need to take a pace forward and at other times he it will be enough to feint and give the impression that he is going to advance. The blade can be freed as many times as necessary. This is done by lowering the point and raising the hilt and making sure that the opponent’s blade is not touched as this will impede the movement and force the fencer to initiate a different movement. Disengaging the weapon in this way is called feinting and it is done to put off the opponent and force him to expose an area of his body, which the fencer can then attack with some assurance of success. These feints are called a ‘one-two’ or ‘one to three’, depending on the number of times that the fencer frees his weapon. Sometimes once or twice will be enough. Sometimes three or four feints will be needed depending on the response and movements of the opponent and how helpful these are to the fencer. If the opponent, on the other hand, simply uses circular movements of the hand and blade to respond to the feints, then the fencer must avoid the blades touch and he should then be able to carry out an attack.

Any attack or movement should be started from perfect measure. This ensures that time is not wasted and that the movements are successful and achieve what they set out to do, which is to make the opponent feel threatened and force him to change his position. If, as some do, the movements are started out of distance, then the movements are a waste of time and will achieve nothing as even if the opponent reacts as planned and exposes a possible target area, the fencer will not be able to take advantage to hit successfully as he will be unable to reach his opponent. In this case, the fencer´s efforts will be treated with the scorn that they deserve as according to my teaching, as any feints or attacks should be started from a position of true measure. In addition, if a possible target area is exposed, then the fencer should attack quickly and not hang about. The fencer does, however, need to follow the principles of a good defence that were covered in an earlier chapter. Attacks should be made as quickly as possible and the fencer should not waste time with superfluous movements of the sword. Even if excessive or superfluous movements work one time, they may not work again as his opponent may hit him earlier or there may be a double hit.

All the movements described in all the sections on strategies can be performed with the arm or starting from right angled, profiled position. In every case, as soon as the fencer has got within measure, he needs to move back out of measure and defend himself as quickly as possible, irrespective of whether or not his attack has been successful. To defend himself, the fencer will need to parry, use stop hits, control his opponent’s blade, deflect it, free his blade. These defences will need to be varied and appropriate to the situation and if the defensive techniques are applied correctly, then the fencer will not risk being embarrassed by his opponent and when his opponent’s attacks will fail. In this way, the fencer will be able to defend himself and defeat his opponent and he will then always find an opportunity to wound his opponent as can be seen in some practical demonstrations.

These movements need to be used whenever the opponent applies pressure to control or deflect the fencer’s blade and when this happens, the fencer is usually able to carry them out successfully. Attacks can be to the head, which we call vertical attacks. They can be made to the ears or face and these are diagonal attacks. Attacks can also be made to land on the opposing weapon towards the centre of the body with the aim of controlling the opponent’s weapon. I do not recommend horizontal cuts even to the legs and neither do I recommend adjusting one’s position when there is no need to. In both these cases, the fencer risks being hit before his move has finished by a waiting opponent from a right angled position.

Original Text:


Reglas gm,rafts

L;-i, regbs  generales  que  hasta  ahora  se  han   dcu’bierto para poder cxecutar bs prorosicioncs 6 tretas de la ver,ladcra demeza  son tres ; a saber , ror ag ,.egacion dcl arma , por sujuion 6 atajo , y de cau.ra fibre , y no pue­ den ser mas : quieren :ilgunos M:1estros ean seis , a r1ad icn­ do incluir , tra.nsferir , y f orma1·.Y es derto <‘.}Ue si por imismas executaran serian verf dicas , y no deheriamos ex­ cluirlas ; pero \:1 experiencia que tengo por lo mucho que he batallado con toda clase de genres , y de distintas nacioncs’ y con todo gcnero de arm as ‘ me dan motivo a ase­gurar no ser mas de las tres dich’1s, En el cap1tulo xv1de  este escrito se advierte que todo quan to se qnisiese inventar obre lo dicho seran movimientos dispositivos, y han de venir a parar  asi en el principio,  como al  fin  para 1a encu­cion a las tres referid:is  reglas  generales , como  lo mani­festaran las operaciones. Por lo que al incluir , lt”ansft’rir, yf ormar se  les exduye  de tales nombres de rcglas,  tenien·do presente los tres angulos , porque  en  cada  uno  se  ha de formar su regla. Con  estc  conocimiento  pasarcmos  a dar  principio a cada una.

Reg/,, de. agregacion.

Habien<lose de dar principio a esta regla de agrega­ cion es necesario que haya la disposicion conveniente , que es hallar al adversario, ocup:mdo con su cuerpo, brazo  y arma la Hnea del di:imetro. En este caso debera el  diestro preserit:irse en  razon  de  angulo recto , y elegir su medio  de proporcion , y en el supuesto de que la ofrece· con to·  da Conveniencia , se le agregara con la suya por la postura. dcl  arma , y partc  de  adentro ; y si   el  adversario  sacase el pie izquierdo atras, el diestro aumentara con el dere­ cho :a su segunda plant:i , rnedio proporcional con los re­quisites advertidos en el capttulo Xltt donde  se trata  dela·forma del at:i jo. Y consintiendole su contrario, y ofr cicndoe suficiente punto para executar herida , le acome· tera con·el inovimiento mixto de natural y accidental, cor­riendo  su arma ·por la contraria , y habra  executado  la es­toc:ada en 1a coracteral derecha , coma lo rnaninesta la ti­gura  seiialada  con el n u m. Ide la  estampa  num. I O.

Segunda proposicion : Si el punto que el contrario ofrec.e fuese estrecho , se valdr:i el diestro de las expul­ siones , de qualquiera de ellas , segun la disposicion de su0pnesto ,  y al  desvio  recurxira  a ex.ecutar  berida  en  elpunto ‘descubierto.


Ter.:era :Si”el’ d.iestro observase que su contrario en­ coge el brazo , y baxa la punta del arma para rnudar de dispo!-icion , 6 librarla , en   te caso se valdra  de  la diver· sion inferior  que se hace con la septima  di::1gonal , y lue­ go que se la tenga dewiada de la linea de\ diametro , le  acometera   ocupindola  con  la  suya ,  y  executara   1a  herida en el punto descubierto, que de precision sera la juris­ dicion  del brazo , y parte de  afuera.

Quart:i : Si observase el diestro en su contra rio que tiene el arma floxa ; se la induira , y con el movimiento mix:to de natural y accidental executara la herida por la union dd arma en la coracteral 6 vertical derecha ; y si no le quedase  en  terminos para poder executar  por ella , sepuede  valer   de  algunas  de  la’>  expulsiones  para  obligar  alcontrario  a descubrir  punto  claro  para executarla.

Quinta : Podra valerse el diestro de uno de los fingi.. dos acometimientos , estos tienen dos especies cero y per­ facto , su e:xecucion en esta forrna : Baxara la pnnta de su arrna , corriendola  por  la  contraria  hasta  ponerla debaxo de  la  guara icion de  su  opuesto :eqniEbrara  el cuerpo sa­bre la columna izquierda : levantara  el  pie derecho  como si fuese a a\’anzar ; y }e  ha de volver  a sentar en  SU   mis­mo 1ugar, 6 .muy poco distante , dando un golpecito en cl suelo: advirtiendo que todas estas acciones .asi de ma­ no, caida de cuerpo , y de fingimiento de pie , sean hechas a un tiempo ; porq ue  si hay incermision no se  lograra el fin , y hecho en los tcrminos  dichos  habra  executado el acometimiento uro , que algunos Haman imptrfacto , por­ que no puede executar ‘ y solo se dirige a dcscomponer asu contrario, y en algun modo  obligar1e a que  acuda al reparo para  acometerle,  y executar  la herida en el punto descubierto , que no se podria conseguir sin este requisito. Sexta : Si en el tiempo que el diestro baxa su arma  para hacer el fingido acometimiento ( como va dicho en la  anterior),  su  contrario  le  acometiese , se  volvera  el diestro a subir  su  arma , y unirla  a la  contraria  para  im­ped ir  la ..execuc_ion; y sin  detenerse y dcsunirse , acome·terle con el movimiento mixto de naturnl y accidental, executando la hcrida en la coracteral 6 vertical  derecha, que sera segwi en la disposicion que quede su   contrario.

Scptima : Si estando corno se dixo en el principio. qaisiese el diestro valerse de la linea diagonal , lo podra hacer aumentando con el pie derecho 6 con los dos,  sin desunirse  de  la  contraria , y  executara  la  herida  en  elfOStro , 0  si DO  obligara  a SU   contrario  a aplicar   alguna fuerza  para  defenderse , y en  aquel  tiempo  el diestro for­mara reves, el que podni executar segun le convenga , 6 reducirle en  estocada , o continuar  el  movimiento  hasta tener  el  punto  claro  descubierto   adonde  con  libertad   sepueda executar la herida.  Y  para que salga  con la perfec­cion necesaria , en el tiempa se ha de equilibrar el cuerpo; Y asi en esta como en las demas proposiciones, tengan efec­ to o no, debera. salirse a sus medios proporcionales.

Regla   at ataja.Para esta -rcgla de atajo se ban de suponer los dos combarientes en el medio proporcional , al adversario -ocu-. pando con su brazo  y arma la· Jinea del diatnetro , y que el diem’O le tiene puesto ,el  atajo  por  la  postura  del ar­ ina y parte de afuer.a y omunicandole un .gradito de fuerza·operanre, $i resiste, le acometera  corriendo el atajo,dciguala ndose para ganarle los graJos al perfil , y execu­ tar  la  herida  en  la· diametral  del  pecho , a la  que  da­mos el nombre de quarta parte di: circu/o. Algu nos la nombran ter&ia sobn las 4rmdt , por tener la particul.1- riJad de volver la mano uiias abaxo, para apresar con el gavilan inferior , coma lo demuestra la . figura nu m. ,. de la estampaIo ; pero si el instrumento , tlorcte 6 espadin no tu viese gavilanes,  la  mano  ha  de  ir  con  las  unas  arri­  ba opuesta a lo dicho , y siempre sera estocada de qu:irta pane de c1rculo, y primera  proposicion  de ,ausa sujeta .

Segunda : Si observase el diestro que al pasar al me­ dio proporcional su contrario encoge el brazo, y baxa 1a pu nta de su arma , a que participe de la recticud baxa , en este caso se la desviara inforior con la octava diagonal , y luego que se la haya apartado  de. la  linea del diametro, la dexara para acom’!terle , y executar la herida en la  dia­

metral del pecho , desigualandose en el tiempo , para ga­narle los grados del perfil ; procurando hacer todas las ac­ ciones prontas para  quedar defendido, y no dar  lugar a u contrario a la reduccion  de su arma.

Tercera :Si el dic::scro obscrvasc que cl arma contra­ ria esta fioxa , aun quando este unida a la suya , para SU mayor seguridad  se la induira ,y al acabar  la evolucion ocirculo, le podra acomete[ por la misma suiecion 6 ataio, que le riene puesto , exccutando la herida en la diamet1al del pho , y siempre convendra desigualarse, para ganar grados al pcrtil.

Quarta; Si el punro que le ofrece el contrarfo foese e,trC(:ho , se valdra el <iiestro de las cxpulsiones , y al des­vio ex«utara  la berida  en el  punto  desc1.Jbierto.

Quinta: Si el ad.versaiio  quitase la d1sposicion levantando la mano , poniendo d arma agud a y remisa , dcscu­ briendo solo el rostro 6 movcdor dd brazo , dcxara el diestro  el  atajo , y executar:i  la  herida  en  el punto mas cercano  descubieno ,  deigualandose   para   banar   grado a la profu nd iJad dcl hrazo 6 costado dcrcho.

Sexta : Le sera muy foil al diestro usar de lo5 aco­ ruetimientos en esta forma :al dexar el atajo hara refucrzo en el arma contraria , esto es, le comunicari un  grad ito 6dos de fuerza  operante , e  inmed iarnmente  baxara  la  pun­ ta de la suya a que  participe  de  la  rectitud  baxa , la ma­ no alta , casi a nive\ del rostro , el cuerpo equilibrad u ha­ cia atras ‘ movera el pie derecho fingiendo que va  a aco­ rueter , y le volvera  a  sentar  en   el  mismo  lugar , 6 muy poco apartado , dando  un  golpecito en el suelo , y habra hecho el fingido acometimiento . y  acudiendo  el  contra­ rio a SU  defensa , entendiendo que le  Va  a CXCCUtar   he­rida , valiendose  el diestro de aquel tiernpo, executara en la coractcral Jerecha , pasando el arma por baxo del bra­ zo contrario,  con el cuidado de que no le toque para  que no le impida el rumbo 6 direccion : a este rnodo de  exe­cutar se le da el  nombre  de medio circulo.

Septima :Estando  el diestro  en  la  posicion  dieha   ro­dra hacer  acometimiento  perfecto , aurnentando  con  el pie derecho la cantidad  de med io pie , y en el tiempo  correra. su arma esta misma cantidad por la contraria • y sin hacer parada  alguna  dexara  el  atajo pasandola por  encima de losgavilanes de la contraria , como si fuese a executar la he­ rida en el rostro ; de rnodo que ha de obligar a su contra­ rio a que acuda a su defensa , y si no lo hace se le execu­ta la herida , que con ese fin se ha de hacer dicho acome­ timlento , por lo que se le  da  el  nombre  de perf ecto.   Ysi el contrario acudc a desviar 6 sujetar la contraria para defenderse , el dicstro en aquel corto tiempo le acomctera pasando su arma por baxo dcl brazo contrario con el mo­ vim iento de la mw’ieca , y equ ilibrio del cucrpo , y execu­tara  la herida  baxo del brazo: a esta se  le  da  el nombre de pr.rdon  ma)’or  de circulo.  Este  acometimiento se debe hacer con dos fines , para obligar al contrario  a mudar de disposicion , 6 para  formarle  tajo , el  que  podra reducir, convertir 6 continuar en estocada.

Adwrtenda.  Para  obligar  al contrario a que con  su arma toque lla de su opuesto, ha de hacer  cl diestro con la suya un poquito de parada frente al rostro , porque quall1uiera que vea la punta del arma tan proxima , te­ miendo  la  ex.ecucion ha  de  procurar , y aun  con alguna aceleracion acudir a su defensa; y como esta ha de ser por

medio dd tocamiento que se hace con las armas, de cl re sultan las formaciones ya dichas, las que solo en esos ca­ sos se han de practicar , teniendo presente que si al tiem­ po que hace el primer movimiento el contrario disminu• yese y le quitase la distancia , necesitara el diestro de la recu peracion de pies para lograr la execucion.

Octava proposicion : En el supuesto  de quc se halla d diestro en su inedio proporcional ,  y puesto  a su con­ trario el atajo , como al principio de esta regla se advir­ ti6 , i rcconociese que el arma contraria esta algo reniisa y fuer te, y el punto que le ofrece es estrecho J correra el ditstro la suya por la contraria , uno 6 dos grados , entran­ do con los pies la misma cant idad , y de improvio la ba­ xara , de manera que la punta participe de la rectitud ba­ xa , la mano a lt;:i , y unas afuera , como si formase la quin• ta diagonal , el cuerpo cargado sobre la pierna izquierda,Y con el pie derecho fingiri que se avanza , dando un golpecito en el suelo , sin excederse de su medida segttn  se lleva advertido en otros casos ; y acudiendo cl contrario a desviar  el arma  para  defenderse ,  el diestro se  va\dra de aquel corto instante , y le acometera , y executara. la he­ rida en la coracteral  derecha volvicndo  la mano uiias  ar­riba. A este modo de fingir y de executar sc le da el nom­bre de acometimt’mto en seguuda , y estocada en quarta.

Nona :Si en lugar de acudir el contrario al fingido acometimiento, ocupa la linea del di:1metro con el fogulo recto para detener , 6 impedir la execucion , en este caso se valdra el diestro de una de las expulsiones , para des­ viarle  el  arma , y  executar  su  treta  en  el  tiempo con mas seguridad ;y si no quisiese expeler , podra  apresat:  con al gavilan inferior , y e-x:ecutar la herida en  la  diame­  tral del pecho ; pero de qualquier modo que  fuese  con­ ‘Vendra desigualarse  para mayor seguridad  y defem,a.

Regla  .k librar.

Primera proposicion :Para dar principio  a esta  reglade  librar  se  ha  de  suponer   a los  dos  cornbatientes   en  elrnedio proPorcional ,al diestro con 1a general flaqueza de­ baxo de la total foerza contraria , y al adversario  esperan­do, Y ofreciendo punto por encima <lel  brazo.  En este ca­ so  se va\dra  el  diestro  del movimiento  accidental  t   libran­do su arma , y encaniina.ndola  a executar  la  herida  en el punto descubierto .procurando baxar la punta para intro­ ducirla en la profundidad , levantando la mano para que la guarnicion impida la reduccion de la conuaria  y quelando en el tiempo defendido, corno lo manifiesta  la f.guniseiialada  con  el  num. 3  de  la  estampa  num.  r 0,

Segunda : Librara el d iestro su arma , y en d tiempo fingira con d pie derecho que va a acometer , moviendo a un mismo tiempo el cuerpo ; pero todo sin excederse de la medida ;y quando el contrario acuda a su defensa , vol­ vera cl diestro a librar , para excutar la herida en el pun­ to dcscubierto, ayudaJo del movimiento accidental , y sera estocada de medio dr,uio , y causa Jibre.

Tercera : Con el nombre de acometimiento perf ecta. Para la execucion de este se ha de librar el arma , y de improviso poner la total flaqueza encima de la fuerza con­ traria , haciendo en ella refuerzo , y sin detenerse pasara por  encima  de  la  guarnicion  y brazo  contrario , ponicn­dole  la  punta frente  del rostro , como  si le fucse a execu­tar herida , y en el tiempo que el adversario gasta en que­ rer desviar 6 sujetar el arma de su contrario para su de­ fensa , el  diestro  ha  de  executar  la  herida  debaxo dcl brazo , a la que se la da el nornbre de sagt’ta , aunque drcu­iar. Cvn ad vertcncia , que quando vaya pasanJo su arma por encima de la contraria pa ra los acomet imientos , ha de procurar que no la toque , para que no la impida la di­ rcccion  6 rumbo  qne  lleva ,  pues   de   lo   contrario  no sera posible tenga efecto , y le sera preciso otro recurso.

Quarta : Pero  si  el , en lugar de acud ir asu defoosa ,   arroiase a querer cxccutar herida , £Czandoel ticrnpo , se valdra el dicstro  del atajo , cayendo con  uarma sobre la contraria , que con facilidad lo podra con seguir , por estar el cuerpo rccarg;.do sobre la picrna jz­ quierda , y despues estre,harle ; y se le obligar a que sal. ga de aquclla opresion quc sc le tiene puesra , y en el tiempo a.:orneterle, y exccutar 1a herida en el punto mas ercano descubierto , y no tend ra riesgo en la execucion.

Quint :Si por  descuiJo o por  consen timicnto  el dies­tro  dexase  que  su   contrario  le  ponga . cl ataio ,  y  le  su•jete el arma con scis graJos  sobre Hes ; en  este caso  no e  debe  librar ,  porque  le  puede  est.r  mt1y  mal , y seexpone  a que  le   sorprcudan   en   el   tiempo.   Lo  \}.ue  de­bera  hacer  el diestro es , transferfrsele  pa1a si ,  y sin  dete­nerse ni  desunirse  del arma  contraria , le  acometera , Yex.ecutara la herida en la coracter!’ll () vertical derecha, valicndose  del movimiento  mi xto de reduccion   natural yaccidental , y lograra con mas facilidad y sin riesgo la exe­ cccion.

Si;xta :Si e\ adversario mudase de disposicion ponien­ dose recto, y ocupando con su brazo y arma la lint:a del diametro ; en este caso se valJra  el  diestrn de  una  de lase>.::pulsiones.  Para  lograr  el fin a que se dirigen , en el tiempo caera con el cuerpo sobre la pierna izquierda aumen­ tando con el pie dere,ho , y si puede ser , con los dos la cantidad de medio pie , poco ma, 6 menos: basta que el cuerpo cstc recarga<lo y firme , y a lcs desvios acometerli y executara la herida en el punto mas cercano que vea descubierto.

, Septima: SQpongase al diestro con su total flaqueza h.ixo la general fuerza  conuaria , como al  principio  de es­ ta  regla  se  advirtio.  Si  el adversario  de  pronto  mudase el punto , quitando aquella disposicion , y ponicndose con el arma transversal a su parte de adentro , el brazo encogido; Y la punta panicipando de la rcct itud  baxa  con una  fuer­ za permanente ; en este caso , aun qua.ndo el punto <)Ue ofrezca descubierto por encima o baxo del arma sea sufi• de.rue para  poder  executar  herida ,no se  debe  hacer ,poI que le podra contralibrar , y no se podra· libertar de aquel tiempo.  Lo quc ei d iestro debe hacer  es  l tbrar  su arma, y unirla a la contraria , e inmeJiatamente divertirsela con a octava diagonal ; y asi que se la tenga apartada de la linea  del  diametro , dexarla , y  vol ver .i librar  la suy;i para executar la herida en  la  coracteral  derecha ,  valicndose del movimiento mixto de reduccion , violento y acci­ dental , y procurando a la execucion entrar el arma por lallnion de la contraria , si es que la  reduce , y si  no ira   li­bre, con la precaucion de formar  en  el  tiempo  con  los:  pies , brazo y arma triangulo , para quedar defendido, co­ mo  lo  demuestra  la figura  sefialada  con el nu m. I  de laestampa num. I O :a este modo  de  executar  se  llama  desegm,da intmcion.                           ·

Ad7.iertencia. Los acometimientos, sean de Ia especie que fuesen , se podran hacer por las dos jurisdiciones del arma , a las que llamarnos por dmtro y furra.  Tambien se podran  hacer  por  baxo, 6  por  endma  del  brazo  6 arPara su execucion convendra que unas veces se de compas de aumento , y otras bastara fingirlo. El arma se podra pasar 6 librar las veces que se quiera baxando l-1 punta y levantando la guarnicion , procurando no tocar con la contrada , para que no la impida el rumbo que lleva, pues de lo contrario tendra que volver a determinar otra buena d isposicion. A este modo de pasar el arma se le da el nombre  dtji ntas. Estas se hacen con el fin de  descom­poner al contrario , para que descubra un punto suficiente adonde el diestro pueda encaminar su arma a executar he­ rida con alguna seguridad ; y de aqui  toman  el  nombre de •ma dos , 6 de una tru , que sera segun las veces que la haya pasado. Porque habra ocasiones en que le sera su-ticiente una 6 dos , y otras sera  preciso  tres  6 quatro ,  se gun la disposicion 6  movimientos  de  su  contrario , que  para  todas estas  cosas siempre  tienc que  coady uvar ; pero 5i el adversario , quando su contrario le hace los fingidos acometimientos , se v.1le de los movimicntos  circulares para iru pedir 6 desviar , siempre convendra que el diestro no se dexe tocar el arrna , pod1a continuax su rnmbo hasta lo· grar  la execucion. Toda citacion  6 acometimicnto se  debe  hacer  desde una medida proporcionada , para no desperdicia r el tiem­ po , y lograr el fin a que van dirigidos , que es d (inico medio para cbligar al contrario a mudar de disposicicin , ponerle en algun apuro ; pero si se hacen fuera de distan­ cia , corno algunos acostumbran , es  supertluo, y de nin­ gun valor , porque  aunque uno  vea  que  su  contrario  le da una suficiente disposicion , no se podra aprovechar de ella , por no tener la medida prororcionada para la execu­ cion de la herida , y sufrira el desprecio que de sernejan tes rnovimientos  se debe hacer. Por lo que , segun mi dietamen ,siernprc que se haya  de fingir o acorneter ,sera des­ de una medida proporcionada , y en teniendo punto para poder introd ucir la punta no ha y que detenerse en la exe­ cucion. Lo que st se ha de prncurar  es  guardar  los  requi­ sitos  que  en   otro  caphulo  se   llevan  advertidos  en   quanto a SU  defensa , y en qu:lntO a ]a execucion , que sean  con ]amayor  presteza  posible , no andar vagueand o con el arma, que si  una  vez sale bien , tal  vez  no sald ra dos , por estarXpUesto cl (]Ue le Cojan en el tiempo O herirse los dos , alo que Uamamos encuentro.

Todas las referidas proposiciones, asf de esta regla, corno de las dos ante;riores, se podran  exccutar  por  las dosjurisdic iones del perfi.l 6 del brazo , procnrando , luego que se pasa a los ml!dios proporcionados para la execu­  cion  de la  herida , t:-nga  efocto 6 no , salire a sus med ios de defensa , para lo que unas veces conv1:nd ra al diestro que sea deteniendo , otras sujetando , otras inclu)’endo, otras transjiriaido , otras di”V irtit:ndo , y otras formando cada cosa por su 6rden , y segun la disposido,1 en que se en­ cuentre , y lograra con esta variacion Ia defensa propia , y que su contrario no puede formar juicio para ofenderle, y quando  le  forme  no  le  sera  de ningun  provecho ,  y el diestro siempre lograra SU defensa Iy destruira a SU con­ trario I y aUfl habra OCaSiOfleS en que le podra herit J (0- JTIO se manifiesta en algunas demostracioncs.

Las formaciones se han de practicar siempre que el contrario aplique alguna fuerza para sujetar 6 desviar el arma I casos  en que por  lo  regular no  se desperd icia la execucion.  Podra  lograrse  en  la cabeza Ia las que  llama­ mos -vertkalu , en el rostro u orejas; estas seran diagona­ les, 6 caera  sobre el arma contraria  para  sujetarla  , en me­ dio del cuerpo. No aconsejo que se execute herida de corte , a las que Jlamamos horiumtaluI ni en las piernas, ni  1:ampoco  formar  sin  causa , por  estar  expuesto  el que lo hace a que se le-coja en el tiempo con el angulo recto.


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