Chapter 21: On attacking off the test feint


This chapter is about using a test feint to learn what an opponent is going to do. As usual, De Brea stresses safety and the need to avoid double hits. The chapter also distinguishes itself by De Brea’s excursion into popular poetry.

De Brea’s test feint consists of offering a target to the opponent in order to provoke an attack. The fencer should change position of weapon and body – looking for ways to offer a clear target. He should observe his opponent intently to understand what he is trying to do.

The idea is to provoke a thrust or cut and then react and riposte De Brea then provides a series of how to go about this and this is what most of the chapter consists of. In every case, the principles are: close observation, movement backwards, forwards, up, down and around and precise placement of feet, blade and hand. De Brea gives a personal example. His opponent, a fencing master, thrust very hard and quickly and overextended himself so far that had to balance himself by placing his left hand on the ground. Realising this, De Brea would quick circular step to the left to take his body offline and riposte.


Chapter XXI

On attacking off the test feint

The test feint helps the fencer learn what his opponent wishes to do. This will help the fencer hit his opponent either by anticipating or by a planned reaction to his movements. It will also help to avoid double hits, which are being seen all the time in actual combat due to a lack of knowledge by the combatants. A double hit usually happens when you have two brave and light footed opponents, each one single minded focused on hitting his adversary and due to their speed and intent, they both launch their attacks simultaneously. The effect is similar to two matched rams that batter each other with such force that they either die or are completely destroyed. If the fencer wishes to avoid a similar fate, he would do well to remember the following popular verse:


El guerrero prudente y recatado

Jamas de pronto embiste a su enemigo

Le observe, avanza en la apariencia, y cede

Hasta que le da el punto en que es vencido


The wise and careful fighter

Never rushes at his opponent

He watches him rather and advances and retreats

Until an opening appears which permits him to win


In order to be able to implement such an important piece of learning, the fencer should wait in the second stance and offer his opponent a clear, exposed target in order to provoke an attack. If his opponent does not attack, then the fencer should change position several times, moving feet and body and changing the position of his blade. Sometimes he should give the impression that he is going to attack. Sometimes he should take one or more of the angled positions. All movements should be carefully controlled and in proportion. He should not take his eyes off his opponent so that he is not taken by surprise and can riposte when his opponent attacks. Likewise, if the fencer attacks or receives an attack by moving one of his feet backwards or counters an attack by a straight right-angled defensive movement or indeed any other defensive measure, he will also need to be alert.

If the fencer observes that his opponent does not respond to the feints and invitations made and does not commit to an attack, but does leave a possible target area unguarded, then the fencer should take advantage of his opponent’s carelessness to attack. As a precaution, the fencer should make sure that he moves around to the same side that he has attacked, and his arm and weapon attack the open target. This will avoid either a double hit or a stop hit. It will be hard enough for the opponent to defend himself and especially if is not paying attention. If the opponent tries to close distance quickly and come in close, the fencer should resist this by either moving backwards or defend by raising his blade into a defensive position and coming into opposition with the opponent’s blade. This should stop the move or force him to change direction.

Despite what I have said, I think it would be helpful to add some more advice. The reason is so that the fencer can defend himself easily, is not confused by and does not exaggerate any of the general principles no matter what position or guard is chosen.

First: Let us imagine that the fencer is waiting in a perfect quarte guard with his arm bent, his hand with nails turn up and his weapon held at an angle across his body but with the point slightly lowered. This means that he is offering his opponent a target to aim at. This could be the chest above the blade or the back side of the sword arm. This can be seen in figure one of plate thirteen.

Fig 1 Plate 13

If his opponent attacks whilst he is in this position, then the fencer should defend himself by extending his arm and blade and this should be enough to deflect the attacking weapon. At the same time, he should move his right foot back by about half a foot. This will mean that the fencer’s body will adopt a concave posture. As soon as the backwards move has been completed and the opposing blade deflected off target, then the fencer should attack by thrusting at the lower part of the chest. To do this, he needs to pass weapon under his opponent’s arm and take care not to touch it. The movements need to be executed quickly so that the opponent does not have a chance to react and also so that the attack can take advantage of the forward momentum already generated.

Second: The fencer can also change measure when his opponent attacks above the weapon and use the extra time to control his opponent’s blade by increasing the degrees of pressure. As soon as the opposing sword has been forced offline, the fencer should attack the side of the chest immediately taking advantage of the fact he has moved his body away from the line of the diameter as soon as he was attacked.

Third: If the fencer is attacked above the arm whilst waiting in the position that has just been described, he can counter attack in one of two ways. The first way is that he can move his left foot back and move into the third stance, disengaging his blade and raising his hand so that his hilt deflects the attacking weapon. He can then attack with a very fast thrust to the chest. As with all such measures, care needs to be taken that the actions are within time and that there is no gap between them. If this is done, then the fencer will have defended himself and riposted successfully.

Fourth: The second way to counter attack involves preparing the hand by turning the wrist into quarte so that the nails are pointing upwards. When the opponent attacks above the arm as previously described, the fencer will raise his left foot and bring together with his right foot. He will then be able to use the upper quillion to control the opposing blade. As he controlled the blade, the fencer will have been forced to raise the point of his sword. He should now lower the point and hit his opponent in the face or in the upper part of the arm. If the fencer does not wish to land such a major blow, which this undoubtedly is, then he will simply need to move his left foot slightly forward and his right foot backwards so that they are joined together and extend his arm and weapon in the first universal position as can be seen in figure one of plate eleven.

Fig 1 Plate 11

Either using one or the other approach, the actions should be carried out at the same time and, in this way, the fencer will achieve his aim of defending himself and of hitting his opponent.

Fifth: When he is attacked above the arm as described above, the fencer can use some of the positions to help. As he is attacked, the fencer should join his blade to the attacking blade and deflect into the eighth diagonal line. Whilst keeping in opposition, the fencer can cut, if he wishes. He should remember to recover using the same horizontal line he has used to prepare the cut and making sure his opponent’s blade stays underneath his own, also pushing his left arm between the two weapons to stop his opponent from withdrawing his blade. This needs to be done before the opponent has had a chance to recover. If the fencer prefers to thrust, he can. To do this, he needs to place his weight on his left leg and bring his sword arm back and preparing to thrust at the right-hand side of the chest. He then hits his opponent where arm and body meet by thrusting as he shifts his weight forwards again. This riposte can also be carried out over the top of the opponent’s weapon and as the riposte is made, the fencer will control his opponent’s sword as part of the move.

Sixth: If, when he is attacked above the weapon, the fencer wishes to counter extremely quickly, he can do so without risk by raising his hand to the level of his face and turning the nails out, keeping the point low and parrying with the lower edge of the sword. As he does this he will push his left hand between the blades to keep his opponent’s blade below the level of the arm and off target. There will be occasions when the fencer can conclude the move by passing his weapon under his opponent’s and taking care not to touch it at all, he can then direct a riposte to the face or the upper part of the chest. To do this he will need place his body and feet in a triangular position centred on the toes and bending his body to his inside line. He will have created a mixed angle and executed a hard thrust. This can be seen in figure B of plate twelve.

Fig B Plate 12

All movements need to be carried out simultaneously as if they are not, the move will not work.

Seventh: As his opponent attacks, the fencer should free his weapon and place it over the opponent’s blade and control it by placing his third degree of force opposed to the opponent’s first degree. From this position, if he so wishes, the fencer can thrust forward by running his blade along his opponent’s and hit him along the right-hand side of the body. If he so wishes, he can also hit the face or the upper arm without disengaging from his opponent’s blade. The fencer will need to be careful and if his opponent tries to parry, then the fencer will need to change his attack from a thrust to a cut and creating the opportunity by shifting his position. If the fencer does not wish to hit, he does not have to. He can keep his opponent’s blade under control and this will force his opponent to move to free himself. He will have to free himself either by disengaging or by moving and the fencer will be able to take advantage of the time needed to do this to hit the nearest, available target area.

As has been very clearly explained, these seven strategies all arise from a thrust that the opponent has launched. His thrust is delivered above the sword and is trying to hit the right-hand side of the fencer’s chest. As was explained in the first strategy, the fencer is waiting with his sword point in a slightly lowered position. This implies that if the fencer does not care of his defence, he risks being hit. I can speak about this from my experience in fighting with a certain, very vain Maestro. He thrust with such force and closed distance so far and quickly that the only way to avoid being hit by both his weapon and head was to take a very quick circular step to the left with the left foot. This was enough for me to get my body off the line of the diameter. I observed that his attack was so over-extended that he needed to put his left hand on the ground to stop himself from falling over as he had become so unbalanced. You can see how stubborn and capricious some men can be as he told me that he always attacks whenever an opponent offers a lowered point. He said that it is sometimes successful because his opponent has not being paying attention or has not known how to defend or the opponent can only manage a very weak response. He explained that he always tries to attack as hard and fast as possible and as this sometimes works, when he saw my lowered point, he did not think that this would be any different, which is why he attacked.

I do not want to waste time by going on for too long and distracting us. Neither do I wish to deliver an overlong list of strategies. This would confuse people rather than teach. Despite the disdain that a true fencer should feel at this Maestro’s manner of acting and speaking, his words and behaviour prompted me to reflect that if a simple side step was enough for me to not only defend myself but to make him fall over then we should also cover some defensive strategies so that everyone understands these.

First: If the opponent thrusts under the weapon, then the fencer should lower the point of his blade so that it is in the position of a low sword arm position. He should direct his weapon along the seventh diagonal. This means that the middle of his blade will oppose this opponent’s foible and control it, forcing it offline. The fencer will then be able to riposte with a fast thrust to the lower armpit. As he does this, he should also move his left foot backwards and end up in the third stance. If the fencer does not move his left foot, then he should, at least, move his right foot back so that his feet are together. By doing this, he will be better placed to defend himself and he will be able to riposte with no danger to himself.

Second: As the opponent thrusts below the blade, the fencer turn his nails down and use the lower edge to parry and deflect the attacking blade offline. At the same time, he should take a pace backwards with his right foot. He should however not touch the ground with his right heel. This will have the effect of curving his chest, shoulders and head forwards. From this lower sword position, he can withdraw his weapon and prepare a cut. The cut can be aimed at the face, the upper part of the arm or anywhere that the fencer chooses. To make the cut, the fencer will need to swivel his body by taking a pace forward with his left foot and his right foot backwards so that he is forming a reversed third stance. These movements need to be carried out as quickly as possible and in this way, he will be able to defend himself and attack his opponent. These movements can be seen in the figures in plate fourteen.

PLate 14

Third: If the fencer does not wish to attack in this way, then he needs to enter into opposition with his opponent’s sword and control this. At the same time, he needs to move his right foot forward and close distance. This will remove the force of his opponent’s attack. The fencer will then be able to hit his opponent in the chest area as long as he carries out the movement very quickly and does not give his adversary a chance to react as if he does, then the move will not be successful. This should be enough information about this defence so we can move on to look at some other defensive strategies. These strategies begin with the fencer waiting in the second stance position. His arm is held slightly back and across his body with his fingernails halfway between turned up and outwards and weapon pointing to the outside line and held in a high arm position – corresponding to a high quarte – and just off the line of the diameter. He is offering his opponent a target area on the right-hand side of the chest or face – as can be seen in figure two of plate thirteen.

Fig 2 Plate 13

First: Whenever the opponent attacks these exposed target areas, the fencer will parry hard with a downwards movement using the lower edge and then attack any area of his opponent that offers itself.

Second: He can also hit his opponent at the same time as he attacks by moving out of measure to defend himself.

Third: When the opponent attacks either in a high or low line, the fencer can move his left foot around the circle by a about a foot distance and then use his right foot to re-centre his position. This will move him two degrees around his opponent’s profile. The fencer will need be aware that if his opponent is aiming for his face, then the fencer will need to parry with his lower edge and make sure that forte is placed to foible. If his opponent is thrusting low, then the fencer can use his hilt and guard to parry.

Fourth: When attacked as described, the fencer can simply raise his arm and weapon into the first defensive position. This is the simplest way to avoid any problems. It can be done in two ways. The fencer can parry his opponent’s blade either upwards or downwards using the back of the blade and then hit his opponent in the face or upper part of the chest. This can be seen in figure one of plate eleven and defending against an attack in the low line can be seen in the lower figure in plate fifteen.

loweer plate 15

Fifth: If the fencer wishes to move into measure with a downwards bind, then he should move his feet forwards but without unbalancing himself. This will cramp his opponent and as he tries to recover, then the fencer can take advantage of the opportunity to hit. If the opponent does not wish to free his arm, then the fencer should stretch out with his left arm to grab the opposing hilt. At the same time, he should withdraw his own sword to get it out of the way and he can then wound his opponent in the chest or face. If the opponent does try to defend himself, then the fencer can turn his attack into a backhand cut, which can be implemented as he withdraws back out of measure.

Sixth: The fencer can use a circular movement of the sword to parry his opponent’s weapon and then riposte as was described in an earlier chapter. Despite this, I will repeat that as soon as the fencer has deflected his opponent’s sword, then he should feint a thrust at the upper arm or face and then when his opponent tries to parry and defend himself, the fencer should lower the point of his sword and thrust to the right-hand side of the body, passing the sword under his opponent’s arm in the process. If the opponent defends himself by raising both arm and weapon, then the fencer should hit along the centre line of the body or in the arm pit as this will be quicker.

Seventh: The same circular movement of the sword will also enable the fencer to hit his opponent across the centre of the chest. As his opponent attacks, or immediately afterwards, the fencer can riposte. Moving around the circle in the same direction that the riposte is made will also enable him to defend himself better.

Eighth: The same circular movement will also enable the fencer to use the upper quillion of his guard to control his opponent’s sword as he makes an attack. The fencer should then immediately riposte keeping his blade in opposition with his opponent’s. He should aim at the face or whichever part of the body is most convenient.

Ninth: If the fencer’s foil does not have quillions, then he should use a beat to knock his opponent’s sword offline. Once this has been done, the fencer can bring his own sword into play from this lower line position. He should do this by either disengaging, moving or simply using his wrist to raise the point. In any case, he should, without any pause, bind his opponent’s blade to keep him from bring it back on target and then hit his opponent as quickly as possible on whatever target area is most accessible. If the fencer is quick enough and follows this advice, then then opponent will not be able to retreat out of measure and the move may be successful and allow the fencer to wound his opponent.

Tenth: Let is suppose that his opponent has tried to attack the fencer’s right hand side, thrusting through the cross where the weapon’s meet as described previously. The fencer can use a semi-circular movement to defend himself. He should pass his sword under his opponent’s until it is in the first diagonal position. From this position, he will turn his wrist to point his nails outwards, lower the point and riposte to the right-hand side of the body below the arm (riposte in seconde). If the fencer sees that his opponent is trying to defend himself very quickly, then he should aim at the centre line of the chest as this will give him a better angle. To do this, he should feint and give the impression that he is going to thrust in seconde and then as his opponent parries, he should turn his nails up and thrust over the top of his opponent’s blade. This is called a feint in seconde followed by a thrust in quarte.

These ten strategies all spring from the supposition that the opponent has tried to thrust and hit the fencer on the inside line and tried to wound in the face to on the right-hand side of the body. As we have now given enough advice about how to defend against this, we will now look at the following situation. The fencer is waiting in second stance with his arm slightly curved back and in a high sword position and with this weapon slightly pointing up and across his body with nails pointing down. The fencer is freely offering a target area above the arm or on the right-hand side of his body or face. This can be seen in figure three of plate thirteen.

Fig 3 Plate 13

First: If the fencer is waiting in this position and his opponent tries to hit the exposed target area, then the fencer can counter by moving his sword down and using the lower edge to parry. He can also either retreat or reduce measure and then bind his opponent’s sword and then hit his opponent on the right-hand side of the chest. Alternatively, he can wait until his opponent’s attack is over and then riposte with a thrust.

Second: The fencer can use one of the feints to induce an error and get his opponent to expose a target area. This point can then be attacked. As described in the previous strategies on feints, sufficient care will need to be taken if the fencer is to be able to successfully defend himself and wound his opponent.

Third: The fencer can hit at the same time as he is being attacked. This will be safer, if he can also remove himself from danger by increasing measure.

Fourth: Let us imagine that the fencer is waiting in the described position. As his opponent attacks, he can use his upper quillion to control the attacking blade. As soon as he does this, the fencer should glide his blade along his opponent’s and thrust to the face or upper part of the arm. If his opponent tries to defend himself by raising his hand and weapon to cover the target area, then the attack will need to be under the arm and should be made in quarte, with the nails turned up. This will ensure a successful defence and attack, whether the sword has quillions or not.

Fifth: The fencer should start by turning his hand so that the nails are pointing up. As soon as his opponent attacks, the fencer will use a circular movement of the sword to parry or to use the lower quillion to control the opposing weapon. He should then attack immediately by thrusting to his opponent’s right-hand side below the arm. If the fencer finds that his opponent manages to avoid his sword being controlled by the fencer’s circular movement and tries to hit him above the arm, then the fencer should control the line of the diameter before his opponent does and then thrust forwards.

Sixth: As he is being attacked, the fencer can defend himself by moving his left foot back or by adopting the first stance. Whichever of these approaches is chosen, he should ensure that his arm and weapon are making circular movements to defend himself successfully. He can then thrust quickly either aiming at below his opponent’s arm or the right-hand side of the chest.

Seventh and last: If, whilst the fencer is using circular movements of his sword, he wishes to close distance and bind his opponent’s blade, he can do this by moving both feet forwards. If the opponent remains where he is and does not move backwards, then the fencer should reach forward with his left hand and grab his opponent’s hilt. At the same time, he should move his sword arm backwards and align his point along the line of the diameter and he will be able to hit his opponent along the centre line of the chest and if successful, then we call this a thrust that comes out of controlling the hand and weapon. If, on the other hand, the opponent manages to free his sword by increasing measure or with a backhand movement of the sword, then the fencer will oppose this by thrusting forwards to whichever target area is most conveniently available. At all times, the fencer should remember to maintain a balanced position to make sure that he can defend himself successfully.

These are the three positions that I feel are most appropriate for the fencer to use when he is waiting for his opponent to attack. At the same time, the fencer should not forget the diagonal or oblique positions as these can and should be used to aid the fencer’s defence. I am not going to spend time going over them all, even though I could. It is enough to know how each one exposes weaknesses in the opponent and they can then be combined with the strategies that I have just described in whichever way best suits the fencer and the situation. Plate thirteen shows the three positions.

Plate 13

Original Text:


D, /4 jinta       prueba  rsp,rando !a,ometz’endo.

De laJinta de prUtba  se ha ‘3e va1er  el diestro para conocer lo que su contrario intenta 6 quierc hacer , a fiDde acometerle sea en tiempo 6 despues de i!l ; y tambien se hace para evitar los encuentros , que pot falta de conocimiento en batalla se estan haciendo a cada paso , pot .lo regular quando los dos combatientes son intrepidos y li­ geros , que los dos, .y cada uno de por s1 frxa la vista en el punto que ve descubierto ; y en virtud de su prontitud quieren executar la herida ; y como los dos llevan un fin, Y  se  arrojan  a un  tiempo,  con  efecto  suelen experimntar lo que dos carneros quando ,e acometen con igual 1mpe­ tu ,que se pegan tal golpe que cada uno cae por su lado, Y quando no muertos completamente , estropeados. Para que al .diestro no le suceda , ni cayga en tal error , tenga presente lo que manifies(a la. siguiente coplilla :

El guerrero prudente y recatado

Jamas de p,.oHto embistt ti $U e”emigo,

Le obser’Va , a”Vanza ,n la aparinuia , 1 eedt Hasta IJ.Ue le da el punto-. en 4.iu ts ‘Oenddo.

Para lograr este tan importante conocimiento esperara el diestro a su contrario en su segunda planta , ofreciendole un punto voluntario y claro , para que sin reiolo le acometa, Y si no lo quisiese hacer , se le ira mudando unas v·eces in cluyendole el arma , otras moviendo los pies y el cuerpo, como si le fuese a acometer , otras llamandose a algunas de las posturas diagonales , procur:mdo hacer los movimientos en una medida muy propordonada , y sin apartar la vista d.e su contrario , para acudir al reparo si le acomete en el t1empo de algunas de las llarnadas , 6 si no acometerle 6 recibirle sacando el pie atras, 6 detenerle con el angulo recto , primer   medio de la  defensa :pues con  qualquier cosa de las dichas  se lograra el fin de su defensa.

Pero si el diestro observase que su contrario  en vez de acorneter en el tiempo en que se le hacen los fingidos acometimientos 6 llamadas se descompone , y le ofrece un punto suficiente para poderle acometer, aprovechara aquel corto instante de descuido , con la precaucion  de desigua­ larse por el misrno lado de la execudon , e ir bien coloca­ do para ocupar  con el brazo y arma el hueco   descubierto, y de este modo no tiene que rezelar encuentros , ni que le cojan en el tiempo;  bastante  hara  su contrario en acudic a su defensa , que aun le sera dificil si le coge distraido. Y si el adversario quebraotase los rnedios de proporcion , y qui­ siese estrechar aproximandose , el diestro no lo debe con­ sentir : le sera mas conveniente disminuir , 6 levantarse a su medio de defensa con su arma unida a la c:ontraria, pa­ra impedirlc u obligarle a tomar otro rumbo.

No obstante lo dicho hasta aqu1 me parece muy con.. veniente  aiiadir  algunas mas  proposiciones,  para  que en qualesquiera poscura 6 guardia que el diestro se quiera afirmar a esperar a su contrario , no le sea confosa ni di..fici1 su defensa , y pueda executar las proposiciones de las reglas generates.

Primera proposidon :Sup611gase al diestro esperando en su perfecta planta con el brazo un poco encogido , la rnano baxa , y panicipando las ufias arriba , el arma trans­ versal a su parte de adentro , la  punta  un  poquito  baxa, ofreciendo pun to suficiente en el pecho por encima , y aun por baxo del brazo y arma , corno lo manifiesta la figura senalada con el num. 1 de la esrampa num. I 3. Si estan• do en esta disposicion , su contrario le acomete por end­ ma , el diestro se defendera con solo estirar el  brazo.  Le

sera suficiente para divertir 6 desviar el anna contraria , y al mismo tiempo disminuir con el pie derecho como me­ dia pie , para que el cuerpo forme concavidad ; y luego que se la haya apartado , y echado fuera del parale16gra­ mo , le podra dar la respuesta  con la precaucion  de pasar

la punta de su arma sin que toque  por baxo del brazo  , y

executar herida en la coracteral derecha ayudado del mo­ vimiento accidental , y procurando que todos 1os movi­ intos sean muy  prontos  para  que al contrario  le sea di­

fic1l la defensa.

Segunda ; Podra el diestro desigua1arse en el tiempo que su contrario le acomete por encima del arma para ganarle los gradoi de\ perfil , librando la suya para execu­ tar la herida en la diametral del pecho sin recargo, por  aber quitado el cuerpo de la l1nea del diametro en el t1empo que el contrario le acometi6.

Tercera :EsperanJo el diestro en su  planta  y guar­ dia , Como se ha  dicho , se  podra  va\er  de  recihir  a SU

contrario en el tiempo que le acomete  por encirna del  ar­

ma , lo que podra hacer de uno de dos modos, sacando el pie izquierdo atras a su tercera planta , lihrando la su­

ya , y levantando la mano para desviar con su guarnicion la contraria , executando la herida en la vertical derecha, con el nombre de sagita , con el cuidado de que todas  cs­

tas acciones, asi de acometer el contrario , como de reci­ birle  el  diestro y executar  la herida , sean a un tiempo,

sin  que  haya  ninguna  intermision , y se \ograra el fin de

la defensa y ofensa, y teodra executado el primer modo. Quarta : Se prepara la mano poniendola uiias arriba,

Y  en  el tiempo que el contrario  va  a executar  herida  por

encima  del  arma, como  en las  anteriores , levantara el





Biblioteca Nacional de Espana I


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dicstro el pie izquierdo , y le uni ra al derecho, y con el gavilan superior apresara el rma contraria , y baxando la ptmta de 1a suya , que por precision , para apresar , la ten· dra leva ntada , executa ra la her id.1 en el movedor del bra•l-O  o rostro  de  su contrario. Pero si  no se  le quisiese  dar tan gran golpc , quc sin d uda 1o es , podra el diestro asi como aumento con el pie izquierdo, ten erle firme , y levantar el dcrecho, y unirle  al  izquierdo valicndose de] primer med io uni versal , estampa  IJ , figuraI;pero  que  sea  de  uno  uotro modo , tolhS bs aceion es sean  hechas :i un  tiempo, y 5e logrnra la ofensa it su contrario , y en el tiempo qucdar defendido ; y habta executado el segundo modo indicado  en la anterior proposicion.        ·

Quinta : Se podra valer el diestro de alguna de }a5 formacrones en el tiempo que su contrario le acomete por encima dcl arma cotno en la anterior , y en el tiempo di­ nrtirle con la octava diagonal ; y sin desunir la suya le formara  tajo’ el que podra  exccutar  si  le  conviene ‘ pro­ cura.ndo al sacor-·el arma , que vud va por el mismo ca­ mino -y linea horizontal , 5in mas diforencia que dexar Ia contraria  debaxo,  y  al  mismo  ticmpo   se   debe   meter  por entre las dos armas el brazo izquierdo, para impedir la reduccion  de  la contraria , procurando  quc   la  execucion ea antes que se recupere su contrario. Y si el diestro le quisiese executar de pun ta lo podra conseguir , equilibran­do  el   cuerpo   sobre  le  colu mna  izquieH a ,  rcduciendo su arma a que execute  la herida  en  la coractcra l derecha por la misma union de la contraria , y volvicndo  a equilibrar  el cuerpo hwcia adelante , lograra el fin. Esta rnisma for­ rnacion se  pucde · exccutar sobre el arma contr:uia , y  se lograra destruide la fuerza , y qucdarlc sujetando.


Sexta :Si el diestro quisiese cntrar al extrcmo pro­ pmquo  en  el tiempo  que   u  contrario le a..:omete  por en­ cima del arma como en las anteriores , lo podril hacer in riesgo , levantan<lo la mano a nivcl del rostro , volvicndo las t1nas afuera , la punta del  arma baxa , y d<.:sviar  con  cl filo inferior , e inmediatamente metcra la mano izquierda ptir entre las dos , de manera que el arma contraria quede debaxo del brazo ;y aun habr[1 ocasiones en que le podra Condu ir , y de pronto Jibrar.i la suya , pasandola por de­ baxo del brazo contrario , y sin que toque en partc alguna;

la  encaminara   a que  execute  la  herida  en  la  diametral  del pecho 6 rostro , formando con el cuerpo y pies triangulo, haciendo centro sobre las puntas , borneando  el cuerpo a SU parte adentro, y habra formado  angulo  mixto , Y exe ,utado estocada de pufio; de modo que todos los movi­ micntos Sean hechos a un ti.!mpo , f antes <]UC SU contrario se recupere o disminuya , pucs de lo contrario no tendra efecto : lo manifiesta  la figura letra B , estampa num. I 2.

Septima : En el tiempo que el contrario acomete, E brara el diestro su arrna • y la pondra encima de la con­ trrfa , sujetandose 1a con el  tcrcer  tercio sobre el primero. si  estando  en   csta  disposicion  quisicse  el diestro execu­tar herida en la vertical derccha , lo podra hacer corrien­ d? SU arma por la contraria , ayudado del movimiento ac• cidenrat; y si quisiese que la execucion sea en el rostro 6 tnovcdor del braro, lo podr.i conseguir sin desagregarse deI contraria’, con la precaucion de que si e\ contrario acu diese a desviar para aefcnderse , le engendrara revcs , el  que podra  executar. 9aliendose  a sus  medios  de defensa. Pro  si no quisie,e el dienro  executar , y solo si  quedarse· SUJetando,  lo podra  hacer , y obligara al contrario a salir de la opresion en  que  le  tiene  puesto,  que de precision Io tendra que hacer de uno de dos modos , que smi o li­ brando o formando , y en el tiempo le podra el diestro acometer , y executar la herida en el punto mas cercano descubierto.

Bien claramente estan manifestando estas siete pro­ pos:ciones , que son procedidas de la estocada que el con­ trario ha tirado por encima del arrna con animo de exe­ cutar herida en la diametral del pecho de su opuesto ; y tambien que el diestro esta ofreciendo punto baxo , como se advirtio en la primera proposicion , no habiendo duda de que podra  ser herido , si no se prepara  la defensa. Por­ q11e  aunque es peligroso semejante moJo de ofender , contodo t<::ngo presente , <]Ue batallando con cierto Maestro (muy  preciado  de   su   habilidad ) , me  acometio  con   tal foerza , y se  me  apro:x:im6  tanto,  que a no  haber  dado un compas trepidante con el pie izquierdo, y al mismo  lado, el que foe suficiente para quitar el cuerpo de la linea del diametro para que no lograra su intento ; no tan solo me hubiera estropeado con el arma , sino tambien con su ca­ beza. Mas observe que ruvo que poner 1a mano izquierda en tierra para sostenerse , por haberle faltado el apoyo adonde llevaba el objeto 6 inclinacion de executar. Y para que sc vea hasta adonde llega el capricho de algunos hom­ bres , no obstante haber visto el poco efecto que tuvo se­ mejante resolucion , replico diciendo :siempre que mi con­ trario me ha  ofrecido  un  suficiente  punto  por  baxo  del brazo 6 del arma ,no he tenido reparo en acometer , y al­ gunas veces he logrado el fin , o bicn por hallar a mi coo­ trario distraido, o por no saber acudir a su defensa , 6 en  de acudir  hacerlo  con  muy  poca fuerza , y por  eso yo  procuro   a 1a  execucion  esforzarme  quanto   pueJo , y cotno ya he dicho , que alglmas veccs me habia salido hien , ahora me habia parecido seria lo mismo, por lo que no tuve reparo  en acometer.

A semejantc modo de hablar y executar muchisimo se me ofrecia que decir : mi intento no es dilatarme , ni arnontonar variedad de proposiciones, que suelen servir mas de confusion que de instruccion , por lo que me parece, t}Ue no obstante lo manifcstado , y el dt:sprecio que el diestro hace de semejante modo de operar , pues con solo dar un simple cornpas le fuc suficiente para defendcrse, y aun para que diese el contrario con la cabeza  en  tierra, con todo es muy del caso aplicar algunas demostraciones, Nra que con realidad se nos facilite la defcnsa , y no nos quede duda en este  punto. Primera proposicion : Acometiendo el adversario por deba:xo dd arma, se le opondra el diestro bax::mdo fa ta de la suya a que participe de la rectitud baxa , como si formase la septima diagonal , de modo que con el segun­ d() tercio ha de desviar la contraria , y executar la herida n la vertical  derecha  baxo del brazo·, a la  que  damos  el nonibre  de  sagita ; y  para  mas seguridad  y firmeza  sacara l pie izquierdo atras , formando su tercera planta , y si no levantara  el   derecho , y  le uni ra  al  izquierdo , y  lograra el   diestro,   haciendolo    todo  en   tiempo,  quedar  defendido,

Y ofender  a su  contrario  sin  ningun riesgo. Segunda :En el tiempo que el contrario acomete por baxo del arrna , se defendera el  diestro  corta ndo  la  ea , volviendo la mano ufias abaxo, desviando  la contra­ na  con  el  filo  inferior , y disminuyendo con el  pie  dcre­ cho la cantidad  de un  pie poco  mas 6 menos ; con  la advertencia de que quede el talon levantado para quc forme el cuerpo concaviJad , y volviendo a sacar su arma por elrnismo pia no inferior , fonnara un tajo , el que podra  exe­ cutar  en  cl  rostro , o movedor  del  brazo  contrario , o adon­de mas  le  convenga.  Y  para  lograrle  con  toda convenicn­cia , se dcsigualara  con  el  pie  izquierJo , y a su  mismo  l;1·do , formanJo en el suelo un medio drculo , y siguiendole el derecho poniendole detras , form ,mdo la tercera planta hecha al reves , esto es , por estar el pie  izquierdo dclan­ tc , y el derecho detras, lograndose por este medio  la   de­fcnsa  y ofensa  en  su  contrario ,  como  la demostracion  lo manifiesta , procurando hacer todos los rnovimientos con la mayor presteza posi.ble , segun las figuras de la estampa  num.  14.

Tercera : Si el diestro no quisiese executar la dicha form:1.cion , la dexara caer sabre el arma contraria , aumen­ tando ell el tiempo con el pie derecho , y lograra por este medi-0 destruir la fuerza de su contrario , y concluirle , 6 executar herida en la diametral del pecho,  procurando  ha­ cer  todos   los  movimientos  con  suma  prontitud  , para  no lar  lugar  al contrario  a su  recuperacion , pues de lo contcario no lograra  el fin.  Me  parece  suficiente   noticia  para cooocimiento de   ta  guardia. Ahora proseguiremos de­ darando algunas otras proposiciones,  y estas seran   esperan­do el <l.iestro a su contrario en su segunda planta , con el brazo un poquito  encogido, la mano participio  de unas ar­riba , la punta del arma remisa a su parte de afuera , par­ ticipando de la rectitud aha , y muy poco apartada de la Hnea del diametro, ofreciendo punto en la coracteral dere­ cha 6 rostro , como lo demuestra la figura sefialada con el num. 2 de la estampa DWll. I 3,

Primera proposicion : Siempre que el contrario acornetad punto dicho , se defendera el diestro expeliendole el anna con el movimiento natural y filo inferior ,y al desvio executara  la herida en el punto  que le haya   descubierto.

Segunda :Tambien puede acometerle en el tiempo desigualandose  para su  mayor defensa.

Tercera : En el tiempo que el contrario acomete po­dra el diestro recibirle , 6 superior 6 inferior , para lo que necesitara sacar el pie izquierdo haciendole caminar cur­ vo por la circunferencia la cantidad de un pie , formando centro con el derecho , para que le sea un equivalente de la desigualdad , y le ganara los grados del perfil ; con la advertencia , que si la execucion 6 direccion de su punta fuese al rostro, ha de ir por union del arma contraria para des\’iarla con el filo inferior , y tercer tercio ; pero si la cxecudon fuese inferior , el desvio de la contraria ha  de ser con la guarnicion y gavilanes de la del  diestro.

Quarta :Acometiendo el contrario, segun en las an­ teriores, se levantara el diestro al plano superior y primer Jncdio de defensa con el quite de complicacion , el qual podra hacer de dos maneras , por union del arm:i , 6 supeMrior 6 inferior d.esviando la contraria , c introduciendo lasuya a que execute la herida en el romo 6 coracteral > co­ It!.o en la figura n um. I de la estampa 11, yIiinferior de· ba:ico del bruo,·como en la figura num. 1 , estampa J 5 .

Quinta : Si  el ·diestro quisiese  entrar  a los  medios  delatajo con el moviniiento naturnl , aument:mi con los dos pies, sin  excederse  de  su  perfecta  planta , logrando  por e te medio ei.trechar  :i su contrario; y si saliese de la opre•SJon•que se 1e t1·ene  pues·ta , en  el t1·empo executara’ h.  en·da;Y  &l    no  quisiese  el  adversario  sacar  el  arma  a libertad,debera el diestro a1argar la mano izquierda para agarrarle laguarnicion , y en el tiempo red ucir la suya para que exe• cute  hcrida en  1a d iametral dd pecho o rostro; y si el  ad­versario acud iese a su defensa , le engendrara reves, el que podta  eJ diestro executar saliendose a SUS meJios de defensa.

Sexta : El diestro podri valerse del movimiento cir­ cular para desviar el  arma  contraria , y despues  acometer de s-..!gunda intencion en los terminos que se advirtio en el capitulo   que   se   trat6   de   sus  espccies.  Mas ,no  obstante vue!vo  a Jecir , que  inmcdiatamcnte  que  el  diestro  haya conseguido desviar cl arma contraria , encami.nara la- suya, fingiendo que va a acometcr en el movedor del brazo o ros­ tro  Je su  opuesto;  y quando  le  vara  a desviar , que  le se­ra preciso para defenderse , baxara la pimta de la suya , la  pasara  por  debaxo del  br;Jzo contra,rio a que necute la hcrida en la coractcral derecha ; pero si en el ·tiempo dd fingiJo acometi miento su contrario levanta el braio y ar­ ma , en ese caso Ja execucion sera en. la  verti,al 6 debaxo Jel brno , y tend r.i menos rodeo.

Septima   Podra -el diestro ei:ecutar  herida  en la  diarnecral del· pecho ,,por ·mjecion del arma contraria ‘con el mismo movimiento circular , en el tiempo que su contrario le acomete , 6 despue5 de el ,dig,taland()5t: pera su mayor seguridaJ y defepsa po el;mismo lado de la ex¢cucicn1

Octava,:, Si,jctnra -el, dicstro el :uma·’1ri:i .   on  el gavilan superior en el t:emro que su corltraF10 le ac-otr.ct c, y sin dcsuni rla , inmcdia.tamente executiar-.i la hrida en d rostro , 6 adonde haHe punto ma, cei-cano Pf Scubieno.

Novena : Si cl ticrete del di&.-tro no tuv ie5C. g:rv·jhl• nes , se valdra de la expulsion ·diveiva o expt1ls-i-va ; y luego  que  le  tenga  apartada  el uma  del  diainetto , sa,ara por  el  mismo plano inferior , 6 bien formando , 6librandola , volviendola a subir con el juego solo de la muIieca. Pero sea de uno 6 de otro modo , sin detenerse  en  cosa alguna , la pondra sobre el arma contraria para impe­ dirle la reduccion , y executar la  herida en  el punto que  se ‘Vea descubierto ; y esto sera , 6 bien  de pdmera o de segunda intencion , y con la prontitud posible, para no  dar ugar al contrario a que disminuya ; y  hecho  en  los   ter­ni.inos referidos , lograra el fin , y aun habra ocasiones de la conclusion.

Dccima: Sup6ngase al adversario que  ha acometida executar  la  herida  en la  coracteral derecha  por  la mis·tna union del arma , y segun en las anteriores. El diestropara defenderse podra valerse del medio circulo, esto es, pasara su arma por baxo de la contraria hasta quedarse en primera diagonal , y desde esta disposicion enviara la res­-puesr:a con la. mano. uiias afuera , baxando la punta del ar­ ni.a ; jr enCQm.inandola -a exeoot.:ir la herida en la vertical derecha  debaxo  dcl ? brazo, a la  que  damos  el  nombre  de tocada. ,n• ugunda. Y si el diestro observase que su con­ trario es pronto  en  acudir a su defensa , la  execucioo enese oaso sera en la diametral del pecho ,· para ganarle los grados ·clel  perfil. Par.i lograrlo con alguna seguridad , ha de fingir que acomete en segunda ; y al ir  ru  contrario adesviar , corno antes se lleva dicho, volvera cl diestro la niano unas arriba , y enviar:i el arma por encima·de la<:on­ traria a que execute la herida en la coracteral derecha > y sera de acometimiento en stgimda , y estocada: en quarta. Estas ·diez proposiciones est:m manifest.mdo ser proce­ didas de laestocada que el adversario ha tirado por la pos­tura  del arma  y parte  de  adentro con animo  de executar herida en la coracteral  derecha 6 rostro; y pues  hemos da·do una suficiente noticia en quanto a la defensa que a esta.guardia corresponde, proseguiremos declarando lo que cor­ responde a la siguiente : estando el diestro c;sperando en SU segunda planta COD el brazo  UD  poquito  encogido,  el arma participando de la rectitud alta , y algo remisa a su parte de adentro , la  mano que participe  de  las uiias aba­:xo ofreciendo punto daro y voluntario por encima del bra· zo en la coracteral derecha  6 rostro ,  postura  del  arma  y parte de afuera , como se rnanifiesta por la figura sefialada con el num. 3 de la estampa num.  3.

Primera proposidon: Si estando en dicha guardia 6 postura , el adversario :u:ometieie con animo de exei;;utar herida en el punto descubierto • se defendera el diestro con el movimiento natural , desviando 6 sujetandole el ar­ma con el filo inferior , 6 bien disrninuyendo , 6 eQtrandoSC a los medios del atajo  para  sujetar  6 estrechar  al con­trario,  y dcspues  cxecutar  heridaien la diametral  del pe­.cho, o a.guardar a que la saque de la opresion en que se halla , y en el tiempo  executarla , ayudado  del accidental.                                                        , ,

Segunda: Puede ·el diatto v.aler$e de los , .6.ngidos acornetimientos; despues del quite, con los·1eq1Jisitos qe se llevan advertidos en·otras anteriores proposiciones , rc­ curricndo para ·la execucion  al  punto  que  su  contrario  le de descubierto’ y logrua el  fin  de  la defema y;efensa  a Sicontrario.,ercera :Tambien .podni el diestro executar. her.ida en el. tien1po ·que su contrario le acomete , 6 •le de la su­ jeciorl quc se le tlene hecha, desigualandose para mas se- gurklad.                                 ,  • L,

Quarta :Sup6ngase  al  diestro  esperando  en  los ·ter­minos que llevamos advertido  en el tiempo que su cotrario le acomete , le apresara el arma con el gavilan su­ perior J e instantaneamente la correra y executara la heri­ da en el rostro 6 movedor del brazo , con  la  precaucion  de que si el contrario  en el tiempo  levanta la mano y  ar­ma para cubrir el punto  dicho,  la  execucion  ha  de  ser baxo del brazo , con la mano siempre arr iba , par quedar en el tiempo colocado y defendido, tenga 6 no el florete  gavilanes.

Quinta : Preparara el diestro la mano poniendola par­ ticipio de ufias arriba ; y en el tiempo que su contrario le acomete, usara del movimiento circular para desviarle el arma , 6 apresarsela con el gavilan inferior , e inmediata­ mente correra la suya para exerutar herida en la vertical derecha baxo del brazo , a la que llamamos quarta. Pero si al h;lcer el drculo, su ‘contrario pasa el arma sin dar lu­ gar  a que se la toque , recurriendo a executar herida por encima del brazo, se le opondra el diestro con el movi• miento accidental , ocupando la  Hnea  del  diametro antes que  1   haga  su contrario.

Sexta : En el tiernpo que el contrario acomete , po­dra el diestro 6 recibirle 6 detenerle , esto es , sacando el pie izquierdo atras , 6 levantandose a su primer medio;pero de qualquier modo  que  fuese , que el brazo y arma giren con el m,:tv1miento circular para quedar en el tiem­ po defendido ; siendo   la  execucion   baxo  del  brazo,  a la que llamamos sagita , 6 en la coracteral derecha.

Septima y ultima : Si el diestro con el mismo movi­ miento circular  quisiese entrarse a los  medios  6 fin  delatajo ‘ lo podra hacer, aproxlmandose con los dos pies  y si el contrario permanedese , rnetera la mano izquierda por entre las dos arrnas I y le agarrara la guamicion por debaxo, de modo que le quede la contraria debaxo del brazo  izquierdo, y retirando el derecho , y reduciendo  la punta de SU arma a la linea del diametro , podra executar herida en la diametral de] pecho , y sera una de las que decimos de pu1za ; pero si al ir a concluir, su contrario   se retirase disminuyendo , y librando su arma , 6 formando reves , se le opondra el diestro en el .tiempo con el mo­ vimiento accidental , executando la herida en el punto que se le vea descubierto, procurando la buena colocacion para su defensa.

Estas tres referidas guardias 6 posturas me parece son las mas a prop6sito, y en las que el diestro debe afirrnar­ se para  esperar  a su  contrario  e11  rigurosa  batalla ; pero siempre sin  olvidar  las  posturas  diagonales , porque con ellas  se  han  de  hacer  todas  las  funciones  que  convengan a la defensa. No me detengo en tratar nt de cada una de por s1 annque podia ;basta tener conocimiento de los pun· tos  que en  cada  una se  le  descubren  al  contrario,  para ir aplicando las proposiciones anteriores , y segun mejor con·venga. La estampa num.I3 representa las· trts dichas guardias 6 posturas.


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