Chapter 17: Defence According to the True Art


In this chapter, De Brea describes how to defend oneself. He asserts that there is no such thing as a perfect, or unbeatable attack as any possible attack can be defended against by one or more of the steps, parries and movements that he describes.

He goes on to describe three ways of defending and three techniques. De Brea points out that they are similar but that how they are put into practice is different. It is difficult to interpret what exactly is meant in this chapter and De Brea is writing assuming a degree of knowledge in his readers. I feel that his ways of defending are best described as simple actions of one or two movements. His techniques can be more easily seen as a sequence of actions.

Throughout the chapter, De Brea stresses the need for the fencer to remain balanced, being prepared to move backwards to assist in parrying, binding, escaping from a bind, keeping the point online as much as is possible and using forte to foible where possible. He also specifically describes using raising and lowering the body and sword arm to assist with parries and binds.

De Bea’s three ways of defending can be summarised as using quarte parries to defend the inside line, tierce parries to defend the outside line and using stop hits to take advantage when an opponent tries to free his sword from a bind placed upon it.

The three universal techniques are described to act basically as a full sequence. If the first action does not work and the opponent recovers and responds, then the fencer moves on to the next stage. So first, the fencer parries, binds his opponent’s blade and ends in the first position and can riposte. Second, if he has not been able to riposte, and his opponent tries to lunge, then he moves his left foot backwards to give himself more time to parry and riposte. Third, if the opponent advances the back foot to recover to second position after the lunge rather than retreating. This will create a situation where both fencers are in second position but WITHIN close measure. The fencer should now advance the front foot (closing measure a bit more, whilst maintaining contact with his opponent’s blade. This will enable the fencer to increase the pressure he applies to his opponent’s blade and control it and force it lower and offline. As the fencers are now within close measure, the fencer can then use his left hand to grab his opponent’s hilt and disarm him.


Chapter XVII

Defence according to the True Art

There are three ways to defend against an attack, no matter how quickly or robustly it is made. These are deflecting the blade, controlling the blade or through the use of a stop hit. These can be performed in different ways and they have different names.

The first way is named after the three defensive areas: inside, outside and lower. Let us imagine the fencer standing in second position, with his weapon covering the outside line. If his opponent attacks the face or an exposed area of the chest, the fencer will respond by parrying and moving his body backwards and transferring his weight onto his back foot. To carry out the parry, the fencer will turn his hand so that the nails are pointing upwards and as he transfers his weight onto the back foot, he will ensure that his arm is straight and crossing the chest with the point slightly off the diameter line and slightly raised so that the fencer can be ready to riposte quickly, if necessary. The fencer’s heels will be turned inwards with the right leg straight and the left leg slightly bent with body and feet triangulated. This is the inside line defence, even if the attack has been made with a diagonal cut, a sabre or a pole as can be seen in figure 2 of plate 15.

Fig 2 Plate 15

Second: If, whilst the fencer is in a triangulated and balanced position, his opponent manages to recover and tries to attack an exposed part of the body, which will probably be either the face or arm, then the fencer can respond by placing a bind over his opponent’s weapon and turning sideways on and moving into second position. This is an example of defending by controlling the blade in a lower position. To do this, the fencer needs to use the true edge and the forte of the sword.

The third way to defend is by a stop hit. If, whilst the adversary’s blade is held in a bind. the fencer’s adversary should try to recover by disengaging his weapon and thrusting at the centre or right hand side of the chest, then the fencer has two ways of countering. The first way is to raise his body and move his feet into third position. With the feet in this position, the angle created between the natural position of the body and the arm and weapon extended straight out – as can be seen in figure one of plate eleven –

Fig 1 Plate 11

will be greater than ninety degrees. This will both hit the opponent and defend against the attack at the same time. The second way is by diverting the opposing blade. This is easy and the fencer simply moves his arm and weapon from a lowered position into the eighth angled guard position.

It would appear that I have introduced another type of defence, ‘diverting’ the blade. This is despite having earlier said that there were only three ways to defend, which were deflecting, controlling and a stop hit. In reality, there is no real difference and diverting is really just deflecting the blade, whether in an upper or lower plane. So, I would like to affirm that there are, in reality just the three aforementioned ways of defending.

Three universal techniques

The three universal defensive techniques are not really very different from the ways I have mentioned to deflect the opponent’s weapon. This said, the ways of putting them into practice are different.

First: Imagine the fencer waiting in second position with the point of his sword following the line of his arm. The opponent attacks by disengaging his sword and gliding it along the fencer’s weapon trying to hit an exposed area. The fencer should oppose this by raising his body and moving his feet into first position. At the same time, he needs to bind his opponent’s weapon by placing his sword over his opponent’s and pointing straight at his opponent. This will control the blade and if his adversary continues to advance, he will be the victim of a stop hit as can be seen in figure one of plate eleven.

Fig 1 Plate 11

Second: If the fencer starts in first position and is opposing his opponent’s profile and if the opponent should try to attack the chest or face, then the fencer should defend himself by moving his left foot backwards until he is in the second stance. He is then in a good position to parry his opponent’s attack and riposte. This can be seen in figure two of plate eleven.

Fig 2 Plate 11

If the fencer is waiting in the second stance as described above and his opponent recovers by advancing his left foot into second position whilst disengaging his weapon at the same time and trying to hit, then the fencer should advance his right foot into the third position. At the same time, he will parry his opponent’s attack by placing forte to foible and pushing his opponent’s sword into a lower position, whilst keeping his point on line. Whilst he does this, he will advance his left foot forward and use his left hand to grab his opponent’s hilt. All of these actions need to be carried out at the same time and if he does this, then fencer will control his opponent’s sword and also have the initiative and be able to wound his opponent as can be seen in figure three of plate eleven.

Fig 3 Plate 11

As can be clearly seen, these three universal techniques are more important than anything else. Although they do not wound the adversary by themselves, they create the opportunity to hit. Without these defensive techniques, nothing is possible in the True Art. To be even clearer, if the fencer is waiting sideways on to his opponent, along the line of the diameter and his opponent places a bind on his weapon, then if his body is a lower position, then he raises his body and uses the first technique described above. If his body position is raised and he needs to deflect his opponent´s weapon or defend himself, then he can safely use the second technique. The third technique will help him, if he needs to wound with the point. Even if the attack is being made with the edge of the sword, then one of these defensive techniques needs to be used.

I have met some people, who state that there is a universal or perfect thrust. I believe that this is impossible. The reason is that whatever one fencer does will be countered by the other using one of the steps, stances or parries. As a result of this, my experience shows that a fencer will only hit his opponent successfully, if he is playing off one of the three universal defensive techniques and is taking advantage of an opening that has been created.

Original Text:


Defmsas  segun   destreza.


De uno de tres modos se puedc el diestro  defender  de su contrario por riguroso que sea en la execucion  de sus tretas ,y son , des’Vidndole el arma , sujttdndosela 6 dc­tmiendole. Su execucioil es de varios modos , y con  distin­tas voces 6 nombres.

Primer modQ c6n el nombre de las tres defensas , pordentro, f ucra  infrrior.  Sup6ngase  al   diestro  esperan­do en su segunda pianta , ofreciendo punto por la postura del arma , y parte  adentro.  Quando  su  contrario  le aco­meta para exccutar herida en el rostro o pecho que se  ha­Ila desubiCf tQ I  Se   defend.era  el diestro agregandose  COOla suya ,desviando la contraria, y en el. tiempo ha de equi• librar el cuerpo hacia atras , cargand.ole sobre la pierna iz­ quierda , la mano que participe ufias arriba, el brazo estiv rado todo lo que pueda , y transversal  al pecho  la   punta del arma poco apartada del diametro , y un poco obtusa, para que este pronta a ocuparle si le conviene: los pies VUeltos los talones a SU parte de adentro t la pierna derevcha estirada , la izquierda un poco encogida , el cuerpo y pies tria.ngulados; hechos los movimientos en los terminos diehos habra executado su primera defensa. por su partr d# adentro , aun quando la execucion sea de tajo diagonal, de palo 6 sable ,y lo demuestran las figuras 2,  de la estampa I S .

Segunda : Si estando el diestro triangulado, como en la anterior posicion , se recuperase el adversario y recurriese a cxecutar heriJa , al punto que ve descubierto , que sera  por  la jurisdiccion  del brazo  o rostro ,  se  le opondra el diestro cayendo  con su  arma  encima  d.e  la  contraria , y en cl t iernpo se volvera a perfilar , )’ quedarse en su segun­da planta Como se hallaba al pr i ncipio : hecho  en  los re­ feri 1os tcrminos , habra executado  la segunda defensa  por su part: d: a/ uera ; de modo que as1 en esta corno en la anterior el desvio ha de ser con el tercer tercio y filo in­ ferior.

Tercer modo detn,iendo. Si hallandose el contrario  con el arma sujeta quisiese executar herida recuperando­ se y librando el arma , y encaminandola a la diametral del pecho o vertical derecha que se halla descubierta ; se le oponJra el diestro de UllO  de dos modos }evantandose a SU tercera posicion de pies , forrnando angulo mixto de oos lineas la <lel cuerpo curva , y la del brazo y arrna recta, segun la .6gura num. Ide la estampa n um. I, Jograra derener a su contrario , y en el tiempo quedar defondido.

El otro modo es di11irtimdo ; se le da este nombre por ser inferior , y hacerse con mucha facilidad y sin el menor riesgo ; porque en el tiempo se levanta  a su  plano  supe­rior y octava dia:nal , y fograra desviar el arma contra­ ria , y quedar ·defendido.

Pa.rcce se ha introducido en esta exp\icacion otro ge• nero de defcnsa , habiendo dicho en el principio ser solo tres , des’Viar , suj:tar y dttener ; mas no obstante afirmo scr solos los tres dichos, porqn solo hay diferencia en la l’OZ de div,rtir , pero no en su especie , vicndose clara­ mente que solo se desvia el arma , y se le quita la d.irec­ cion , y asi lo mismo es sea superior 6 jnferior: es sufi­ ciente explicacion para el conocirniento de lo propuesto.

Los trcs med ios universales de la defensa no son otra cosa que  lo dicho  en quanto a los  desvios del  arma  6 pri­vaciones ; pero son distintos en el rnodo de executarlos.

Primera :Se ha de suponer al diestro espcrnndo en su segunda planta , ofrcciendo punto daro por la jurisdiccion del brazo , y al adversario puesto en la general flaqueza debaxo de la total fuerza contraria , y valiendose del mo­ vimiento accidental , Jibrando el arma en el tiempo , y en­ caminando a executar herida en el punto descubicrto.  En este caso  se  le  debe  oponer  el  diestro , levantandose  a su primera posicion de pies  cayendo  en  el  tiempo  con  su  ar­  ma sobre la contraria formando angulo recto: hecho en los tcnninos dichos  lograra  la  sujecion ; y si se  le  aproximase su contrario  le ofendera  , y  quedara  defendido y executado el primer medio de defensa , como lo rnanifiesta la figura sefia!ada con el num. 1 de 1a estampa  nu.m.   1 I .

Segundo : Si estando el diestro en la oposi<:ion de angulo recto , su contrario se recuperase y le acometiese con animo de execnta r  herida  en  cl peeho o rostro,  se defen­dera el diestro disminuyendo solo con el  pie  izquierdo hasta  quedarse  en  su  segunda  planta , y en  el tiempo des­viar.i con su arma Ja contraria, logrando por  este  rnedio  la pr ivacion a su contrario , y buena disposicion para s1, como lo Jemuestra  la figura sefialada con e1 nurn.   .

Ter_ero ;Si estando el diestro esperando en su segun­ da pbnta , y en los tcrminos dichos, el advemrio se re­ cuperase metiendo el  pie  izquierdo , y quedandose  en su segunda planta , e instantaneamente librase su arma , y laencaminasc   con   el  movimiento   accidental  a exccutar heri­da : en este caso se le opondra el diestro aumentando con el pie derecho a su terccra planta , y en el tiempo caera con su arma sobre la contraria ; de  manera  que  la  punta participe de la rectitud alta , y con el tercer tercio suje­ tarle, y alargando la mano izquierda , le agarrara la guar­ nicion ; bien entendido quc estas tres  acciones  de  entrar  con el  pie , caer  con  su arma , y concluir  11an    de ser  he­chas a un  ticmpo,  y lograra  el diestro tres  efectos , pri1.:adon , .rujecio1t , y di’sposicion para executar herida si le conviene , segun la  figura  senalada  con  el num.  3.

Bien claro se manifiesta la realidad y firmeza de los tres medias universales. Estos , aunque por s1 no executan, privan , y dan disposicion suficiente para executar ; y tie­ nen  la  preeminencia   en  todo ,  porque   sin  ellos   nada se puede hacer en destreza. Para mas afirrnacion , con el an­gulo recto y primer rnedio,  se elige el medio de  proporcion ; con el se ocupa la Hnea  del diametro , y se pone el atajo , si el cuerpo esta baxo, y se ha de levantar , ha de forrnar angulo recto y primer media : si estando lcvan­ tado sc ha de defender 6 desviar el arma contraria con al­guna seguridad ha  de  ser  con  el segundo medio:  si se ha de  executar  herida  punzante  o concluir  ha  de  ser  con eltercero ; y por ultimo , aun quando la herida sea de corte, le ha de ser preciso al diestro valersc de uno de los tres medios universales.

He  tratado  a algunos  sugetos  que  quieren  defender haya treta universal. A mi ver es imposible la haya : la razon es porque lo que el uno d.ispone , u contrario se lo desbarata por medio de los compases , plantas 6 desvios que se hacen  con el arma..Pot lo que tengo experimentado se lograra solo quando  se  execute  herida , o se  conclu­ ya  a su contrario;  y esto se conseguira  por  medio de uno de los tres dichos medios que facilita el arte , pues de lo contrario no se encontrara , ni es posible quepa en la parte practica.


Chapter 16: On the Main Thrusts


Chapter 16 is all about thrusts. De Brea describes three types. He calls these simple, compound linked thrusts. The main difference between these is the number of movements. If there is no – or little – opposition, then a simple thrust may suffice. In every case, binding is critical, as we have seen and De Brea stresses the different hand positions. Plate 10 shows the three simple thrusts.

If there is more opposition, then a compound or linked thrust may be necessary. The descriptions of compound thrusts are good illustrations of the importance of binding. The fencer binds to provoke a reaction. The act of reacting creates an opportunity.

De Brea’s linked thrusts are about multiple movements but are perhaps better described as ripostes off a parry and/or freeing the fencer’s sword from a bind that has been placed upon it.

It is also worth noting that in this chapter, De Brea describes the use of quillions to help the process of controlling an opponent’s blade. This does demonstrate the degree of precision required in hand placement and position.

plate 10


Chapter XVI

On the main thrusts.

There are three main thrusts, although in reality they can be said to be the same. The names of the thrusts are derived from the opponent’s behaviour. The first is one touching blades. The second is binding. The third is when the blade has been freed. The thrusts should be aimed at one of three possible targets: the face, the chest or the ribs. These are the easiest to attack in time as it is not as safe to attack other areas of the body as the fencer may expose himself to a counter attack. This is why I always advise fencers to aim at one of these targets without forgetting the different hand movements. Depending on the situation, it may be better to thrust with the hand in first, second, third or fourth position. These thrusts may be single, compound or linked.

Simple thrusts

First simple thrust – Imagine that the fencer has placed a bind on his opponent’s sword and can attack his opponent’s inside line. Without forgetting the warnings from Chapter XIII, the fencer, without disengaging from his opponent’s blade will advance into measure and run his blade along his opponent’s until it is forte to foible. If his opponent allows it and a target area is exposed, then the fencer will thrust moving the sword forwards and downwards, running his blade along his opponent’s blade until the point lands on the right hand side of the chest on the collateral line. This thrust is made with blades touching. In order to make the thrust solidly and safely, the fencer needs to move his right foot into the position of the third stance and turning his heel inwards so that the heels form an isosceles triangle. The hand should be at the level of the face with the nails turned upwards so that the hilt passes the opponent’s point and protects the fencer from it.

Second simple thrust – the fencer will place a bind on his opponent’s blade on the outside line. The fencer will improve the bind by running his blade down his opponent’s until it is forte to foible and increasing the pressure. If his opponent resists the pressure being applied to his blade and the fencer’s point passes even a fraction beyond his opponent’s hilt, then the fencer will continue the forward movement of the blade until he hits his opponent in the centre of the chest. The fencer can reduce the amount of pressure being applied to his opponent’s blade in order to free up the point to make a more secure hit. The fencer should also turn his hand so that the nails are pointing down. This means that the fencer will be able to apply additional pressure to the inside quillion and force the opponent’s blade off line. In this thrust, the point of the fencer’s sword will move through a ninety-degree arc from which it receives its name.

Third simple thrust – Imagine a situation where the opposing fencer is waiting in the second stance with their point at the fencer’s chest or right hand side and covering the inside line. The fencer will meet his opponent’s blade with its own and apply a light pressure to the blade. The fencer will aim to start meeting his opponent’s blade by touching the opponent’s ninth degree of the blade with his own first degree of the blade. The fencer will then move into distance whilst running his sword along his opponent’s blade. If the opponent does not react, and there is an exposed target area, then then fencer will continue to move the sword forwards. This will push the opponent’s blade offline and free the weapon and allow the thrust to follow the line offered by the opponent’s sword until the thrust hits. Whilst thrusting, the fencer will raise his hand to the level of his eyes and turn the sword hand so that the nails are pointing upwards. Foot positions are the same as for the first, simple thrust. This thrust is made as and when the blade has been freed.

In this thrust, the point of the fencer’s sword will move through a ninety degree arc. If the fencer does not have enough of an angle, then he can still thrust to the side[1]. To do this, he supports the thrust by pushing is left arm between the two weapons. I do not recommend this as it exposes the fencer to considerable risk.

Third compound thrust: The fencer will bind his opponent’s blade on the inside line. If, as he advances into measure, the opponent tries to bind the fencer’s blade, or in the time he takes to do this, the fencer will thrust cleanly at the right hand side of the chest, above the arm. This thrust is described as taking the line of the diameter. The fencer will need to make sure that the hilt is raised to the height of the face and the point will need to be aimed down as this will ensure a deep wound. The hand will be turned so that the nails point downwards.

These types of thrust are considered to be made in true time as the fencer is taking advantage of the fraction of time needed by the opponent to free his weapon. This is why these thrusts are called compound thrusts.

The only real difference between linked thrusts and the others lies in the greater number of movements needed. This can be seen in the following examples.

First: Imagine that the fencer is being pressed by his opponent and needs to use his body and shoulder to free his weapon from a bind using either a cutting or backhand movement. The movement will be on whichever side the bind is being made and once the weapon is free, the fencer can riposte with a thrust to whichever part of his opponent is open. The fencer will use his control of time to ensure the thrust is made safely.

Second: The fencer is waiting with his sword pointing at either inside or outside line. His adversary attacks and the fencer parries or deflects his attack and ripostes immediately to whichever target area is exposed.

Third: The fencer might find himself in a situation where he is within measure of his opponent and his opponent has placed a bind on the inside line and is advancing to strengthen the bind. In this situation, the fencer may attempt to reverse the situation and take the initiative by reversing the bind and then running his blade along his opponent’s to hit the right hand side of the chest and then withdrawing to be out of measure.

These three examples should be enough to signal the differences between linked thrusts as opposed to single of compound thrusts. I could easily spend much longer on this point but I have chosen not to as it will be explained in the section on the ‘General Rules’.

Now that we have got to this point by focusing on ways of attacking, we now need to look at defense.

[1] flanconade

Original Text:


De las estocadas principalu.

Las estocadas principales  son tres,  aunque  en s• no esmas que una. Toman el nombre segun la disposicion que da el contrario ; a ‘Saber 1por  kl uniQn dd arma , po, su­jeci on 6 atajo, 6 .de causa Jibre. La execucion la tendran en uno de tres parages , qne seran rostro , pecho 6 cos­ tado de su contrario , que son los mas a prop6sito para quedar en el tiempo defendido; pues aunque se podra herir en algun otro, no sera de tanta -seguridad , y tal vez ser& expuesto.  Por  lo  que aconsejo  al  diestro dirija  su  punta a uno de los tres dichos puntos , sin olvidar los rnovimien­ tos de la mano ;porque unas veces convendr.i  en  prime· ra , otras en segunda , otras en tercera , y otras en quarta: estas se ex.ecutan  con ios nombres de simplu  , compuutat, y ligadas.

Primeras simplu. Sup6ngase al diestro puesto el at;1- jo 6 impedimento por la postura del arma , y parte de adentro  con  los  requisitos  advertidos en el  capitulo xnr , y sin desunirse se .pasara al rnedio proporcional ; y si su contrario le consiente , y le ofrece punto suficiente a poder introducir su punta ,le acometera con el movimiento mix­ to de natural y accidental , corricndo el arma por 1a con• traria   hasta executar la herida  en la coracteral  derecha , y sera p{imcra  estocada por   uniM  d, arma.  Para·,eguridad Y firmeza al tiempo de la execucion , aumentara con el pie ierecho a su tercera  pl:mta , volviendo el talon a su parte de adentro , formando en  el suelo triangulo  isoceles , la mano a nivel del rostro • participio las uiias arriba , para que la guarnicion d.esvie la punta contraria , y quede en el tiempo defendido.

Segunda :Pondra el diestro el atajo  por  la postura del arma , y .pane de afuera , y sin desunirla , como se dixo en Ja anterior , le mejmara pasando a su medio propordo­-nal , comunid.ndole  un  gradito  de  fuerza  operanre: y si el  contrario  resiste,  y  1a  punca  de]  arma  pasa  de  la guar- nidou un grado , estando en esta disposidon le acometera el diestro con el movimiento accidental , corriendo el ·atajo hasta execlitar la herida en la dia.inetral del pecho , por la sujecion que tenia hecha , desigualandose para descu-­ brir mas el punto, e ir con mas seguridad a la execucion Y volviendo la mano partidpio abaxo, para apresar en el tiempo con el gavilan inferior , y desvi:u la contra­ ria : a este modo de executar se le da el nombre de quar­ta parte de ciNulo. Terce  a :Supongase al adversario  esperanao en su se­gunda planta , ofreciendo punro  en  el  pecho, o coracte• ral derecha por la ‘postura del a.rma y p3rte de  adentro, y al diestro con la general flaqueza debaxo de la total fuer• za contraria , esto es , numero uno baxo del nueve , y pa­ sado a su medio p1oporcional ;y. en el supuesto de que su contrario le cspera ,·y le ofrece sutidente punt<, , Je aco­ metera con el ttiovimiento accidental , librando el’arma , y encaminandofa por la union de la contraria hasta executar la herida, con la precaucion de levantar la mano. a;-nivel de Jos ojos, y participio de unas arriba , el pi,c dercho en Ios tcuninos que se lleva advertido en la primera , y habr:i executado la estocada de causa JibN : asi en esta , como en las demas iomediatamente es menester salirse .a sus medios de <iefensa.  Se advierte que  se  pucden  e:xecutar  por los dos lados 6 posturas del. arma , teniendo presente a la exe­ cucion volvcr  los participios de la  mano para  los  desvios

y sucion del arma coutraria; pero. si no tuviese el florete g.tyilanes Ila  hoja a la execucion’ ha de entrar  d.e plano, y Jos desvios seran con  los filos’  la mano unas adentro; a la que llamamos primera , como lo manitiestan las tres figu· ras scfialadas con las nums. 1,:l y 3 de la estampa nume· ro ,o. Hemos dado noticia suficiente de las estocadas sim.ples IpasaremOS  il.darla de las·COffipUCStaS. Primera :Supongase al diestro esperando, y agregado con su arma a la contraria , ofreciendo  punto  en  la juris­ iccioo del brazo. En el tiempo que el contrario libre el arma 1 6 bien para acometer, 6 para solo mudar de dispo­sicion , en aquel ha de acometer el diestro , y executar he­Iida en la diametral del pecho desigualandose , ganando grados al  perfil , y para  mas seguridad  volver  la  mano.parcici-pio ufia’l abaxo para desviar con el gavilan  in­  ferior.

Segunda : Pondra el diestro el atajo por la postura del arma parte afuera , y quando $U conuario libre su arma, para sacarla de la sujecion que le ticne puesta , le acometera el dieitr4> con el movimiento accidental, y executara fa he· ra en la. del pecho. Pero si saleformando (que lo podra hacer), la herida ha de ser en 1a coracteral de. recha , levantando  la  guarnicion  a nivel de  la Cabeza ,para que en caso que bue .la cuchi\lada , ‘1escanse en el fuerte, y 1lD sea Dfendido en el t.i.ernpo; pero si luego que pone el arma en libertad se afirma en razon de angulo recto , :um quando  estc con  el  cuerpo  baxo , la herida  en ese  caso  ha de ser en la vertical derecha debaxo del brazo. Para la se­ guridad de esta se ha de volver la  mano participio  uiias ar­ riba , para desviar 6 sujetar con el gavilan inferior , y sera estocada  de quartaparte  de circulo ;  y si no  los tiene , se tira  con el  nombre fanconada , metiendo  el brazo  por  en·tre las dos armas para que supla la falta del gavilan ; pero aconsejo que no teniendole, no se use semejante modo de herir , que es muy  expuesto.

Tercera : Pondra el diestro el atajo por la postura Jel arnta , y parte de adentro; y si al pasar a su medio pro­ porcional su contrario se le transfiere para sf al acabar la evolucion , 6 en el tiempo que la va haciendo , le acome­ tera el diestro pasando el arma limpiamente , y executan­ do la herida  en la  coracteral derecha por encima  del bra A este modo de executar se le da el nombre de ocu­ par la lin,a del didmetro , procurando que a la execucion quede la guarnicion a nivel del rostro , la punta baxa para introducirla a la profundidad , fa mano que participe d ias abaxo , para quedar en el tiempo

Por las operaciones se manifiesta , que este modo de executar herida es de ti mpo ; pues  se aprovecha  el d iestro de aquel corto instante que su contrario gasta en poner  el arma en libertad; como  van  favorecidas del  arte,  se  lcs da el nombre de t()mput_sta.r. Las ligadas no se <iiferencian de las ya dichas en  quanto  a fa execucion , solo  en  que  constan  de mas  mo­vimientos , como lo manifiestan los siguientes exemplares. Primera Sup6ngase al diestro oprimido por su  con· trario obljgado a formar para  poner  el  arma  en  libertad , sea tajo 6 reves , que esto sera segun por el lado que sea la sujecion ; y esta formacion se reduce a estocada , execu­tando 1a herida en el punto cine se ve mas cercano descu bierto , logrando en el t iempo su defensa.

Segunda : Sup6ngase  al  diestro  esperando , y ofre­ciendo punto suficicnte por uno de los dos lados , y que su contrario le acomete, y el diestro la repara 6 desvia , e inmediatamente le responde , y executa la herida en el punto que ve descubierto.

Tercera : Supongase a los combatientes  en el medio de proporcion , y que el” adversario  ha puesto el atajo  por la postura del arma  y parte de adentro, y pasado  a su  me­dia proporcional ; y conociendo el diestro el riesgo que le amenaza , si permanece , de improviso se le transfiere pa­ ra sf , y sin detenerse corre su arma pot la contraria , ayu dado del  movimiento  accidental , y executa  la  herida en)a  coracteral  derecha , Volviendose  a salir  a SUS  medias  de defensa.

Pareccn  suficientes  estas  tres demostraciones  para  co­nocer  la  diferencia   de. lo  simple  y compuesto , a lo  liga­do ; podria muy bien  detenermc , y tratar mas  largarnen­ te sobre este punto; pero  lo omito por tenerlo  que  hacer en la explicacion de las reglas gmerales , a las que me re­ fiero.

Habiendo tratado  hasta aqu.1 solo  de]  modo  de  exe­cutar la ofensa , ahora es preciso hacerlo de la defensa.


Chapter 15: On landing an attack


In Chapter 15, de Brea is at pains to point out that technique will triumph over simple speed. He decries fencers who simply relay on speed alone. He says there are three ways to land an attack – three body positions and three timings – moving before, at the same time or in response to one’s opponent.  It is important to note that binds are mentioned again and is often, throughout the text – not just this chapter – the starting point for a move. De Brea also stresses the importance of understanding what movements are being made and why.

The first method involves binding the opponent’s blade and if they do not respond, then simply extending the arm and running the blade along the opponent’s blade to hit. The second method is made by lowering the body as part of the parry and then riposting. The final method is a slip made when the opponent attacks by bring the feet together and raising the body. These can be seen in plate 9.

plate 9


Chapter XV

On Landing with an attack

Attacks can be made in different ways. However, the science, art and experience of the True Art shows us that in reality there are only three ways to attack. These are from an upright body position, a lowered body position or raising the body. These are the only possible ways. Some writers believe that speed alone is enough to attack successfully – whether using the point or edge of the blade. However, whether by luck or skill, if speed by itself were enough to enable a hit on the opponent, then the lighter fencer would always win and a heavier, slower fencer would never hit his opponent or even be able to defend himself.

It is true, though, that a wound can be inflicted or an attack made using one of three different timings. These are: moving earlier than or anticipating your opponent, moving at the same time as your opponent and responding to your opponent’s action. We must remember that in the True Art, any fencer who wishes to provoke an attack from his opponent or defend himself must understand both why actions are being made as well as his opponent’s behaviour. He must also possess skill and promptness. All of these factors are inseparable and a fencer who does not integrate all of these will not be successful.

Let us look at the first way to attack, which is from an upright body position and moving earlier or anticipating your opponent. The fencer is in first position and has placed a bind on his adversary’s blade. If his opponent has enough of an exposed target, where a hit can be made, then the fencer will take a step forward with an extended arm and run his blade down his opponent’s blade until he hits. This can be seen in figure one of plate nine. Irrespective of whether or not the attack is successful, the fencer will take a step backwards and move into second position. This attack does not give the adversary an opportunity to move, which is why we consider it to be moving earlier or anticipating the opponent.

The second method is with a lowered body position and moving later or responding to your opponent’s action.  Let us imagine that the fencer has defended himself against his opponent’s attack by lowering his body and moving into second position. From this position, the fencer ripostes and targets any exposed part of his opponent’s body. As the fencer’s attack comes after his opponent’s, we can say that this is responding to an opponent’s movement and is from a lowered body position.

The third approach is to move at the same time as the opponent. Let us imagine the fencer standing in second position with the weapon pointing at his opponent, when his opponent initiates an attack. At the moment that the opponent starts his attack, the fencer raises his body by bringing his feet together – either right to left or left to right – and hits the opponent on an exposed area – as can be seen in figure three.

Original Text:

C A P I T U L O    X V.

Las ttetas se·,poGt®. exec.utar. de V:\rios modos, pero en dests;¢U • sgun. c.iencia , arte y experiencia de llno de tres , que ·ion t:on el ,uerpo d<rul,o , baxanM fl (turpo , y le’l.1antando ,J ,uerpo , y no p.uede ser de otro modo. En el concepto ;de algunos se· quiere que la tteta  ·tenga eecu,ion por  uno  .de  tres  terminos,  s·de  punta , d  de  cor­te   que son  por  prontit.ud ;’·()Qr  acierto , o por  atte;  con que si solo por proutitud se logrJra la ofensa en su con­ trario , acertaria el que fuese mas ligero , y el solo seria el diestro I y tamas el pesado acertaria , ni t.endria lugar  para lu defensa. Y aunqu,:   s veridiico que la herida  6 treta   se e.xecuta eh  uno Je tres casos,  que son antes  d, ti mpoquien ha de favorecer la suma prontitud pa ra el acie1to, despues- del Jiempo ; y en tl tiempo ; lo cierto es que el que haya  de  lograr  la  ofensa  de    u  contrario y defensa propia, que  es a lo que  esta  reducida   la  verdadera   destreza ,  ha de tener  conocimiento de la causa , y disposicion del  con­trario , arte y prontitud. Estas tres cosas han  de ir tan  uni­das , que  qualcsqu iera  de  ellas que  se  separe  no habra acierto. Y para lograr el fin , se ha de suponer al diestro  en su primera planta , y puesto el atajo 6 impedimento a su contrario; y si le ofreciese punto suficiente adonde pueda executar . herida , dara  un paso d.e aumento corriendo su.irma por la  contraria  hasta  lograr  la execucion ,-.como lo manifiesta la figura sefialada con el num. 1 de la estampa num. 9 , y tenga efecto o no , disminuir con el pie iz­ quierdo atras , quedandose en su segunda phmta , y ha­ br:a  execu rado el primer modo de ,uerpo deruho , y antes de tit’mpo;  pues no da  lugar  a hacer  movimiento  alguno   a su contrario. Segundo rnodo , despuu de tim1po .y ba.rando el cuer­po : sup6ogase haber acometido el adversario, y que el diestro para defenderse baxo el cuerpo a su segunda  plan-ta ; desdc  aquella  disposicion   acomete ., su   contra,io , y executa la herida en  el punto  que  halla  descubierto,  se• gun lo dem u.estra la figura senalada  on el oum•. . Veridicamente se manifiesta scr herid a dtsr.n th ti1mpo , por ser la execucion despues·oe los .mo-Y.imientos de,u· contrario, y de fUcrpo ba.xo. Tercera rn el tiempo. Supongase al diestro esperando en su segunda pfa n ta , ofreciendo punto , y que, el adver­ rio  le accmetc : en aquel  tiempo se leYanta; une  el pie derecho  al.izquierdo ,  o  al  contrario.;  y  levannt.irdo elcuerpo, executa la herida  en el  punto  descubierto,  como  lo manifiesta la figura seiialada  con el num. 3.

Chapter 14: On Disengaging Your Weapon


Chapter 14 is about what to do if your opponent has placed a bind on your blade. As de Brea points out, if you do not free yourself, any defense will be impossible. He describes three ways of freeing your blade. In every case, you need to make a circular movement of the wrist. This may need to be accompanied by a movement of the arm or indeed the whole body. It depends on how strong the bind is. He also describes shifting your weight onto the back leg at the same time as you move your blade – this will have the effect of raising it and then as you place your weight back onto both feet, your blade will be naturally lowered again. The idea is that not only can you free your own blade, but you can place a bind on your opponent. It is worth noting that de Brea states that if the bind on your blade is strong, then you may need to make a cutting movement to free yourself – moving hard and fast. I think this emphasizes a) the danger that the fencer is in but also b) how important a string bind is in the system.


Chapter XIV

On disengaging your weapon

There are three ways of disengaging your weapon or removing it from danger. These are with the wrist, the arm and with the shoulder. No other ways are possible.

The first way to free your weapon uses a movement of the wrist. This is possible when the opponent has imposed a weak bind on either the inside or outside line. The fencer can free his weapon by making a small, circular wrist movement.

The second way can be used when there is a normal bind of the beginning of the opponent’s highest third of their blade on to the middle third of your blade. In this case, the fencer will need to perform a light, sideways movement to free the blade. At the same time, the fencer needs to shift his weight back onto his left leg. As he returns his weight to both legs, a natural downwards movement of the sword will now control the opponent’s blade. All movements of body, arm and weapon need to be done at the same time. This will not only free the fencer’s weapon but also impose a bind on the opponent’s blade.

The third way needs to be used when the adversary has placed a strong bind on your blade. As the fencer is exposed to considerable risk, he will need to free himself because if he does not, then disengaging his weapon or indeed any defence will be impossible. To free his weapon, the fencer will need to move his blade sharply as if to perform a cut or backhand – using his arm and shoulder. How to do this will depend on where the opponent is holding the blade. If the fencer’s body is low, he should also raise it at the same time. If his body is upright, he should take a step backwards with his left foot and move into second position. All of these movements should be carried out at the same time and if they are, then the fencer should be able to free his weapon and be able to defend himself.

These three ways of disengaging a weapon all involve circular movements. The first is with the wrist alone. The second is with the arm and involves rebalancing the body and moving backwards. The third involves moving body and the arm from the shoulder to ensure that the blade is freed.

Original Text:


Modos de poner  el arma en libertad.

Los modos de poner  el  arma ·en  libertad , 6 sacarla  del peligro en que se halle sujeta , son tres, librandola, tran-!Ji,ri#nda 6formand-0- , y no hay mas, ni es posible. Pa­ra  mayor  daridad e inteligencia , se  ha  de suponer  que el adversario tiene puesto el ataio , y que este es en el prin cipio , sea por dentro 6 por defuera ; en esta disposicion podra el diestro. poner la suya en libertad con solo el  jue­ go de la muiieca , haciendo con el arma una corta porcion de cfrculo , que es el primer  modo.

Si la sujecion 6 atajo fuese con el prfocipio del  tercer tercio sobre el segundo (:ontrario, en·ese -Caso le ser:i pre­ ciso al diestro una  evolucion  para  rransferir , y  esta  ha  do ser equilibrando el coerpo hacia atras , cargandole sobre la columna izquierda , y al mism() tiei:npo _desgraduar el ar• n1a  por  medio  del  movimiento  remiso  y violento,  y   on el natural caer a sujetar la conttaria i de modo que todos los  movimientos  de  cuerpo,  brazo   y arm.a   sean   hechos a un tiempo. Hadendolo en los terminos dichos , se lograra poner el arma en libertad ,y privacion a su contrario, y el segundo modo. Tercero, formando: este  se  executa  quan• do  el adversario  pasa  al   fin  del  atajo ,  que conociendo el diestro el mucho riesgo  en  que se halla , para  defen.ierse le es preciso forntar reves o ta io t s,egun por la: -parte <JUe le tuviese hecha la -sujeciun;  pues, de no ·hacerlo. le seria imposiblc  la defrma ‘ni  poner  el arm;i  en  libertad ;y para m:iyor  seguridad , si cl cuerpo cstuviese  baxo , levantarle, y si levantado , b.ixarlc a su segunJ:.1 planta , disminuyen­ do con el pie izquierdo. Hic”1′ ros u n ticm po todos los movimientos , se lograra d fin de su defensa , y ei de po­ ner  el  arma  en   libertad. Estos trcs modos  de  poner  el  arma  en  libertad son ir.ulares ; el primero  le corresponde  a la mulieca ,  in au­ xilio de o_tro alguno ; el segund.o de trAAsferir al todo , y.cquilibrio  del  cuerpa , y el tercero de formar   al hombro ayudado del todo.


Chapter 13: On Binding your Opponent’s Blade


Chapter 13 is about binding. Binding is a translation of the Spanish ‘atajo’. Atajo combines applying force from above from the fencer’s blade on to the opponent’s; using the mechanics of the body to increase this pressure; using fewer movements than the opponent and finding the most direct route all of these ideas into a single defensive action which can protect the swordsman while simultaneously creating opportunities from which to strike with safety.

Binding is dynamic. De Brea describes how you can start with a weak bind when out of measure but then move in and increase the strength of the bind – corresponding to the idea of using body mechanics to increase the advantage and pressure.

It is interesting to note that De Brea even describes an imaginary bind. There is some debate as to where this started and if it can be inferred in Pacheco or other authors. De Brea seems to be the first to use the expression. The idea is that if the opponent’s blade is offline, then the fencer can place his blade above it but without actually touching it.

Plate 8 illustrates the binds and plate eleven (number 3) shows the possible effect of a strong bind leading to a disarm.

Plate 8

Plate 8

Plate 11 #3

Plate 11 #3


Chapter XIII

Binding your opponent’s blade

Although we could say that any impediment to an opponent’s blade is controlling it, we can simplify this to three principal ways. These are weak, normal and strong. However, we also need to remember that there are three types of force that can be used. These are resisting, manipulating and reserved. With this knowledge, we can see how to control an adversary’s blade. This can be done using either the inside or outside line once the fencer has chosen how to move into measure and also whilst both understanding the risks and observing the opponent’s position and movements. If your opponent’s arm is extended with the sword pointing up towards you, meet his blade and as soon as the blades touch, move his point off line so that it is no longer pointing at your chest. This is the first way of controlling the blade and can be seen in figure one of plate number eight.

Second: if your opponent’s blade is following the line of the diameter and pointing straight towards you, then the fencer needs to place his blade on top of his opponent’s. He should aim to have the sixth degree of his blade con top of the third degree of his opponent’s. This is called the true bind despite four angles being formed where the blades meet. Two different types of force can be seen in this bind.   The fencer whose blade is underneath will need to resist and the fencer whose blade is on top will try to manipulate his opponent’s blade by exercising a degree of force correspondent to the resistance applied by the opponent. To do this, he may need to increase the degree of his blade which is in contact with his opponent’s in order to increase the pressure on the lower blade. This can be seen in figure two of plate eight.

Third: if the opponent’s weapon is not on target, then the fencer may use an imaginary bind. There are two ways of doing this in different moments. If the opponent’s weapon is in opposition but the point is lowered and off target, either to one side or the other, then the fencer will place his blade above his opponent’s and crossing it. If the point is on-line, the fencer can cover his opponent’s blade making sure that he is exercising less pressure than his opponent ensuring that his point does not go beyond his opponent’s hilt. In this way, he is using less than full strength and reserving himself to react as soon as he wishes. This can be seen in figure three of plate eight.

In this way, you can see that, in general terms, any weakness in the total amount of pressure being exercised is not created but is actively allowed to happen.

Three forms of binding have now been described: controlling, dominating and imaginary and we need to have a clear understanding of these if are to be able to make use of these practically. If in doubt, then execution will lack confidence and it will be hard to make real progress.

Original Text:


Forma del atajo.

El  atajo  tiene  tres  especies; a saber , en  el prz’n,ipio,en el medio ,y m eJ Jin ; bien entendido, que todo impedi­ znento es atajo , y se reducen a tres sus formas; pero se ban de tener presentes  las tres espedes de fuerza , d.e las ]UC  todo dietro se ha de valer, ‘lue son rtsisttnlf  , 01e- rante y perma,imtr , que por otro nombre se llama intersa y rurrvada , con este conocimiento se puede pasar a for­mar cl atajo:-Esre se puede poner por uno de los dos fa  dos 6 posturas del arma , de parte adent ro ,y parte de afue­ ra , para lo que habra el d iestro clegido SU medio de pro­ porcion  con  los  requisites  ya  advertidos , y obsen:ado la lisposicion en que su  contra rio sc halle : si tuviere el ar­ma obttisa ·Y  el’ brazo estirad6, se congregad. con la supprocurando ‘ luego que se le una ‘ desviarle \a pu nta ‘ qui­tandole  la  direccion  que teoga al  pecho ; y  de este modo habra executado el” primer tajo 6 impedimento , como lo rnanifiestan las dos primer-as figuras seii.aladas con el num. 1 de la- estanipa ·num. 8.   ·..                                                .                 ‘ ·

Segundo, si el adversatro·ofreciese  el  anna· ·recta, yocupando la linea del diametro ‘ rondra el diestro la suya encima , procurando sujetarla  con seis grados sobre tres, y le quedai:a  hecho  el dfajo I ,que    s su verdadero·n”ombre , no obsrant-e ser en el principio . por estar -en angulo recto J y sobre angulo recto , formando quatro angulos  en .  la union que hacen las armas. De que resulta ser dos las especies de fuerza que se hacen ; porqi1e el que se h:dla debaxo  resiste , y el  que esta encima  opera , para desviar0 sujetat , y esto ha  de  Ser a correpondencia· de 1.i rsiS’ tencia que en·cuentre en su contra rio , parn lo que se ban de aplicar mas 6 menos grados hasta lograr el fin de la su jecion , como lo tnal’lifiestan las dos figuras sefialadas ,con el num.   .

Tercero, si el adversario no pusiere el arma en ter­ rninos, se valdra el diestro d.el atajo imaginario. Este se hace de dos rnaneras y en distintos casos: siempre que el arma contrari’1   te rernisa, y la punta  baxa sea per  uno u otro  lado,  pondra  el diemo  la suya  alta  y transversal; o sino  la  pondra  la  general  flaqueza , debaxo  de  la total fuerza contraria ,con fa precaucion de que no pase la pun-­ ta de la guarnicion contraria , con una fui:!rza intersa y re­ servada , que esta no hace ni padece, y esta pronto para lo que le convenga : lo demuestra la figura senalada con el num. 3.

Por lo que daramente  se ve que  la  total  fuerza  sobre la general tlaqueza no hace , sino padece. Quedan ya de­ finidas las tres formas de atajo, que son ag r,gacion , sttje­ don , y el imaginario superior o inferior ; y que el cono­ cimiento  de  estas tres especies  de {uerza  dichas  es  necesa!’ r io , como se ve por las operaciones .. Pareceme ahora. deli• nir  las tres especies que  en  el  principio  ·se  <lixo  tellh1 el_.atajo , para que no nos quede duda en sus operaciones , y po,damos cou seguridad pasar mas adlante , pues de lo conwuio  ai; quedar  con  rzelo, y tal  v.e2;  poca   en_  las  exe<;uciones. ·En  .cuya   suposicion  digo ,  que siempre que el. aµjo se forme desde el rnedto de p,ropor cion , y en los termioos dichos, sera m el pri 11cipio , cau ;Sa1;1do _sol 1wi fectQ t que es el de privacjon,; pero si des,. de el• mcdio de proporcion., principio :I.el aa)()s ·el, ditio se !llt;jor_ase , o por medio ,de w:i  Qmp:ts de au_mento, 6 con la segunda planta , que Haman propor,ional, sujetan­  do con ejs grados sobre tres, habra pasado a-1 medio de/ atajo ,. y lograra  dos  efectos,  qe SQn   privacion  del ar• ma a su contrario,  y  para  si  disposicion.  Si  desde   dicha posicion corriese .el atajo ponicndos.e con su terccr tercio sobre  el  segundo  de  la  contraria ,  sujetaudola    con     ocho grados  sobr seii, babra p.l$ildO  a/ ji n deJ atajo , y lograra tres  efe.ct , que: spn    privaion  sujecioo  y    ispo,icion, para este se necesita  haber  pasado  con el pie  derecho  a latercera planta , segun la  figura  seiialada con  el  num.  3 de la  estampa num.  I1.















Chapter 12: On Measures of Distance and the Contact Points of the Weapon


The idea is measure refers to the ability to safely take the initiative. The first way – de Brea calls it ‘perfect’ is when the fencer can hit without being hit – is by using a longer weapon or by being taller etc. He also – and interestingly, he says that you can use the steps within destreza to achieve perfect measure. Again, this ties in with a dynamic system and using movement to break symmetry and gain an advantage. Appropriated measure is when the fencer forces a reaction from his opponent and transferred measure is when the fencer finds that his weapon is controlled by his opponent and he wins back measure by freeing his sword.

De Brea points out that if fencers are the same height and have the same swords, then the initiative will belong to whoever moves first. However, a shorter fencer will need to force a reaction and transfer measure – the initiative – which is risky.

De Brea also describes a way of dividing up the sword into nine sections. This is to provide a way to describe the degrees of force and control that a fencer can apply to an opponent’s sword. It is a way of adding more precision to forte to foible.

Plate 7


Chapter XII

On Measures of Distance and the Contact Points of the Weapon

There are three measures of distance: perfect, appropriated and transferred. Perfect measure is when the fencer chooses when he can wound without being hit by his opponent. This can be achieved when the fencer is taller or has longer arms or through the judicious use of one of the steps offered by the True Art.

Appropriated measure is when a fencer is either taller or has a longer weapon and forces distance on his opponent. Transferred measure is when the fencer’s weapon has been controlled and he then transfers measure to himself by freeing his weapon and controlling his opponent’s using a series of upwards, downwards or sideways movements, and is then able, if he wishes, to take the initiative whilst appreciating any risks to which he is exposed. If both fighters are the same height and have weapons of the same length, then the initiative will rest with whoever acts first. Whoever moves first has to make sure that the point of his sword is pointing directly at his opponent, in other words at ninety degrees from the ground, and that the point goes up to but not beyond his opponent’s guard. You can see this in the image in plate seven. However, if the initiating fencer has a longer weapon, then they will have control over the distance. If the fencer is shorter, then he will need to appropriate measure by coming into distance and forcing a reaction from his opponent. It is important to take great care at this point and also with what we will continue to look at later with how to control the blade as any mistakes at this point can have very serious consequences. All of the information about measure can be seen in plate seven.

Before we goon to look at controlling the blade, I feel we need to examine how the blade of the sword can be divided into degrees and understanding this is essential to mastering the True Art. The blade can be divided into three equal parts. These are called the dimensions and each dimension or third can also be sub-divided into three equal parts. These are the degrees of the sword and there are nine in total along the blade. The degrees can be seen in plate number seven. The first degree is at the point of the blade and the ninth is just before the hilt. So we can see that the first third or dimension has got the lowest numbers and it is with these that we wound our adversaries. The middle third or dimension are where we control our opponent’s blade or deflect it. The final third of the blade is where we parry as this is strongest part of the blade.

Original Text:


De los medios de proporcion y repartimiento degrados rn  d arma.

Los medics de proporcion son tres, propio , apropia• do y transferido. El propio es el que elige el dieHro pa­ ra si con la seguridad de poder executar herida sin ser al­ cam.ado de su contrario. Este se consigue quando excede en altura 6 largura de arma , 6 le toma por medio de  al­ gun  compas que le facilita el arte. El apropiado es   aquel que  el  diestro  obliga  a elegir  al  que   tiene  el  arrna mas corta , 6 cl lo es de altura. El transferido aquel que por haberse apropiado el  adversario,  sujetandole  el  arma , y con disposicion para executar herid a si le conviene, co· nociendo el diestro el riesgo en que se halla , se le trans­  ficre para sf por medio de una evolucion de movimientos rnixtos , que de precision seran remiso , ‘Violento y natu• ral , que es con el que ha de quedar sujetando el arrna contraria. Pero si los dos com batientes fuesen de altura y armas  iguale5 ,  el  que   primero   le  elige lo hace  para los Jos; y para conseguirlo se han de considerar en angulo rec­ to, y con disimulo: el que le haya de clegir , procurara que la punta  de su arma , sea de la  clase  que  fuese , lleguc a Ia guamicion contraria t pero que no pase; y quedara ele­ gido el medio d p.,.opor,ion , como lo demuestran fas dos figuras de la siguiente cstampa num. 7. Pero si el que le clige la tiene mas larga; habra elegido el rnedio propi ‘o por quedar su contrario dcsproporcionado; y si es mas cor- ta , ser.1 apropiado , porque 1 ofrece  l contrario J o que no habia t:!egiJo. Este es  punto  en  qne se  debe  ponet  toJo  cuiJad o • r en  el que mas  adelante  scguini de  la for­ ma  del atajo , porque  si se fa1ta en algun rc 1uisito  poJr.i ser  de roalas  conscqiicncias.  Todo  lo  relacionaJo  se mani­ f:esta en los discfios  de la  estampa  n(i m. 7. Antes  de  pasar  a form;1r  cl atajo  Il1-.!  ha parecido con­veninte  hacer  un  repartimiento  Je  gradoj· en  el  arma, pus es muy del caso su conocimiento e!”I V<;!rdadera des­ treza para  conseguir  el acierto.  Por  lo  que  se  debe repar­tir 6 considerar en tres partes iguales . a quc llamamos ter.:ios 6 dimmsiones ; y a cada una en tres partes, que en toda  el  arma seran nueve , a los  que  llamamos grados. Es­tos han de tener su  principio numero uno en la punta ,   yel  nueve  arrimado a la guarnicion ; por cuyo moti vo re­sulta que el primer tercio tiene los menores grados , y con el se han de executar las heridas; con el del medio los des,•ios y privaciones , y con el tercero las sujeciones, pues tiene toda la fuerza o superioridad de grados, como se manifiesta en el disefio de la estampa num. 7

Chapter 11: On the lines of the body


Chapter 9 is a description of how to divide up the body into target areas. Even the head is divided into four areas, possibly reflecting different cuts to the head.

Plate 6#2 lines on the body



On the lines of the body.

It is important to understand the lines of the human body as every type of wound is named after the line it is caused in or by. There are nine lines: five vertical, two horizontal and two diagonal. To understand these, imagine a person standing up and looking straight at you with their feet together or with heels slightly apart. The first line starts exactly between the heels and bisects the body from heels to head going through the middle of the nose. This divides the body into two equal parts and is called the chest bisecting line. Two more lines fall from the armpit and go vertically down to the

outside of the hips and down to the outside edge of the feet. These are called the outside vertical lines. The collateral lines are also vertical lines which are half way between the chest bisecting and vertical lines. They run from the outside of each ear vertically down to the inside of the foot and bisecting the big toe. All these lines are vertical but we need to use their correct names if we do not want to confuse ourselves when it comes to landing attacks on our opponent.

The first horizontal line runs from shoulder to shoulder and is called the shoulder line. The second line is called the waist line and divides the body in two as it runs under the bottom of the ribcage and through the belly button. The shoulder and waist lines, together with the outside vertical lines draw a square around the chest. Two more lines cross this square. They each run from the points where the outside vertical line crosses with the shoulder line and runs diagonally down to the opposite corner of the square, where the waist line meets the outside vertical line. These are the diagonal lines. They form four right-angles where they cross in the middle of the chest. The same diagonals can also be drawn over the face. This can all be seen in plate six.

Original Text:


L{neas consid,radas m ti merpo dtl hombre.

Es muy necesaria la inteligencia de Jas lineas consi­ deradas en el cuerpo del hombre- para el uso de la ver­ dadera  destreza , porque  todo  genera de  herida  toma el nombr::: de b Iinea don.le tine la. exccucion . Estas se re• ducen a llUCVe ; a SJbr , ciuco 7Hrtic,:1/cs , dos florizon­ tafes , y dos di,1gonales. Para su distincion s<! ha de su• poner al hombre  rnn cl cuerpo dcrccho, los pi .:s juntos  , muy  poco  apartaJo,,   mi ra ndole  de   frente , o quadrado,formando con el todo angulo solido. En esta Jisposicion se ha de  consider:.u que le subc  una  linea  desJe los talones a lo alto de la c:ibeza , y baxa per pend icular tocando en la nariz, dividicndole  en dos partes  iguales , a la  que  se le da el nombre de diametral del pecho. Del nacimiento de cada brazo por baxo se considera caer una lmea recta , que toca en los tovillos de cada pie; estas se llaman ‘THrticaies: otras dos se consideran baJLar por entre la diametral y verti­ cales , tienen su principio o nacimiento en las orejas y  fin en la garganta de cada pie ; estas tienen el nombre de co­ lateraies. Bien se dexa conoccr que estas cinco  lineas   son verticales ; pero para la distincion de cada una es preciso aplicarlas los nombres dichos, a fin de que no sirva de con­ fusion en las execuciones de las heridas. De hombro a horn­bro se considera una linea , que se llama de la ,ontingencia: otra se considera pasar por el ombligo 6cbtura, que tiene su principio y fin en las verticales  de los costados,  divide  el cuerpo ·por medio ; su nombre horizontal, y forma con la de la contingencia  un  quadrangulo  en  el  pecho.Otras dos se consideran cruzar este quadrangulo : tienen  su  princi­ pio en los angulos superiores . y fin en los opuestos infe­ riores; sus nombres diagonalts , forman quatro angulos en rnedio del pecho en el tocamento que hacen. Este mismo quadrangulo se considera en el rostro con las misrnas lineas, como  todo lo manifiesta  la  figura  de la  estampa  nwn. 6.