Continuing in my madness to visit each of the poste in turn and examine both the offensive and defensive, we worked from posta di finestra for the entirety of the class. To this end, we began in guard and cut a variety of cuts – fendente, mezani, sottani and thrusts from posta di finestra. Many people have trouble cutting from this posta, and the Companions are no exception. I noted many of them cutting flat, edge alignment was off. Some of them cut far too wide, leaving themselves wide open as the sword goes behind them to power the cut. We need to work more on this – and we will! 🙂
From there, we worked with moving into finestra from posta breve on the opposite side, forcing them to adjust their positioning and distance to effect the cover and put the point online for the thrust. This was followed by having the partner react by binding hard and down upon realising he was about to become a shish-kebab. In reaction to this, perform a tutta volta of the sword, cutting fendente to the opposite side. This is functionally the same as the colpi di villano.
After this, I went experimental a bit with an interpretation. I have long held that techniques from the German system have analogous techniques in Fiore. For this class, we practiced an Italian zwerchau. This is essentially a redoubled colpi mezani. This comes from my reading of the PD manuscript where he says the mezani cuts are redoubled to wound. I had previously interpreted this as a mezani from the right followed by a mezani from the left with the false edge. This generally assumes you’ve missed, which is not the usual occurrence. If the partner covers and binds, you cannot initiate a cut from the other side. Using this premise, when the partner binds against your first mezani and applies pressure, (which essentially puts you into finestra on the left), leave the bind and whip it around to the opposite side, cutting with the false edge. This places you into finestra on the right, hands crossed (and Fiore tells us mezani from the left are falsi cuts, so it works with the text.) Shazam! Italian zwerchau. The counter to this is a transition into finestra by the defender, covering the head and either undercutting or placing the point online. This also works if you cover using finestra and he binds hard to the side.
Next week, we’ll continue this train of thought, work with finestra some more, but rather than move into it, we’ll begin from it and see what offensive and defensive options open up (rompere, scambiar, attacks covers…). We’ll also work more from the bind, and work with a counter to the German propensity to use a krumphau to the hands or point when in finestra, just for shits and giggles.