DUELING SABER RESOURCES

A CURRICULUM for the ITALIAN DUELING SABRE

PREFACE:

The primary resource for this study of the Italian Dueling Sabre is the book, The Art of the Dueling Sabre, by Christopher Holzman (SKA SwordPlay Books, 2011). This book is Mr. Holzman's translation and explanation of Settimo Del Frante's text on the mid-19th century sabre system of Giuseppe Radaelli.  Supplemental material is also derived from the work of Maestro Luigi Barbasetti, as presented in his book, The Art of the Sabre and the Epee (E.P. Dutton, 1936).   In addition, supplemental resource material is derived from Maestro William Gaugler’s  The Science of Fencing  (Laureate Press, 1977, 2004)

 

LESSON 1.  THE BASICS

Goal/Milestone:  Understanding the theory of dueling sabre, and the basic mechanics of the sabre including the hand positions and guards associated with the sabre, the molinelli, the invitations, and the engagements.

  • The dueling sabre, history of its use.

  • The weapon, holding the sabre, proper stance.

  • The principal and secondarty hand positions.

  • The basic guards.

  • The invitations and the engagements of blades.

  • The target areas.

  • Distance and measure.

  • Footwork; advance, retreat, lunges, advance-lunge, passing, cross steps, running advances, and ballestras.

  • The molinelli to the head from left and from right.

  • The molinelli to the flank and the belly.

  • The molinelli to the face.

LESSON 2.  OFFENSE AND DEFENSE

Goal/Milestone:  Learning how to cut and thrust with the sabre, learning the parries, and learning how to riposte.

  • Direct Cuts.

  • Vertical Cut:  to head and check - push cuts

  • Diagonal Cut:  from high to low - draw cut

  • Flank Cut:  to outside line of chest - push cut

  • Belly Cut:  horizontal - draw cut

  • Cuts to the arms:  push cuts to top of hand or arms, angular to clear opponents guard, or draw cuts with true or false edge to underside

  • Leg Cut:  draw cut, most effective if started with a feint or attack to blade.

  • Cuts by the Molinello.

  • The Thrust.

  • The Parries:

    • Prima:  to protect low line inside attacks.

    • Seconda:  to protect low line outside attacks.

    • Terza:  to protect horizontal cuts to outside.

    • Quarta:  to protect horizotal cuts to inside.

    • Quinte:  to protect high line outside attacks.

    • Sixte:  to protect high line inside attacks.

    • Secondary Guards:  Low Terza, substitute for Seconda

                                    Low Quarta, substitute for Prima

                                    Septime:  hanging guard, to protect check cuts on outside.

  • Parrying with footwork.

  • Yielding or Ceding Parries.

  • Counter-Parries or Circular Parries, and Half Circular Parries.

  • The Riposte.

LESSON 3.  COMPOUND ATTACKS

Goal/Milestone:  Learning the use of feints to set up compound attacks.

  • Simple Feints

  • Feints With the Point

  • Feints After the Disengagement

  • Feints By the Filo (Graze Feints)

  • Feints With the Cutting Edge

  • Feints During the Advance

  • Double Feints

  • Double Feints at Normal Distance

  • Double Feints With the Point

  • Riposte by Feint

  • Remises

LESSON 4.  ACTIONS AGAINST THE OPPONENT’S BLADE

Goal/Milestone:  Learning how to attack your opponent’s blade in order to open lines for offensive actions against your opponent.

  • The Beat

  • The Press and the Glide

  • The Expulsions (Sforzi)

  • Transports (Legamenti)

LESSON 5.   COUNTEROFFENCE

Goal/Milestone:  Learning how to thwart your opponent’s offense, by safely attacking into his/her attack.

  • The Theory of the Attack; Understanding Tempo.

  • Actions with First Intentions.

  • Actions of Attack into Tempo.

  • Cavazione (Coupe).

  • Actions into Tempo upon the Opponent’s Attack; Counter-Attacks:

    • Time Thrusts, Stop Thrusts

    • Time Cuts, Stop Cuts

    • Disengagement into Tempo

    • The Appuntata

    • The Inquartata and the Intagliati

  • Second Intentions

  • Counter-Tempo Actions

LESSON 6.  PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER

Goals/Milestones:  Understanding the dynamics of the Assault.

  • Lesson in Assault

  • The Assault, described

  • General Principles; Use of Defensive Actions and Counterattacks, Use of Attacks on the Blade

  • Practical Application of the Attac

  • Application of the Beat

  • Application of the Parries

  • Application of the Feints ks

  • Application of the Blows in Tempo

  • Against the Left-Handed Fencer

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