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Terms
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TERMS

Terms are important to understanding fighting. In order to know what you are doing, you will want to be able to describe it. For the most part, terms as I have defined them through use of the source material, and from classes in historical play, HEMA stuff I do and the like. I don't think anyone has any copyrights to these terms, and you certainly can adopt, change or think of them however you want. I mainly do not wish to presume to create my own definitions of what everyone else has been doing. What ever you use, be consistent. It helps.

Assembling: Another term for “Recover”

Advance: Also advance pace, advancing paced, is where the foot comes out moving forward. Not a passing step. Can also be a half paced step.

Agrippa's Positions: There are four basic positions of the sword, coming from Agrippa. The important part here is that it's the hand orientation we are looking at, not the guard or ward.

Balance: The balance point of the sword is usually about 2 fingers away from the hilt. Balance in rapier or side swords is important as you want enough of the weight to be forward enough to make effective contacts, but not so tip heavy as you can't move it. If the swords balance is all in the hilt, the blade becomes very difficult to use in cutting, but can work well in thrusts.

Broad Ward: Ward with the sword hilt up near the hip. I feel this is unique to Saviolo, and it does not look to be referred to in contemporary writings.

Close Measure/Distance: Closest distance possible in an engagement. This is close enough to reach out and grab the opponent, or have the blades cross by greater than 6 inches. This is also dagger engagement distance. Hits can occur at less than a tempo.

Cut: Using the edge to strike, cuts are either true edge or false edge.

Dardi School: Also known as Bolognese style, mostly a cutting and thrusting style that has roots to the early 1400's in Italy.

Dissemble: The end result of being played out along one's line of attack to a point where movement ceases. A dissembled fighter is very vulnerable.

Dui Tempi: Two Actions of a tempo, having to have to do two things in order to accomplish an attack.

Forte: The strong part of the blade, first 1/2 length from the hilt.

Incartata: A Middle Paced step off-line, like a slope paced step. It is executed with the left foot coming around behind the right lead while sloping to the right, passing the lead foot.

Gathering Step: A type of advance with the trailing foot coming up behind in almost the same time. Can be used to steal measure.

Guard: Also guardia. From the Dardi style, there are a lot of different ones. For the most part, a guard is somewhere the sword ends up after and attack, which should naturally flow to a defence. Habitually, an attack should flow directly to a defensive position, in case it fails, and the strategy of combining the offence with the defence means that one attacks into the opponent making the defence also the offensive end point.

Lead: Right lead, or left lead, simply which foot is foremost.

Menacing: The general practice of keeping the tip of the sword into the face of the opponent.

Measure: Also Distance. How far away the opponent is. Measure is a factor of tempo. How long it takes hit a target in a certain time. It also means what you can do with your hands and feet in the distance too. Silver talks about time of the foot, hand and sword as ideas of how long/far away someone is. A short measure takes a quick action of the hand to hit or do something. A long measure takes a lot more movement of the hand and foot to do something. There are 4 basic categories.

Mezzo Tempo: Middle Tempo. This tempo seeks to complete the action with the tempo opponent's offered tempo.

Middle Measure/Distance: Distance in an engagement where the tips of the blades cross by about 3 inches to 6 inches and the opponent can be readily struck with a middle paced step and or single tempo.

Parry:  Any kind of action that intercepts the opponents sword from hitting you. It can be in two strengths, and done with a variety of techniques.

Parry Replace:  A period technique of making the parry with the sword, replacing the control with the offhand weapon or thing then continuing on with an attack with your sword (now not stopping the opponents blade).

Pace: I use this to mean an foot movement that does not pass the ankles. I would refer this in three different types in depth, but many directions. The paces are used in an almost walking style, like if you are standing and make the first step off.

Pass: Also Passing Step. The action of the foot passing by each other. If starting out walking from standing, the first foot fall is the pace, the second foot fall is the pass. There are several types

Quarta: Holding the sword in the fourth position palm up.

Quillons: Horizontal cross pieces on the sword, part of the hilt. Also called a cross.

Recover: Returning to the stance that the movement began.

Redouble: A swift attack with the intent of immediate recover followed by an attack. The purpose is to draw the attacker out, and use a Parry Replace or Void or other type of counter.

Refuse: A modern term used to mean leading with the opposite foot than your main right hand/right foot (or left/left, if you are lefty). This is one of the Agrippa stances, where the left hand with dagger makes all defence, and the right hand held back and out of the play does straight thrusts with a passing step through.

Remove: A temporary movement of a body part, such as a foot or a hand, away from an attack, so as to not get hit. Usually a remove is only done enough to remove the body part from being hit, and then taking control of the attacking sword in the next tempo.

Retreat: A move backwards. Don't do it.

Ricasso: The exposed bit of the sword on a complex hilt forward of the quillons and still within the cage of the hilt. Used to with different methods of holding the sword for more accurate thrusts and cuts.

Quarta: Holding the sword in the fourth position palm up.

Short Paced Step: From a lead stance, the lead foot advances about 12 inches. This step can be in any forward direction.

Slope Paced Step: A pace step that goes diagonally in relation to the opponent.

Stance: How you are standing. It can be offensive or defensive. I use two different concepts, left lead and right lead. There is also a neutral, which is also the basic starting stance that is just standing there with the sword. The stance factor is important in movement in that after every movement, get to a stance, either offensive defensive, or what have you. There is also narrow stance, where the feet are close together.

Stesso Tempo: Acting before the time of the opponent. Like a quick draw.

T Stance: An open stance where the lead foot has a clear path to remove back in a straight line, as far back as possible.

Tempo: The concept of movement occurring in Distance. Tempo is the time it takes to do a thing. Tempo can be broken down into full and half tempo actions. There are three types of movements within tempo.

Trust: A point attack. There are several different ways to use it.

Volte: Also Half-Incartata\Demi-Volte. A short paced step version of the Incartata.

Void: Also a Bota Vita. Moving the body out of the way of an attack. Saviolo espouses that the whole of the defence should not be a void only, and that it should always couple with some sort of counter. That's just smart.

Ward: A defensive posture/presentation. Borrowing heavily from the older Dardi tradition and some from Silver, there are several.

Home
Introduction of the Style
Presentations of the Sword
Movement of the Fight
Where to Put the Sword
Distance and Measure
Putting it All Together
Advanced Concepts
Saviolo's Actions
Terms
What to Wear