|© 1994, 2000 Richard J. Orli - Credits
||Di Grasse - His true Art of Defense
The First Part - The Basics
Puncta Reversa (reverse thrust)- What Saviolo calls a variation of the low Ward. This Ward is in many ways contrary to the others. Stand with the feet near together, as if ready to sit down. The right foot is only moderately in front of the left. The Rapier handle must be within the knee, point against the face of your adversary. A variation has the handle without the knee.
The puncta reversa on the defensive is explained as follows: If you are attacked first with a thrust (stocatta), don't try to parry (for he may have the advantage). Turn the knuckle of your hand to the right side chest level and let your point be right upon the belly of your opponent with the arm fully extended. Shift the left foot back, then move the right foot, bend the left foot such that the heel of the left is in line with your right instep, a half pace back. In this way, you may hit without Danger.
IV. Of Wards
first ward achieved on withdrawing the blade from scabbard is the high ward - right hand
above and in front of the right cheek, and point angled toward the opponents face. The
obvious attack from here is a long thrust above hand.
The high ward is similar to the modern Parry 5, but
the point is angled toward the opponent's face.
Left arm always forward! Chest to opponent. Stance is more open and like a boxer's stance than modern (post 1660) practice.
Saviolo's open ward is similar to the broad, but with
the chest toward the opponent, rather than twisted away (closer to modern guard in three
with the left arm forward).
Saviolo's favorite Short or Close Ward is somewhat
different from any of di Grasse's: The on guard position is with the right foot leading,
the weapon's guard on or near the hip, the chest toward adversary, and no engagement of
"In this ward you must be sure not to put yourself in danger by carrying your weapon long. Your opponent can strike upon your weapon, and upon you with great speed, and master not only your weapon but you. To close near enough to find your weapon, he must come close enough to risk being hit."
Saviolo on the use of the left hand: I advise all to
learn to break trusts with the gloved left hand. But even without a glove, it is better to
hazard a little hurt of the hand, and master the enemy's sword, than to give the enemy the
advantage by parrying with your sword.
Silver's Four Governors:
1. The first governor is judgment which is to know
when your adversary can reach you, and when not, and when you can do the like to him, and
to know by the goodness or badness of his lying, what he can do, and when and how he can
2. The second governor is measure. Measure is the
better to know how to make your space true to defend yourself, or to offend your enemy.
3. 4. The third and forth governors are a twofold
mind when you press in on your enemy, for as you have a mind to go forward, so must you
have at that instant a mind to fly backward upon any action that shall be offered or done
by your adversary.