Classical Fencing: The Varieties of Second in Sabre

Fencing guards and parries in the classical aeon (1880-1939) were added abundant and assorted in estimation on the affair than in avant-garde fencing. Nowhere was this truer than the array of guards active in Sabre, the cut and advance weapon. Because the purpose of a bouncer is to accommodate a starting point for both abhorrent and arresting action, guards are commutual with parries which actuate the bouncer to block an advance into the band which the bouncer apparently closes. One of the guards universally declared in aeon texts is Second, attention the alfresco band abut (the allocation of the ambition beneath the fencer’s arm on the appropriate ancillary for the right-handed fencer and on the larboard ancillary for the awkward fencer) and the base of the arm. These are low band targets as they are apparent beneath the bouncer of the Sabre.

The alternative of Additional guards in abreast texts avalanche into three categories:

1. Guards with the arm alone partly continued at waist akin and the brand alongside to the ground.

2. Guards with the arm continued in the top band and the brand askance downward.

3. Guards with the arm continued alone partly and the brand vertical.

We can call these based on brand bend from the horizontal, the brand acclimatization about to accoutrement the target, the duke position, and the arm extension. These descriptions are from the argument and illustrations in a sample of angry manuals by acclaimed Angry Masters accessible in English.

Among the guards and parries with the brand alongside to the arena and the arm alone partly continued at waist akin are the following:

  1. Anticipate of Abut (Louis Rondelle 1892) – the duke and bend are at belt akin with the duke a little to the alfresco of the target, the duke in pronation, the brand acid bend to the alfresco absorbed bottomward and entering against the opponent’s knee.
  2. Accumbent Additional (Antonio Domingos Pinto Martins 1895) – the weapon acquaint is akin alongside to the arena at the fencer’s waist, the duke in pronation, the point several inches beneath the akin of the bouncer with the brand angry foreground bend to the outside.
  3. Additional (Julio Martinez Castello) – the weapon acquaint is partly continued advanced alongside to the arena at lower chest level, the duke in pronation hardly to the alfresco of the target, the brand angry foreground bend to the alfresco and alongside to the angry line, the point several inches beneath the akin of the guard.
  4. Additional (Clovis Deladrier in 1948) – the weapon arm is akin alongside to the arena at the fencer’s waist, the duke in pronation, the point several inches beneath the akin of the bouncer with the brand angry foreground bend to the outside, and the arm is at the alfresco absolute of the target.

The afterward guards are taken with the arm continued in top band and the brand askance downward:

  1. Additional Engagement and Additional Anticipate (L. J. M. P. Van Humbeek 1895) – the arm continued hardly to the alfresco with the duke at accept height, the pronated duke and bouncer aggressive 45 degrees aloft the accumbent to the outside, the brand slanted bottomward against the opponent’s thigh, and the acid bend aslant advancement to the outside.
  2. Additional (Salvatore Pecoraro and Carlo Pessina 1912) – the weapon arm is absolutely extended, duke at accept height, the pronated duke and bouncer aggressive 45 degrees aloft the accumbent to the outside, the brand slanted bottomward against the opponent’s flank, and the acid bend aslant advancement to the outside.
  3. Additional (Leon Bertrand 1927) – the weapon arm is absolutely extended, duke at accept height, the pronated duke and bouncer aggressive 45 degrees aloft the accumbent to the outside, the brand slanted bottomward against the opponent’s hip, and the acid bend aslant advancement to the outside.
  4. Additional (Luigi Barbasetti 1935) – the weapon arm is absolutely extended, duke at accept height, the pronated duke and bouncer aggressive 45 degrees aloft the accumbent to the outside, the brand slanted bottomward against the opponent’s hip, and the acid bend aslant advancement to the outside.
  5. Additional (Joseph Vince 1938) – the weapon arm is absolutely extended, with the duke in pronation hardly to the alfresco of the alfresco accept at chest height, the acid bend to the outside, and the point of the brand directed against the adversary advanced knee.
  6. Appropriate Abut (Clovis Deladrier in 1948) – the weapon arm is three abode continued and at the alfresco absolute of the target, the duke is at the akin of the alfresco shoulder, the duke in pronation with the wrist angled down so as to absolute the point to the everyman allotment of the opponent’s groin, the acid bend to the outside.

Alone one antecedent describes a bouncer with the arm continued alone partly and the brand vertical:

  1. Vertical Seconde (Antonio Domingos Pinto Martins 1895) – the arm is in the top line, bent, the duke is in foreground of the alfresco shoulder, the brand is captivated angular with the acid bend to the outside.

With the barring of Maestro Pinto Martins’s Vertical Second, all the guards declared are either a collapsed brand with a fractional addendum at the waist akin or a bottomward slanted brand with a abounding addendum of the arm at accept level. When we accede the schools in which these Angry Masters taught, the arm continued in the top band is acutely Italian in application. Pecoraro, Pessina, Barbasetti are Italian accomplished and Bertrand captivated the Diploma of the Accademia Nazionale di Scherma of Naples; Van Humbeek’s affiliation with the Italian Academy is not mentioned in his argument and the antecedent of his training is uncertain.

R. A. Lidstone describes the waist akin bouncer as a Short Additional Bouncer and attributes it to the Italian school, and Castello articular his sabre methods as Italian in origin. However, Rondelle and Deladrier were Maitres d’Armes accomplished in the French school. The antecedent of the waist akin bouncer appropriately requires added research.

Either access to additional is functional, and my accepted advice, to use the address declared by the Angry Master whose plan you are studying, is applicable. When I started to fence in the 1960s, I abstruse the bouncer as one with the arm continued in the top band to assure the abut as allotment of the First, Fifth, Additional triangle of pronated positions. Today I advise avant-garde angry acceptance Additional as a anticipate accomplished with the angled arm alongside to the arena alone to assure the base of the arm.

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