The Guards of the Longword
Filippo Vadi presents us with twelve illustrated guards of the longsword. These form a fascinating link between theearlier system of Fiore dei Liberi, and the later Bolognesesystem as represented by Achille Marozzo. In this article Iwill briefly introduce the guards of Marozzo and Fiore,on the off-chance that the reader is unfamiliar with them,then go through Vadi’s guards one by one and comparethem to their cognates in the other two systems. Wherenecessary I will draw in further information from theLiechtenauer system.The images on the facing page show Fiore’s
(short guard), Vadi’s
posta lunga con la spada curta
(long guard with the sword withdrawn) and Marozzo’s
guardia di fianche
(guard of the flank). All similar positions, but helddifferently. Perhaps the most interesting points are whereone of Fiore’s guards is lost, or where Vadi creates a newone that we see repeated in the later Marozzo. We mayspeculate endlessly on why these guards changed andwere adopted or discarded, but I will pay most attentionto Vadi’s apparent role as a link between the two other sys-tems.
Was Vadi midwife to the Bolognese?