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Capo Ferroworkbook

Capo Ferroworkbook

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Published by Guy Windsor
This is a tool for anyone studying Capoferro's rapier. It contains a tactical hierarchy of actions, and a table of contents of the plates.
This is a tool for anyone studying Capoferro's rapier. It contains a tactical hierarchy of actions, and a table of contents of the plates.

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Published by: Guy Windsor on Sep 03, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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 A workbook for Capoferro’s
Gran Simulacro
 This is intended as a brief reference work for students actively studying Ridolfo Capoferro’s
Gran Simulacro
, and learning to fence rapier according to his style. Though no one would callCapoferro a great writer, his work has been extremely influential in the history of fencing,and with a little help and a lot of work, his book can provide years of fruitfulswordsmanship practice. The two most immediately useful supports for the text, I find, are a simple descriptionof the hierarchy of actions, and a table of contents to the plates, to help you find therelevant play. The hierarchy of actions describes the preconditions for any action, and the propercounters. So, when should one do a
 parata e risposta in un solo tempo
(“deflection and strike (orparry riposte) in a single motion”)? What must happen before I can do a
?For the sake of clarity: for
I use “disengage”, for
guadagnar la spada,trovare la spada 
, etc. I use “stringer”. The parry riposte in a single motion is when by simply turning my hand from secondato quarta, or vice versa, and extending, I can control the opponent’s debole with my forte,and safely strike. This is the ideal scenario. In two tempi, or two motions, I have to first parry (forte to debole), and then in a second action of the blade, strike. This happens when eithermy debole has been well controlled by the opponent and I have to free it or recover it beforestriking, or I am simply unprepared to parry and riposte in one motion. The following table lays out the pattern:
 Attack (cut or thrust)Parry riposte in a single timeParry riposte in 2 actions Avoid and counterattack Parry riposte in a single timeFeint, parry riposte in two actionsDisengageCounterdisengage Attack closing the line (parry and riposte in one motion)CounterdisengageRedisengage or attacStringeringCounterstringerin Attack Disengage-attack Disengage beat attack CounterstringeringAs for stringerinBeat attackDeceive beat (disengage in time), attac After beat, parry in 2 actionsParryFeint-disengageCounterattackParry, riposte These can perhaps be most easily understood as a series of pair drills. These can be donefrom a stringering in quarta (inside) or seconda (outside). As you work through the treatise,feel free to fill in the other plate references- most of these actions and sequences arerepeated in the treatise in several different forms.Having a simple and consistent way to conceptualise the many different techniques, and toclassify them according to their tactical use (or place in the hierarchy of actions), makes itmuch easier to learn them in the first place, and apply them in fencing.
 AgentPatientPlate reference, notes 
Stringers7 (inside), 16 (outside)Disengages, attacksParries and ripostes in onemotionStringers7Disengages as a feint Attacks in one motionParry riposte in two motionsStringersDisengagesFeintsParriesDisengages, strikes
 AgentPatientPlate reference, notes 
StringersDisengages, beats blade,attacksParries and ripostes in twomotionsStringersDisengages, beats blade,Disengages in time againstthe beat, strikesStringers19Disengages to strike Avoids and strikesStringersDisengages as feint Avoids and attacksParries and ripostes in onetempoStringers15DisengagesCounterdisengages, strikesStringersDisengagesCounterdisengagesRedisengages, strikesStringersDisengagesCounterdisengages, attacksParries and ripostes in onemotion A further useful reference tool when working with this treatise is a list of the contents oeach plate. I recommend customising this document so that you can describe the contentsaccording to the way you think of the actions, making it easier to find the plate you want.

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