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The Fiore Translation Project #17: Sword Grabs

Back in the saddle again…

It might be more accurate to say, ensconced in the new study and actually getting some work done instead of unpacking boxes… Sadly, no horses involved.

Let's continue where we left off, with the next two plays of the master of the zogho largo crossed at the middle of the swords. This is from folio 25v.

The text above the first of these two plays (so, the third play of this master) reads:

El mio magistro ch’e denanzi m’a insegnado che quando a meza spada io son cum uno incrosado che subito mi debia acresser inanci, e piglar la sua spada a questo partido per ferirlo taglo o punta. Anchora gli posso guastar la gamba per lo modo che possi vedere qui depento a ferirlo cum lo pe sopra la schena dela gamba overo sotto lo zinochio.

My master that is before [me] has taught me that when, at half sword, I am crossed with someone, that I must immediately step forwards, and grab his sword in this way, to strike him with cut or thrust. Also, I can destroy his leg in the way that you can see drawn here, by striking him with my foot in the shin, or below the knee.

And the text above the second of these plays (fourth of the master of zogho largo crossed at the middle of the swords) reads:

Lo scolaro ch’e me denanzi dise del suo magistro e mio ch’ello gli ha insegnado questo zogho, e per vizuda io lo fazo. A farlo senza dubio, ello me pocho impazo.

The scholar that is before me says that his master and mine has taught him this play, and [per vizuda– any ideas what this means?] I do it. To do it, without doubt, it is little trouble for me.

As you can see, I don’t know what per vizuda means. It seems that the translators at the Wiktenauer are also stuck on it, and Tom Leoni renders the paragraph in its entirety as: “the student before me cited what his and my Master taught us, which I am now doing with little trouble”, which follows the sense perfectly, but doesn’t help with the vizuda issue.

It may be related to vizio (vice): as in, I do this ‘viciously’. Thoughts?

I love demonstrating these plays with sharp swords. For those that don’t know, it’s a heart-stopping moment, as they are sure my finger are about to get sliced off. But grabbing a sharp blade is easy and safe, if you do it right, and if your opponent doesn’t twist or slice it out of your hand.

In any case, the play is quite straightforward. Here’s how I do it:

I recommend training this without the kick, unless you are sure you can control your kicks. I cover kicking practice on the Footwork Course, or you can get a sneak peak here:


This project is being published in stages. You can get part one, The Sword in One Hand, as a free PDF by subscribing to my mailing list below, or buy it in ebook format from Amazon or Gumroad. You can get Part two, Longsword Mechanics, from Amazon or Gumroad too!

I'm sure you have an opinion: do share!

4 Responses

  1. Maybe “per vizuda” is “per visura” “trough vision”, in the sense that he didn’t receive this lesson and just copycat the movement?

  2. I read it as a form of vizzare, which Florio says means “to crumple” (among other things). My translation would be:

    The Scholar who came before me says of his Master and mine that he has taught this play, and I do it to crumple [my opponent]. Without a doubt, to do it is little trouble to me.

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