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I taught a two hour class on Manciolino at Great Southern Gathering this year, my notes for the class are below.

My intent was to expose more people to the system and to give them an idea of its fundamentals. I didn’t particularly teach the guards because I don’t consider them that important, what is important is the actions that create the guards and that is what I chose to focus on.

Dardi school possibly as much as 200 year period, the extant material available: Manciolino, Marrozo, Dall’Agocchie, Viggiani, and the Anonymous.

Summary of the structure of Manciolino’s Opera Nova and Marrozo:

Book 1- Guards, attacking someone in those guards, defending yourself in those guards.

Book 2 – 3 Assaults.

Book 3 – Playing at the half-sword.

First 3 books use sword & buckler as the foundation style, covering fencing in the salle and in earnest.

Books 4 and on cover the other combinations.


stance – protect the legs and move well


  • pass along the line
  • pass and recovery step
  • pass and traverse
  • the slip

Why: death bubble and control of centre line. drill: pass and traverse getting width of shoulders from one side to the other like a bull fighter.

show Marrozo stepping picture.Marozzo - stepping diagram



the sword goes vertically up and down the footwork creates some angle off vertical.

Drill:  Guardia Alta traverse dropping the sword into lager guard, traverse with a falso to Alta repeat. this is the 70’s dancing action.

Drill – charity ribbon: from Lager pass cutting to Alta recover cutting down into lager on the other side


Beginning, middle and end of blows; otherwise, guards are not important.

  1. Guardia Alta (GA) – beginning
  2. Guardia di Faccia (GDF) – middle
  3. Porta di Ferro Lager (PDFL) – end
  4. Porta di Ferro Stretta (PDFS) – end

(from http://www.renfence.com.au/)

    • Week 2
      • concept 1
      • concept 2
    • Week 3
      • concept 1
    • Week 4
      • concept 1
      • concept 3
    • Week 6
      • concept 1
    • Week 8
      • concept 1 (variants 1 and 3)

The second assault

How to learn the material  – chunking it into smaller parts

The embellishment and part 1 of the second assault

my interpretation of the ritocco as a tool to teach redirection of the blade from mandritto to riverso.