Ambrose Turnbull Posted July 12, 2016 Share Posted July 12, 2016 Fencing Hall The enclosed area had windows in three of the four sides, which let ample light in. It seemed to be divided into two sections of roughly the same size by a number of black walnut bookcases containing titles by authors like Jerónimo Sánchez de Carranza and Don Luis Pacheco de Narváez from the “Verdadera Destreza” (True Skill) Spanish school of swordsmanship, as well as books by Achille Marozzo, Giacomo di Grassi, Salvator Fabris, Rodolfo Capo Ferro, and Francesco Antonio Marcelli from the Italian School. In the first section, three circles of different sizes had been drawn in the floor, with all kinds of straight lines, and small circles drawn inside and around them. They were used for teaching what was known as the Spanish style, a system of combat tied to intellectual, philosophical, and moral ideals, a conservative system of swordplay using both thrusts and cuts. In the second section, the elements of the Italian style were taught and practiced: the preference for certain guards, the preoccupation with tempo, the emphasis on thrusts, and many of the defensive actions particular to this style of swordsmanship which, besides rapier, also taught attacks and defenses with daggers, pikes, halberds, and bucklers, as well as the use of two of those at the same time. Several artful displays of armor and weapons called attention to the walls. Six dummies were set up in each section for those who wanted to practice their stabbing and cutting techniques. Yet, more often than not the men gathered here to train with each other, or to observe others. Here not just the courtiers practiced, but the troops of the Lifeguard and the rest of the Household Cavalry as well, since most of them were born into the gentry, those younger sons and brothers of the lords that vied for attention at the palace. He strode into the fencing hall with his kit, and stopped to shift his shoulders about. The cold was bad for muscles, he felt rather bound up, working up a sweat with some exercise would be just the thing. Chatham was due to meet him, meanwhile the Lifeguard performed some stretches, practised some footwork and lunges in the traditional style. Though their intents today was deviations from those styles, demonstrations of underhanded street moves, the sort that might get traditionally trained men killed. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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