Works of Richard Marsden

The Works of Richard Marsden. Writing and Historical European Martial Arts.

La Verdadera Destreza Terms

There are a variety of terms used in La Verdadera Destreza. A 'few' are below.

Stance: Affirmarse. The diestro has his sword arm extended and is standing, body slighty turned. Weight is not resting on either leg until movement begins. Hand starts in the supinated position. (Fingers down)

 Footwork: Compases or circles. Unlike the Italian school of fencing, the diestro moves in continual circles for both defense and offense. One foot is lifted and planted and then the other. It is methodical.  

Passo: A step left or right, where one foot is stationary.

Passo en general: A walking step (usually clockwise), lifting one foot then the other. Can be forward, left, right or backward.

Gran passo: "Big Step"  A long transverse step to the left or right. NOT head on at the opponent.

Compas curvos: A series of steps along the circle, left or right.

Pass Forward: Rear foot steps forward and plants, toes pointed left. Back foot advances, toes pointing to the enemy, carrying the diestro far forward.

Pass back: Front foot steps back and plants. The rear (now front) foot draws back, toes pointed left, carrying the diestro far backward.

Bladework: Italians did not like their blades touching, the opposite is true in the Spanish systems. The diestro seeks to be in attack range, while keeping blade contact.

Atajo: Blade on blade contact.

Tacto: Sensing the enemy's intentions through blade contact. "Jedi skillz"

Movimentos: Motions made to prepare the blade for a cut or thrust.

Natural: Blade moves down.

Violento: Blade moves up. (As if preparing for a cut)

Riverso: Blade moves back. (Usually performed with a 1/2 pass forward for a thrust)

Cuts: Italians had names for every cut from every direction. The diestro has to only understand where the cuts originate from. Cuts are meant to drag the tip of the bladealong the enemy. They aren't impact strikes.

Arrebatar: Cut powered by the shoulder.

Medio Tajo: Cut powered by the elbow.

Mandoble: Cut powered by the wrist.

Thrust: The thrust is not performed with long lunges, but rather using the footwork of Destreza. The feet, body and blade work as one to strike, yet not be struck. Since the arm is already extended, their is not much arm movement, save to direct where the thrust hits.

Parry: True parries are when the enemy sword is blocked or deflected. In Destreza there are no actual parries.

Desvio: The Spanish equivalent of a parry. An enemy attack is directed away, by the blade moving one way and the diestro the other, all while trying to gain advantage with his tip. Block, step, thrust.

Cambio or Oblique Movement: Moving the blade from inside to outisde or vice-versa by moving the blade under/over the enemy.

Deciet: To counter the cambio by performing one's own and returning to the prior position.



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