Art of the Two-Handed Sword: The Guards

Next: The Teaching

In his Opera Nova, Achille Marozzo illustrates many of the guards used for the two-handed sword — the spada da due mani or the spadone. He also gives us plenty of instruction on how to use this magnificent weapon in different contexts. In this series of posts I will give you translations of the material, tools to help you practice this art as well as interpretations of both Marozzo’s and the Anonimo’s (the other Bolognese master to discuss the weapon) work.

In this first part I will show you my interpretation of the guards. Some of these are only mentioned by Marozzo, and some that I do not have even a working interpretation of I have left out from the gallery.

But I believe this will help you better understand the following posts in this series. Whenever the guards are mentioned, you can refer back to this gallery to see how the positions can be formed.

If you subscribe to, you can also access hi-res versions of Marozzo's over 80 original illustrations.

Becca Cesa
Becca Possa
Cenghiaro Porta di Ferro Alta
Cenghiaro Porta di Ferro Larga
Cenghiaro Prta di Ferro Stretta
Coda Lunga Alta
Coda Lunga Alta (left lead)
Coda Lunga Distesa
Coda Lunga Distesa (rear-weighted)
Coda Lunga Larga
Coda Lunga Larga (an extrapolated position with left-lead with sword oriented forwards)
Coda Lunga Stretta
Coda Lunga Stretta (left lead)
Guard against polearms
Guardia d'Entrare in largo passo
Guardia d'Entrare non in largo passo
Guardia di Croce
Guardia di Faccia
Guardia di Fianche
Guardia di Gomito
Guardia di Piede
Guardia di Spalla
Guardia di Testa
An unnamed position illustrated by Marozzo
Porta di Ferro Alta
Porta di Ferro Larga
Porta di Ferro Stretta

Please leave your comments if you want to share your own insights of these positions.

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