Abrazare Techniques 121 Four Guards quattro posta

The student is introduced to the specifics of wrestling or abrazare and grappling as described by Fiore dei Liberi. This covers the four fundamental guards that form the basis of all skills developed in later units. In Liberi's manuscript, each section begins with crowned masters (magistro) that illustrate the posta or stances. In addition to the masters that introduce the fundamental postas in the beginning of each section, other masters are included that introduce sub-sections. This will be evident in the later parts of this section. All the illustrations in this section are extracts from Fiore dei Liberi's "Flos Duellatorum", of the Novati Pissani edition.

The long guard is deployed in preparation for a throw, providing the foot placement is correct. The right arm is extended outwards and upwards, the left hand somewhat relaxed on the left side (ready to grab, strike, etc.). The right leg is forward and the left leg is trailing. The reverse is true with the extension of the left artm. This guard will be illustrated later demonstrating the capabilities of this guard position with respect to throws.

dente di zenchiar (boar's tooth)

The boar's tooth illustrates the starting position of a very volatile movement in which the right arm begins with the elbow bent approx 900 (upper arm parallel to the floor, the forearm perpendicular). The left hand is relaxed on the left side in preparation to grab or strike. Right leg is forward and left leg trailing. The right arm would move forcebly upwards, which is a fundamental move to break a grip. Frequently, from the boar's tooth, one would assume the long guard resulting in throwing the opponent.

porta di ferro (iron gate)

porta di ferro (iron gate)

The iron gate illustrated depicts the master with both hands positioned approximately waist height, palms down, left leg forward and right leg trailing. The weight is distributed over the left leg. This guard is most often assumed at the end of the movement, i.e. if the master grabs the opponent, forcing the opponent to the ground by assuming the iron gate guard or in preparation of a dagger attack.

posta frontale (frontal guard)

posta frontale (frontal guard)

Fiore Abrazare Guard

The frontal guard is similar to the iron gate, in that both hands are in a similar position and raised to approximately the height of the shoulders. Right leg is forward and left is trailing. It is with this position that one would block an oncoming attack or grab the opponent and move towards the iron gate to take your opponent down.

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