Rapier And Cloak

IN this exercise the Cloak takes the place, as a defensive weapon, of the buckler or the dagger. It must be turned twice round the left arm in such a manner as to cover the elbow, while the collar is grasped in the left hand the ends are to be passed over the arm so as to hang down in folds on the outside of it, and with these folds (never with the part which rests on the arm) the various attacks are parried (Plate 30-)


It is sometimes advisable to throw the cloak over either the face or the sword of the enemy. Marozzo's directions for doing this are as follows

Stand with the sword in low tierce (coda Iunga ed alta), feign two or three thrusts at him while you are freeing the folds of your cloak, then pass the point of your sword underneath it, and with the assistance of the sword toss it either on to his face or his sword (Plate 32.) Swordsmen of the olden time occasionally carried, for defensive purposes, a large gauntlet of buff on the left arm, which covered it above the elbow. Its use, undoubtedly, was similar to that of the cloak or the shield, but we find very little reference to it in the works of the masters.

Medieval Self Defense Manuals

Plate 30: Rapier and Cloak. Guard. After Alfieri.

Medieval Self Defense

Plate 31: Parry of Tierce and Riposte at Throat. After Alfieri

Plate 32: Throwing the Cloak. After Alfieri.

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