Vadi’s Plays


This page is a work in progress, but I’ve decided to publish it early. The intent is to show – for each play – the text, my interpretation of the main features and then application within a tournaments or sparring setting where possible (with some commentary on the variations).

As background to this page, it’s worth reading my blog posts on the nature of the plays:

The Role of the Plays in Vadi’s System


This section is a work in progress. Each play will eventually have the original text and image, a description of how I interpret it, a slow video describing the main principles and a series of gifs of the play executed in sparring or tournaments (where possible). For now only the gifs and the original text are ready, but I am releasing this early and will build it as information becomes available.

All text is taken from Guy Windsor’s latest translation, published in “The Art of Swordfighting in Earnest”.

Play 1:

Play 1

I have made a roverso fendente on the left foot,
Without changing the foot, turning the hips,
I will strike a dritto without further movement.

Play 2:

Play 2

By this grip of your arm that I have made,
I will hit you with a cut or pommel strike.

This is one of several plays

Play 3:

Play 3

By this turn that I quickly make to my sword
I will not pause before I hit you with it.

Play 4:

Play 4

I have bound you from the roverso side,
You’ll be thrown to the ground by a blow of the sword.

Play 5:

Play 5

In this way I hold you with my left hand,
Cuts and thrusts will not be lacking.

Play 6:

Play 6

By this turn that I have given to my sword
I think I will have cut the halfway through your throat.

Play 7:

Play 7

You will go to the ground with this technique
Because you have completely failed in your play.

Play 8:

Play 8

I do not wish to make war with my sword,
But with yours I’ll throw you to the ground.

Play 9:

Play 9

I have turned you inevitably and without difficulty,
With my skill I will break your arm.

Play 10:

Play 10

With skill I have placed you in this position,
I’ll make you go to the ground at the first go.

Play 11:

Play 11

In this way I’ll put you in the lock
And I will break your arm while saying a Hail Mary.

Play 12:

Play 12

By this turn of the pommel I have bound you,
Immediately if I want to I’ll throw you to the ground.

Play 13:

Play 13

By this turn of the blade that you have done,
I will break your arm at the first go.

Play 14:

Play 14

By the turn given to my quick sword,
I’ll strike your arms or your head.

Play 15:

Play 15

If I put my hilt to your sword
I’ll make it fall, this time.

Play 16:

Play 16

This is a grip that I do from below,
I will make it fall at the first go.

Play 17:

Play 17

You believed I would strike with a roverso blow,
[But] With my elbow I push your sword across.

Play 18:

Play 18

By the turn that my handle has given,
I make you fall to the ground flat on your back.

Play 19:

Play 19

This is a disarm that is above,
And if I want to I’ll lay you flat.

Play 20:

Play 20

I made a feint of striking a fendente,
I will cut your jaw and teeth together.

Play 21:

Play 21

From the roverso strike that I have done,
I’ll hit you with my pommel, and look good doing it.

Play 22:

Play 22

This is a grip that I do on the inside,
You’re going to the ground as I feel.

Play 23:

Play 23

I have hit you with my sword in the head,
Yours I’ll quickly take with my cunning.

Play 24:

Play 24

I beat your sword aside at the middle of the blade,
You’ll get a good dose from my pommel.

Play 25:

Play 25

Turning a roverso you parried badly,
At the middle of the blade you entered the bind.