The North American Mangiarotti Society

The Modern School of the  Italian Sword

Glossary - Italian with English Translation

Fencing terminology is a confusing subject, especially when terms in different languages are involved. Different things are called different things, the same things are called the same things but in a different language, different things are called the same things,  the same things are called different things, and in some cases there is no word for a specific action in one language but there is in others. So, in the interest of understanding the two Mangiarotti texts we will be adding terms on an irregular schedule to this glossary and as words of the day on our Facebook page.  As part of the translation process we may find a better way of expressing the English equivalent or the meaning of a term; as a result this glossary is a living document with modifications to existing text to be expected.

... terms beginning with A

ANGOLAZIONE (angulation) - offensive action with the arm angled to hit with the free blade and the hand in opposition in the appropriate line.

ARRESTO (arrest or stop hit) - a hit that stops the development of the initiative of the opponent's attack. 

ATTACCO (attack) - the initial action threatening the opponent's valid surface.​

... terms beginning with B

​BATTUTA (beat) - composed, direct action to displace the opponent's blade when it is on the line of offense.

BOTTA DRITTA (straight thrust) - a straight hit (COLPO DRITTO) done with a lunge.

... terms beginning with C

CEDUTA (ceding) - a second intention offensive action in tempo to strike around a held parry by angulation.

COCCIA (shell) - the metal structure that protects the hand, commonly termed bell or guard.

COLPO DRITTO (straight hit) - a simple direct action made to the target at the various measures.

COMPOSTE (composed) (ATTACCHI, RISPOSTE, CONTRORISPOSTE) - if in more movements than a simple action.

CONTRAZIONE (contraction or time hit) - a direct stop hit that blocks the blade of the opponent’s attack, hitting without being hit.

CONTROATTACCHI (counterattacks) - simple actions executed with precedence in tempo on the opponent’s attack.  Include ARRESTO, USCITA IN TEMPO, and CONTRAZIONE.

CONTRO (counter) - in the context of parries a circular parry.   

CONTROPARATA (counterparry) - the second parry performed on the opponent's riposte.

CONTRORISPOSTA (counterriposte) - the offensive action of the fencer who has parried the riposte.

CONTROTEMPO (countertime) - intentional action to induce the opponent to execute a counter in order to parry and riposte/counterriposte

... terms beginning with F

FILO (glide) - action that leads to hitting the target (while keeping your blade in contact with that of the opponent) from the engagement in an attacking action; in the riposte, following a parry.

FILO DI QUARTA (glide of fourth) - from the position of fourth, scraping on the opponent’s blade to the target, keeping the hand with opposition in fourth.

FILO DI SECONDA (glide in second) - from the position of second (hand turned thumb down and fingernails to the outside) scraping on the opponent’s blade with marked angulation between the hand and the foil (point raised) to the target.

FILO DI TERZA (glide of third) - from the position of third, scraping on the opponent’s blade to the target, with marked opposition in third.

... terms beginning with I

INVITO (invitation) - an action of second intention that opens a target to induce the opponent to execute an attack.

... terms beginning with L

LINEE ALTA (high line) - the upper two quadrants of the target.

LINEE BASSO (low line) - the lower two quadrants of the target.

... terms beginning with P

PARATA (parry) - a defensive action made with the blade or breaking the measure to prevent the attack touching.

PARATA COL FERRO (parry with the sword) - a parry executed to divert the opponent's blade directed at the target.

​PARATA DI MISURA (parry by distance) ​- a retreat causing the attack to fall short, allowing the fencer to take over the action.

PARATE COMPOSTE (composed parries) - parries formed with two or more alternating lateral, semi-circular, and circular parries

PRESA DI FERRO (taking the blade) - attack laterally taking and displacing the opponent's blade in any of the four lines.

PRIMA INTENZIONE (first intention) - an action which lands as a hit denying the initiative to the opponent.

... terms beginning with R

RADDOPPIO (raddoppio or doubling) - offensive action without return to guard immediately following the parry of an initial attack by distance or blade, on the opponent who does not respond.

RISPOSTA (riposte) - the offensive action of the fencer who has parried the attack.

RISPOSTA DI CAVAZIONE (disengage riposte) - the riposte passed under the blade in high line or over it in low line to hit in the opposite line to the parry.

RISPOSTE DI CONTROCAVAZIONE (counterdisengage or double disengage riposte) - compound riposte which hits in the line opposite to the parry after passing around the entire circumference of the opponent’s blade.

RISPOSTA DI INTAGLIATA (coupe riposte) - riposte into the opposite line of the parry after passing the blade in front of and above the opposing tip.  Note that Mangiarotti uses the term intagliata for the coupe, rather than as a variant footwork movement.

RISPOSTA DRITTA (direct riposte) - riposte in the same line as the line in which the parry was executed.

RISPOSTA SEMPLICI DIRETTE (simple direct riposte) - one tempo riposte in the line of the attack.  Includes RISPOSTA DRITTA and RISPOSTA SUL FERRO.

RISPOSTA SEMPLICI INDIRETTE (simple indirect riposte) - one tempo riposte in a line other than that of the attack.  Includes RISPOSTA DI CAVAZIONE and RISPOSTA DE INTAGLIATA.

RISPOSTA SUL FERRO (riposte on the blade) - a riposte by glide which hits the opponent scraping along the blade after the parry.

... terms beginning with S

SCHIVATA (evasion) -  defensive action carried out immediately to remove the target from an opponent's direct hit or fleche.

SECONDA INTENZIONE (second intention) - an action intentionally provoking the opponent’s initiative in order to neutralize it, allowing your thrust.

SEMPLICI (simple) (ATTACCHI, RISPOSTE, CONTRORISPOSTE) - in one movement, direct (in the same line) or indirect (in another line).

... terms beginning with T

TEMPO (tempo or fencing time) - the duration of performing a simple action.

TEMPO PERSO (broken time) - with a delay in execution based on the mode, rapidity, and tempo of execution.

TERZA INTENZIONE (third intention) - the intentional evasion of the opponent's second intention so as to finish the action to your advantage.

... terms beginning with U

USCITA IN TEMPO (counterattack in tempo) - a direct stop hit that precedes by a fencing tempo the finish of the opponent’s compound attack.