Spanish fencing. “Judgment of two Destrezas. Truth and Lie” Treatise “Greatness of a Sword” by Luis Pacheco de Narvaez

oleg maltsev

As part of research in the field of fencing there is a continuation of the study of treatise “Greatness of the sword” written by Luis Pacheco de Narvaez, studies are lead by Grand Maestro Oleg Maltsev. In this article we will talk about the Spanish fencing therefore subject of discussion will be “Judgment of two Destrezas. Truth and Lie” from treatise “Greatness of the sword”.

This piece has the following:
1. Destreza is a science about fight and fencing which demonstrates how to prevail in a victory, based on science.
2. Escrima according to the treatise is the following:

“The truth about it can seen in Escrima’s masters who aren’t scientists. They invent new feints and lessons, leaving initial data without changes. They stay with their inventions and live it. They say that they use feints of present days as they think that people and movements in the past were different. They do not want to see and do not see and take everything in all good faith. Only fundamental scientific bases do not changes, while the rest in the world changes”.

In fact, Pacheco speaks about lack of fundamental knowledge in people who practice Destreza of commoners owing to the ignorance. Moreover, they do not wish to becomes educated, and instead are content with a set of methods which was taught to them by some maestro.

It turns out that today combats are absent, but problems do not leave our civilization. Imagine, once in the XV century there was a treatise, than suppose that somebody who live in France, has to overcome large distances from France to Venice only to learn contents of the book. And he, being guided by such intention sails on ship to Venice to learn fencing. Are there a lof of such people? Certainly, very few.

All masters want that to have highly educated and capable students. Many masters upload the videos of their lessons on the Internet. It is possible to watch any of these videos when it is convenient to one. In turn, each of these masters desire to demonstrate some effective “tricks” for the purpose of interest of the audience so that people come to study for money. For instance, the person watches a video of different masters and chooses “tricks” which he think are good to him. Like that appear a set of methods which he arrange at present sampling time. He doesn’t understand where these movement are taken, what are the reasons of their existence and what are they necessary for.

oleg maltsev

All street combats come down to three components: boxing, fight and the mixed martial arts (MMA). Depending of who and in what of these combats were engaged, these people are following a selected method of cooperation on the street. But having entered one variable, for example a knife, it is obvious that boxers do not have even elementary skills of counteraction against bladed weapons. Boxing does not intent the skills of working against a knife necessarily. People who practice mixed martial arts are most vulnerable as they got used to rush on the opponent. If to expose a knife in front of them, they will impale oneself upon it in an attempt to do something. The most prepared in this situation are fighters of Japanese and Russian types of fight, there is a fighting section where each teacher trains the students in counteraction to cold weapon.

And so, imagine that there are sets of methods, which are convenient to a person, and there is boxing, fight and mixed martial arts. In total, it turns out to four situation. It is worth entering only one variable – and all this breaks down as a house of cards. No matter, in what system one is engaged in as if this system does not allow to resist to a knife, it needs to be changed. The system should allow to resist to any kind of weapon barehanded or armed. The system should stand strictly on scientific base. In this case martial art traditions do not approach as it is not a science.

Oppositely preferences of person that are put in science, will have an inevitable defeat. For this reason there is nothing worse than a favourite set of “tricks” and own idea of a martial art system. A strong scientific foundation which will allow to solve such problems in modern conditions is necessary. In the Middle Ages Pacheco fought against ignorance. He said: “It is very important to know Destreza and feints which commoners can apply against you and also tricks which are used in fencing”.

It turns out that similar sets of methods are straightforward and primitive. And for this reason till XV-XVI centuries science of how to be victorious with weapons was not a public property. Nobody wanted to share science of fencing as it gave the power over people. And when Don Jeronimo Sanchez de Carranza, Don Luis Pacheco de Narvaes and Gerard Thibault began to use scientific approach in martial arts, there were two types of discontents. Some stated: “Why to write these books that people will not understand!”. Others said: “However we do not understand a thing that is written in these books. Why its need to write? What is difficult here? Giving ten tricks to people and they will be able to win and it is quite enough”.

Therefore when person collects a set of methods and at the same time he do not have fundamental scientific preparation, the real fighting experience, he does not study everything from the scientific point of view, he will not be able to estimate this enrollment. And it, in turn, will allow to contrive only with a quantity of tasks. But the person will not be able to estimate whether this set will be suitable for the solution of the following situation. Therefore if people attend some school and are fascinated by some type of fencing, it is necessary to understand that it only a hobby – no more.

It is necessary to remember that war is an art, science, psychology, neurophysiology, biomechanics, geometry and a variety of other sciences. And all this meets in one point. Most of people, unfortunately, don’t understand it. If the person don’t know this science, whatever, what he do – boxing, fight or the mixed martial arts. The person who does not understand that he does and just looks for and collects “tricks”, will never learn to fight in duels seen in of absence at him the fundamental understanding about what is correct and what is not.

In this chapter Pacheco De Narvaez writes that everything begins with work of legs. He says: “In Destreza the wall is the force of defense of the person. Cement of it are legs, and its are a fundamental basis in which there should not be any defect”. If people will watch video on the Internet, then they will see that the majority of technical elements are shown without the movement: people just begin to work some actions on the place. And all the problem, as Pacheco said, “in the bible czar Nebuchadnezzar who had legs from clay, and the head from gold. He was very clever, but on the loamy legs. As a result this “spike on clay feet” was scattered”.

It is not so interesting to be engaged in work as legs as to copy various “tricks” from other people. There is also other form of exaltation – to take, for example, two rubber knives and to suffer endurance of each other. Such video materials is enough on the Internet too.

It is necessary to remember an important condition: if the person have a problem with legs, he can not move in fight, he do not know how to do it, then the technics and all the rest is absolutely useless for the person because he lean on “a clay basis” and “is scattered” in the first seconds of fight. Therefore Pacheco writes that “the clay basis does buildings fragile”.

It turns out that the person does not realize what is going on, and does not know at whom it is possible to study. Lack of understanding about proportions of the person, his biomechanic, neurophysiology, psychology in fight, a critical limit, the amendment on weapon, etc. In accordance to all actions and skills are formed, on the basis of repetition of someone. It is even worse when he begin to do some drills (the exercise consisting of periodically repeating technics), without understanding for what are necessary, in what their nature, from where its have appeared and why in general need to do it. At such approach he will never be able to understand how it is correct to do exercises, and all your trainings will be waste of his time.

For example, it is wrong to consider that Filipino martial arts consist of fight by sticks. A stick is that repeat bladed weapon, it is the constrained needs when except a stick there is nothing any more at hand. And when that understanding is absent – it is sad.

Disarmament is the very high level of skill. Until the person have learned steadily to win against one opponent, these should not be engaged.

Sum up the result. What did Pacheco de Narvaez want to inform us in this chapter of the treatise? People, who practice Escrima, are training to fight against fear. And the people imparting Destreza’s knowledge learn to win against any opponent in any situation. Therefore the person who is engaged in Destreza can collect any set of skills which considers it necessary, either to complement these skills or to alter i when he wants to make it. And all because he has a scientifically based understanding how it goes on.

Commoners, in turn, just take a backpack and put there that has got. As a result turn out to be grim cocktail of skills. Such skill will work or not, nobody knows, even the one who owns it and trains other people. The person deprived of an opportunity to think independently can not be responsible for anything. And if he is uneducated, then he can not think as he declare others ideas for the fact that to him allow to be a part of some group.

Hope that such available interpretation of this chapter will force to think of many things. Possibly some consider that if to produce delusions, it will secure society. But what approach to apply, it is up to each person to choose. For the actions of person and his victories and defeats, only he is necessary to answer.

Author: Oleg Starinov