- Act in contratempo. This does take an understanding of measure as well, because if the tempo you're trying to act in is too short for the measure that you're at, bad things. On the other hand, if it's too short to strike in the measure you're at, try to use it to get closer while finding their blade.
- Measure. If you're striking without acting in contratempo while in misura larga, it's not going to work. It just won't - they can always back up, and you're out of luck. Heck, if they're really good and you're at the edge of that range, they just lean back. (If they're really good, they end up attacking you in contratempo because you're closing range when you make that attack, so if they close that line you've just killed yourself. Don't do that to yourself, do that to the other person instead.)
- Combining the above two points - if you're in misura larga and you're given a tempo, you're almost always better off using that tempo to find their blade while (safely!) closing to misura stretta. Now you're good to go.
- If they're not giving you a tempo, make them give you one. Feint and force a reaction. (If they don't react, hit them anyway.) When they react, it should be something that you were set up for, and then kill them.
- No blade contact - at least not like 95% of everyone in the SCA does it.
- Keep your debole free! Put your forte and hilt on their weapon! Win!
There you go. That's Fabris. Those are all things from the first four plates, and those are the key principles. The end.
In the next day or two, I'll post a summary of the next plate, which is pretty different from the first four, and is one of my very favorite wounds. Seriously, it's pretty great.