“I am the axe, heavy, cruel and lethal, and I deliver bigger blows than any other handheld weapon. “ - Maestro d’Arme Fiore dei Liberi, Il Fior di Battaglia, 1410 (translation Tom Leoni)
While the axe is indeed heavy, it’s not merely the weight of the weapon that is both cruel and lethal: it’s how the blow is struck. Fiore’s Armizare is founded on a system of mechanics that engages the whole body into a strike, a defense, a grapple or a throw. This example, taken from class on August 31 2015, demonstrates the integrated nature of the body mechanics, and their use of True Times (as defined by George Silver in 1599, but found in all martial arts) to both power the blow and deliver it in a martially correct manner, with the weapon leading, thus providing both threat to the opponent and cover to the attacker during the attack.
Note the use of the hips, legs and core to drive the blow. The hands begin the movement of the weapon, as the left arm drives forward (not up) and the right arm pulls back, the hips join in and support the action, as the hips turn and the rear foot lifts, the step naturally occurs, and the weapon lands on target driven by the entire composed force of the body. At the end of the action the body is balanced and immediately ready to move again.
More examples can be seen in this post:
I will also be publishing different examples, using sword, dagger, and grappling, both with and without partner demonstrations.