Our fencer is standing on the quadrangle AC. Across from him is his opponent standing on quadrangle ZX. Thibault considers this to be the First Instance or the widest range that they may hit each other in middle time. These are shown in yellow.
A note on scale. The sword, from quillon to point, has a length of 12 units.
The arm, being proportionate to the body and thus the sword, has a length of 8. After subtracting 1 for the fingers, this gives an fully extended reach of 19 units.
The circle itself is 24 units across, which means that reaching your opponent from the First Instance requires lengthening your reach by 5 units or just over half an arm. Since your opponent may hold his body somewhat back, you’ll need to gain a bit more using an increase of the forward foot.
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