Apprentice Class 12/05/10

We begun class with a few cutting drills.  Cuts from various poste to posta longa.  Full cuts through posta longa to its opposite posta.  We also specifically worked with posta di finestra again, working fendente, mezani and sottani from this guard, followed by thrusts in an alternating and descending drill.  posta di finestra both sides, posta breve, tutta porta di ferro and finally dente di cinghiale.

This was followed by a simple drill using a countercut versus fendente using a fendente while voiding off line to the right.  A countercut using mezani followed, illustrating the principle of the parry as a crossing of the swords.

After the break, we moved inside and worked with thrusts, since our space was limited to swing swords around.  The first drill involved thrusting from porta di ferro mezana to which a frontale parry was used, giving it a slight tap to set it aside.  Not quite the exchange of the thrust, but not far – the point is held more vertical in this case.  Follow up with a thrust of your own.  The next step involved setting aside the counterthrust with rebatter to the left, returning with a thrust of your own.  The focus was on clean, tight blade actions and not large, gross motions.

The next set of drills involved the breaking of the thrust, cutting up “under the beard” as Fiore advises.  To counter this, perform an inverted parry to which the attacker responds by closing to half sword, putting pressure on the hands to control them and thrusting to the opponent.  To avoid this (and timing is everything), close to strike with the pommel, regaining initiative.  The drill ends with the first remedy master of dagger to counter the pommel strike.

An alternate counter to the half-sword thrust was then introduced into the set-play drill.  This counter works using the principles of the punta corta whereby the defender counters the punta corta by moving into half-sword himself using a mezza volta, out-timing the adversary’s tutta volta of the blade.  When the Player closes to half-sword, release the grip with your dominant (right) hand after the inverted parry and grasp the blade, moving to half-sword.  From this position, as the opponent closes, carry his sword over to your left, thrusting at the half-sword as you do so, remembering to apply pressure to control his arms and prevent a counter.