A quick warm up was followed by some drills with several objectives: gain fluidity in cutting, practise grip fluidity and footwork, specifically the acressere. To this end, outside moulinets were done while advancing across the room, with said moulinets being done on the side of the lead leg. Beginners invariably focus on the cuts, while more advanced practitioners hone their form while I observe their footwork.
Following this, a review of last week’s class was done – working the rompere di punta (breaking the thrust), its follow-up, possible counter, and counter to this counter.
The goal after this was to practise at speed, while newcomers practised the poste dance, then move into the scambiar di punta and its follow-on play (and possible counters) before learning a new drill based on the poste dance, but with common actions from each guard inserted into the sequence. My ambition was greater than the time allotment, so we moved straight to the modified poste dance.
This version seeks to reunite three things: the twelve poste sequence from the Getty manuscript, common actions from each as described in the manuscript, and varying footwork designed to work both footwork and spatial awareness.
After initially being gung-ho and aspiring to make it through the entire drill, I quickly realised I was being a dweeb, and scaled it back to the first three guards and actions. They are found below.
- Begin in tutta porta di ferro (TPdF). Acressere slightly off the line while covering a thrust in a low frontale. Perform a mezza volta (oblique pass, more of a shuffle in this case) while performing the rompere di punta (break the thrust to the ground). This is the rompere di punta, a primary action from TPdF.
- Look left, and raise your sword into a back weighted posta di donna (PdD). This rising action can also be the return cut form the rompere, ending in PdD. This is a change of direction of intent. Pivot forward and acressere slightly off the line with the front foot, cutting short to parry. Extend the arms into a thrust and pass forward. This is the Second remedy of longsword (giocco largo).
- Once again, look left and raise the sword, turning it around its point of balance, into a back-weighted posta di finestra (PdF). Pivot forward with a slight oblique acressere and cover an imagined incoming thrust in a low posta frontale (PF) Extend the hands down and slightly out, keeping them low, and direct the point into an imagined throat with a pass forward with the right foot. This is the scambiar di punta, or exchange of the thrust.
That ended the practised sequence. Next week, we will continue our progression with the next three poste in the series: Posta di donna la sinestra (PdDS), Posta longa (PL) and Porta di ferro mezana (PdFM), with a simple cut, cavazione and ribbon cut respectively. Stay tuned.