Companion class 07/02/2011

Tonight’s class was focused exclusively on posta di finestra and fighting from and against it.

In our group, posta di finestra (PF) is very underutilised.  This is partly because of its nature and partly because I personally don’t really like to fight from it.  I decided to address that, however, and not put my preferences ahead of good pedagogy by showing the inherent tactical uses of the guard.

In short, it is a point-on guard, with the same inherent properties as posta longa.  Like its cousin, it is an instabile guard.  It cannot withstand a bind or much pressure, but rather than being a weakness, we can harness this.  It provides a threat that the opponent must deal with, precisely as longa  does.  Its problem is its un-intuitive nature and the difficulty people have transitioning to and from it, either by cutting or thrusting.

First drill: Cut from PF into longa from a back-weighted stance.  Remember to uncoil the hips first and propel the weapon before stepping into measure.

2. Cut from a rear stance, volta stabile with a half-cut into posta breve, then thrust with an acressere, returning to a back-weighted stance.

3. Same drill as above, but retreating. Sequence of movements is slightly changed.  Close the hip while stepping back, all while transitioning to posta breve.  Thrust.

4. Partners face one another in posta finestra, back weighted.  One cuts fendente while the other covers before counter-thrusting, first master style.

5. Partners face one another.  Companion thrusts from porta di ferro mezana and the Player covers from finestra, using the scambiar di punta.

6. Same as above, but using the rompere di punta.

7. Repeat drills 4-6 above, but stepping back.

8. Using finestra as a provocation, Companion must try to move point aside.  Like longa, drop point underneath incoming attack and counter by:

  1. covering the sword and thrusting, scambiar style.
  2. Covering the sword, transporting to the ground, rompere style.
  3. Void the sword and cut to the hands.
  4. Void the sword and cut to the head.
  5. Void and thrust directly behind the attack from finestra.
The drill was done going from right finestra to left side, then was repeated as a free-form drill as an exploration.  The results are in: The cover a la scambiar works poorly on the right, due to the crossed hands and poor structure – perfectly in keeping with the principles of the system.  Cool how that works out.
Last bit was an explanation of how to break the guard through positioning (adoption of a counter guard) and tactics (attempt to bind the blade down, step wide and cut to the hands, avoid closing distance without having dealt with the point and of course, forcing the opponent to move out of the guard, thereby “breaking” it.)
Ended with a little colpi di villano drill from a bind against finestra with the Companion providing pressure.  This is what happens if you fail to decieve his attack by voiding the point.
Next week: breaking the guards.