Companion class – 13/06

Tonight was a grab-bag of stuff. I began with exploring the first master of largo parry as a false-edge deflection, which in my mind seemed to take care of the angle that the swords meet, as seen in the MS. It’s also consistent with the Bolognese and Fiore’s own rising parry or rebatter, which should be done with the foible of the blade. It worked well consistently, but frankly, I’m still not convinced. And if I can’t convince myself of my own cockamamie theories, then it’s gotta be wrong…

Next up on the roster was continuing to deal with the aggressive attacker. Since this is a Companion class, we took the stretto route to dealing with it, but first – a lesson from master Fiore. In the largo section, we see our Players bound at the hilts. The scholar is bearing down and hoofing the Player in the ‘nads. While this is generally interpreted as crossing at the mezza, then sliding towards the tutta as you move in for the kick, I thought it was worthy of exploration, since there is a lesson here. When bound in the manner Fiore shows, the hands go high as a general rule. Look at it. See that? Good. This enables the kick to the ‘nads. What’s the lesson? Simple. If the high line is closed, take the low line.

We see it in the stretto as well – Fiore pushing the hands high and sneaking under for a grapple. It’s first alluded to here, though. Our exploration was centered on using the kick as a counter, rather than as a remedy scholar. When the attacker presses in, stepping deeply, raise the leg and hoof him, following up with dropping your sword on his skull. It takes some skill and timing, and sometimes even coupled with a step offline, but adheres nicely to the principle outlined above. We practiced with push-kicks for, well, the sake of our nads, but in practice you’d be aiming for his nuts. A knee also works well – also illustrated by our friend and master. Fiore dei Liberi. so, while not strictly canonical (in the sense it’s used in defence rather than offence), it works quite nicely, and was done antagonistically versus the big man himself: me. A couple of those kicks hurt, actually…

Another situation we examined was closing to the hilts and the opponent grabs the sword. Taking the low line, step to the outside and check his hand/elbow. Follow up as appropriate.

Last thing we explored was the follow-up (or counter to…) the scambiar di punta. This is also the very first play of stretto, or at least similar enough to it. This play works well against an aggressive player who keeps his hands low. Can’t take the low line? Go high, over the swords and check his hand as you gak him in the face. Who comes up with this poetry?!

Slated for practice, time permitting, was a return to other stretto plays: outside wrap, inside wrap, pommel strikes (single and double – single if sword is held, same principle), and disarms (high, middle, low.) We didn’t get to them, but there’s always next week.