Companion Class notes 29/06/09 & 06/07/09

I’ve been remiss in posting – sorry. Free time is at a premium of late…

These two classes we varied things a bit and practised our single sword (or rather sword in one hand) interpretations, from the bottom up. I’ve been working on the primer, trying to incorporate spada a una mano work into our curriculum, and wanted to pressure test some of the stuff.

I’ve been using Fiore as a base, but filling in holes (and there are many, IMO) with some Bolognese wisdom. I use Fiore’s principles and nomenclature, and adapt some of what is done in the many varied and sundry Bolognese manuscripts for good measure. Most of it comes from Manciolino and Viggiani (whose system is remarkably similar to Fiore’s with its use of the “universal parry”).

So, without further ado:

We practiced basic cuts and forms – first using passing footwork, then lead-foot, lead-hand. Tramazzone cuts followed as well as moulinet drills.

This was followed by working the covers:

  • Falso cover under the sword (i.e. from dente di zenghiar under a fendente mandritto), it is noted that if timing and measure aren’t exactly right, you pull the sword into your own face.
  • Transverse falso cover – from porta di ferro to posta di donna (actually more posta frontale, to avoid opening yourself up too much) versus fendente mandritto and roverso.
  • True edge cover – using posta breve to cover using the forte.
  • Pivoting drill. Stand in posta breve, stay behind the sword simply by pivoting left or right on the front foot while the Companion cuts fendente to the Player.
  • Parrying from posta di coda longa senestra – covers versus all the cuts.
  • Parry and follow-up (carry over to an overbind on the right)
  • Parry and control the hand.

There was also the solo form, a series of movements incorporating the key cuts guards and footwork of the system. After about three run-throughs, it came naturally to most and they needed no more prompting. Good job guys!

Next week we will practice more entry techniques and look more specifically at Fiore’s plays of the sword in one hand.