Tonight’s class was the last in the series of classes dealing with frontale defences and introduction to fendente cuts. Class began with a series of cutting exercises, with and without stepping, and a combination cutting exercise that proved somewhat more challenging – it shall be repeated! It’s a very simple drill, but presents some footwork challenges for some, while for others the bladework was problematic. I present it here for posterity:
- Begin in posta di donna destra
- Cut fendente with a traversing pass to the right, ending in posta longa
- From posta longa, break to the inside and effect a stramazzone (breaking the sword to the left) to cut a full fendente mandritto again. Accompany this second cut with a second step offline with the leading foot (an acressere), finally compassing around to realign yourself with your target.
- Let your cut flow through and recover to posta di donna senestra.
- Repeat the exercise from the left, performing a molinello (breaking the sword to the right) in place of a stramazzone. The goal is to always break to the inside with your second cut.
We followed once again with some collection and deflection work to reinforce and review the previous weeks’ classes, before introducing posta frontale on the right. Proper structure was illustrated (align the bones in the arm with the blade, tuck in the elbows to the body to support the sword, use the dritto filo (true edge)to catch and guide the sword to the hilt), and a posta frontale collection on the right was illustrated and practised. The expulsion of the blade with this variant leaves the Companion with his arms crossed and in a generally vulnerable position.
Finally, the deflection from below (dente di cinghiale) was introduced, since the end position for the rebat (beat) is posta frontale. This drill also simultaneously introduced dente di cinghiale to our newcomers (albeit somewhat informally) as well as the short colpo sottano to deflect the blade from underneath. Newer students were to focus on form, and thus refrain from stepping to concentrate on the cover, while advanced students were invited to step off the line (fora di strada.)
Next week we’ll see some of the fundamental dagger plays and work on falling with regards to specific takedowns.