Class began with a simple warm-up, followed by some cutting exercises. Students were asked to traverse the room and cut using Meyer’s cutting diagram – the entire sequence – whereas formerly, they learned it in increments, one part at a time.
To add to the diversion, students were asked to tailor the drill to their skill level, and gradually work up. For beginning students, a simple version of the drill was adopted – fendente, sottani roverso, sottani dritto, fendente roverso. Slightly more advanced students could add a slight flourish to the drill at the end of cutting lines, using what is basically a preparation. Cuts thus became more fluid from one guard to the next. Finally, those feeling up to the task were asked to do the drill using double cuts: first falso, then dritto. The sequence then becomes: falso fendente mandritto, fendente mandritto, falso sottani roverso, dritto sottani roverso, etc. This proved an adequate challenge, and an excellent entry to the class.
Finally, timing of cuts was worked on – landing the foot and the cut at or near the same time.
The rest of the class was spent on thrusts – all five thrusting angles were visited, and students drilled starting thrusts from different poste.
Following this, students practised a simple defence against a thrust: a beat. The goal was to harness an instinctive flinch reaction many have, and hone it martially by enhancing its mechanics. Defeating the beat came next, with a simple dip of the point (cavazione) to finish your thrust to the other side of your partner’s blade.
We ended with the rompere di punta from four quadrants, as a means of securing the opposing blade and enhancing your safety.
Next week will see more thrusts, drills against resisting opponents and maximising your thrust’s stability.