Yes, I’ve been remiss in posting – apologies. I profited from an extended vacation, followed by being pounded with work. And frankly, updating the blog is just more work, so I’m not always in the mood to organise my thoughts and get them down. That said, I’m back, so let’s get this going!
This was our first fundamentals class of the new semester, so with some fresh faces, I thought it best to go over some fundamental longsword and footwork. I introduced (or reviewed, depending on your viewpoint) several guards, beginning with Posta di Donna. We then did some half cuts (without stepping, making sure the hips were engaged when cutting) to posta longa, introducing our second guard. The drill was simple: posta di donna to posta longa, reset, repeat.
The next exercise was full cuts, again, without stepping. This takes the new student(unbeknownst to him at this point) through a few poste, (tutta porta di ferro, posta di coda longa) bringing the sword back up and around to posta di donna. Having done this a few times, the volta stabile was introduced, and the drill repeated by transferring to a forward-weighted stance when cutting, and performing the volta stabile in recovery.
The last cutting drill was the addition of the passing step when performing a fendente. Students performed colpi fendente from both sides.
Two more guards were then introduced – our fundamental guard, tutta porta di ferro, and posta frontale. Tutta porta di ferro was introduced as a start point for defences using posta frontale. The first exercise consisted of a frontale collection of an incoming fendente mandritto by rising into the cut from below, guiding the sword along your blade, and collecting it with your guard. No follow-up options were explored at this point, the goal being to perfect the mechanic of the collection, work on cuts and proper form for posta frontale. Salient points are to keep the elbows tucked in, the point slightly forward and forming a ramp towards your outside, effectively letting the blade incoming blade slide harmlessly away (in an “A” shape), with your blade slightly turned into the attack, and get the point online quickly as you rise into the defence
The second defensive drill involved a deflection using posta frontale. Rather than rise *up* into the attack from below, A quick beat or “impulse” is given to the incoming blade, to send it away. If this beat fails, the defender should remain safe behind the guard, having collected the sword on his hilt.
Next week will continue in this vein, while we look at more options from posta frontale.