We’ve been working diligently on giocco stretto for the past several weeks, beginning with identifying entry points, and practising safe entries. Explained were the entry points that give way to the various techniques, and these turn out to be largely the same as with the largo techniques, in that you can divide entry points into quadrants (high, low, left, right) and use this positional information as a guide or waypoint in choosing the appropriate technique (much like guards or poste are waypoints for applying technique and tactical decisions).
The first order of business was sensitivity drills, starting from the bind. From mezza spada, both players move about, one following the other. The player following then takes a cue from his partner to attempt the proper, given entry.
This drill then expands out into different versions – the attacker attempts to force the entry he wants, from the bind, then from wide measure. This expands further into second intention entries – the attacker attempts an entry, the defender may or may not react, and the attacker must choose the proper entry point.
We then looked at the canonical plays, in order. First play (inside low), second play (outside, long) and its alternate, third play (inside short) and its alternate – the fourth play, and the fifth play (inside or neutral high) and sixth (same play as previous, wider measure).
Our exploration of the canonical stretto plays will continue, after which we’ll be looking at how these tie into the a cavallo plays, and counters taken from the daga section.