I’ve been thinking alot lately about bridging the gap between drill and free play. Many of my students can do the drills quite well. Very few are actually fighters. Technique goes out the window when under pressure. Things go all tippy-tappy, people try to hit from out of measure, defences and plays go to shite… not pretty.

How do we deal with this?

Well, I’ve a few thoughts, none of them particularly revolutionary, but I thought I’d lay it out here for posterity. Some things we can do:

  • Gradually increase the number of options available in a drill, until it becomes a form of structured loose play. (Decision-making drills)
  • Do some free play, but with limited options: i.e. you can only cut fendente, or you can only thrust, etc. Introduce more options to increase difficulty.
  • Slow free play. Yes, you heard me. Slow it down to 1/4 speed. While not a realistic fight, it gives one the chance to think about their next option – something you don’t have time to do at speed, but until these things become ingrained, it’s an option. These fine chaps:, whom I’ve had the pleasure of discoursing with some, seem to be experiencing exactly the same problems we are in this regard. And I mean exactly. I could have written that post. So thanks, we know we’re not alone! 🙂
  • Flow drills. and then more flow drills.
  • I’m also going to use the Drills Guy Windsor has developed for his school and so kindly put on youtube and his site for the community to use. I think they’re well structured and teach the principles and techniques quite well. Wish I’d’ve thought of it. 😉

As my last post likely demonstrated, we need some work in the wrestling arena as well. Well, I’m going to shamelessly rip off something else from our friends above, in this drill:

And one last thing that is of major import to the Fiore community: Tomasso Leoni will be publishing in the next few days a full English translation of the Getty manuscript. It has been reviewed by Greg Mele and Sean Hayes, and will be available shortly on the Seven Hearts website. While it will definitely be useful for us, it will be invaluable to the community as a whole, and will allow greater access to the material for other groups not lucky enough to have a Latin-based mother tongue! In short, thank you Tom, Greg and Sean. The community is once again indebted to you.