Sunday, January 23, 2011

First Sunday Class

After a number of schedule changes over the past few months, we've finally settled on Sunday afternoons for the Italian rapier class. All in all, I think it went very well, and I hope in the coming weeks we can make it even more efficient, which will allow us to accomplish more in less time. Specifically, once everyone learns the basic drills (which I described in the previous post), we can save lots of time by moving from one to the other immediately.

Everyone did remarkably well today, and aside from a few scrapes and bruises, we all made it out alive. I already mentioned a few issues that came up today after class, but it would be useful to repeat some of them here, as everyone was doing one or more of these at some point during class.

1. Overextending on the lunge: this can manifest itself as rolling onto the left ankle (which will ultimately lead to the destruction of that ankle), coming up onto the ball of the left foot (which hides your true measure), or sliding the rear foot as you attack (which also gives you a false sense of measure).
2. "The sinking lunge": this is related to the first one, but with a different physical manifestation. While it may seem like a good idea to lunge low to gain more distance, you are committing two major errors: a) your vita is not moving in a straight line, so it is not the most efficient movement, and b) you are abandoning any leverage advantage you might have had; in other words, you are giving your debole to your opponent.
3. Circling: Capoferro strongly discourages the practice (see "On those who circle", in the second part of his book), as it is not particularly useful for someone standing the Italian guard, nor does it allow for most of the defenses that we practice.
4. Over-reliance on cutting: while I am entirely guilty of cutting on a regular basis, the rapier is optimized for thrusting, with cuts coming in only if the point is no longer of any use.

We'll work on some of these issues tomorrow during drill time.

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