Friday, January 21, 2011

Italian rapier drills

This post will primarily be of interest for those who come to the drills only session on Monday nights, but is useful for anyone who comes to rapier class, either at FAC or at UofT. I've been thinking of ways to make our training more efficient for two reasons: 1) I don't have any time to waste (and this is quite literal), and 2) If we already know the drills and are familiar with them, we can skip the often-long demonstrations of each drill, which means more fencing time. As we gain more experience and become level 2 or 3 fencers (with a +1 bonus to attack and defend), we can modify/upgrade or even replace some of the drills listed below; but as of now, here they are:

1) Thrusting: 15 thrusts at misura stretta, 12 lunges at misura larga, and 10 passate at misura larghissima.
2) Footwork: leader/follower drill with frequent role changes.
3) Tessitura*: 20 continuous attacks against a cooperative partner in various hand positions and various ranges.
4) Basic approaching drills, aka "The Spiral drill": beginning from out of measure, approach and strike the opponent using cavazione only, opposition only, and a combination of the two.
5) Cavazione di tempo drill: during the agent's step to misura larga, the patient will perform a cavazione and lunge, striking the agent before his foot lands.
6) The rock defense drills, aka "The counter-Spiral drill": if the agent attacks with a cavazione, counter with an opposition; if the agent attacks with an opposition, counter with a cavazione (with or without a piegatura di vita); alternatively, counter with a scanso della vita on either side.
7) False attack drill: knowing that the patient will defend, the agent will do a false attack to draw out the defense, and follow on with an appropriate second attack (under the sword, transport, cut, etc.)
8) Attacker/defender: application of all the previous drills in a restricted game.

*Literally, this term means "weaving", which resembles the interplay between the swords. I can't explain it in words, so I'll get some video on Sunday and put it up.

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