Friday, March 4, 2011

Review of Wednesday's material: Destreza

In our ever-continuing quest for being competent at many different things, we spent Wednesday night reviewing the Spanish material we touched on last week, and added a whole new batch of concepts and actions to the mix, culminating in some very nice free fencing, in spite of everyone's exhaustion. I'd like to review some of the key concepts that we covered, and I hope to expand upon some of the previous definitions and explanations given. I will give Italian equivalents where possible.

1) the four hand positions: uñas afuera (nails out - prima), uñas abajo (nails down - seconda), uñas adentro (nails in - terza), uñas arriba (nails up - quarta).
2) the five attacks: medio tajo (half cut - mandritto sgualimbro), medio revés (half reverse - riverso sgualimbro), tajo (cut - mandritto tondo), revés (reverse - riverso tondo) and estocada (thrust - stoccata).
3) atajo - this approximately means "gaining the sword" or "guadagnare", in Italian. Essentially, A pre-parries B's attack by placing his sword over B's (more of A's strong on more of B's weak?), and consequently forces B to make more actions or movements in order to strike A. This should be accompanied by the appropriate footwork.
4) Movimientos (movements - no true equivalent in Italian). There are six in Spanish, which can be combined in various ways: natural (natural, or downward), violento (violent, or upward), accidental (accidental, or forward), extraño (strange, or backward), de remiso (lateral, away from centreline), de reducción (lateral, toward the centreline). An estocada is formed of only one movement - accidental - whereas a cut can be made of up to three.
5) compases (footwork). There are essentially three types: linear (forward, backward, lateral), circular (along the circle), and angular (into the circle).
6) desvio (derailment). This involves parrying the opponent's attack by stepping offline, turning the true edge (in all but the lower outside line, where the false edge could work), striking the opponent at the same time. This is analogous to the "waiting" counters in Italian rapier, i.e. I wait until my opponent attacks to counter him.
7) transport (need to find the Spanish term form for this...). Following an atajo, I move my opponent's blade to the opposite quandrant, e.g. from high inside to low outside, low inside to high outside, etc.
8) cambio de atajo (literally, change of atajo, analogous to a cavazione).
9) expulsion (again, need to find the Spanish term). Instead of sticking to the opponent's blade following a transport, the blade is driven far offline with a push through the weapon.

We did pretty good looking at and applying these actions at the end of the night. I hope to increase the difficulty a little bit for next time, and add some more actions to the mix.

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