All posts by Richard

The False Edge Attack From Coda Lunga Alta

Introduction

Tonight we continued our look at the actions out of Coda Lunga Alta, this time looking at the second most common opening action – the falso. There are 3 possible types of falso that can be thrown from Coda Lunga Alta, which are the falso dritto, the montante, and the falso manco that ends in Guardia di Faccia.

Falso Dritto Actions

The falso dritto actions are really a rising falso that passes partially into Sopra il Braccio. Rather than fully completing the transition into Sopra il Braccio with the sword hand crossing the buckler near the elbow, it only actually crosses near the wrist of the buckler arm.The first action shows us how it can be used to directly attack our opponent's sword hand, which can be reached if the fencers are at wide distance, even though we would have to pass to actually hit the head or body. The second action again uses this rising falso action, but instead is more gainfully employed as a back edge beat against the opponent's sword, which we can then turn into a mandritto to the opened target. The sword movement is best visualised as a path tracing a cone, with the apex centered on the sword hand. Whilst it's possible to still attack the sword hand, the falso has a tendency to catch on the opponent's sword furniture if they respond to the attack and thereby nullifying the posibility of making the redoubled mandritto. This doesn't occur if we attack their sword instead. The final action builds on this but teaches us to use the mandritto feint and riverso, which we can employ against faster or more experienced fencers who are capable of parrying the redoubled mandritto.

Offensive Action Using Falso
Throw a rising falso to the sword hand without moving your feet.
(Manciolino Libro 4, Capitolo 10)

Offensive Combination Using Falso And Mandritto
Pass right throwing a falso on the right step and a mandritto on the left step.
(Manciolino Libro 1, Capitolo 19)

Offensive Combination Using Falso, Mandritto Feint & Riverso
Pass right throwing a falso on the right step and a mandritto feint but hitting with a riverso on the left step.
(Manciolino Libro 1, Capitolo 19)

Montante Actions

The montante is a directly ascending false edge cut. Used from Coda Lunga Alta it really acts as a big clearing action, setting us  to follow with a powerful offensive action. The second drill teaches us the safest way to redouble from Guardia Alta, with the tramazzone. The descending false edge turn that starts the tramazzone can create either a powerful intimidating imbroccata-like thrust creating hesitation in our opponent, or deliver a ready made sweeping false edge parry outside our buckler arm. It helps when bringing the hand up to Guardia Alta on the first part to start turning the true edge behind us once we've cleared our opponent's furniture, before we completely enter Guardia Alta. This really accelerates the redouble action with the tramazzone.

Offensive Action Using Montante
Pass forward with your right foot, throwing a montante that goes into Guardia Alta, and then withdraw your right foot near to your left, and you will have furnished the play.
(Manciolino Libro 2, 3rd Assault)

Offensive Combination Using Montante & Tramazzone
Pass right and throw a montante that ends in Guardia Alta on the right step, and a tramazzone that ends in Porta di Ferro Larga on the left step.
(Manciolino Libro 2, 2nd Assault)

Falso into Guardia di Faccia

The falso extension into Guardia di Faccia clears the opponent's sword towards our outside, and pushing it across the face of our opponent. The extension should be more like we are pushing a thrust than as a false edge beat. This thrusting type extension gives us a powerful pressure deflection as we end up pushing our forte onto the opponent's debole, similar to the one we gain the sword in Italian rapier. We get a large lever arm with which to push their sword out of the way. This really pushes them into a position where the only way they can feel safe is to roll their sword hand into Guardia d'Alicorno, which we strongly encourage with our riverso feint. This feint then leaves the opponent's left flank or leg as a vulnerable target within easy reach of our mandritto. The pushing action also sets us up for the riverso feint, which becomes very difficult if we do the extension as a fals edge beat as we have overcommitted the falso action, and placed us in a poor biomechanical position for throwing the riverso feint. Credit goes to Gavin Fuller for noticing the deficiencies of the falso beat action vs the extension with sword pressure. (I never did the action as a beat, so I didn't notice the biomechanical problems it created.)

Offensive Combination Using Falso, Riverso Feint & Mandritto
Pass forward with your right foot, throwing a rising falso that ends in Guardia di Faccia. Immediately redouble with a riverso feint to this right temple, but strike his forward leg with a mandritto that ends in Sotto il Braccio, guarding your head with the buckler.
(Manciolino Libro 2, 3rd Assault)

 

The Bolognese Thrust Provocation from Coda Lunga Alta

We've spent the previous couple of weeks looking at attacking safely out of Porta di Ferro Stretta in sword and buckler and sword alone. Tonight (10 July 2016) we started looking at attacking safely out of Coda Lunga Alta. Where Porta di Ferro Stretta is our primary guardia with the sword foot forward, Coda Lunga Alta fills the same role when the buckler foot is forward.

A properly formed Coda Lunga Alta Guard should close the inside line with the buckler, and the outside line with the sword. As such it also has a very strong conterattacking potential, such that we have attack it with caution. Unlike Porta di Ferro Stretta, Coda Lunga Alta is already primed to deliver a strong cut and a strong thrust. For this reason the dominant attack out of Coda Lunga Alta is the thrust, which we use primarily as a provocation to draw a parry, allowing us to hit the now open line.

Offensive Combination Using Thrust And Riverso
From Coda Lunga Alta, pass right, throwing a thrust on the right step, and a riverso as the left foot comes behind.
(Libro 1, Capitolo 19)

This is the most obvious use of the thrust, which is to the inside line. This draws the parry to the inside, exposing the right side of the head and torso for the riverso. The thrust should be to the face, but don't allow the hand to drift too high (ie above the shoulder) otherwise the cut over action for the riverso has too much of the opponet's sword to avoid. Keeping the hand below the shoulder just requires the debole to avoid the opponent's parry, not the whole sword.

Offensive Combination Using Thrust And Mandritto
From Coda Lunga Alta, pass right, throwing a thrust on the right step, and a mandritto as the left foot comes behind.
(Libro 1, Capitolo 19)

The only real difference here is the line of the thrust, which is now to the outside of the opponent's sword. This draws a parry to the outside exposing the inside line to the redoubled attack. The mandritto typically is to the face or neck of the opponent.

Offensive Combination Using Slip, Thrust And Tramazzone
From Coda Lunga Alta, slip back the left foot, then pass right, throwing a thrust on the right step, and a tramazzone as the left foot comes behind.
(Libro 1, Capitolo 19)

The initial slip here creates an unstable position by bringing the feet into passo stretto. This instability allows us to accelerate the initial passing step, as well as lengthen the possible step we can make. It's useful for varying the speed and measure we use on our initial thrust. The thrust in this particular sequence can be to either the inside or outside of the opponent's sword. If it's to the outside the first part of the tramazzone allows us to pass under the opponent's sword using Guardia d'Alicorno as a transition position. If it's to the inside of the opponent's sword, the initial turn of the tramazzone clears the opponent's sword to out inside via the false edge beat.

In all of the three techniques above, it's vitally important that the provocation thrust is made close to the opponent's sword so that the only option they have is the parry. If we make our provocation thrust wide of their sword we typically won't provoke a parry, we will instead provoke a counterattack which at the very least will lead to a double hit, breaking rule one of any sensible fencing system! (Rule 1 = Don't Get Hit!) The idea of this provocation thrust is to move the opponent's sword of our choosing, removing their freedom of choice on where they should have their sword. This is the essence of rule 2 of any sensible fencing system, controlling the line or opponent's sword on the way in so that we can hit without being hit.

Spadone – Lesson 10

Lesson 10 – Reinforcing the Parry – Riposte response

This is a follow on of the most common error seen in the restricted bouting session at the end of Term 1, that being the delay in the riposte after a parry.

Warm ups

  • Attack and recover to Hanging Guard
  • Eight Cuts parry drill

Serpentines as Parry Riposte Partner Drill

  1. Paired drill, both starting in Right Guard, Point Behind
  2. Attacker steps in throwing mandritto to the head.
  3. Defender parries with Left Head Guard, and then ripostes with riverso to the head. This action makes the tip of the sword travel in an S-shape, and hence is called a serpentine.
  4. Repeat 5 times then switch roles.
  5. Repeat the sequence for riverso, rising mandritto and rising riverso with each blow being countered by serpentine parry riposte.

Note: The rising cut riposte is to the lower body.

Parry with Hanging Guard – Riposte with Thrust

  1. Paired drill, both starting in Right Guard, Point Behind.
  2. Attacker steps in throwing mandritto to the head.
  3. Defender parries with a rising mandritto to Hanging Guard on a traverse left with the left foot.
  4. Riposte with an imbroccata on the right step.
  5. Repeat 5 times each.
  6. Repeat from Left Guard, Point Behind throwing riversi.
  7. Repeat from start, this time the attacker parries the imbroccata with the defender taking the energy to turn a mollineto to the head.

Parry behind extended sword on a slip

  1. Paired drill, both starting in Left Head Guard.
  2. Attacker throws riverso to the head on a left step.
  3. Defender slips back the right foot, extending the point into Guardia di Croce. (Line closed to the right)
  4. Riposte with imbroccata on a right step forward.
  5. Repeat 5 times each.
  6. Repeat  from Right Head Guard, throwing mandritto and extending into Guardia di Faccia. (Line closed to the left)
  7. Repeat from start, this time the attacker parries the imbroccata with the defender taking the energy to turn a mollineto to the head.  

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Class Review 3 Feb 2016

Introduction

Second class back for Term 1 in 2016 at Stoccata Drummoyne, and I started introducing some new staples into the lessons. One of the biggest difficiencies I think we've had for the classes so far is lack of consistent practice of the basic foot work for each system. So for each system I've started to introduce a footwork form that we'll be practicing each week to cement this skill. I'm really happy with how the footwork forms were received, and after a couple of walk throughs I could see people becoming cleaner and more confident in their footwork. We'll keep doing these over the next couple of weeks, and hopefully people will learn them and we'll move through them at a much faster rate.

Bolognese Swordsmanship (Sword & Buckler)

We started with the Basic Bolognese Footwork Form, which I posted earlier today in all it's glory.

The rest of the class was then taken up with the introduction of the  Guardia di Faccia Clock Drill.

We worked through the specific attacks and defences for the attack by thrust and attack into the low inside line. We'll work through the rest over the coming weeks.

Italian Rapier (Single Rapier)

We started with the rapier footwork form developed by Guy Windsor's School or European Swordsmanship. The full details can be found on their curriculum wiki, which includes a video of Guy working through the form. We only did the first 3 steps of the form, but a lot of repetitions. We'll be building the rest of this form over the coming weeks.

We then worked through some basic lunging drills, laying the foundation for rapier and dagger work later this term with the introduction of offhand hand checks.

  1. Direct thrust in response to partners invitation, working the high inside and high outside lines.
  2. Thrust by gain and glide in response to partner's point in line, working the high inside and high outside lines.
  3. Thrust with hand check in response to partner's point in line.

The last drill is the new one, and unfortunately we only got to do the drill in the high inside line. The drill is as follows:

  1. Beginning in perfect measure, patient agent presents the point in line to the active agent's high inside line.
  2. The active agent first finds the sword in the back weighted stance, engaging the patient agent's sword by crossing debole over debole. (Point at the parrot on the patient agent's shoulder.)
  3. Once the sword is found, the active agent then translates the torso forward to gain the sword. As they do this the offhand is extended forward near the sword hand turning the off hand into 1st (palm to outside). This places the offhand palm onto the debole of the patient agent's sword, creating the hand check.
  4. The active agent then makes a direct thrust with a lunge, gliding down the flat of the patient agent's sword with their offhand maintaining the handcheck preventing the patient agent's cavazione. The patient agent takes the hit, after which the active agent recovers back to perfect measure.

Bolognese Clock Drill – Guardia di Faccia

This is the clock drill for Guardia di Faccia, which will cement the basic defensive options from this guardia.

Basic Clock Drill from Guardia di Faccia

Like all the clock drills we are covering the attacks into all the main quadrants fo the guard, and the basic sequence is as follows:

  1. Opponent attacks with a thrust
  2. Opponent attacks into the low inside line
  3. Opponent attacks into the high inside line
  4. Opponent attacks with a descending vertical attack
  5. Opponent attacks into the high outside line
  6. Opponent attacks into the low outside line

This is the first clock drill to incorporate the thrust as a separate attack to be countered, as the direct thrust becomes a very potent attack when both fencers are in Guardia di Faccia.

Defence Against The Attack With Thrust

  1. From Guardia di Faccia in passo stretto, attacker makes a direct thrust on a step forward
  2. From Guardia di Faccia in passo stretto, defender disengages under the attacker's sword whilst simultaneously making a traverse left with the left foot. As the right foot moves to the left, counterthrust to the face.
    (Right foot either traverses left or passes forward depending on how deep the attacker's step was.)
  3. Attacker takes the hit.
  4. Reset to the beginning.

Source: Manciolino Libro 1, Capitolo 8

Defence Against The Attack To The Low Inside Line

  1. From Guardia di Faccia in passo stretto, the attacker throws falso dritto to the defender's sword (back beat) to take the tip offline. Whilst the tip is offline they immediately step foward throwing either a thrust in the high inside line or a mandritto to the face.
  2. From Guardia di Faccia in passo stretto, when the defender feels the inital contact of the back beat, they turn their sword hand into second (palm down) to remain secure. The riposte can either be a direct thrust to the face, or if they make a retreating step on the hand turn a direct thrust to the sword hand.

Source: Manciolino Libro 1, Capitolo 8

Defence Against The Attack To The High Inside Line

  1. From Guardia di Faccia in passo stretto, the attacker lifts their sword hand into Guardia di Testa, and them throws a strong mandritto to the face on a pass right.
  2. From Guardia di Faccia in passo stretto, when the defender sees the attacker lift their hand to cut mandritto, stifle the blow with a thrust to the sword hand.

Source: Manciolino Libro 1, Capitolo 8

Defence Against The Vertical Descending Attack

  1. From Guardia di Faccia in passo stretto, the attacker turns their sword hand over their buckler arm to throw tramazzone, and as the sword comes forward hits to the top of the head.
  2. From Guardia di Faccia in passo stretto, the defender parries the tramazzone with a falso that turns that well toward the attacker's left side, which will also give him the edge in the face.

Source: Manciolino Libro 1, Capitolo 8

Defence Against The Attack To The High Outside Line

  1. From Guardia di Faccia in passo stretto, the attacker throws a riverso to the right temple, covering the head with the buckler.
  2. From Guardia di Faccia in passo stretto, the defender extends into Guardia di Testa on a left foot traverse turning towards the incoming blow, riposting with a mandritto that ends in Sopra il Bracchio with the right foot slipping back to the left. Redouble passing left with a rising falso that ends in Guardia di Faccia.

Source: Manciolino Libro 2, 3rd Assault

Defence Against The Attack To The Low Outside Line

  1. From Guardia di Faccia in passo stretto, the attacker throws a rising riverso to the sword hand, covering the head with the buckler.
  2. From Guardia di Faccia in passo stretto, the defender covers the rising riverso by bringing the hands back together into Porta di Ferro Stretta, pointed at the incoming blow.

Source: Manciolino Libro 1, Capitolo 8

Note: This is shown in Manciolino as a counter to the rising riverso feint, which is followed by a mandritto. The actual counter is cover the rising riverso feint and then counterattack the mandritto with a mezzo mandritto to the sword hand.

Bolognese Footwork Forms

This is a Bolognese footwork form, which is used to practice all the basic footwork used in sword and buckler, as well as passing through the guardia used by Manciolino. This form is one of the basic warm up exercises used in my classes at Stoccata Drummoyne.

Basic Footwork Form

  1. Start with the feet together and the hands by side. Step forward with the right foot into Porta di Ferro Stretta.
  2. Pass forward with the left foot into Cinghiara Porta di Ferro.
  3. Step back with the right foot into Coda Lunga Alta.
  4. Pass with the right foot into Coda Lunga Stretta.
  5. Gather the left foot forward into Guardia di Faccia.
  6. Step back with the left foot into Guardia di Testa.
  7. Throw a mandritto passing forward with the left foot into Sopra il Braccio.
  8. Volta stabile right, lifting the sword into Guardia d'Alicorno.
  9. Throw a mandritto passing right into Sotto il Braccio.
  10. Throw a rising riverso slipping the right foot back into Guardia Alta.
  11. Throw a mandritto on a pass right into Porta di Ferro Larga.
  12. Elsa e tira with a gather & step forward into Coda Lunga Larga.
  13. Elsa e tira with a gather step forward into Porta di Ferro Stretta.
  14. Slip back into Guardia di Faccia.
  15. Step back several paces and return to arms by the side

Explanation of the Basic Footwork Form

In steps 1-3, we are making the left pass, and showing how we transition between Porta di Ferro Stretta and Cingiaria Porta di Ferro, followed by the transition into Coda Lunga Alta on the corrective step. No actual cutting actions are made on this part of the basic footwork form.

Steps 4-5 are practicing our basic slope pass footwork, using the right passing step. The expansion into Coda Lunga Stretta shows how the difference between it and Coda Lunga Alta is just the placement of the feet. The gathering of the feet into Guardia di Faccia is one of the common preparation spoiling methods in the system, and is especially useful as a counterattack.

Step 6 is the pass back into Guardia di Testa, which is one of the most common head defences in the system, and this is teaching the simultaneous extension forward with the hand and behind with the foot that makes this action so successful as a parry.

Steps 7-9 is a variation of the redouble mandritto, using the volta stabile transition to link the two cuts together. The first mandritto teaches the basic mandritto cut to Sopra il Braccio, reinforcing the half turn of the buckler hand to allow this cut to be easily done. The transition to Guardia d'Alicorno teaches the use of coiling and uncoiling actions that can be initiated with the use of a volta stabile to enable powerful blow generation. We finish in Sotto il Braccio, emonstarting how these two guardie are achieved with the mandritto cut, and the choice of finish is just determined by whether you cut above or below your sword hand.

Steps 10-11 is teaching contract and expand footwork, as well as linking together two common full cuts, the rising riverso and the mandritto. The sequence is also teaching the idea that Guardia Alta is a position to transition through instead of using it as a starting point.

Steps 12 -13 practice the elsa e tira actions, first with the cuts to the right and then the cuts to the left, using the gathering step footwork. This footwork is the preferred method of closing in on an opponent, and coupled with the rising falso cut on the gathering step, followed by the descending cut on the forward step is an excellent inimidation tool. The second set finishes in Porta di Ferro Stretta as a method of teaching blade control, as it's important to be able to arrest the full cuts with the sword in presence.

Steps 14-15 is the most common retreating technique shown in the manual. The extended point in Guardia di Faccia is a deterrent to any opponent closing in on you, and coupled with the retreating steps is teaching the idea of getting out of measure before you relax. We don't want to relax in measure, as this is a sure way to get hit.

Friday Fitness update 29 Jan 2016

Well another week has closed out, with definite progress on the calisthenic front.

Push ups are progressing well, and my next session I'll be aiming for the intermediate standard of level 2. This has been really surprising as push ups was never my strong exercise.

Pull ups are making me work hard, and I'm meeting the beginner standard for level 2 and it'll be a steady but slow progress for improvement by the look of it. Got to use the new door frame pull up bar, which is working a treat.

Leg raises are my weakest exercise with little actual improvement, but the exercise itself is getting smoother which bodes well for future progress. When I tried this last time, I had to get it smooth before I managed to add any reps beyond my starting level. I guess I'm training all those abdominal muscles to stabilise my torso.

Squats are a surprise. Shoulderstand squats are hard for me, but I'm quickly finding my balance now and adding gradual improvement in rep numbers each session. I'm also slowly increasing the depth of the squat so that's a good thing as well.

The off days has been problematic, due to my calf injury. I've only been managing gentle walking whilst it heals, so no real aerobic workout to speak of. That aside, I've had a weight drop this week of 0.7 kg, hitting the 98.8 kg mark so something is going right despite the injury.

Well let's see what next week brings.

Gotta Start Somewhere

OK so this post is not really fencing related, but more about me recording a starting point on my own fitness & weight journey and putting down some ideas to clarify them in my head. I'm putting it up here because I want something I post regularly, aiming to keep me on track.

To the surprise of most people who train with me, I'm actually older than I appear, and have really been suffering from the middle age metabolic slow down, coupled with a work from home situation that has really curtailed any physical activity outside of fencing teaching. So for the record, I'm 175 cm, 99.5 kg and 46 years old as I write this. I'm sure most people can recognise that one of those numbers is much larger than it should be. This is also probably one of the reasons I also go through depression episodes, as obesity and depression are closely linked. Diet and exercise are really the two main options I can use to move forward to a better place.

On the diet front, I was put onto the ketogenic diet by my friend Guy Windsor the last time he visited Sydney. In fact he recently blogged about his experiences with the diet, so you can read it from his perspective if you like. After reading up about it, I decided to give it a try and actually lost 2 kg over the month coming into Christmas. I did put most of it back on over the break during our NZ touring holiday though so I'm doubling down and trying again. I'm trying again because this was a diet that didn't leave me constantly hungry, and without the blood sugar crash cycle I've known for many years. It's not an easy thing to switch off sugars and carbs if you're like me and really enjoy good crusty breads and pastas etc but I've got an end goal in mind so carbs are down to <5%, and "white" foods are out.

For the exercise front, I'm going back to the calisthenics program, aka Convict Conditioning. It all fell apart on me when I got sick last year, and I just stopped. So I'm back into the big 4 exercises, and working up to doing the big 6 after a 6 month lay off. You can see a summary of the program here: convict-conditioning.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/progressions.jpg

For the exercises, I have a weak core but stronger upper body. (All that holding swords at extension no doubt!) Starting out this week for both the pull up and and push up exercises I could easily manage the level 1 exercises of vertical pulls and wall push ups, hitting the progression standard straight up for both. For the squat and leg raise exercises it was a different matter. The level 1 leg raise exercise (knee tucks) was seriously hard due to lack of core strength and I'm about half way between the beginner and intermediate standards. For the squat exercise (shoulderstand squats), I could just hit the intermediate standard for the exercise, but I can't get the full travel as my gut is stopping me touching forehead with knees. So those 2 will be at level 1 for a few weeks whist I work on them, and the successful 2 exercises will progress to level 2.

One of the biggest problems I had with CC before was understanding the sets programming for the exercises, but I recently found this article on Scribd about how it should be done So what I learnt from that article was that for every exercise you should always have at least 4 sets of reps. The first set is a warm up, and in my case is a lower number of reps. For this week I used the beginner standard for my warm up set. With the progression to level 2 for pull ups and push ups, it'll mean I'm doing 2 sets at level one, using the number of reps required for the progression standard. For the other 2, it'll be either half the work set requirement, or at least the beginner standard for the warm up set, which ever is higher.

The information about programming the work sets progression is where it really became clear for me reading that article. The idea is to do 3 work sets, and for the first 2 sets do the average number of reps for your 3 work sets from the previous workout, and on the 3rd set as many reps as you can mangage up to the next standard. So if you're below the intermediate standard, you aim for that number, and if you're over the intermediate standard you aim for the progression standard. The other key, is once you hit 90% of the total of the next standard for the first 2 work sets, they should be done to the next standard rep number anyway. It makes sense as a way to program your workouts in a manner where they continually build the intesity requirement.

It may seem funny that I'm looking at calisthenics for my fitness training, but I really need the strength training work and I don't enjoy the gym nor do I want outlay the money on membership. This program I can do at home with the barest of equipment and it works all the major muscle groups in a wholistic functional way, something I value for my fencing. The only thing I needed to get was a pull up bar, and I got one of the the door frame mounted ones for ~$40, which is almost nothing. I could use the outdoor gym 15 mins walk down the road at the park, but this  home set up takes away my excuses for not training. So that's the strength training program for 3 days a week. For the other 2 days of the week, I'm thinking of cycling between swimming laps, cycling around the Bay, sword and buckler or spadone progressions for aerobic fitness. The weekends will clearly be rest days from the training program.

So my starting stats on 22 Jan 2016 are:
Chest (cm)    111
Waist (cm)    109
Hips (cm)    110
Thighs (cm)    65
Calves (cm)    43
Bicep (cm)    39
Forearm (cm)    34
Wrist (cm)    20
Neck (cm)    46
Weight (kg)    99.5
 

Giganti Curriculum – Actions on the Blade – Change of Engagement

Introduction

These are the class notes for the Italian rapier class held at Stoccata Drummoyne on 14 Oct 2015.

The change of engagement is the next action on the blade after the blade seizure. The purpose of the blade seizure is to quickly change the engagement so that when the opponent perceives the initial engagement, their reflexive response is defeated by this action on the blade.

Change of Engagement to High Inside Line

  1. Instructor presents point in line (tip high).
  2. Student, from out of distance, extends the hand to engage the presented sword in 3rd on a step forward.
  3. Student changes engagement from 3rd to 4th and lunges to hit with a thrust by glide..
  4. Instructor takes the hit, after which the student recovers back out of distance.

Change of Engagement to High Outside Line

  1. Instructor presents point in line (tip high).
  2. Student, from out of distance, extends the hand to engage the presented sword in 4th on a step forward.
  3. Student changes engagement from 4th to 3rd and lunges to hit with a thrust by glide.
  4. Instructor takes the hit, after which the student recovers back out of distance.

Change of Engagement to Low Inside Line

  1. Instructor presents point in line (tip low).
  2. Student, from out of distance, extends the hand to engage the presented sword in 2nd on a step forward.
  3. Student changes engagement from 2nd to low 4th and lunges to hit with a thrust by glide..
  4. Instructor takes the hit, after which the student recovers back out of distance.

Change of Engagement to Low Outside Line

  1. Instructor presents point in line (tip low).
  2. Student, from out of distance, extends the hand to engage the presented sword in low 4th on a step forward.
  3. Student changes engagement from low 4th to 2nd and lunges to hit with a thrust by glide..
  4. Instructor takes the hit, after which the student recovers back out of distance.

Notes

  1. The step forward as you engage the blade is not optional. The hand precedes the foot as always but the engagement and step must end at the same moment, thus the step is very quick to make this happen.
  2. The blade presentation is either with the tip just above the height of the extended hand, or just below. The threat should thus be either above or below the opponent's hand when they are in guard.
  3. The change of engagement must be subtle to prevent the opponent reacting during the change.

Bolognese Sword & Buckler Curriculum – Gioco Stretta pt2

These are the Bolognese Swordsmanship (sword & buckler) drills for the class held at Stoccata Drummoyne on 14 Oct 2015

Clock Drill, Defending From Porta di Ferro Stretta

This is a partner drill, where the attacking partner throws a blow to the various targets, starting from the lower leg and working up and around the body, coming down the other side. The defending partner will then parry with false edge / true edge as required, and riposte as appropriate. The drill is designed to get people practicing cuts to the 5 mainquadrants, and practicing the appropriate defence for each of thos quadrants

  1. The attacker starts in Coda Lunga Alta, and throws a mandritto to the legs of the defender. The defender starts in Porta di Ferro Stretta, and parries with a descending falso to Sotto il Braccio, and ripostes with either a rising riverso to the flank or a tramazzone to the head.
  2. The attacker starts in Guardia Alta, and throws a mandritto to the neck / shoulder of the defender. The defender starts in Porta di Ferro Stretta and parries with a falso to Sotto il Braccio (keeping the tip up at temple height) and ripostes with a mandritto to the head.
  3. The attacker starts in Guardia Alta, and throws a fendente to the head of the defender. The defender starts in Porta di Ferro Stretta and parries with Guardia di Testa and ripostes with a mandritto to the head, on a pass left.
  4. The attacker starts in Sopra il Braccio, and throws a riverso to the neck / shoulder of the defender. The defender starts in Porta di Ferro Stretta and parries with a falso to Guardia di faccia (keeping the tip up at temple height) and ripostes with a riverso to the head.
  5. The attacker starts in Sotto il Braccio, and throws a riverso (ascending or descending) to the leg of the defender. The defender starts in Porta di Ferro Stretta and turning down their tip parries with the true edge (parry of 2nd) and ripostes with a thrust to the abdomen.

Gioco Stretta Plays – True Edge to True Edge

Revision

Direct Attack With Thrust To The Head

Pull back your sword, and passing left extending a thrust to the right temple, accompanied by your buckler. This action also counters every deadly blow.
[Libro 3, 15th action of true edge to true edge]

Parry Riposte Against Thrust To The Head

Parry the thrust with your false edge, and riposte with a mandritto to the face.
[Libro 3, Counter of the 15th action of true edge to true edge]

Direct Cut To Head With Riverso

Pass left and throw riverso to right temple
[Libro 3, 1st action of true edge to true edge]

Counterattack Against Riverso To Temple

When your enemy passes to throw riverso to your right temple, throw mezzo mandritto to the head, ending in Guardia di Faccia.
[Libro 3, Counter of the 1st action of true edge to true edge]

New Drills

Direct Cut To Head With Riverso Followed By Blade Shunt And Fendente

Pass left and throw riverso to the right temple. If the enemy parries the attack, hit the outside of his sword with your hilt or guard, and then throw fendente to the head.
[Libro 3, 3rd action of true edge to true edge]

Parry And Riposte By Cut-Over Against Riverso, Blade Shunt And Fendente

When your enemy passes to throw riverso to your right temple, parry with the true edge of your sword. When your enemy goes to hit your sword with his hilt, swiftly lift up your own sword to avoid the hit and riposte with a riverso to the head.
[Libro 3, Counter of the 3rd action of true edge to true edge]