Giganti Lesson 2 – Gaining the Sword

The Prime Directive of Fencing is Don’t Be Stupid!

The first rule we therefore derive from the Prime Directive is Don’t Get Hit!

This lesson is all about learning the core technique that allows us to apply Rule 1.

Warm up drills

  1. Hand weight exercise
  2. Dynamic Lunge Stretch
  3. Translate & Turn
  4. Lunge with Resistance bands

Review Lesson 1

  1. How to hold the sword
  2. The on guard stance – terza
  3. The lunge
  4. Our first concept of measure – wide measure aka the lunge distance

Using Defensive angles & Power ramps to Gain the Sword

  1. The sword hand and forte provide the primary defensive capability in the system. The extended hand provides the greatest coverage of the body.
  2. We want to ideally get a mechanical advantage over our enemy’s sword. This is best done by having the forte of our sword oppose the debole of the enemy’s sword.
  3. A flat sword provides no mechanical advantage, however an angled sword creates a ramp which does give a mechanical advantage. (It’s a trap!)
  4. The defensive angle is the angle created by the line from the shoulder through the hand and to the tip during the gain of the sword.
  5. We have gained the sword when our defensive angle closes the line we are being attacked through, and we have a power ramp that directs the enemy’s sword tip towards our forte.
  6. In the following exercises, the gain is performed with the hand in 3rd.

Gain to the High Inside

  1. Partner shall extend the arm to threaten the high inside line. The sword tip should be about a palm’s width from the opposing sword hilt.
  2. From the on guard position, extend the sword arm forward so that the sword tip is pointing at just outside the right shoulder of the enemy.
  3. The sword hand should be just below shoulder height and the tip up, creating the defensive ramp.
  4. A small rotation of the torso is acceptable, such that it allows the sword hand to be in line with the left edge of the torso.
  5. The threatening partner shall then complete the lunge, to demonstrate the complete closure of the high inside line.
  6. Repeat 5 times and then swap.

Gain to the High Outside

  1. Partner shall extend the arm to threaten the high outside line. The sword tip should be about a palm’s width from the opposing sword hilt.
  2. From the on guard position, extend the sword arm forward so that the sword tip is pointing at just outside the left shoulder of the enemy.
  3. The sword hand should be just below shoulder height and the tip up, creating the defensive ramp.
  4. A small rotation of the torso is acceptable, such that it allows the sword hand to be in line with the right edge of the torso.
  5. The threatening partner shall then complete the lunge, to demonstrate the complete closure of the high outside line.
  6. Repeat 5 times and then swap.

Gaining the Sword in the Low Lines

Point at shoulder for point up & hip for point down

  1. Repeat the exercise for the gain to the high inside or high outside lines, but this time threaten the low inside and low outside lines.
  2. The gain is now performed by pointing the sword tip to just outside the hip instead of the shoulder.
  3. The hand may need to partially turn (no more than 45°) to completely close the lines.

Gain as a parry or to control the line

  1. Repeat the above exercises above, but this time gain the sword before the extension is made.
  2. The partner must STILL perform a straight lunge attack. We want to demonstrate that the offensive use of the gain still closes the line, even though there is no contact with the enemy’s sword.

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