I’ve had a bit of a break from posting here lately due to having a lot of other things going on. Last week Dori and I were fencing at a ren faire out here in California, and the week before we were in Sacramento going through some of the lessons that Maestro Curtis and Maestro Myers would be teaching at WMAW. Things are finally somewhat back to normal again though, and we had our regularly scheduled rapier practice this afternoon. Here’s the lesson that we worked on:
The goal of the lesson was to start introducing the student to some tactical decisions. Each of the actions was done in time – meaning that the action is initiated as the opponent changes the position of the weapon, rather than by a verbal command. The lesson branches then branches off into two separate trees based on the initial action.
Actions #1-3 set up the initial attacks. In #4, the student must correctly choose which simple attack to use.
#5-6 intruduce counter attacks to these attacks as decribed in plates 7 and 16 of Capoferro. In #7, the student has the option of setting up the action to provoke the attack that they want, and then defeating it with one of the counterattacks.
Actions #8-9 add yet another layer on top of this. Using countertime, the student makes a movement to provoke a counterattack, which can then be defeated with a parry riposte in countertime, also as described in plates 7 and 16. By this point, our trees were becoming a bit crazy, so we opted not to do give the students the choice of which countertime action to use.
In actions #10-11, we went back and broke down one of the trees. Now, the actions works basically the same as before, but the opponent has the option to allow the attack to land, or respond in some way. This adds a little more complexity, and also ensures that each person in the drill remains honest in the attacks – it’s easy to cheat on your attacks if you know what is going to happen next. Adding the choice here forces the student to pay attention to what is actually happening in the lesson as opposed to what they have been told will happen.