The guard is a position of the arm and of the sword extended in a straight line in the middle of the offendable parts, with the body well accommodated in its ordinary pace in order to hold the enemy at a distance, from any offense, and in order to offend him in case he approaches to endanger you. — Ridolfo CapoFerro
Today I had a visitor at my practice who has been doing Italian foil for about a year and was interesting in trying rapier. After explaining some of the differences between Italian rapier and foil – holding the weapon, guard, lunge, hand positions, opposition, etc… we did a quick lesson introducing a couple of the distinctive plays from Capoferro. (A couple of these were broken into dui tempi actions to simplify things)
From the instructor’s invitation in 3rd, straight thrust
From the instructor’s engagement in 3rd, disengagement
From the student’s engagement in 3rd, glide
From the student’s engagement in 3rd, time thrust in 4th
From the student’s engagement in 4th, counterattack to the outside high line with a pass*
From the student’s engagement in 3rd, parry second, riposte with a pass while placing the off hand against the instructor’s guard.
From the student’s engagement in 4th, parry 3rd with the hand low and the tip high, riposte with a pass while placing placing the back on the back edge of the blade.
From the instructor’s invitation in 3rd, three straight thrusts, end of lesson
*At this point, I switched hands and did the rest of the lesson right handed.