The art of fencing is most ancient, and was discovered in the times of Nino, King of the Assyrians, who, through use of the advantage of arms, was made monarch and patron of the world; from the Assyrians the monarchy passed to the Persians; the praise of this practice, through the valor of Ciro, from the Persians, came to the Macedonians, from these to the Greeks, from the Greeks it was fixed in the Romans, who (as testifies Vegetius) brought to the field masters of fencing, whom they named “Campi ductores, vel doctores” which is to say, guides, or masters of the field, and these taught the soldiers the strikes of the thrust and the cut against a pole. — Ridolfo CapoFerro
One of the reasons that I haven’t posted many lessons up here lately is that I’ve been focusing a lot lately on my classical fencing. One of the others is that most of the rapier lessons that I’ve been giving have been fairly simple – at least in terms of the number of actions. Lately, I’ve been working more on perfecting speed, timing and timing during the lessons, throwing in tactical actions as they seem appropriate. I think that the results are good, but it does leave me with less to write about.
I did give a rapier lesson the other day that I thought was pretty fun, so I decided to share it. I did this with my wife Dori, who was preparing to participate in an upcoming rapier tournament.
From the instructor’s invitation in third, straight thrust
In time, as the instructor invites in third, straight thrust
In time as the instructor attempts to engage in fourth, disengagement
In time, as the instructor attempts to engage in fourth, feint by disengagement and disengagement
Same thing, but with an advance
Same thing, but the instructor may attempt to counterattack
In time, as the instructor attempts a blade seizure in fourth, disengagement in time
Either 5 or 7, based on whether the instructor just attempts to engage the weapon, or to a blade seizure
Same as 8, but with the option of counterattacking against the student’s feint
From the instructor’s engagement in third, three straight thrusts, end of lesson.