14th November 2006
A smaller turn out this week, but not matter for this gives us lots and lots of room to swing. So, in the first hour recap that folk seem to like I figured I'd get folk good and tired. We cut and cut and cut. We charged up and down the hall swinging like maniacs in an attempt to string the repertoire we have learned over the last few weeks into compound manouvers. We took bleeding fast multiple swipes at one another whilst banging in good solid covers. Rather than making simple direct attacks and counters, we needed to redirect
the weapon frequently.
The point of this mayhem was to introduce the difference between fast
. In my experience folk often get the two mixed up, thinking that if they heave their weapon at their opponent like it was an axe and they were felling a tree then this will result in their weapon moving quickly to the target.
It may seem counter intuitive, but this is not exactly the case in my opinion. For starters, when folk take a mighty heave at their opponent they tend to put the greatest effort in at the end
of their swing. The initial launch of the weapon can be quite slow, with pressure on the weapon progressively increasing until the target is met with a mighty battering.
I want to se the opposite. I want the weapon to be launched with the maximum effort. I want to see it leap from your shoulder at light speed with a snap. To put in the maximum effort into accelerating the weapon in at the very start of its flight. Once the gap betwixt onself and one's target has been traversed in the smallest time possible and the weapon is moving as fast as one can push it, perhaps we can ease off a little and be prepared to redirect the attack should one need to. Here is some footage that provides a good example of what I'm looking for,
Got it? Good.
It should be possible to throw the weapon at one's opponent without meeting the target in a resounding crash of blades. I wanted folk to accelerate the weapon out to the target as fast as they could and end in posta longa, to take posession of the centre line and be ready to redirect the weapon should they need to. Heavier blows can sail past the target and leave one wide open for a simple deception and thrust. So, perhaps what I mean by fast
is simply banging the weapon out with as much speed as one can muster, but under control
By the end of the first hour folk seemed good and tired. Everyone had done well to keep the energy of the class up and so we started to encroach upon giocco stretto with some simple crossing and grabbing of the blade.
We then moved onto new repertoire - attacks and covers from the low guards. I started by introducing the low guards then cutting up into the hands. I wanted to first introduce folk to the sottani as simply attacks - attacks to the hand and wrist that demanded that one move off-line to avoid the opponent's attack.
After a bit of this, which resulted in a few whacked fingers, as with the fendente and cover we then moved onto the idea that the path taken by the sottanni can be used as a cover in the execution fo a rabat.
I often find this a rather hard manouver to explain, so we started without footwork. We demonstrated to ourselves that we can indeed cover ourselves from our opponent's fendente by rabatting upwards and deflecting the attack off-line. After a bit of this we then incorporated a traverse offline, and the final counter attacking fendente into the opponent's head and arms.
This all seemed quite enough for one evening, so as is now tradional we finished the evening with a little dagger-play. Nothing complicated, just stabbing and moving. But stabbing twice and moving twice.
Now, as we had fewer numbers which made the evening a little expensive for all, and as the Legion continue to complain about their floor, methinks I may look into finding a new hall. Yes, the bar in the Legion is a nice feature, but I'm getting tired of worrying about the floor. Apparently the Wednesday Salsa class do complain bitterly that the floor is unsuitable after Schola have had their fun.
So, as every British Legion needs a Salsa class, this band of Sword wielding combateers may decide to search for new accomodations.
Watch this space and keep your eye on your email...