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RAPIER RESOURCES

A CURRICULUM for the ITALIAN RAPIER

PREFACE: 

This curriculum is based on the 1606 treatise of Master Salvator Fabris, De Lo Schermo overdo Scienza d’Arme, specifically as translated and interpreted by Tom Leoni in his monumental book Art of Dueling (Chivlary Bookshelf, 2005). 

 

The curriculum is designed to be progressive and cumulative, so that each lesson builds upon the previous one.  Novice level includes Lessons 1 through 11, Intermediate level includes Lessons 12 through 15 and Advanced level includes Lessons 16 through 18.

LESSON 1.  THEORETICAL BASIS

Goal/Milestone:  Understanding the basic theory of the Rapier alone as presented by Fabris.

  • Holding the rapier, and the four hand positions of prima, seconda, terza, and quarta.

  • Understanding the weapon, the four parts of the rapier.

  • Understanding the geometry of fencing.

  • Understanding the mechanics of fencing.

  • The advantage of the sword, taking your opponents sword, keeping your sword free

  • The concept of misure (measure).

  • The concept of tempo (timing).

  • The union of forces.

LESSON 2.  THE STANCE AND THE FOUR GUARDS

Goal/Milestone: Developing the proper stance and understanding counter-posture.  Practicing the four rapier guards until they become second nature, and understanding their tactical applications. 

  • Prima; Fabris plates 1 and 2.

  • Seconda; Fabris plates 3 through 8.

  • Terza; Fabris plates 9 through 12.

  • Quarta.; Fabris plates 13 through 20

LESSON 3.  MOVEMENT AND FOOTWORK

Goal/Milestone:  Learning the basic rapier footwork and developing the ability to move with quickness and stability.

  • Pie Firma

  • Learning the lunge.

  • Learning the advance and retreat. 

  • Learning the pass.

LESSON 4.  ATTACKING WITH THE THRUST

Goal/Milestone:  Learning the two measure, learning  how to take your opponent’s rapier, learning to attack into each of the four openings with the thrust, and developing good point control.

  • The two measures of misura larga and misura stretta.

  • Being in presence.

  • Thrusting to the inside with quarta.

  • Thrusting to the outside with prima, seconda and terza

LESSON 5.  THE PARRY AND RIPOSTE

Goal/Milestones:  Learning this fundamental defense and counterattack. 

  • Parry and riposte attacks to the inside.

  • Parry and riposte attacks to the outside.

LESSON 6.  CUTTING WITH THE RAPIER

Goal/Milestones:  Learning how to cut with the rapier and how to defend against cutting attacks. 

  • Target areas.

  • Classification of cuts (defined by the direction of the cut).

  • Parrying cuts, and voiding cutting attacks.

LESSON 7.  ENGAGEMENTS AND THE CAVAZIONE

Goal/Milestones: Learning how to free your sword with the cavazione.

  • Cavazione of tempo.

  • Cavazione of obedience.

  • Contracavazione.

  • Ricavazione.

  • Mezza cavazione (Half-cavazione)

LESSON 8.  THE FEINT AND THE INVITATION

Goal/Milestones:  Learning how to properly execute feints and invitations, and proper attacks therefrom. 

  • Defining feints and invitations.

  • Performing feints and invitations, and learning to attack after executing the same.

LESSON 9.  THE VOIDS

Goal/Milestones:  Learning how to defend and counterattack in the same action. 

  • Voids against attacks to the inside, the Girata of the right and the left foot.

  • Voids against attacks to the outside using the passing step, and the lunge.

  • Studying Fabris plates 18, 19, and 20.

LESSON 10.  THE BEAT, YIELDING

Goal/Milestone:  Learning how perform beats against your opponent’s blade and learning how to thwart them when performed against you.

  • Executing the beat.

  • Deceiving the beat with the cavazione.

LESSON 11.  THE HAND PARRIES

Goal/Milestone:  Learning the four hand parries.

  • Hand parries against attacks to the inside.

  • Hand parries against attacks to the outside.

          

LESSON 12.  TECHNIQUES FOR WOUNDING YOUR OPPONENT

Goal/Milestone: Exploring the tactical aspects of the rapier alone,

  • Studying Fabris’ plates 21 through 48.

LESSON 13.  THE DAGGER

Goal/Milestone:  Learning the general manner in which the rapier is used with the dagger.

  • The postures and counter-postures.

  • Finding the sword.

  • Left leg forward versus right leg forward.

  • The rapier and dagger guards; exploring Fabris’ plates 49 through 70.

  • The dagger parries.

LESSON 14. THE DAGGER PLAYS

Goal/Milestone:  Learning to fight with the rapier and dagger.

  • Exploring Fabris’ plates 71 through 95.

LESSON 15. THE RAPIER AND CAPE

Goal/Milestone:  Learning to fight with the rapier and cape.

  • General theory of the use of rapier and cape.

  • Exploring Fabris’ plates 97 through 108.

LESSON 16.  PROCEEDING WITH RESOLUTION

Goal/Milestone:  Learning how to attack without stoppimg.

  • Rule One.

  • Rule Two.

  • Rule Three.

  • Rule Four.

  • Rule Five

  • Rule Six.

LESSON 17.  RESOLUTION WITH RAPIER AND DAGGER

Goal/Milestone:  Learning how to attack with rapier and dagger without stopping.

  • Rule One.

  • Rule Two.

  • Rule Three.

  • Rule Four.

LESSON 18.  SPECIAL TECHNIQUES 

Goal/Milestone:  Learning what remains in the Fabris system.

  • Grips and Disarms.

  • Cape Throws.

  • Defending against a dagger empty handed.

  • Defending with a sword against a polearm.

DRILLS for USE in the TRAINING of the

ITALIAN RAPIER and its COMPANION WEAPONS

 

PREFACE: 

The following drills are to be considered foundational. Over time, other variations of these drills, as well as new drills, will be added.   Unless noted otherwise, all drills are with weapons.  For two-person drills the Agent is the one who initiates the action (the attacker), and the Patient is the one who responds to the action (the defender).  During training sessions, the solo drills will be performed in a group.  Away from training, the solo drills can be done individually.  Cooperative drills are those where the actions of both participants are prescribed.  Antagonistic drills are those where the action of the Agent is not prescribed in the drill. But unlike free play, the actions fall within rigid parameters described in the drill itself.  Antagonistic drills are designed to enhance the Patient’s ability to respond to a variety of attacks, choosing from a variety of techniques.

LESSON 2.  THE STANCE AND THE FOUR GUARDS

DRILLL 1.  WORKING THROUGH THE FOUR GUARDS, SOLO

  1. Participants are asked to line up in front of a wall.

  2. Participants takes the stance in Terza guardia, making sure that the tips of the blade are not touching the wall.

  3. At the instructors count the participants will change to Prima, Seconda, Terza, and Quarta guards, making sure that they take the proper form of the guard.  Also, when moving from one guard to another, the participant should strive to keep the tip from wandering.

  4. Repeat at the instructor’s discretion.

 

LESSON 3.  MOVEMENT AND FOOTWORK

DRILL 1:  SOLO, BASIC FOOTWORK  

  1. The fencer starts in guard and begins by making one advancing step and then stopping for the "beat" of one step in a step-rest-step-rest pattern, continuing until he reaches almost the end of his space (i.e. he cannot advance any further), where he ends with a lunge and recovery.

  2. Then, he returns to the place from which he started with retreats, i.e. retreat-rest-retreat-rest, again ending with a lunge-recovery. When he is confident with this, he should string two advances together: advance-advance-rest-advance-advance-rest and retreat the same way. This can be increased in complexity as the fencer increases his skill and stamina, for example: advance-advance-advance-retreat-retreat-lunge-recover-rest. As always, careful attention must be paid to form, mechanics, and weight-distribution.

  3. There are endless variations on this drill which should be obvious. Increase the number of variations and the length of time spent on each of them as the fencer's technique and stamina increase.

 

DRILL 2.  SOLO, BASIC FOOTWORK, THE PASS

  1. The fencers are in a line facing the instructor, in the proper stance in Terza guardia

  2. At the instructor’s first count, the fencers will perform a passing step with the left foot, followed by an immediate lunge in Quarta.At the instructor’s second count, the fencers recover in Terza guard.

  3. At the instructor’s third count, the fencer passes again, and immediately lunges in Seconda.

  4. At the instructor’s fourth count, the fencer recovers again in Terza guardia.

  5. Repeat at the instructor’s discretion.

 

DRILL 3.  SOLO, BASIC FOOTWORK, SILENT DRILL

  1. The fencers are in a line facing the instructor, in the proper stance in Terza guardia.

  2. The fencer is to follow the instructor’s movements.  If the instructor retreats, the fencers advance, trying to maintain the same distance.  If the instructor advances, the fencers retreat. 

  3. If the instructor stops and takes his tip off line, the fencers should immediately lunge.  The fencers should recover from the lunge only after the instructor brings his tip back on line.

  4. Repeat at the instructor’s discretion.

  5. Variation 1.  Fencers perform a pass-lunge when the instructor moves his tip off line.

  6. Variation 2:  The group can be divided into pairs, making this a two person drill.  The instructor determines who will be the Agent.  After a number of repeats the roles can switch.

LESSON 4.  ATTACKING WITH THE THRUST

DRILL 1.  SOLO, LEARNING TO THRUST

  1. Fencers are asked to line up in front the instructor, in proper Terza guardia.

  2. At the instructor’s command the fencers advance one step, lunge, and thrust in Prima.  At the instructor’s command, fencers recover back to Terza guardia, and retreats one step.  

  3. At the instructor’s next command, the fencers thrust in Seconda after the advance.  Fencers recover as directed by the instructor.  This is followed by a thrust in Terza, at the instructor’s next command, and recovery.  Then finally, at the instructor’s final command, fencers thrust at the wall in Quarta. 

  4. The fencers should strive to make sure that they take the proper form of the guard.Repeat at the instructor’s discretion.

DRILL 2.  SOLO, LEARNING TO THRUST

  1. Fencers are asked to line up in front of a wall in a lunge position with the tip of the blade just short of touching the wall.  Make sure the wall is solid or padded to resist penetration by the blade.  This is Misura Stretta

  2. Fencers recover from the lunge and takes the stance in Terza guardia.   Participants are then asked to retreat one step.  This is Misura Larga

  3. At the instructor’s command the fencers advance one step, lunge, and thrust in Prima, hitting the wall with minimum force. At the instructor’s command, participant’s recover back to Terza guardia, and to Misura Larga.  

  4. At the instructor’s next command, participants thrust at the wall in Seconda.  Participant’s recover as directed by the instructor.  This is followed by a thrust in Terza, at the instructor’s next command, and recovery.  Then finally, at the instructor’s final command, participants thrust at the wall in Quarta. 

  5. The participants should strive to make sure that they take the proper form of the guard, also to maintain the proper misure. Also, when moving from one guard to another, the participant should strive to keep the tip from wandering.

  6. Repeat at the instructor’s discretion.

 

DRILL 3, SOLO, STEPS AND ATTACKS 

NOTE TO INSTRUCTORS:  This is a drill that can be used with other lessons as more techniques are introduced and learned.  The commands can vary accordingly.  Steve originally suggested a Girata where shown in brackets, but at this point in the curriculum, the Girata has not been taught, so another technique can be substituted.

            Command                    What Fencers Do

            In Guardia                    Comes on guard into Fabris’ Terza

            Advance                        Advance forward one step

            Lunge                            Lunge in Quarta and maintain lunge until next command

            Recover                         Recover back into guard of Terza

            Advance Two              Advance forward two steps

            Pass Quarta                  Perform a pass in Quarta, ending position should be that illustrated by Fabris’ Plate 20

            Recover Forward        Bring right foot forward to return to the guard of Terza

            Retreat Two                 Retreat two steps backward

            [Girata]                          [Perform the Girata of the Left Foot so the ending position looks like that illustrated by Fabris’ Plate 19.]

            Recover Forward         Bring the right foot forward to return to the guard of Terza.

            Etc.    

 

DRILL 4.  COOPERATIVE, LEARNING TO TAKE THE OPPONENT’S BLADE AND THRUST

  1. Fencers are asked to line up in two lines facing each other, at Misura Stretta, in Terza guardia, to the inside.  The instructor will designate who is the Agent and who is the Patient.

  2. At the instructor’s first count the Agent will thrust straight in Quarta, with opposition, lightly striking the Patient in the upper flank, followed immediately by a recovery back to Terza guardia.  At the instructor’s second count the Agent will lightly strike the Patient with a high Quarta in the mask, and recover.  At the instructor’s third count the Agent will strike lightly at the Patient’s low flank, then recover.

  3. Repeat with the Agent and the Patient switching roles.

  4. The instructor should make sure that the fencer has attacked with the proper hand position and that the Agent has properly taken the Patient’s rapier before attacking.

  5. Fencers repeat the drill at the instructor’s discretion, making sure the fencers have equal time as both Agent and Patient.

  6. The fencers are the set at Misura Stretta in Terza guardia to the outside.  The instructor will designate the Agent and the Patient. 

  7. At the instructor’s first count the Agent will thrust in Prima, lightly striking the Patient in the upper flank, followed immediately by a recovery back to Terza guardia.  At the instructor’s second count the Agent will lightly strike the Patient with Terza in the high flank, and recover.  At the instructor’s third count the Agent will lightly strike with Seconda at the Patient’s low flank, then recover.

  8. Repeat with the Agent and the Patient switching roles.

  9. The instructor should make sure that the fencer has attacked with the proper hand position and that the Agent has properly taken the Patient’s rapier before attacking.

  10. Fencers repeat the drill at the instructor’s discretion, making sure the fencers have equal time as both Agent and Patient.

  11. Variation 1.  Repeat the drill with the fencers start at Misura Larga.

  12. Variation 2.  This makes a very good solo drill, with the fencer striking against a padded or solid wall, or against a pell.

LESSON 5.  THE PARRY AND RIPOSTE

DRILL 1.  COOPERATIVE, PARRY AND RIPOSTE

1.  Fencers are asked to line up in two lines facing each other, at Misura Stretta, in Terza guardia, to the inside.  The instructor will designate who is the Agent and who is the Patient.

2.   At the instructor’s first count, the Patient will make an opening by moving his/her tip off line.

3.   At the instructor’s second count, the Agent will attack with a straight thrust to the inside.  The Patient will performs a simple parry in Quarta and then performs a riposte maintaining contact on the Agent’s blade and with full extension.  As soon as the Agent, upon seeing his/her rapier parried, should attempt to recover back into guard.

4.   Repeat with the Agent and the Patient switching roles.

5.   Fencers repeat the drill at the instructor’s discretion, making sure the fencers have equal time as both Agent and Patient.

6.   The fencers are then set at Misura Stretta in Terza guardia to the outside.  The instructor will designate the Agent and the Patient. 

  1. At the instructor’s first count, the Patient will make an opening by moving his/her tip off line.

  2. At the instructor’s second count, the Agent will attack with a straight thrust to the outside.  The Patient will performs a simple parry in Seconda and then performs a riposte maintaining contact on the Agent’s blade and with full extension.  As soon as the Agent, upon seeing his/her rapier parried, should attempt to recover back into guard.

  3. Repeat with the Agent and the Patient switching roles.

  4. Fencers repeat the drill at the instructor’s discretion, making sure the fencers have equal time as both Agent and Patient.

  5. Variation:  Repeat drill from Misura Larga.

 

DRILL 2.  COOPERATIVE, PARRY AND RIPOSTE ON THE BLADE  

1.  Fencers are on guard and in measure.

2.  The Defender makes an invitation by presenting an opening, and the Attacker makes

a simple attack to this opening.

3.  The Defender parries the attack with a simple parry and then performs a riposte on the blade.  That is, without losing contact with the Attacker’s blade, the Defender first extends his arm and then lunges so that his blade slides along the Attacker’s steel and maintains dominance over it, thus securing himself from a double hit during his riposte.

 

DRILL 3.  ANTAGONISTIC, THE PARRY DRILL  

1.  Fencers are on guard and in measure, but with parity of swords.

2.  The Attacker can attack any line of the defender with a thrust.

3.  The defender should perform an appropriate parry-counter (in stesso tempo).  For example, from the Fabris guard, if the Attacker thrusts to the high-outside, a possible counter by the Defender is illustrated by Plate 43.

4.   Since the attack is out of tempo and from parity, and the Attacker is making a direct attack, the Defender should be able to correctly parry-counter almost every time.

5.   Repeat with the Agent and the Patient switching roles. 

6.   Fencers repeat the drill at the instructor’s discretion, making sure the fencers have equal time as both Agent and Patient.

 

LESSON 6.  CUTTING WITH THE RAPIER

DRILL 1.  SOLO, LEARNING TO CUT

  1. Fencers are asked to line up in front the instructor, in proper Terza guardia.

  2. At the instructor’s command, the fencers lunge and perform the cut. At the instructor’s command, participant’s recover back to Terza guardia. The instructor will repeat until all the cuts are performed by the fencers.

  3. The fencers should strive to make sure that they make the proper form of the cut.

  4. Repeat at the instructor’s discretion.

  5. Variation 1:  Repeat with the fencers in Misura Larga.

  6. Variation 2:  This drill can be performed using a pell. 

DRILL 2.  COOPERATIVE, PARRYING THE CUT AND RIPOSTING

Use Lesson 5, Drill 1, but substitute cuts for the thrusts.  Instructors should make sure all the cuts are performed with their respective parries.   

 

DRILL 3.  ANTAGONISTIC, PARRYING THE CUT AND RIPOSTING

      Same as Drill 2 above, but the Agent can cut from any direction.

LESSON 7.  ENGAGEMENTS AND THE CAVAZIONE

DRILL 1. COOPERATIVE, KEEPING THE SWORD FREE 

  1. Fencers begin barely out of measure, standing naturally with their swords in parity, either inside or outside.

  2. At the instructor’s command the Patient attempts to engage or parry the Agent’s sword.

  3. The Agent takes a step forward and prevents the Patient from touching his sword with a cavazione, while at the same time advancing one step.. 

  4. In response, the Patient again attempts to engage the Agent’s sword on the new line, while simultaneously stepping back to maintain the same distance between the two fences. 

  5. Continue for as many steps as desired, then switch.  

  6. You can an interesting twixt by switching back and forth every few steps (four steps each way works well). 

  7. All the steps are passing steps at a moderate pace.

  8. Variation 1:  This drill can be made into an antagonistic drill by allowing the Patient a selection of blade actions; such as a contracavazione and parry instead of just a straight parry, or he could perform his parry as a beat.

 

DRILL 2. COOPERATIVE, FINDING THE SWORD AND THE CAVAZIONE OF OBEDIANCE 

  1. Fencers begin in measure (larga) with their swords in parity.

  2. At the instructor’s command the Agent finds the Patient’s sword.

  3. The Patient performs a cavazione and find’s the Agent’s sword on the other side.

  4. Swords are returned to original on guard position and is repeated at the instructor’s discretion.

  5. Variation 1:  This drill can be varied by allowing the Patient to perform the cavazione and find the Agent’s sword in the tempo that the Agent moves to find his sword.

  6. Variation 2:  This drill can be performed with the patient moving from Misura Larga to Misura Stretta.

 

DRILL 3. COOPERATIVE, CAVAZIONE di TEMPO (from Steve Reich)

  1. Fencers begin in measure (stretta) and in guard.

  2. At the instructor’s command the Agent finds the sword of the Patient.  However, before the Agent finishes the motion, the patient attacks by performing a cavazione with a lunge in the tempo of the Agent’s attempt to find the sword (i.e., Patient performs a Cavazione di Tempo).

  3. Once the Patient is comfortable with this, the Agent begins from one step out of measure (larga).  As the Agent steps into measure, he also attempts to find the sword of the Patient.  If the Patient takes the tempo correctly, his attack should hit before or as the Agent finishes his advance

  4. Variation 1:  The Agent counters the Cavazione di Tempo with a Contracavazione, followed by the Patient countering that action with a Ricavacione.

DRILL 4. COOPERATIVE, ATTACKING THROUGH THE CAVAZIONE 

  1. Fencers begin in measure (larga) with their swords in parity.

  2. At the instructor’s command the Agent finds the Patient’s sword.

  3. Once the Patient’s sword is found, he performs a cavazione of obedience to find the Agent’s sword on the other side.  However in the tempo of the cavazione, the Agent executes a lunge as a straight attack at the Patient, completing his attack before the Patient can complete the cavazione and find his sword on the other side.

  4. Variation 1:  Instead of a straight attack, the Agent could perform the attack with a contracavazione.

  5. Variation 2:  The Patient could counter the straight attack with a commettere di spada, i.e., stopping the cavazione and returning the blade back to the side form which he started the cavazione of obedience while also attacking.

LESSON 8.  THE FEINT AND THE INVITATION

DRILL 1. SOLO, FEINT WITH ADVANCE 

  1. Fencers begin by practicing the feint without an advance.  This is performed in three steps, but in one continuous motion with no pauses..

  2. Extend the weapon arm to threaten the target.

  3. Make an appel (a stomp of the forward foot).

  4. Perform a cavazione and lunge.  Recover.

  5. When everything can be performed in correct order and the correct motions every time, change step 2 into an advance (again, without pausing between steps).

  6. Extend the weapon arm to threaten the target.

  7. Make an advance

  8. Perform a cavazione and lunge.  Recover.

 

DRILL 2. ANTAGONISTIC, THE FEINT WITH ADVANCE 

  1. Fencers begin one step out of measure.

  2. The Agent begins by either making an invitation or gaining the sword. 

  3. The Patient makes a feint. Either directly (in the case of an invitation) or with a cavazione in the case that his sword is being found.  The feint is made with an advance into measure. 

  4. When the agent attempts to parry the feint, the Patient avoids the parry with a cavazione and attacks to the new opening.

  5. Once the attack is made, the Patient immediately recovers and retreats back out of measure while covering the Agent’s blade with his own to protect against a straight line thrust.

 

DRILL 3. ANTAGONISTIC, FEINT OR ATTACK 

  1. Fencers begin one step out of measure.

  2. The Agent begins by either making an invitation or gaining the sword. 

  3. In the Tempo of the invitation or attempted gaining of the sword, the Patient makes a feint with advance to the appropriate target.

  4. The agent does one of two things:

    • The Agent attempts to parry the feint, at which point the Patinet avoids the parry  with a cavazione and attacks the new opening.

    • Agent does not react to the feint, at which case the Patient finishes his feint as an attack on the same line as the feint.

  5. Once the attack is executed, the Patient immediately recovers and retreats back out of measure while covering the Agent’s blade with his own to protect against a straight line thrust.

LESSON 9.  THE VOIDS  

DRILL 1. COOPERATIVE, THE VOIDS TO THE INSIDE

  1. Fencers begin in measure (stretta) and in guard with swords to the inside.

  2. At the instructor’s command the Agent finds the sword of the Patient and performs a straight thrust. 

  3. The Patient performs a girata of the right foot as shown in Farbris’ plate 18 and counters with a straight thrust.

  4. Both fencers recover.  At the instructor’s command the Agent again attacks the Patient.  This time the Patient responds with a girata of the left foot as shown in Fabris’ plate 19.

  5. The drill is repeated at the instructor’s discretion, after which the fencers switch roles.

DRILL 2. COOPERATIVE, THE VOIDS TO THE INSIDE

  1. Fencers begin in measure (stretta) and in guard with swords to the outside.

  2. At the instructor’s command the Agent finds the sword of the Patient and performs a straight thrust. 

  3. The Patient performs a passing step off line with the left leg and counters with a straight thrust as shown in Farbris’ plate 20.

  4. Both fencers recover.  At the instructor’s command the Agent again attacks the Patient.  This time the Patient responds with a lunge.

  5. The drill is repeated at the instructor’s discretion, after which the fencers switch roles.

 

DRILL 3.  COOPERATIVE, THE VOID  

  1. Fencers are on guard and in measure.

  2. At the instructor’s command, the Defender will either gain the Attacker’s sword to the inside or outside, or make an invitation to the inside of outside.

  3. The Attacker makes a feint by cavazione if the Defender has found his sword, or a straight line feint if the Defender has made an invitation.

  4. The Defender feints an attempt to parry the feint, at which point the Attacker performs a cavazione and attacks the open line.

  5. To counter this attack, the Defender performs the correct void to strike the Attacker in contratempo. Fencers repeat the drill at the instructor’s discretion, after which the fencers switch roles.

 

DRILL 4.  COOPERATIVE, ATTACKING IN CONTRATEMPO WITH THE VOID  AGAINST A FEINT WITH ADVANCE 

            Attacker’s Action                    Defender’s Action

            In Guard                                    In Guard, Defender presents opening to the outside  line.  

           

            Feints to the outside                Attempts to parry feint to the outside.           

            line with advance

            Avoids parry with a                 In the tempo of the opponent’s attack Defender turns his hand into Quarta and performs an

            Cavazione and lunges to        Inquartata (girata of the left foot), evading the opponent’s attack while striking the opponent.

            the inside.

         

LESSON 10.  THE BEAT, YIELDING

DRILL 1.  BEAT AND COUNTERATTACK

  1. Fencers are asked to line up in two lines facing each other, at Misura Stretta, in Terza guardia, to the inside.  The instructor will designate who is the Agent and who is the Patient.

  2. At the instructor’s first count, the Agent will beat the Patient’s sword to the Patient’s outside line, then advances and strikes the Patient with a straight thrust.  Both recover.

  3. At the instructor’s second count, the Agent will perform a cavazione to the outside line and in the same motion beat the Patient’s sword to the Patient’s inside line, then advances and strikes the Patient with a straight thrust.  Both recover.

  4. Repeat at the instructor’s discretion, after which the Agent and Patient switch roles and perform the drill.

  5. The fencers begin again, this time in Terza guardia to the outside. 

  6. At the instructor’s first count the Agent beats the Patient’s sword to the Patient’s inside line, then advances and strikes the Patient with a straight thrust.  Both recover.

  7. At the instructor’s second count, the Agent will perform a cavazione to the inside line and in the same motion beat the Patient’s sword to the Patient’s outside line, then advances and strikes the Patient with a straight thrust.  Both recover

  8. Repeat at the instructor’s discretion, after which the Agent and Patient switch roles and perform the drill.

 

DRILL 2.  DEFENDING AGAINST THE BEAT

  1. Fencers are asked to line up in two lines facing each other, at Misura Stretta, in Terza guardia, to the inside.  The instructor will designate who is the Agent and who is the Patient.

  2. At the instructor’s first count, the Agent will attempt to beat the Patient’s sword to the Patient’s outside line.  The Patient, will not resist the beat, but instead, upon contact on his/her blade, will cavazione to the opposite line and strike the Agent with a straight thrust.  Both recover.

  3. At the instructor’s second count, the Agent will perform a cavazione to the outside line and in attempt to beat the Patient’s sword to the Patient’s inside line. The Patient, will not resist the beat, but instead, upon contact on his/her blade, will perform a contracavazione to the opposite line and strike the Agent with a straight thrust.  Both recover.

  4. Repeat at the instructor’s discretion, after which the Agent and Patient switch roles and perform the drill.

  5. The fencers begin again, this time in Terza guardia to the outside. 

  6. At the instructor’s first count the Agent will attempt to beat the Patient’s sword to the Patient’s inside line. The Patient, will not resist the beat, but instead, upon contact on his/her blade, will cavazione to the opposite line and strike the Agent with a straight thrust.  Both recover.

  7. At the instructor’s second count, the Agent will perform a cavazione to the outside line and in attempt to beat the Patient’s sword to the Patient’s inside line. The Patient, will not resist the beat, but instead, on contact upon his/her blade, will perform a contracavazione to the opposite line and strike the Agent with a straight thrust.  Both recover.

  8. Repeat at the instructor’s discretion, after which the Agent and Patient switch roles and perform the drill.

LESSON 11.  THE HAND PARRIES

DRILL 1.  COOPERATIVE,  HAND PARRY AND RIPOSTE

  1. Fencers are asked to line up in two lines facing each other, at Misura Stretta, in Terza guardia, to the inside.  The instructor will designate who is the Agent and who is the Patient.

  2. At the instructor’s first count, the Agent will attack with a straight thrust to the high inside line.  The Patient will performs the appropriate hand parry and then performs a riposte in Quarta.

  3. At the instructor’s second count, the Agent attacks with a straight thrust to the low inside line.  The Patient performs the appropriate hand parry and then performs a riposte in Quarta.

  4. At the instructor’s third count, the Agent attacks with a straight thrust to the high outside line.  The Patient performs the appropriate hand parry and then performs a riposte in Prima.

  5. At the instructor’s fourth count, the Agent attacks with a straight thrust to the low outside line.  The Patient performs the appropriate hand parry and then performs a riposte in Terza.

  6. Fencers repeat the drill at the instructor’s discretion, after which the fencer’s switch roles.

 

DRILL 2.  COOPERATIVE,  THE SWORD AND HAND PARRY (from Steve Reich)

  1. The fencers start in guard, one step out of measure.

  2. The Defender will either gain the Attacker’s sword to the inside or outside, or make an invitation to the inside of outside.

  3. The Attacker makes a Finta Scorsa, that is, a feint with an advance. If the Defender has gained his sword, the feint will be by cavazione, otherwise, it will be a straight line feint.

  4. The Defender parries the feint with his sword at which point the Attacker should avoid the parry with a cavazione and launch the attack.

  5. The Defender, in the tempo of the Attacker’s final thrust (i.e., the real attack), parries with his off hand with the appropriate hand parry while simultaneously striking the Attacker with a thrust.

        

LESSON 12.  TECHNIQUES FOR WOUNDING YOUR OPPONENT

NOTE TO INSTRUCTORS: Have the participants practice and perform the techniques shown in the Fabris plates 21 through 48.

LESSON 13.  THE DAGGER

DRILL 1.  COOPERATIVE,  DAGGER PARRY AND RIPOSTE

  1. Fencers are asked to line up in two lines facing each other, at Misura Stretta, in Terza guardia, to the inside.  The instructor will designate who is the Agent and who is the Patient.

  2. At the instructor’s first count, the Agent will attack with a straight thrust to the high inside line.  The Patient will performs the appropriate dagger parry and then performs a riposte in Quarta.

  3. At the instructor’s second count, the Agent attacks with a straight thrust to the low inside line.  The Patient performs the appropriate dagger parry and then performs a riposte in Quarta.

  4. At the instructor’s third count, the Agent attacks with a straight thrust to the high outside line.  The Patient performs the appropriate dagger parry and then performs a riposte in Prima.

  5. At the instructor’s fourth count, the Agent attacks with a straight thrust to the low outside line.  The Patient performs the appropriate dagger parry and then performs a riposte in Terza..

  6. Fencers repeat the drill at the instructor’s discretion, after which the fencer’s switch roles.

 

DRILL 2. ANTAGONISTIC, ATTACKING IN CONTRATEMPO WITH RAPIER AND DAGGER 

  1. The fencers are in guard in measure.

  2. At the instructor’s first count, the Attacker feints an attack to which the Defender responds by obediently going to the parry with the dagger or the sword, as appropriate.

  3. The Attacker avoids this parry with a cavazione, attacking to the opening made bu the Defence’s parry.

  4. However, the Defender parries the Attacker’s real attack (again with the sword or dagger as appropriate) while simultaneously attacking to whichever opening is most convenient.

LESSON 14. THE DAGGER PLAYS

NOTE TO INSTRUCTORS: Have the participants practice and perform the techniques shown in the Fabris plates 71 through 95.

LESSON 15. THE RAPIER AND CAPE

NOTE TO INSTRUCTORS: Have the participants practice and perform the techniques shown in the Fabris plates 97 through 108. Exploring Fabris’ plates 97 through 108.

LESSON 16.  PROCEEDING WITH RESOLUTION

NOTE TO INSTRUCTORS: Have the participants practice and perform the techniques shown in Book Two, the First Part.

  • Rule One: Plates 109 through116.

  • Rule Two: Plates 117 through 123.

  • Rule Three: Plates 124 through 129.

  • Rule Four: Plates 130 through 141.

  • Rule Five: Plates 142 through 150.

  • Rule Six:  Plates 151 through 156.

LESSON 17.  RESOLUTION WITH RAPIER AND DAGGER

NOTE TO INSTRUCTORS: Have the participants practice and perform the techniques shown in Book Two, the Second Part.

  • Rule One: Plates 157 through 159.

  • Rule Two: Plates 160 through 163.

  • Rule Three: Plates 164 through 171.

  • Rule Four: Plates 172 through 178.

LESSON 18.  SPECIAL TECHNIQUES 

NOTE TO INSTRUCTORS: Have the participants practice and perform the techniques shown in Book Two, the Third Part.

  • Grips and Disarms: Plates 179 through 182.

  • Cape Throws: Plates 183 and 184.

  • Defending against a dagger empty handed: Plates 185 through 189.

  • Defending with a sword against a polearm: Plate 190.