Third Lesson: Don’t Get Stuck With the Pointy End

The third lesson was a huge success. Not because I succeeded at everything (I didn’t), or because it was less difficult than what I’d feared it to be (it wasn’t), but because I managed to keep to the rules. I did my best not to focus so much on myself, which helped a ton in not being embarrassed about fumbling at exercises. Because I wasn’t thinking “oh noes, whatever do people think of me for that blunder”, I could concentrate on how to correct my mistakes. As far as the self-confidence issue is concerned, this lesson was a triumph.

From this blog’s perspective, however, it was a bit less so. First I didn’t write because I felt tired, and fell for the all-too familiar trap of “I still have plenty of time, will do it later”. It wasn’t long before I got a bit sick, which prevented me from writing anything cohesive or remotely entertaining. All this resulted in the blog falling about a week behind. I apologize for the lack of posts recently and will do my best to return to normal schedule.

On to the weekly recap! Here’s all that was included in our third lesson:

  1. GETTING OUT OF THE WAY
    The strada and why you’d want to get off it
  2. SWORDSMANSHIP TERMINOLOGY
    Why we learn all those fancy Italian terms
  3. THIRD REMEDY MASTER OF THE DAGGER
    How to defend against a strike at the right side of your head
  4. FENDENTI AND SOTTANI BLOWS
    Listing all four sword attacks we’ve learned so far
  5. FIVE SWORD GUARDS
    The four unarmed guards (postes) with a sword & one additional sword guard
  6. BLOCKING A MANDRITTO FENDENTE WITH A SWORD
    What you do to block a forehand cleaving blow (mandritto fendente)

Things I’ve Learned

  • What a “strada” is
  • Defending against a riverso dagger attack… in theory
  • The fendenti and sottani blows (sword)
  • The sword guards, most importantly dente di cinghiaro and porta di ferro
  • Forced (but thankfully brief) repetition of the falling exercise during the warm-ups has made it feel a little less awkward.
  • Last week’s dagger exercise is going smoothly

Things I find difficult

  • Controlling the opponent when defending against a riverso dagger attack
  • The fine details of countering a sword’s forehand cleaving blow: blocking before stepping, blocking with the correct part of the sword, making a proper posta frontale when blocking, etc.
  • Remembering all the terminology, especially the Italian terms for leaving the strada (the teacher keeps saying them so quickly that I can’t catch them).
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