There’s not much more time left before this lesson ends, but we’re told to line up and observe one final exercise. So far we’ve been working on the first sword fighting drill in pairs: we have learned how to strike a mandritto fendente, block it by going from the porta di ferro position to posta frontale, and how to push through said block. Now it’s time to set that drill aside for a while: we’re moving on to the first two steps of the second drill.
A drill begins with the opponents taking their starting guards: in this case (just like in the first drill) the attacker is in posta di donna.
Making things a little different this time is the fact that the defendant takes the dente di cinghiaro guard instead of porta di ferro.
What happens next? A fendente mandritto, naturally. The attacker steps in with a cleaving blow just as in the first drill, intending to cut from his opponent’s left jaw to his right knee. This doesn’t sit so well with this opponent, however. But whatever shall he do? The first drill has taught him a great remedy to this attack, but to do that the defendant ought to be in the guard porta di ferro, not dente di cinghiaro!
There’s no time to change the guard, so the defendant does the first thing that comes into his mind: taking a small acressere forward and off the strada, he quickly lifts his sword and with its false edge hits the attacker’s sword up.
Hey, that worked! The opponent’s sword is now far up in the air, nowhere near the defendant’s jaw or knees. Seizing the opportunity, the defendant now proceeds to either cut his opponent with a mandritto fendente or thrust the tip of his sword into the former attacker’s face (or do both – after all, why not?)
This is one of those “easy” exercises, meaning that it’s not easy at all to master (nothing is), but relatively simple and understandable. Just the exercise you need when you’re ten minutes away from collapsing on a bench, totally exhausted. We pair up and go over the two steps a handful of times. Just when my sword starts to feel too heavy to lift we’re called together to do the ending salute.