Sixth Lesson: Muscleless

“The only thing clouding my mood when we do the ending salute is the fact that my upper back started hurting again.” I already felt hints of the pain during the cutting drill: especially the posta longa guard and the cuts that go through it seem to trigger it. I still hesitate to ask for help, but in the end me and my father (who has had similar issues) go to talk to the teacher.

It turns out I’ve got a back that is too S-shaped. Because of this, my upper back is not supported very well and the muscles there have to do a lot of work when lifting a sword. I’ve never really done much physical exercise before sword fighting, so those muscles tire very quickly and start hurting. Continue reading

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First Drill Counter-Counter-Remedy, Full First Sword Drill

Once we’re done with examining the unarmed guards we move to the dagger exercises (more specifically, the dagger flowdrill). After that comes solo sword cutting practice and then our new sword exercise: the fourth step of the first drill.

It’s been a while, so I better quickly go through the steps that we’ve learned so far: First, the attacker comes forward with the mandritto fendente. Second, the defendant parries the attacker’s blow and attempts to cut him. Third, the attacker shields himself from the defendant’s cut and comes in with a pommel strike.

The attacker might now think: “Ha! I’ve used my sword as a shield and my pommel is a split second away from my opponent’s face! There’s no way I can lose now.” He’d be wrong. The fourth, final step of the first drill lets the defendant get the last word.

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Three Attack Starting Points

This topic is a tad difficult to write about – I only just understand it myself – but I’ll do my best. Our sixth lesson starts, as the lessons usually do, with practicing the unarmed guards. Easy enough. This time, however, we don’t move straight on to the dagger exercises. Instead, we’re told to continue practicing the unarmed guards, steps and turns, and to pay special attention to how we “lead” each attack.

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