This lesson was… odd. For the first time I’ve got nothing really new to report: no second drill steps, no new dagger exercise, no new sword guards. Does that mean we were bored this week? Far from it! This was about the most difficult lesson yet. Continue reading
The week has gone by quickly and it’s time to go to sword school again. Because of heavy snowfall we take care to leave early, and arrive well before the lesson starts. This gives us a perfect opportunity to ask the assistant teacher to clarify last lesson’s dagger exercise. How come the opponent doesn’t seem to be under our control?
He agrees with us that the version we learned does not bring the opponent out of balance (although apparently there’s another version that does so, but which is not as faithful to Fiore’s illustrations). We also don’t have a strong lock in place on the opponent, so he can get out of our grip pretty easily.
From this one might think (indeed, I did) that the technique is ineffective. That turns out to be untrue: there’s a trick to the exercise that we weren’t explained. Distraction.
Sword fighting is totally awesome.
I returned from my first class on medieval swordsmanship alive, happy and totally overwhelmed. My head was bursting at the seams, overflowing with information. Let’s get right down to it. What did my first lesson include?
The answer: enough things for them to be way too much for a single post.
Why Should You Care About How to Fall?
After all, the main point is not to fall, right? Well, yes, that’s true. In a real fight falling would equal death. Thankfully we’re not really in the Middle Ages, so that’s not the case, but we will be floored in more advanced exercises. Because of that, it’s important to learn how to land safely and how to get up.
That’s easier said than done, of course. The teacher’s assistant is thrown down a few times to show us that learning this is possible, but I’m still doubtful. Landing safely from a standing position? Eek. Can’t we at least do this on a soft surface?
No. Falling in real life is not going to happen on a comfortably padded surface, so there’s little point in us learning how to fall on anything but concrete. This makes sense, but it does nothing to cheer me up.