Monday, November 26, 2007
Corrections generally concerned wrong lines of movement (if you step off the line to parry with frontale, it makes no sense whatsoever to then stab with bicorno in the direction your foot was moving in, i.e., off the line - d'oh) and sloppy guard positions. I've always had what Guy today called "a tendency to be quite fluid" but what he has previously called "bluffing it" and "running it all together": a certain lack of crispness and precision. He advised me to emphasise each guard position to make sure they are executed properly and only after the form is firmly embedded in my memory to increase the fluidity of movement.
Sunday, November 25, 2007
For the first time in ages I actually feel like I'm standing on solid ground. I know the drills, the form, and the abrazare stuff at least well enough to practise them and help others practise, too, if need be. All the other Level 2 stuff I already had in hand, more or less. In fact, reading the Level 3 requirements I find I already meet most of those, too, or at least might with a bit of a brush-up because I've done many of the things mentioned... years ago... meaning that I might think I know them but probably don't do them well enough... A refresher in neck and back massage is needed, ditto spear and pollax, definitely ditto for dagger defenses at full speed and punches and kicks.
So I'm not so clueless as I thought :)
- Conditioning exercise: lunge + recover, pass "in seconda" + recover, pass back "in cuarta" + recover, sbasso + recover, scanso de pie dritto (sp?) + recover, low lunge, follow-up pass, pass-back lunge + recover, scanso dell'avita (sp?) + recover.
- Rapier puzzles: your partner holds a buckler and positions his blade as he wishes, and your task is to stab the buckler without getting hit by your partner's blade. Variations include hitting the buckler without blade contact, by opposing the blade, by binding the blade etc.
One rapier exercise that I wish I had never heard of is rapierball: floorball (sähly) with rapiers. --shudder-- I remembered all over again why I hate team sports: everyone always ignores me and I'm totally lost as to who's in my team and where our goal is. But I suppose the point of the exercise isn't to make us antisocial buggers feel bad and neglected but to teach point control.
Another problem was that I was a lot less advanced in rapier than all the other students. Hm, let me put it another way. I may have done much more rapier stuff than many of them, but that was before Guy got into Capo Ferro and waaaaay before Guy came up with his set of training exercises. So even though I handle a rapier adequately (I think) and have an eye for the lines and angles, this class was still the first time that the position of the blade in the CF guard positions actually made sense and seemed intuitive to me; the ones I learned were subtly different. Or maybe I just misremember :D In spite of my handicap, Guy shouted at me every bit as much as he did at the others. In fact, after class he came up to me and made it clear that he did not think I should have known all this "new" stuff yet, which made me feel a lot better.
Regardless, I giggled inwardly in desperation every time Guy used the phrases "It's not rocket science!" and "It's not difficult!" to describe various rapier techniques.
Guy: "A little stiff in the shoulder there."
Student (chuckles): "And not just the shoulder."
There's a pause and some tittering from the other students.
Guy: "I didn't need to know that..."