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Ongoing Training Plans

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Coming January 2019, this page will transform into a weekly training hub for Scholars Club and Masters Club subscribers. Follow the videos and the lesson plans week-by-week through Fundamentals and Apprentice curriculum.

  • view this week’s lessons
  • skip forward and back through previous and upcoming weeks
  • comment areas for questions and discussion

This Week in Class: Dec 9-15

1. Attacking Porta di Ferro
2. Covering the Counter Attack
3. Cover Using the Volta Stabile
4. Attacking Dente al Cinghiara

Longsword Apprentice

Week: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24

Longsword Approaching Gioco Largo, Class 3: Attacking the low quadrants

Review Attacking the High Quadrants – 5 minutes

  • Ensure partners are attempting to attack through the centreline and not around the attack (ie for a double hit) against the attacker.
  • Practice against both donas
  • Bring in lateral and downward parries for those who know how to respond to them.

Attacking Porta di Ferro – Covering the Attacking – 5 minutes

  • Remember to put off target first before realigning to target (to ensure that you get leverage and crossing.)

Responding to the Lateral Parry and downward parry – 5-10 minutes

  • Practice the mezza volta vs the lateral parry and the tutta volta vs the downward/breaking parry.
  • Make sure the patiente (person parrying) is trying to parry and counter-attack to ensure that the agente is making the right response and covering the counter-attack line.

Responding to an efficient parry or exchange w/finestra – 5 minutes

  • In the video I Get into the circumstances in lesson 3. Using Finestra to parry if the opponent makes an efficient counter-attack.

Practice all the same stuff against Cinghiara and then put both together. – 10 minutes

Practice all the same stuff against all four quadrants – 5 minutes

More advanced practitioners can do the techniques against the alternate line attacks (when the opponent disengages the cover).

  • Contra-cavatione when in the points.
  • Cavatione di tempo when at the mezza spada

1. Recovering with a Half-Cut
2. Recovering with a Beat

Rapier Apprentice

Week: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16

Rapier Class 5: Recovering Using Beats and Half-Cuts

Practice Beat Technique against static sword (10 minutes)

  • Advanced students can work the beat into a thrust like last week. Order is super essential.
  • Try to minimize wind-up in the beat. If there’s excessive wind-up the partner can disengage the beat as a method of showing this weakness.

Recovering using the beat (10 minutes)

  • Partner A finds Partner B.
  • Partner B moves backward attempting to disengage to find the line.
  • Partner A pursues and maintains control.
  • Partner B employs a beat to create a greater displacement and then either find, or, better, gain their partner’s weapon.
  • Again observing for excessive wind-up.
  • Seek to target the debole and not strike the forte with the beat. This can be facilitated by withdrawing the arm at the elbow to target the beat.

Recovering using the half-cut (10 minutes)

  • Sometimes it’s better to go over rather than under.
  • Same drill with half cut. Can also incorporate the glissando.
  • It may be worth not allowing a strike at first but only a cut and gain, to help establish proper order.

1. Stramazzone Mechanics
2. Stramazzone Recovery from Gioco Largo
3. Stramazzone Recovery from Gioco Stretto

Rapier Class 6: Recovering with the Stramazzone

Practice the stramazzone mechanic (5-10 minutes)

  • For some students it can be useful to do this exercise with a stick instead of a sword to find the motion.

Stramazonne in response to a thrust in opposition on the outside (10 minutes)

Stramazonne in response to a thrust in opposition on the inside (10 minutes)

  • In both these cases focus first on the cover and the yielding, then on the turn of the cut.
  • Many students may ask why you don’t strike the opponent with the stramazonne. That’s a totally valid technique but it’s essential to focus on control first.
  • With advanced students you can have them attack the opponent and have the opponent use a counter-cut technique (next week’s classes) against them.
  • Make sure students cover and exit quickly on the new line with a retreating step.

If you’re teaching a combined rapier class 5+6 the priorities would be:

  • Half the time on beat and half cut against pursuit—primary emphasis is on the beat.
  • Half the time on the stramazonne, don’t focus too much on solo mechanics, get right into the yield and circle and cover. Often the presence of forward pressure on your sword and the need for cover make the technique easier to understand.

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Longsword Exercises


Rapier Exercises


Sidesword Exercises


30-for-30 Challenge


HEMA Livestream


Applied Combatives


Workshop Review