Been awhile since I posted – I’ve been somewhat overwhelmed with work and frankly, just chilling. Sometimes, you gotta prioritise.
We have been bereft of Monday night training for some time now, before the holidays the Centre was filled up with the H1N1 scare, and since mid-January, the Centre had other bookings. Wednesdays have been all we’ve had, so I tried to make the best of it.
After having done much wrestling and dagger work, especially since our regular Salle was unavailable, I felt it was time for a change. Since the group order of swords we bought are still stuck in Customs (the less said, the better), I figured spear would be a welcome change.
Now, to be frank – last week I dropped the ball. I simply started off showing Fiore’s spear plays, neglecting to show them basic things like how to hold the weapon, basic gaurd positions, footwork, etc. Oops. I was definitely off my game, and it showed in the performances the students were turning in.
Fully aware that it was my fault, I figured I’d rectify the situation with some basic spear. So, without further adieu, here’s what we did:
- Posta/attack drills using gathered footwork from posta breve, a high guard and the “bastard” high guard illustrated in Vadi (per Greg Mele’s interpretation). We did this on both sides.
- Simple attack / parry drills versus from posta breve to the inside line, on both sides.
- Same drill, adding in the counterthrust by the defender.
- Same drill, introducing the principle of winding high into a high guard to set aside the counterthrust and then attacking with a counterthrust of one’s own.
- A focus on maintaining proper distance.
- Same drill, but to an outside line – attack, parry, counterthrust.
- Introduction of the principle of “twitching” per the German system – pull out after the counter and thrust home to the inside.
- Addition of the counter to the counter, going full circle back to the first drill, defending from the inside line.
- Attack from posta breve and defence from the bastard high guard, counterthrusting.
- Attack from posta breve and defence from a high guard, then counterthrust.
The whole session went really quite well, and with the realisation that I had dropped the ball last week, I think I made it up to them. Everybody performed admirably, and we ended on a high note.
Note: I also began class with reminding them of the levels of intensity required for drilling. Some folks were going to far, too hard, too fast – especially since for many it was their first experience with a spear. Form and footwork went out the window. See my earlier post on this subject, if yer interest…