Saturday, October 14, 2006

Cloaks and bucklers and daggers, oh my!

Yes, it’s the second Saturday in the month again, and that means a fencing workshop – hurrah! We had two newbies from the Sheffield Fayre which swelled the numbers slightly from what had promised to be a fairly quiet session given Rick’s enforced absence. 

We got stuck into some eight position parry sequence to start with, and I found that concentrating on getting the footwork right on the final cavatione/counter cavatione phrase with a proper lunge made it make sense at last. It also helped working alternately with Simon, Charles and Rachel whose differing styles helped to stop me falling into the drill conceit of anticipating the attacks rather than parrying them properly. Good stuff.

The next bit was a look at using the cloak as a parry weapon. We’ve all seen it before, but this was the first time we have officially been taught the material and there were some excellent tactical ideas introduced, with my favourite being the idea of using the cloak to conceal your footwork. Hmmm, sneaky. Lots of clanging buckler work as well, which is always good fun.

We’ve now had sight of the items that we need to know for the adepts exam – meep! At least I’ve got the incentive that if I manage to pass I’ll be entitled to red trimmings on my SSS formal mess jacket that we are going to be getting in time for the big event that we are hosting at the Royal Armouries museum in January.

Anna arrived for the afternoon sabre session with some lovely work on feints of various kinds. The main difficulty was in not moving your foot on the feint, but still selling it as an effective attack to get the defender to parry it. The final trick was to take an agressive looking horizontal cut and then change the line halfway making it into a nasty downward attack on the defender’s exposed wrist.

Have I mentioned just how much I enjoy playing with swords? ;-)

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