TOPICS OF INSTRUCTION -- Basic Class, Italian Traditions
The following is a list of the basic topics that will be covered in
the beginning lessons.
Introduction to History of Fencing
Advance and retreat
Slope Paces, traverses and circular movement
Dui Tempi Defence
Stesso Tempo Defence
NOTE -- This series of lessons assumes one formal lesson per week with
additional practices to hone skills. Each lesson will begin with stretching
and basic warmup. The classwork is divided into 4 sections. Single rapier
is covered in the basic lessons. Intermediate through advanced lessons
should include rapier & dagger, rapier & buckler, rapier &
cloak, and case of rapiers.
Talk about history. Go over the weapons and weapon combinations. Give an overview of the period masters. Show onguard, advance, retreat, lunge
2. On Guard Position
Introduce the Terza guardia as the standard on guard and show the advance and retreat. Discuss the placement of the feet. Woodcuts from Marozzo, Agrippa or Swetnam may be used to illustrate (or other master's woorks)
3. Teach the advance and retreat (as in classical fencing's advance and retreat)
4. Have students practice the advance and retreat.
1. Teach the pass forward and pass back.
Discuss the benefits of the four primary guards. Introduce the traverse and circular movement.
2. Practice the four primary guards
The students take each guard position and move in that position with
straight, slope, traverse and passing paces.
The students are introduced to sword. Define the parts of the sword. Allow the students to handle the weapons to check weight & balance.
2. Practice foot movement and guards from lessons one through three.
The students are introduced to the extension (preparation for attack).
2. Practice movement. Work on extending the arm in preparation for attacks.
The students practice the extension with sword in hand. The four positions (classical Italian) of the hand are discussed. The imbrocata and stoccata are taught.
The punta riversa is added to the student's repertoire of simple attacks.
2. Practice. The students will attack target by simple extension, extension
with a step and with a pass.
Proper lunge technique is covered. The topic of distance is discussed.
The use of the blade and off-hand for defense is discussed. The protective equipment is shown and explained to the students. All further practice between students or student and instructor will be with protective equipment worn. Introduce the salute and proper fencing etiquette.
2. Practice the use of the sword for parrying thrusts.
1. Practice movement, attacks and defense. Use line drills and individual lessons to illustrate the points.
2. Have the more advanced students attack the beginning students so
they may practice their defense.
1. Have the students take part in line drills. Watch for proper execution of attacks and defense. Correct any deficiencies in the students' technique.
2. General practice.
1. Instruct in the use of the tondo, fendente, montante, ridoppio and sgualembrato. Use line drills for the practice.
2. Practice the cuts.
1. Introduce parries with the right edge of the sword. Give emphasis to parrying with the strong part of the blade and not the guard itself.
2. Use line drills and individual instruction to practice parrying the
1. Talk about the incartata, the volte, slips, etc. Have the students practice these foot movements.
2. Practice using these movements while defending from thrusts and cuts.
1. Use line drills and individual instruction to teach the use of false edge cuts.
1. Show how these cuts may be used to cut the wrist and knee.
1. Review and practice the mandritti, roversi and stramazone.
2. Open practice.
1. Discuss the topic of bouting. Go over general rules and why bouting is important.
2. Pair the beginning students with more experienced students and have
them practice open combat.
1. Teach the counter-attack.