This Tuesday night saw the return of regular training for 2015. We've decided to keep playing in the park for February, and we'll look to return to an inside venue from March. There is currently some uncertainty as to the venue, so stay tuned.
Entries in the Ildhafn journal of Fencing
For a list of Ildhafn's upcoming regular practices and meetings, please see our Regular Activities page.
On the Seventh of December, Anno Societatis Forty Nine, on the list field of St Catherine's Faire in the Barony of Ildhafn did meet:
Queen Liadan ingen Fheradaig
Sir Inigo de Messaglia
Don William de Cameron
Don Emrys Twdr
Baron Oswyn Carolus
Baroness Cicilia Lyon
Lord Ludwig von Regensburg
Lady Anna de Wilde
Lady Katherine of Glastonbury
Lady Eleanor Hall
Lord James of Southron Gaard
Lisbet of Ildhafn
We finished off the year with our best "Fight Night" yet, with seven combatants including one new authorisation, and one visitor from Christchurch. After some warm-ups, we rotated pairs (single rapier, single kill) until everyone had fought everyone else, then a straight king-of-the-hill. After a break for water, we continued the king-of-the-hill format, but with any weapons combinations. Hopefully, this got us into the right frame of mind for the Baronial Rapier Championship on the Sunday.
We had a great turn-out for the revival of Fight Night: two dons, five mere mortals and two more who are working their way towards authorisation (for one of whom it was their first time in full kit). So from now on, for the first Tuesday of the month, we'll be putting into practice what we learn on the other Tuesdays.
And don't forget, we also play on Sunday afternoons (weather permitting).
Update from last week: A better version of the pictures (mac9.ucc.nau.edu/manuscripts/giganti.pdf) reveals that Lesson 9 hits on the outside and 10 on the inside. So the notes from last week should read:
Lesson 9: A takes the outside line, B disengages, A disengages and hits on the outside line.
Lesson 10 hits on the inside line.
We continued the Giganti curriculum, working through Lessons 6-12 from the Miedema translation. All of these were plays we had done before, but we reviewed them, at first walking them through, then at speed with masks.
Second lesson on early 17th C Italian rapier, following Richard Cullinan's /ibn Jelal's online notes.
We reviewed the basics of stance and lunge (informed by Capoferro) and of taking the sword (with the point off-line). Taking the sword was practised first in response to the partner extending the sword (this makes it easier to judge) and then with the partner remaining in guard (this requires judging where the blade would be in the partner lunged).
At the recent Feast of St Sebastian, I was asked by the Steward to run a "pro-am" rapier tourney. With this brief in mind, I decided to pair novice fencers with experienced ones in a pairs competition. I had six fencers to play with, which was perfect for a round robin, each bout best of three, which we played three times over, each rotation with different weapons combinations.
It's been ages since anyone's added to the blog, but it isn't because we haven't been fencing. Over the summer we've taken advantage of the long evenings, getting together for some sparring practice whenever two or more have felt like it. Of course, Canterbury Faire was a big fencing event for some of us (I played almost every day). And we recently held a couple of rapier tourneys.
But with the return of our regular schedular, I'll try to make sure our blog updates are also more regular.
Yours, in service to the Art,
Our first big project for the year is Giganti's two books. Matt's leading us through the material, making use of Richard Cullinan's (Tariq ibn Jelal's) online material:
We covered stance, footwork, the lunge and gaining the sword. Everyone is now sore: mission accomplished :)
Last night we started studying Saviolo's recomendations for and against left handed fencers.
For the original instructions see the fourth day of Saviolo's treatices.
The word "foin" caused some trouble in this week's Saviolo class. Fortunately, the OED is to the rescue: "To make a thrust with a pointed weapon..." It occurs as both transitive and intransitive verbs and also a noun.
The etymology is uncertain, but best guess is from an Old French word for three-pronged fish-spear (which I would call a "trident").
It seems that in the 17th C the word merged with "foil" (a blunted sword).
On Wednesday evenings at City Dance we have been studying the fencing of Vincentio Saviolo from his book published in London in 1595.
We have now finished our first set of study materials which were given to us by Don Henry the Fox. These are Henry's lesson plan for Saviolo's single rapier.
On Sat 13th April Guildmaster Don Emrys and Lady Christine met and had great fun outside the lake house testing their skill in various styles.
This is an attempt to continue on the fine fencing that a few of us were regularly doing outside of Wednesday night practice during the summer months...
We will be doing more of this outside the lake house (and inside) when weather permits, and we try to make it known but if anyone wishes to be involved please get in touch with us also!
A return to the hip cut, maintaining initiative, some devices from the Low guard.
Warm-up: Same cutting drill as last time.
Hip cut as an exemplar of two tactics
In the previous lesson we tried two hip cuts, one starting with a lunge, the other with an Oberhau. In both cases the cut was a result the inital cut being parried. This is a device based on maintaining initiative, allowing you to follow an attack with another attack, while your opponent is restricted to parrying.
Angela and I, with help from Wendy, tried a few of the grappling moves out of Meyer.
Lesson: Some cuts.
With no beginners present, we ditched the plan and did some reconstruction work.
Rapier and cloak - Meyer presents two options:
Class three in Meyer's rapier.
Now we tackle the lunge (Fliegende Stich): From Eisenport, gather the back foot just a little in preparation. Then thrust, straightening the arm and stepping forward approximately one foot's length, leaning well over the front knee. Power is generated by pushing with the back foot, being sure to keep it flat on the floor (not rolling the heel). This simple set of movements need to happen quickly in the right order, which takes considerable practice. Meyer's usual rule of turning your long edge against the opponent's weapon still holds, so the lunge can take place in first, second, third or fourth.