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.
Anyway, we started with this active buckler drill: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nRbNlbK8w4c
As well as reminding us to parry with the sword (a much stronger defence than relying on the buckler) and getting us to use our bucklers differently, this exercise gets the feet moving and makes us think about range as we usually have to move to free our sword to parry the attack.
As usual, it's crucial to do the drill slowly enough that it can be executed smoothly and correctly. And, of course, it's essential that your attack would actually hit your opponent if they do not respond (and don't reach to intercept short or mis-directed attacks). It's also fun to occasionally pause and consider your options.
After a bit of that, we tried out we had learned with some free rapier and buckler fighting. Nadia and I then spent a while playing single rapier left-handed vs right-handed (taking turns playing with our off hands).