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Capo Ferro -Introduction Class

Submitted by Eleanor Hall on July 17, 2012 - 5:29pm

Capo Ferro Lesson Plan 

Here is an outline of our class on Capo Ferro from last week, for anyone interested I will link in a copy with a description of all the different elements once I finish typing it up.

On the exercises - we repeated the back bends twice each slowly, we repeated the muscle memory exercise (that is all the others) until we could feel the muscles but stopped before there was discomfort, then we swapped to a left foot forward stance, and repeated them again until we could feel the muscles again.
I forgot to cover the following points that would be important for teaching beginners : the grip, and the parts of the sword including true edge, false edge. debole and forte

7:30-7:40 warm up  - Nicola will be at a dance class so please warm up on your own

PG 32-33 of Duellist's companion

One of the requirements of this system is that you can distinguish between bending forwards, bending backwards, and bending sideways, and doing this with either the hips or the waist.  Sounds silly, but you'd be amazed hoe few people can detect and prevent a twist in the back when told to lean in a certain direction.  Hence these exercises:

1.   Stand with your legs wide and straight, feet parallel.  Back straight, arms out at shoulder level.
2.   Keeping your back straight, bend forwards from the hips
3.   Return to the start position.
4.   Leaving your pelvis exactly as it is, bend forwards from the hips, curling your middle back.
5.   Return to start position.
6.   Bend to the right sideways, from the hip so that your arms become vertical, Notice how your pelvis tilts.  Hips, shoulders, and arms must remain in the same line as the line between your feet. (note*: this isn't clear but from the diagram it appears that you need to keep your shoulders etc between your feet - your upper body, except your head, should not be outside the line of your feet)
7.  Return to the start position and repeat to the left.
8.  Return to start position.
9.  Bend to the right, sideways, in the waist only: your pelvis remains absolutely level.  Hips, shoulders, and arms must remain in the same line as the line between your feet.
10. Return to start position, and repeat to the left.

When practising this exercise, ensure that only the upper body is moving;  there is no change in the legs, whatsoever.  It is tempting to go further by allowing a twist.  The point of this exercise is not to stretch, but to learn to distinguish between forwards and sideways bending, and to distinguish between bending at the waist and bending at the hip.  These are vital internal skills for this system, so do the exercises slowly and carefully, paying careful attention to how you are moving, not how far.

From page 29 of Duellist Companion

1.    Adopt a wide stand right foot forwards, in front of a mirror or with a friend assisting.  Your feet are at right angles, and at least 24" apart (*note : we do not use such a wise stance in class).  Your back straight.
2.   Push your weight to your back foot, but stay level; your left knee bends, in line with your left foot.  (*note:  this is your typical starting stance)
3.   Push your weight forwards onto your right foot, as far as it will comfortably go; observe in the mirror that your right thigh, right knee, right shin and right foor are on exactly the same vertical line.
4.   Push your weight back to your left food.
5.   Repeat from step 2, at least 10 times.
6.   Repeat with your left foot forwards.

the point of this exercise is to ensure that you can control the line in which your knees bend.  There must be no wobble at all.  As you push your weight forwards, make sure that you deliberately direct your knee over your foot.

Repeat this exercise as often as possible.

To step forward.
Stepping back
Passing step forward
Passing back
Step to the left
Step to the right
Slope step  forward to the right
Slope step forward to the Left
Slope step Backwards to the Left
Slope step backwards to the right
Compass step to the right
Compass step to the left
Sbasso conditioning exercise
-Begin in guard
-clasp your hands behind your back
-keeping your back straight, bending from the hip, drop your right shoulder down and forwards as your weight shifts forward
-rest your shoulder on your knee
-recover by pulling your head back the way it came, pushing off with the front leg.
-repeat immediately, and keep going until you build up a rhythm.


Cool down and working on muscle memory - we repeated these as many times as was comfortable, the back bends were completed slowly to stretch out our backs  - remember to breathe.
sbasso conditioning exercise
lunge exercise
knee bends
back bends

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