Those of you were at Longsword Focus (Mon @ 5:30; Wed @ 12:00) were given homework: cut 30 fendenti and accompanying falso riverso sotanifor a week. It's really easy to do; 30 cuts takes about 1 minute.
If you're going fast.
And, if you're only concerned about going fast you're only concern - or perhaps the only one you can really notice - is going from A to B as fast as possible. But are you considering - are able to consider - the journey?
That's what I started thinking about while doing my homework. By moving slowly through the cuts I was able to self-diagnosis several things that needed improvement (and a few things that I was doing well!). In my case I noticed that my elbows were splaying out to the side. I'm not sure that this affected the power of my cut or my ability to cu when I really needed to but I did notice a much greater smoothness in the cut - I was better able to direct and control what I was doing.
It's very tempting to practice a technique as fast as you can - it looks cooler. But that doesn't mean you're doing it as best as you can.
Here's today's drill. I took it straight out of the this week's Green cord curriculum.
First, the set-up and the ideal situation:
A finds P on the inside
- P's goal: disengage to the outside, find, gain and strike
- A's goal: strike P in contratempo
However, instead of keeping the point online, P is going to disengage, bring the fortehigh and cross A strongly (pointing offline). This will have the effect of defeating A's lunge but will also prevent P from striking.
A defeats this by using a passing lunge, keeping their sword high, rolling to primaif necessary.
The drill, then, goes like so:
- A moves to find P on the inside
- P disengages and brings their sword up high; A rolls their sword (expecting to be able to strike)
- A, feeling the blade interaction, determines they can't strike using a lunge so strikes with a passing lunge
That second step, where A follows their original plan is important to keep in the drill. Don't anticipate that P is going to disengage high or you'll regret it when they don't! And that's the way to expand the drill: sometimes P disengages high (strike on the pass) sometimes P doesn't (strike with a lunge).