Staying True: Playing Through the True Fight


Red Spur Swordplay from the Ground: the True Fight

As a scholar or Blue Spur within Academie Duello you should be already familiar with the the qualities of the true fight.  That is, you seek control of your opponent’s sword, advancing or striking when you have control,  retreating and seeking to regain control when you do not. For your Red Spur we want you to

Demonstrate applied understanding of the true fight

This includes things like playing through advantage, recovering from weak positions, and striking in tempo.  We are not looking for deception or grappling when assessing this particular part.  However a capacity to use the true fight against a deceptive opponent is an asset.

True Fight Checklist

During your assessments and your Red Spur exam we want you to show the understanding and capacity to

  • Spar in slow and fast freeplay while maintaining the rules of the true fight.
  • Approach the fight from out of measure and enter while in control, as well as recover safely if you have lost control.
  • Successfully retake control at each measure and re-enter.
  • Formulate a plan within the true fight and then successfully execute that plan.
  • Apply the true fight based on your opponent’s combative attitude, whether they tend to approach vs receive, or attack vs defend.

There are several videos on the true fight on Duello TV.  While these videos feature rapier, the principles apply to longsword and spear as well.

Upping your True Fight Game

Initially, it is best to work on the true fight through controlled approaching and receiving drills with prescribed options.  For example

  • You must approach an opponent who is waiting for you to throw the first blow.  You may only step into measure with control of the line, and you may only strike with control.
  • Switch roles, so that you are the receiver and seek to control the opponent as they approach.
  • Play the ‘football’ game, in which each partner retreats if they are not in control, and moves forward if they are.  Both players are seeking control through angulation and turns of the sword, but not at the cost of speeding up.  Playing without incorporating strikes makes it easier to continue steady back and forth movement and work on the true fight principles.
  • Tessatura, in which partners take turns finding, gaining, and striking.

These drills are best done at a slow speed to start. This allows you to clearly see the tempi at which control can be gained or lost, and prevents panicking and resorting to adaptive plays.

The Combative Attitudes

Everyone has a one of four fallback combative attitudes.  That is, the modus operandum in which they are most comfortable fighting.  They fall along the axes of approaching/receiving and attacking/defending.  The four attitudes are:

  • Approaching attacker
  • Approaching defender
  • Receiving attacker
  • Defending receiver

With a partner, take turns playing these roles, so you can discover how best to work the true fight against each attitude.  For example, you will find an approaching defender seeks to advance with control of your sword, and will either attempt back you into a corner, or push you to over-defend to create an opening in which to strike.  They are most likely to strike in dui or mezza tempo. The receiving attacker, however, will wait for you to approach, and often strike in primo or contra tempo. Breaking down these roles is beyond the scope of a single blog post, but you can discover their qualities yourself by roleplaying and by analyzing your own and others’ free play and slow work.

Mounted Combat Mastery

By happy coincidence, April is True Fight month for Blue and Green Spurs both in the saddle and on the ground.  If you are gunning for a new rank and need to work on your true fight, add a Sunday class down at Red Colt for some extra tuning.

Mounted Combat Mastery
Sundays noon – 2 pm
Instructor: Jennifer Landels
cost: 2-hour tuition or punch card credit

Spring Courses at Red Colt

Youth Riding & Horsemanship

 

This course for kids aged 6-13 will introduce your child to ponies and horses in safe, fun, and friendly series of six classes taught by Pony Club qualified instructors. Each class contains a riding lesson as well as a horsemanship lesson where students will learn to handle, groom, and care for ponies and horses. The curriculum follows the Canadian Pony Club D level lessons and will prepare students for testing Academie Duello Mounted Combat Riding 1 or Pony Club D Level.

Thursdays 5 April – 10 May, 4:00pm – 6:00pm
Cost: $300 + GST
Instructor: Kate Landels
Prerequisites: none

Beginner Riding & Horsemanship

This six-class course is designed to help the beginning rider achieve Horsemanship and Riding Level 1.  In addition to your weekly riding lesson, you will learn safe horse-handling techniques, how to groom and tack up a horse, basic horse identification terminology, and basic feeding and stabling. The cost of the course includes one free riding or horsemanship assessment. Students can expect to be ready to assess Horsemanship Level 1 at the end of the six classes. Readiness for Riding Level 1 typically takes two iterations of the course.

Sundays 15 Apr – 10 Jun, 3:00pm – 5:00pm *note: no classes 29 Apr, 13 May, 3 Jun
Cost: $300 + gst
Instructor: Stephanie Laversin
Prerequisites: none

Riding & Horsemanship Level 2

This six-class course is designed to help the riders achieve Horsemanship and Riding Level 2.  The cost of the course includes one free riding or horsemanship assessment. Students can expect to be ready to assess Horsemanship Level 2 at the end of the six classes. Readiness for Riding Level 2 typically takes two iterations of the course.

Sundays 15 Apr – 10 Jun, 2:00pm – 4:00pm
*note: no classes 29 Apr, 13 May, 3 Jun
Cost: $300 + gst
Instructor: Stephanie Laversin
Prerequisites: none

Riding Level 3+, Flat

A six-class series for riders working on Level 3 or higher with an emphasis on flat-work and lower level dressage. Some ground poles and cavaletti may be included. (Note: Riding Level 3, Jumping will begin in March).

Sundays 15 Apr – 10 Jun, 2:00pm – 3:00pm
*note: no classes 29 Apr, 13 May, 3 Jun
Cost: $200 + gst
single classes: $45 each if space available
Instructor: Stephanie Laversin
Prerequisites: Riding Level 2

Riding Level 3, Jumping

A six-class series for riders working on Level 3 with a focus on jumping and galloping position, poles, cross rails, and low fences. Riders may have the opportunity to ride out in the fields, weather permitting.

Saturdays 12 May – 16 Jun, 5:00 – 6:00pm
Cost: $200 +gst
Instructor: Jennifer Landels
Prerequisite: Riding Level 2.  Riding Level 3, Flat also recommended.

Riding Level 4+, Jumping

A six-class series for riders working on Level 4 and up with a focus on jumping gymnastics and stadium courses.  Cross-country jumping included as weather permits.

Saturdays 12 May – 16 Jun, 4:00 – 5:00pm
Cost: $200 +gst
Instructor: Jennifer Landels
Prerequisite: Riding Level 3

 

To register see the Workshops Calendar or call the front desk at 604 568 9907.

 

Jennifer Landels Jennifer Landels heads up Academie Duello's Cavaliere Program. She has been swordfighting since 2008, and riding since before she could walk. She started the program as an excuse to combine those passions.
Read more from Jennifer Landels.