Winning the Crossing


Blue Spur Curriculum: Swordplay from the Ground

The Mounted Combat checklist for the Blue Spur has five sections:

  • Swordplay from the ground
  • Swordplay from the falsemount
  • Spear fundamentals
  • Mounted games
  • Knowledge

In the next few months on the Tuesday blog we’ll be covering the checklists for the first two sections, looking at the swordplay requirements from the ground and falsemount, beginning with:

Demonstrate the five methods for winning the crossing in diverse situations.

The five methods are:

A parry meets at mezza-spada
A parry meets at mezza-spada

Parry: a full or half cut directed at the oncoming attack, with both swords generally meeting at the mezza spada (mid-blade).  A parry will stop the opponent’s sword, usually causing it to rebound to the side it came from.

Deflection: a defence which follows the direction of the oncoming attack (ie, behind the cut) and redirects the opponents blade.  A deflection usually begins in a low guard, such as coda longa e larga or dente al cinghiara. Deflections work best when delivered with the debole (farthest third of the blade) of the false edge, or the mezza spada of the true edge.

The boar's tooth guard is an excellent place to begin a deflection
The boar’s tooth guard is an excellent place to begin a deflection

Collection: receiving the opponent’s blade into the guard or crosspiece of your sword.  Typically this is done by pointing acrossing the opponent’s line of attack and allowing her sword to slide down your forte (towards the hilt).

Counter-thrust:  the usual follow-up to a collection, a counter-thrust covers the opponent’s sword while delivering a thrust.

Counter-cut:  a cut which defends against the oncoming attack while simultaneouslycutting the oppenent.  Almost any parry in which you have the advantage of a better line (leverage) can also become a counter-cut.

At the Blue Spur level you do not need to demonstrate these in combat.  Instead you will direct your drill partner to deliver specific attacks that you can defend against using the five methods.  In each method we want to see that you

A collection can turn into a counter-thrust
A collection can turn into a counter-thrust
  • meet with the appropriate edge (true or false) and part of the blade (debole, mezza spada, forte)
  • demonstrate correct timing and measure
  • use appropriate footwork and good body mechanics
  • achieve the desired result: defend with the ability to counter-attack

All of these techniques are taught during Mounted Combat workshops, and we review and practise them during our Cavaliere class sword drills.  If there is a method you find you don’t have a handle on, ask your instructor to set you up with a specific drill to practise that defence.

Counter-cut, where the best defence is a good offence
Counter-cut, where the best defence is a good offence

February classes

Mounted Combat Workshop
Sunday 2 February, 1- 4pm
Red Colt Equestrian Farm Co-op, 12320 No 2 Road, Richmond
cost: $60
Swordplay from the ground, the falsemount, and from horseback.
prerequisites: Intro to Mounted Combat or permission from the instructor

Intro to Mounted Combat Workshop
Sunday 2 February, 10am – 1pm
Red Colt Equestrian Farm Co-op, 12320 No 2 Road, Richmond
cost: $149
A taste of everything in the program.  Learn about grooming and tacking up, get some swordplay fundamentals, and ride a horse with sword in hand.
prerequisites: none

Cavaliere ClassSunday 9 February 1 – 4:30pm
Red Colt Equestrian Farm Co-op, 12320 No 2 Road, Richmond
cost: $60
Horsemanship, Riding and sword drills for all levels of riders and swordsmen
prerequisites: none, Intro to Mounted Combat recommended

Cavaliere Class
Sunday 16 February 1 – 4:30pm
Red Colt Equestrian Farm Co-op, 12320 No 2 Road, Richmond
cost: $60
Horsemanship, Riding and sword drills for all levels of riders and swordsmen
prerequisites: none, Intro to Mounted Combat recommended

Swordplay in the Salle
Sunday 23 February 1 – 4pm
Academie Duello Centre for Swordplay, 412 W Hastings, Vancouver
cost: $60
Escape the winter weather and practise your mounted combat techniques from the ground and from the falsemount in this special indoor mounted combat session.

Package deals

Cavaliere 4- and 12-packs are available.  These packages are valid for all classes offered in the Cavaliere program, as well as for private or semi-private lessons.

4-pack: $200 ($50 per class)
12-pack: $480 ($40 per class)

When you purchase a package you are automatically signed up for all upcoming Cavaliere program classes.  If you are unable to make a class and let the front desk know in advance, you will be credited for a future class.

 

 

 

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.