Time And Relative Defense In Swordplay | Clinton Fernandes

Instructor: Clinton Fernandes || Academie Duello || Vancouver, BC, Canada

Time And Relative Defense In Swordplay: Fabris' Book 2

Become a lord of time and space as we work through Salvator Fabris' second book: fencing while continuously moving forward.

This workshop will train you how to move continuously forward, towards becoming the oncoming storm that rains inevitable destruction upon your opponent. Beyond the fundamentals of continual movement forward you'll also get an opportunity to unlock the all-important movement through "misura largissima" (the opponent's maximum striking distance) - crucial to mastering all forms of swordplay.

The book Lo Schermo by Salvator Fabris is a seminal work on Italian fencing that is divided into two major works. The first that outlines the foundation of Italian rapier including attack, defence, movement, posture, and an understanding of conventional timing. The second, the subject of this workshop, builds from this base to look at timing and opportunity in a completely different way.

The second book focuses on an approach to fencing that involves continual movement forward. We will explore Fabris' 6 rules for this approach:

1. Move continuously forward.
Instead of cautiously approaching with pauses in between each step, you’ll learn to move with passes toward the opponent with no hesitation.

2. Employ a posture that has only one opening.
You will learn to use a posture where you point your sword at the ceiling and make it impossible for your opponent to give you any reaction but what you want.

3. Deceive your opponent by avoiding a fixed posture.
You will learn to approach your opponent in constant motion, never taking a set guard position, so your plan is far harder to read.

4. Force a choice from your opponent; have an answer for both of them.
Using a completely square posture where you stand with your left and right foot beside each other, you’ll explore how you can draw your opponent in and easily avoid their attack.

5. Hide your point below your opponent’s hilt.
By hiding your point underneath your opponent’s forte, right near their hilt, you’ll make your sword hard to find and the speed of your attack difficult to deal with.

6. Catch up to your own sword.
You will learn how finding your opponent’s sword, then drawing your arm in and catching up to your own sword, makes your actions hard to read and your attack frighteningly fast.

After a thorough look at rules 1, 3 & 4 we will look at how rules 2, 5 & 6 can also be incorporated into the play. The workshop will also set aside some time for freeplay employing what we learn.

This workshop will be suitable for all practitioners with the rapier.

Gear: Rapier, Mask, Gorget