A lot of you may know that my two biggest fears have always been spiders and dancing. I'm starting to regret never overcoming the latter. It seems as though a little dancing experience would make my fencing footwork a little smoother. I'm apparently a fairly clumsy and uncoordinated person (go figure!).
The only thing I've ever practiced that forced me to move my feet in strange and awkward ways was tennis, and it's been years since I've played. Learning to fence means, first and foremost, learning to keep your balance centered. We've been going over the footwork a lot in class and, so far, it's proved to be my biggest challenge.
Of course it's also the key component in keeping your organs intact and unperforated, so the practice is certainly important.
An interesting facet of Destreza is its mathematical foundation. Its seems the Spanish really systematized swordplay using geometric theory and other science "stuff" (that's about the best explanation my right-brain dominance can give). Camillo Agrippa, an Italian architect and engineer, set a lot of the groundwork for this and his work was recently translated into English.
The stuff we are being taught in our class is the later Spanish works. They're being translated by Mary Curtis (the wife of my instructor, Puck Curtis).
Anyway, we moved on to some attack and parry drills after the footwork. I was paired with Tyson who is a bit taller and a bit larger than me, so it was interesting having to adjust some of my foot-work in order to hit him. My biggest challenge is going to be my reach disadvantage. There's some fancy stepping I can use in order to compensate for this though, so in reality it's just going make me that much more badass.
Here's a short clip of one my instructors, Puck Curtis, fencing at the Western Martial Arts Workshop (he's the one on the left). If I'm not mistaken, it's the same bout that he mentioned in my SNR interview with them and shows a shorter fighter going up against a taller one:
Here's one of my other instructor, Eric Myers (it's sabre, which i'm not learning, but still really cool) He's also on the left:
Before you ask, we don't wear period clothes in our classes.
Well I better get going. Hope you find all this as interesting as I do. Also, don't be afraid of the linked reading material. There's nothing wrong with a little learning.
4 years ago