Longsword Foundations Course Outline

We hope you enjoy your experience learning the medieval Italian longsword, dagger and staff. Below are the outlines for the classes. Use these outlines to refresh your knowledge and get ideas for practice in between classes and after the course is done.

Class 1: Longsword Attacks

  1. Longsword Cuts
    1. The order of the attack; timing of hand and foot
    2. Fendente
    3. Sottano
    4. Mezzano
    5. Mandritto, Roverso
  2. Longsword Postures
    1. Quadrant: Posta di Donna, Porta di Ferro, Dente al Cinghiara, Posta Finestra
    2. Centreline: Posta Breve, Posta Longa
  3. Longsword Thrusts
    1. The order of the attack; timing of hand and foot
    2. Five thrusts: two low, one middle, two high
  4. Blade Control
    1. Three advantages: crossing over, leverage of the forte, turning the true edge
    2. Thrusting with control: emphasis on crossing
    3. Cutting with control: emphasis on leverage

Class 2: Longsword Defenses

  1. Footwork & Measure
    1. Footwork: advance/retreat, sideways, passing, triangle
    2. Measure: misura larghissima, misura larga, misura stretta
  2. Three Defensive Principles
    1. Evading the attack through measure
    2. Evading the attack through angle
    3. Using the sword to create cover
  3. Winning the crossing in Dui Tempi (striking as the opponent recovers)
    1. Parry: opposition in front
    2. Collection: arresting with leverage
    3. Deflection: accelleration from behind
    4. Footwork to enhance defensive angles
  4. Winning the crossing in Contra Tempo (striking as the opponent attacks)
    1. Counter Thrust: the collection that strikes with a thrust
    2. Counter Cut: the parry that strikes with a cut

Class 3: Dagger Attacks & Defenses; Longsword Combat

  1. Dagger defense and disarm
    1. Against rising attacks
  2. Dagger defense and arm bind
    1. Against the roverso attack
  3. Dagger defense and body control
    1. Against the mandritto attack
  4. Eight lines of attack
    1. Four strikes on the X
    2. Four strikes on the +
  5. Longsword Combat Introduction
    1. Primo tempo (as they enter) & mezzo tempo (as they prepare)
    2. Finestra recovery after having been parried
    3. The anatomy of a fight: entry, attack, defense, counter attack, recovery, exit
    4. Introduction to slow fencing

Class 4: Staff Attacks & Defenses; Longsword Review

  1. Four attacks with staff
    1. Down from the right with the head
    2. Down from the left with the pedal
    3. Across low from the right with the head
    4. Across low from the left with the pedal
  2. Three defenses with staff
    1. Parry and riposte the head
    2. Parry and riposte with the pedal
    3. Defending with the half
  3. Longsword review
    1. Poste: quadrant, centreline
    2. Attacks: timing of hand and foot
    3. Blade control: three advantages
    4. Tempo: four opportunities
    5. The crossing: five ways to win
    6. Recovery and defensive exit
  4. Rank & Certificate Presentations