Mezzo Tempo Opportunity – Practice
5 minutes – Explore mezzo tempo during the opponent’s disengage.
- You can begin at misura stretta having already found your partner’s sword, or you can practice the first part of the exercise from the video. To do this:
- Have your opponent start out of measure. They then step forward and try to find your sword at misura larga.
- As they attempt to find your sword at larga, you disengage their sword, find them in the opposite line and step to stretta. This is all done in on tempo.
- Start slowly and focus beginning your extension at the same time as your partner begins their disengage.
- Remember you are doing a thrust where your hilt stays low and your point is high. This is different than the attacks in seconda and quarta you have already practiced.
- It is important that your partner be forced to make a big disengage.
- This will feel like a bad idea to your partner. That’s ok. They’re deliberately making an error that occurs commonly in practice.
5 minutes – Explore mezzo tempo during the opponent’s preparation to cut.
- First have your partner practice withdrawing their sword and then striking you with the edge.
- Though we have not focused on cutting in these lessons, you can make a rudimentary cut by winding up and striking your partner with a chopping motion.
- When cutting, ensure that you wind up (prepare) sufficiently to get over the point of your partner’s sword, and to generate power. Guard your partner’s safety when cutting by wearing more protective gear or going slowly.
- Practice striking your partner as they withdraw their sword backward. It’s only mezzo tempo if the sword has not begun to move forward to strike you.
- Keep your hilt high (quarta is generally the best guard regarding of which side your partner is cutting from). This will protect your head should your opponent’s cut still fall.
Ongoing Practice of All Tempos
5 minutes – Execute a strike in each of the four tempos. Employ the appropriate setups. Start in this order:
- Primo tempo
- Dui tempi
- Contro tempo
- Mezzo tempo
5 minutes – Execute a strike in each of the four tempos in a random order, responding to your partner’s cues:
- Primo tempo – Your partner steps into your measure with a large step.
- Dui tempi – Your partner successfully gains your sword and atttacks with a lunge.
- Contro tempo – Your partner allows you to find their sword. They then disengage to attack you in the opposite line.
- Mezzo tempo – Your partner pulls their sword back to prepare a cut.
Practicing based on the cue that your partner gives you is a stronger way to connect the skill to what it looks like in combat.