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Parries – Practice

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Parries – Practice

Immediate Practice

Solo or Partner Practice

  • 10 minutes – Single Parries
    • Starting from coda longa stretta, practice making each of the 6 parries one at a time and returning to your starting position.
      • Guardia di facia (defending against a high attack to your offside)
      • Guardia di testa (defending against a high attack to your sword side)
      • Cinghiara stretta (defending against a mid-line or rising attack to your mid-body on your offside)
      • Coda longa stretta (defending against a mid-line or rising attack to your mid-body on your sword side)
      • Cinghiara larga (defending point down against an attack to your leg on your offside)
      • Coda longa larga (defending point down against an attack to your leg on your sword side)
    • In solo practice:
      • Visualize an attack coming on each line. Practice making a single parry 10 times, then move to the next parry. Alternate between hands until you have performed 3 sets with each hand.
      • Practice gathering back as you make the parry and orienting the body to face the crossing of swords.
    • In partner practice:
      • Have your partner attack a single line 10 times, then move on to the next line. Alternate hands for each line. Practice 3 sets of 10 for each parry and hand.
      • Remember to
        • Parry with the forte when making a static parry.
        • Turn your centerline toward where the swords are crossing.
        • Make your sword arm straight when meeting in the parry.
        • Bring your point over the weapon of a rising or mid-line attack.
  • 10 minutes – Parry Sequence
    • In solo practice:
      • Move through the sequence from high to low, alternating sides.
        • Practice in place, and then with retreating footwork.
        • Practice 10 reps per side.
      • Move through 10 random parries, focusing on moving efficiently between different parry positions.
        • Repeat transitions that feel awkward.
        • Practice with both hands.
    • In partner practice:
      • Have your partner cue you through the sequence by cutting through all 6 attacks as shown in the lesson.
        • The goal here is to learn to identify the blows and practice the mechanics of the parries.
        • Practice 10 reps of the sequence then switch hands.
      • Have your partner then attack at random for 10 blows in 3 sets.
        • Have your partner repeat attacks where you parry incorrectly.
        • Manage your measure by gathering backward or retreating while you parry.
        • Ensure your arms stay extended and that you do not withdraw your arms to parry at the right place. Keeping proper distance should be accomplished through footwork.
  • Optional – Parries with Buckler
    • Repeat the above two exercises incorporating the buckler and its accompanying positions.
    • Remember to
      • Join the buckler edge to the sword to reinforce its strength.
      • Keep the buckler arm extended.
      • Turn to face the blow so that you do not chase with the sword or move the buckler too far to the right or left.
      • Parry the leg attacks using the false edge connected to the rim of the buckler (as shown in the lesson).

Ongoing Practice

  • Work through these exercises in a variety of ways to build your proficiency:
    • Using different guards as your starting point, so you learn to make all parries from all guards.
    • Against different pairs of blows so you become adept at moving from one parry to the next.
    • Against sequences of attacks that come on the same side.
    • While moving.
  • In solo practice, visualize and work on moving in sequences between parries.
    • Use a mirror or a video recording of your practice to help you focus on efficient mechanics in your parries.
    • Ensure that the whole blade moves as one and that neither the hand or point move ahead or behind the other.