The following is the handout and notes from my “Abridged Capo Ferro” class, based off Capo Ferro’s manual, but more specifically, a drill/video by the talented Guy Windsor. Additional and great resources are listed at the end of the post.
This a constant work-in-progress. You can download a PDF version here.
Goal: To teach the basic techniques of “what counters what” in Capoferro’s rapier system. This is based off a drill created by Guy Windsor. Video of the drill can be seen below.
The Basis: Skilled Italian fencers know to stringer (constrain) their opponent’s blade before attacking. Doing this limits their opponent’s options of attack. The most common attack after being stringered is a thrust by ways of a cavazione (disengage).
This makes our opponent’s predictable. This is good for us!
Part I – Defenses Against the Attack by Cavazione
Setup: In this drill, Fighter B stringers Fighter A’s blade (inside or outside line). Fighter A performs a cavazione and thrusts at Fighter B on the opposite line. Fighter B responds with one of four defenses.
|Fighter A||Fighter B|
|Cavazione||Dui Tempi (Parry/Riposte)|
|Cavazione||Primo Tempo (Counterattack in Single Time w/Opposition)|
|Cavazione||Girata (Counterattack w/Body Void)|
|Cavazione||Controcavazione (Counter Disengage)|
Part II – Counters to the Defenses
Setup: In this drill, Fighter B stringers Fighter A’s blade. Fighter A performs a cavazione and begins to thrust at Fighter B. Fighter B responds with one of the four counters (like in Part II). Fighter A then responds with the following attacks in contratempo (counter-time).
|Fighter A||Fighter B||Fighter A|
|Cavazione||Dui Tempi||Feint & Cavazione|
|Cavazione||Primo Tempo||Dui Tempi|
(Any of the Four Defenses from Part I will work)
Note: This drill can (and should) be practice on both the inside and outside lines.