Class Notes: ‘Abridged’ Capo Ferro

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
Cavazione Girata Dui Tempi
Cavazione Controcavazione Ricavazione (Re-disengage)
(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.

Additional Resources:
http://duello.tv/
http://guywindsor.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Capo-Ferroworkbook.pdf
http://mac9.ucc.nau.edu/manuscripts/CapoFerro-GRAUF.pdf

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