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Saturday was the first day of Guy Windsor’s Australian workshops on Fiore’s longsword. Awesome start, he focused on one concept and taught it in depth all day – he must think it is very important.

The day was spent not on tactics or strategy or guards but on the process of developing biomechanically correct form, as well as some key concepts in Fiore.

Guy used sharp swords to demonstrate most of the concepts because sharps behave differently to blunts in several ways and because it highlighted the difference between the risks your are willing to take to land a touch and the risks you are willing to take with your life.

This explained the distinction between zhogo largo and zhogo stretto in his interpretation of Fiore: namely that zhogo stretto plays are those used when your opponents point is in presence at the crossing of the sword and thus you cannot disengage or cut over your opponents sword safely.

Mechanical adjustment method

  1. analyse a part of fencing where you want to apply or resist some force to find the main components
  2. take the guard or throw the blow and freeze
  3. have your partner apply with their their finger some force in the lines the form must resist
  4. feel how much force you can resist and adjust your form to resist more
  5. repeat with a different adjustment as many times as you want

Once you have changed your structure you need to change the way you form that structure so that you actually use your change in free play; in order to change the structure of a guard you need to change the way you cut into that guard; better cuts beget better guards and vice versa.

Guy taught this method because it allows us to guide our own training instead of simply adjusting our form for us and having us unable to make our own adjustments.

I will write about the next day and the coming Sydney workshops at a later date.