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Tonight, we had one Bolognese first timer, one ongoing student and one student coming back from our first night (who is deaf). We worked on week 2 material with a focus on correct mechanics. With such small numbers it was almost like giving two  one on one lessons at the same time.

We spent some time revising footwork specifically the pass and the traverse and then worked through the charity ribbon and the X cutting patterns, first on our own and then with a partner holding a buckler to use as a focus target. Hitting something is a great way to improve cutting lines and make students forget how their footwork is supposed to go. This is a good opportunity for the partner to work on their control of distance and footwork as they step back.

After footwork it was on to pair drills we managed to get through the first three. One of which I think Rick has mistyped, the book specifies: “Pass with your right foot, and throw a mandritto to the leg ending in Sotto il Braccio. Traverse left and throw a riverso to the face, ending in Coda Lunga Alta.” Where Rick has interpreted  that as initiating with a mandritto to the face and following that with a riverso to the thigh – both seem to work fine so I taught as per the book this week (feel free to comment Rick).

For the second concept I taught the slip separately and then added the drill.
What I would like to do in future is to have a more set routine for classes that incorporates: a warmup and ROM stretching; footwork practice; cutting drills; technical drills; tactical and full speed drills; some free play or coached sparring; and conditioning exercises. The difficulty in getting to this point is to have sufficient warmups and strengthening exercises that are relevant to fighting with sword & buckler.

That took us to 8:30 and the end of the evening. We packed up and then chatted for a while – I think this is a sign that a group is healthy, students need more than just interest to maintain a hobby like this one.