Attack & defend drill

Attack & Defend Drill

Partner up, find measure so that you require one step to strike your partner. Taking a short step forwards (i.e. a lunge) strike at your opponent who will defend with the appropriate parry. Defender can either remain still or withdraw the front foot when they parry. For this drill follow this cutting pattern using flicks to start with:

Cut 1: crown strike (starting from your right but ending straight down)
Cut 2: diagonal strike from your top right
Cut 3: horizontal strike from your right
Cut 4: under strike from your right
Cut 5: under strike from your left
Cut 6: horizontal strike from your left
Cut 7: crown strike (starting from your left but ending straight down)

In this drill you take turns and you both follow this pattern so it ends up looking like this:
1.    Person1 lunges and performs crown strike, person2 parries through high guard
2.    Person2 then lunges and performs crown strike, person1 recovers into high guard
3.    Person1 lunges and performs diagonal strike, person2 recovers and parries through high or low guard
4.    Person2 lunges and performs diagonal strike, person1 recovers and parries through high or low guard
Etc

This drill encourages people to train with all the cuts, trains people to parry as a part of their recovery, drills measure and is significantly better than having doing solo cutting drills. It’s important that participants are actually in measure and landing their cuts so that if participants are not parrying currently they get struck.

It is also very, very important to highlight that unless you are doing 19th century historical fencing within the rules and customs of that time, however that this turn taking approach is just a strength and muscle memory trainer not something that you would expect to reflect a real bout.

There are many, many variations depending on what technique you wish to drill, such as:

1.    Perform the same cuts with moulinets
2.    Perform the same cut lines but with the false or flat edges
3.    Intersperse the cuts with thrusts so that it goes, for example: crown strike, parry, high thrust, parry, diagonal strike, parry, low thrust, parry etc.
4.    Change the footwork so that one partner is advancing with every cut while the other is retreating with every parry
5.    Change the type of parry, for example if you are working on beating you can parry with a beat rather than a static parry.
6.  Random strike, number all the strikes from 1-4 (or 7 if you're doing both inside and out) and get someone to call out the number. This introduces a random element.
7. Practicing with your off hand it's a great way to build ambidexterity 

Longsword variation

To make this drill work well with longsword it's best alternate between inside and outside strikes, striking from the left and then the right changing the lead foot each time.

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