Farfalle di Ferro

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The Farfalla di Ferro, the Iron Butterfly, is a sword handling drill (invented by Guy Windsor), and is composed of three parts:

Part one: mandritto fendente, a high roverso punta, and roverso fendente. Start and finish in donna destra.

Part two: roverso fendente, a high mandritto punta, and mandritto fendente. Start and finish in donna sinestra.

Part three: four sottani: mandritto sottano with the false edge (aka falso dritto), mandritto sottano with the true edge, roverso sottano with the false edge (aka falso manco), roverso sottano with the true edge.

When put together, part three is done with two passes backwards.

Music credit: "Two Swords" by _ghost Available at ccMixter.org http://ccmixter.org/files/_ghost/26146 Under CC BY license http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Applications to this drill were covered in class on March 17th 2014, the footage of which is here:

Note that in the class, this was preceded by the usual 10 minutes of breathing exercises, a few minutes of the Syllabus Form done solo, and the Syllabus Form Applications Drill, followed by the Farfalle di Ferro in its basic form.

Guide to the video contents:

00.00-0.56 introduction. Making the handling drill tight and small.

00.57-2.35 basic applications of the drill: counterattack with mandritto fendente; gaining leverage control with fenestra to thrust (note groundpath in true edge, not in the flat); yielding to the parry and striking on the other side.

02.36-04.11 corrections to mistakes made in class; when not to follow the drill. General rule: “If your opponent’s point is going away from you, strike into the opening line.” Being specific about when to use the farfalle combination.

04:12-07.06: About the footwork: when winding to fenestra to thrust; and especially the footwork when striking on the other side: the meza volta. Noting Fiore’s explanation of the meza volta, groundpaths and the mechanical consequences stepping linearly instead of turning.

07.07-08.39: The same applications, applied by the attacker. Noting what happens if the parry against the fenestra thrust is a yield to the outside instead of the turn to the inside.

08.40-09.41 changing the measure; using the drill to get into close quarters. The rules: “stick your point in his face. If his sword is moving away from you, strike into the opening line. If his sword is moving towards you, put your sword in the way.”

09.42-10.52 difficulties arising from poor mechanics, especially the turn around the middle of the sword. Minimising time spent with your point moving away from the opponent.

10.53- 11.46 a basic drill to help with the turn around the middle of the blade.

11.47- 12.51: repeating the drill beginning with the roverso instead of the mandritto (i.e. start at part 2). And other variations on the basic drill.

12.52-15.19: Using part 3; the sottani blows. Variation on second drill, defender ripostes with sottano on either side. Notes re the necessary footwork to stay safe. Note re continuations if attacker parries the riposte. Note re getting away again after the riposte.

15.20-16.48: Attacker’s use of the same action, as a response to the parry. Variations depending on the defender’s actions. Use of the sottano v. the sottano.

16.49-18.02: Counter to the punta falsa as an example of turning within the turn. Making your actions smaller than your opponent’s. Note re opponent’s expectations re line of attack.

18.03-19.35: How does this work with sharps? Very nicely, thank you.