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Applications and Permutations of the Farfalle di Ferro!

Class on Monday (in March 2014) was all about how the seniors should approach the new sword handling drill, the Farfalle di Ferro, the Butterfly of Iron. As this is a pretty important topic, especially for the chaps in the branches, we videoed the class. The footage here was preceded by the usual 10 minutes of breathing exercises and a few minutes of the Syllabus Form done solo, then (because there were difficulties with it that we fixed last week) the Syllabus Form Applications Drill. Then by way of introduction, we did the Farfalle di Ferro in its basic form.

[Update, Dec. 2021] Over the 8 years since I created the Farfalle, it has become quite popular, and many folk have lost sight of where it comes from: some even think it's directly from some historical source! Let me set the record straight: I invented it from scratch, with the help of some senior students in March 2013, as you can see from this video:

So that's the Farfalle- what's it for?

This 20 minute video is basically unedited footage of the Applications class.

The video contents are:
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.

So, there you have it. Enjoy!

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