There were 17 beginners attending, plus a few more experienced students, and overall Ilpo thought it went pretty well. I had asked him to prepare the class for second drill, which I intend to cover in tomorrow’s class (the last of this course), by taking them through the 3rd and 4th plays of the 1st master of the dagger. (They covered the 3rd play last week, so only the 4th is new.) He took the opportunity to tweak the class towards his own current training interests, without introducing inappropriately advanced material, by emphasising grounding and hip work in the dagger plays and in 1st drill. The exercises after the warm-up also focused on these issues. The message was: your hips are stronger than your arms. (Ilpo is currently working on remaining grounded while moving.)
Though the class did not go through 2nd drill, he demonstrated it at the end, underlining the connection to 1st Dagger Master 3rd and 4th plays, so when we do it tomorrow, they will at least have seen it.
The class went like this:
18:00 -18:15: Warm-up, introducing pair push-ups
18:15-18:27: Four guards drill, emphasising what it is for. Grounding pair drill. Push hands game.
18:27-18:58: Dagger plays: 1st Master 1st and 2nd play; then 5th play; then 5th and 6th (note 6th play is new); then 3rd, then 3rd and 4th (note 4th play is new).
(For those unfamiliar with Fiore’s dagger plays; 2nd counters 1st, 4th counters 3rd, and 6th counters 5th, hence the pairing.)
18:58 – 19:12: Solo sword training: Mandritto fendente and back; roverso fendente and back; Cutting drill, part one.
19:12-19:30: Pair sword training: First drill: 1st and 2nd steps, then 3rd step added, then 4th step. (All familiar material.)
Free training ran from 19.30-20.30.