Freeplay Preparation

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This has several components, which are:

  • Competitive drilling, where in a set drill, the players try to make their action work. If the drill has an attack and a parry, the attacker tries to beat the parry with speed or power, the defender has to deal with it or get hit.
  • Degrees of Freedom, where choices are added at various stages ina set drill. A simple degree of freedom would perhaps allow the attacker to strike differently- say either mandritto fendente or a thrust. The defender has to deal with the unscripted changes.
  • Pressure drilling, in which sufficient speed, power, fatigue and risk are employed to challenge the player to act well under pressure. The three man drill is a good example: defender in the middle, attackers take turns with no let-up or pause to attack the defender, who has to deal with it, turning to face each new attack as it comes.
  • Freeplay, with limited degrees of freedom, e.g.: taking turns to attack.
  • Memory drills: eg:

This drill works best with three fencers, an attacker, a defender and an observer. Switch roles after each phrase, to develop your ability to remember phrases from the inside and the outside.

• designate an attacker and a defender.

• allow free choice of attack and defence, but no continuations (attacker can’t counter).

• Attacker attacks as he likes, defender tries to defend. Notice who gets hit.

• First one, then the other, describes in clear fencing language, in detail exactly what occurred.

• Allow progressively more steps until fencers can easily recall at least 6 actions in a row.

  • The Freeplay Cycle:

Set drill, to establish a specific action or principle- Degree of Freedom, to recognise the context for that action or principle- Competitive drilling, to establish the action under pressure- freeplay, to test the action or principle in a freer context. Freeplay should highlight an error, for which we have a corrective set drill, and so the cycle repeats. Select the drill, and repeat.

[[Category:Fiore Advanced]