During the month of March we will be posting free drills to help fighters develop and reinforce their understanding of swordsmanship. This week our drills will all focus on footwork. Footwork is one of the most important, and most neglected aspects of fighting. To kick of the week we will start off with the basics and build on the skills from there.
Footwork: Accressere and Descressere
The name for this stepping method comes from Italian sword work. Accressere means increase or advancing step. In practical application it is a small step moving forward or advance. Descressere means decrease or decreasing step. In practical application it is a small step moving backward or retreat. Fighting in armor is different than fencing. When a fighter is wearing armor there is extra material and buckles on the inner thighs. That means it is important to keep your legs shoulder-width apart to keep from getting caught on your armor. Also in a competition where grappling and multiple opponents are common having a wider base will make you more stable for surprise side attacks. Keep your legs shoulder-width apart with your weight balanced evenly between your feet. Take small even steps forward and small even steps backward. Small quick steps can actually cover more ground faster than slow big steps.