Spain Meets China: Duelling Weapons of Two Continents

Instructor(s): Puck Curtis , Eric Myers , Kelly Maclean

Timeslot(s): , , , ,

Primary Disciplines: Rapier, Chinese Straight sword, Empty Hand

Exploring the use of the duelling rapier within the Spanish Destreza tradition and the use of the Chinese Taiji single handed straight sword and unarmed push hands, students will explore how these two different traditions manipulate time, distance, pressure, and opportunity.

Spanish Rapier Intensive

“The true destreza does not have counters…but techniques formed from the opposite movement…” ~Jerónimo Sánchez de Carranza In this intensive we will examine the Spanish True School through exercises in flow, generating and responding to opportunity. We will explore enforcing obedience by changing distance and presenting threat. We will ensnare, elude, and redirect steel to work in second intention (deep phrasing). We will absorb threat and redirect it back into the opponent. We will discover how Disposition, or martial opportunity, is gained by knowledge and application of the art.

Day 1

A study in footwork flow including how to quickly change directions with an upright posture and teaching in the circle. The group will learn to apply right angle, atajo, and hilt-grappling by acting in the adversary’s times. From this we will begin to explore flow and Pacheco’s 3 considerations (Propio, Apropiado, Transferido). Our goal for today is responsive fencing with flow.

Day 2

Building on the material from the first day, we will begin to explore the more complete application of right angle as a provocation. We will bring the adversary into obedience such that they generate dispositions. This allows us to explore acometimiento perfecto and imperfecto as an exercise in phrasing and smooth redirection of threat. Our goal for today is provocative fencing with flow. Students in this class unfamiliar to the tradition will be introduced to the necessary technique and concepts from the Spanish True School. Students familiar with the tradition will have the opportunity to approach the art using Pacheco’s three Considerations as a lens to understand and apply flowing action. This seminar compliments the partnered presentation in Taiji single-handed straight sword taught by our colleague, Kelly Maclean.

Equipment Requirements

Mask, Sword (sidesword, long or short rapier), Jacket, and Gloves

Taijiquan: Push Hands and the 24 Energies (Chinese Martial Arts Intensive)

Taijiquan (Tai Chi) is one of the three main internal martial arts of China. Within Taijiquan, there are empty-hand forms, weapons forms, solo practice, and partner work. The study of Tui Shou (Push Hands), or jue shou (sensing hands), is the empty-hand aspect of partner work, in which a series of 24 Energies or skills are acquired. These skills are transferrable to weapon work.

Day 1

In this intensive, we will first cultivate our ability to “stick” and “adhere” through a series of partnered exercises. This will allow our entry into the series of 24 Energies: listening, understanding, receiving, neutralizing, enticing, seizing, issuing… These fun and enlightening practices not only improve our martial skill, but are also physically and mentally therapeutic!

Day 2

In this intensive, we will review the sticking skills that we were developing on the previous day and add to that work on body positioning and structure. Combining these skills, we will see how far we can travel along the path of the 24 Energies. Then we will take up our swords, and see how the skills we have acquired work through the inanimate object.

Equipment Requirements

A fencing mask, and any single handed sword for Day 2.