Tempo Drills

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A Drill for Each Tempo

Prima Tempo / First Tempo

  1. Agent approaches from out of measure, taking small steps. This is done slowly without gaining the sword.
  2. Patient strikes them as they take the step into wide measure. Being sure to gain their sword.

The next three drills begin at misura larga with the Patient have already stringered the Agent. So in a sense the first drill gets them to misura larga, and teaches them a bit about why they need to stringere their opponent. Then the following drills lead on with what happens once you're at misura larga.

Dui Tempi / Second Tempo

  1. The agent disengages and comes to strike with a lunge.
  2. The patient parries on the opposite side by following with the edge and raising the point of their sword.
  3. The agent recovers from their failed lunge.
  4. In the tempo of the recovery, the patient lunges, maintaining contact with the agent's sword and striking them as their sword returns to guard.

Contra Tempo / Counter-Tempo

  1. The agent disengages and comes to strike with a lunge.
  2. The patient follows with their edge, coming to the appropriate guard to cover on the new side and returns a counter thrust in the same tempo.

(See Gran Simulacro plate 7 and plate 14)

Mezzo Tempo / Half-Tempo

  1. The agent finding themselves constrained, fixes themselves / does nothing.
  2. In the tempo of their fixing themselves the patient steps to narrow measure.
  3. The agent tries to extradite themselves from a bad situation by disengaging to the other side of the sword.
  4. Halfway through the tempo of their disengage the patient strikes them with cover.

In this last drill the patient steps to narrow measure to demonstrate 2 points:

  1. The proportion of the agent's movement increases in relation to the patient's as the measure decreases. Thus making the strike in half-tempo easier to conduct.
  2. To strike your opponent in good time, you need them to give up a tempo. Thus if they do nothing as you approach wide measure, take narrow measure thus constraining them further and prompting them again to give up a tempo through a motion. At this point, even if they back up you can still strike them with a lunge.