Martial Movement

Breaking News! Before we get into this week’s topic of Movement, just a heads up that I will be running a FREE online 3-session Mounted Combat Masterclass on December 7th, 8th, & 9th at 1pm PST. Register here to join the class and receive the live video link on December 7th. I’ll be taking questions before and during the session on the Academie Cavallo Discord server, so be sure to check in there as well. Now back to our regularly scheduled programming …

Swordplay from the Ground: Movement

The first item in the swordplay checklist for the Green Spur is a balanced and martial stance.  Once we’ve got stance down, we need to add mobility without losing the effectiveness of that grounded posture, for the second item in the mounted combat checklist:

2. Demonstrate methods of movement

The movements we are looking for are:

  1. Advance: take a step forward with the leading leg followed by the trailing leg.
  2. Retreat: take a step backward with the trailing leg, followed by the leg in front.
  3. Sideways step: if moving to the left, step sideways with the left foot, followed by the right.  If moving to the right, begin with the right foot.
  4. Passing step: the most natural step in which the back foot comes ahead of the lead foot (or vice versa if passing backward).
  5. Triangle step: imagine a ‘V’ shape, in which your back foot is the point of the ‘V’ and you front foot is the tip of one of the sides.  Bring your back foot forward to the opposite tip, and move your front foot back to the point of the ‘V’.
  6. Pivot step: Pass forward, turning 180 degrees (or slightly less), as your front foot pivots on the ground.  This can also be performed while passing backward.

As you move, keep these points in mind:

  • Keep your knees bent and your back heel slightly lifted
  • Weight should be carried on the balls of your feet
  • Short and precise steps are better than long ones — avoid dragging or sliding your feet.
  • Maintain your grounded and stable posture as you move
  • No bouncing!  The movement of the hips should be smooth and level, and your head should remain at a constant height.

Don’t try to be fast at first.  Be as slow and steady as possible, and work toward greater depth and speed with time.  Avoid crossing your feet as well as bringing them too close together.  Both of these will make you less stable, and the latter will cause you to bob up and down as you move.

For those of you with a Duello TV subscription, take a look at the grappling videos here which give some excellent instruction on posture and stance.

Drill of the Week

Try to practise your footwork every day this week, even if only for a few minutes.  Move smoothly up and down the hallway, using pivot steps at the end, or practise your triangle steps while brushing your teeth.  The more often you ask your body to move in this grounded, balanced fashion, the more natural it will become.

Next week: Test your horsemanship knowledge

Mounted Combat Masterclass

Don’t forget to register for the Mounted Combat Masterclass coming up in December! The class will take place over three days, from 1:00 – 2:30pm PST (4pm Eastern, 9pm GMT), Tuesday – Thursday December 7 – 9th 2021.

Over that time we’ll cover the groundwork for training the rider, training the horse, and putting the two together in a comprehensive training plan. Whether you’re a student just starting out, or are an instructor looking to build a curriculum for your club, you’ll find the building blocks you need to move onward and upward with mounted combat.

You’ll receive a link to the live video class on the morning of December 7th. Be sure to whitelist info(at) so it doesn’t go into your spam.

See you on December 7th!
Jennifer Landels
Academie Cavallo

PS: if you have any questions, feel free to email me at info(at)

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