Brief introduction to the rapier itself and its parts.
Terminology: The four hand positions in Italian rapier (one, two, three, four). Their introduction by Agrippa. The difference between one, the hand position, and first/prima the guard.
[students demonstrate the four hand positions to reinforce the terminology]
Fabris’s stance, including the crossing or near-crossing, of the feet when they are close together. Contrast with modern theory in which the feet should never cross.
Review the rest of the body in the withdrawn prima.
[students practice assuming the withdrawn prima]
Discuss how to use the illustrations to distinguish between important and unimportant details by comparing the left and right fencer in the same guard.
[students practice assuming the withdrawn prima with refinements]
Discuss the strengths of the withdrawn prima, namely protecting the head. (Note, changed the order slightly from the text.)
[students drill parrying basic high cuts to the head]
Discuss the weaknesses of the withdrawn prima, specifically the opening beneath the sword.
Continue the discussion with talking about the importance of hand parries in this posture.
[drill attacking someone in the withdrawn prima. Agent starts in a generic third, the patient in prima will parry with the hand.]
Terminology: single vs double-time actions
[repeat drill, but patient may parry with the sword.]
Discuss Fabris’ theory that this posture is only good for retreating. Then conclude with a preview of the extended or “properly formed” Prima.