The Lochleven Spring Practice was this weekend, which meant Sunday had a lot of time being outside, watching melee practices, and getting in some good singles practice for me.
I approached it more as a functional practice than a purely manual practice, and it worked out pretty well. I felt a little off during the day, but that's probably just because I wasn't super focused for a number of reasons.
I noticed that being able to flow smoothly between a more upright Italian stance and down into a Fabris guard was working pretty well for me. While I'm still not as explosive as I'd like (especially from a lower stance), being able to shift between them really opened up my options (as well as being super period, so go me!) and when I was using a dagger, it let me deny my sword to people who were either being very proactive with a dagger or other offhand in terms of molesting my blade, or just letting me close off differently. In particular, I think it was helpful against the good Doctor Deth, who has a particularly vicious gliding beat with virtually no telegraph.
Working case into my Italian game went fairly well. While it'll never be a major form for me, it was working well as a counter-pick to Deth's case. I've been using an off-hand cane for a while there, which let me close off enough area that it let me work more safely, but being able to actually threaten more with my off-hand changed things up much more.
(It also led to some interesting thoughts about how various case fighters use case, and how I'd much rather just use dagger out of stubborn principle. Sometimes - I think the majority of the time, really - I can, and it works out well. Deth though, hits enough problem areas for me that counter-picking a weapon form gives me much more leeway.)
I need to work more on keeping the tip of my sword free. More disengage/yielding drills, including working on disengaging over the dagger. I need to be much, much more responsive there. I should also fight more single rapier, just to really dial in on these things as well as forcing much more opposition practice. These should also help against beats - either disengaging them or yielding and collecting them.
Explosive footwork and aggressive responses are things that have been problems for me for too long, and I need to dial those in. (Also, once again, making passing steps more instinctive.) There's going to be some focus on that with drilling for the coming Mondays, which will be super good. Likewise working those offline steps and more body voids (and general body English in general - Edward and Malocchio both are good examples of that for me) which is also a reminder for me to stretch more. Some of that I can work on in my own backyard, which is convenient.
Finally, gonna have to pull out the sidesword and start in on basic cutting patterns. I'm happy to use my rapier in C&T, but broadening my game into a solid Bolognese footing (and eventually Italian longsword, which reminds me, go get one) will be fantastic fun.