Patri and Mark have put together a course based on a manual written by DiGrassi in 1570: Giacomo DiGrassi his true Arte of Defence. What's especially interesting is, they're using an English translation made in 1594. Considering that many manuals from the Middle Ages have been translated into English for the first time during the past few years, it's nice they're working from a translation by a DiGrassi contemporary.
The first class in rapier covered learning a few wards, footwork, and the beginning of a sequence that Patri and Mark created. The idea is, the coursefocuses ontraining in rapier, as opposed to preparing us for sparring.
I began studying German long sword a couple of years ago, and I studied foil fencing for abouta year. As different as long sword is from foil, rapier reminds me a bit of long sword (in terms of footwork) and at the same time feels like foil fencing turned upside down and inside out. I find that it helps if I talk to myself when drilling with a partner. My conversation with myself so far includes: (1) "I'm threatening with my dagger," (2) "I can move faster than my sword," and (3) "I will parry and attack at the same time." My poor classmates will be putting up with my babbling for the rest of the course.