Perth Fechtschule/Knight School study group 30/11/06

Started out with with Footwork exercises:

First the dance- arm in front, palm foward, pressing against your partner’s. One person then leads, with both focussing on correct footwork. Also focussing on situational awareness by trying to lead your partner into walls, other people, etc. in addition to occasionally seeing if you can pull/push your partner off balance.

Secondly we tried something new. Unarmed vs. Sword. The person with the sword would initiate simple attacks at their partner, who had to use footwork to void the attack and gain a favourable position. Found it a good way to instill the concept of lateral movement.

Next up was some simple Absetzen with Shinai. We had done this before so went straight into alive drilling. Started out slow, first against strikes, then against thrusts. Then we combined the two and picked up the pace.

After the Absetzen we picked up the steel and moved onto Zwerchhau.

Initially reviewed our Zwerch cutting technique. Focussed on trying to minimise the movement by seeing how it is closely related to Schielhau and noting the decision points. We looked at trying to minimise the time it takes for the tip to threaten, thereby reducing the exposure of our hands and time taken to hit. So basically like a Schielhau, but changing the angle of the blade via a different torque motion with the hands. This torque motion also added a nice snap at the end, adding power at the end. Hard to explain via writing 🙂 I’m pleased so far with it, but more testing is needed.

We then partnered up and had one person playing the role of a pell as the other Zwerc’ed. The purpose being the pell can watch the Zwerc’ers form and then comment on their form. Most errors were to due with leaning the body in before moving the sword. However, this was the case when initiated from a static ‘Vom Tag’ position. So I also practised moving to strike from out of distance, using guard transitions.

Next was Zwerchau vs. oberhau. Went straight to alive drills for this, moving around, using different guards and from both sides. I used a sword without my normal side rings, and had my hands a bit too low on some (could feel the sword on them, but nothing major), as the side rings often let me be slack.

We then cut down into the Zwerc, forcing the Zwerc’er to come around to the other side with a 2nd Zwerc. Also experimented with a more vertical/diagonal 2nd Zwerc. Not quite your textbook Zwerc, but certainly fits into the principle of using their force to launch an attack to their otherside, and the torque motion of the hands is the same, just a different angle of attack.

Next we added the counter to the 2nd Zwerc via another Zwerc or schnitt to the arms. What was interesting for me was that when the 2nd Zwerc was a textbook horizontal Zwerc, the counter-Zwerc worked a charm, but if the 2nd Zwerc was more vertical, then the counter-Zwerc was less effective and often got bound down. I believe the Schnitt was less effective also, but can not recall to clearly now. Certainly something to look at later.

For the last 10 mins with got out the shinai and tried to apply the Zwerchhau techniques. 2 min rounds each, using only oberhaus and zwercs to initiate the combat. Wasn’t always not get hit at all costs- we sometimes threw in an easy shot for our opponent so that they had a chance to use the technique in a dynamic full speed environment.

So in conclusion- Perhaps develop some more footwork drills against an armed attacker, moving onto disarms and the like. Need to look at the implications of changing the 2nd Zwerc angle of attack.

~ by Magnus on 2 December, 2006.

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