K.S.S.G. T.R. 8 May 2008

The format of these training sessions has often changed. Sometimes it is subtle, like a sea’s gentle waves on a beach, other times it is hammer smashed with the fury of a moody renaissance sculptor and re-made radically different. This is sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse, I am, however, happy with its latest incarnation (although a few nuances remain to be worked through).

Rather than stick to a set timetable, we have decided to obtain an acceptable level of competency in a certain principle/technique, before moving on to something different. I believe this will better prevent ‘data dumping’ when moving onto something.

Started off with some dagger plays from Jay Vail’s book for a warm-up.

I went through the draft level 1 syllabus with a new member. They had had previous experience with Liechtenauer Longsword, so I was happy to move them into training with the others.

Since I’ve been translating Hammaborg’s modern German translation of Cod. 44 A 8 (Von Danzig) into English the past couple of days, I decided to use it to focus on Zornhau.

  • Zornhau: vs. an oberhau.
    • Opponent is weak – thrust to the face.
      • Opponent deflects this – abnehmen.

Doing these plays, two major problems occurred. The first is that people were not attacking correctly- There is no point defending an attack with a zornhau (or anything) if that attack has insufficient range to hit you. Attacks must be made with correct distance. Secondly is pre-empting the drill, i.e. doing part of the play out of its proper timing AND/OR blocking the opponents counter (which is easy since you know what they are going to do). Making one or both of these mistakes when drilling not only screws the play up, it teaches the attacker to launch crap attacks and the defender to force defences against the wrong type of attack. Once an understanding of the technique and theory behind the drill is established, alive drilling and finally freeplay can take place. This I must be vigilant on.

Messer took up the second half the session. Again- Zornhau. Moving on from what we built on last week-

  • Zornhau: vs. an oberhau
    • Thrust, which is displaced slighty and their tip is no threat -> Auswinden (wind around and thrust in from the outside)
      • Thrust (displaced) -> Auswinden (further displaced) -> Durchwechseln (disengage under and attack other side)
        • The initial attackers counter (winding into Stier) against the above durchwechseln.

I really enjoyed that last play, flowed very nicely. With partners who had done this before, I moved straight into alive drilling (e.g. As the defender I wouldn’t displace, to see if their initial thrust was a real one and they weren’t preempting the drill OR As attacker I would redirect my attack if they rushed into the technique and parried thin air).

So a few points from tonight’s session-

  • Launch good attacks. This means –
    • Controlled aggression – you are simulating a threat on someone life. Of course speed, power and aggression used should be relative to equipment and skill, but still carry yourself as a swordsman of skill and prowess no matter what setting you are at.
    • Correct distance – so as to hit the opponent and provide a threat for them to deal with.
    • Correct timing – True times! Provide that threat!
    • Correct form – things like footwork, blade alignment, targeting and power generation.
  • Drill correctly-
    • Timing- don’t preempt the moves in the drill. Many of these plays build technique upon technique. Doing a technique out of place throws the sequence out.
    • Don’t force a technique – if your partner does the wrong move or is out of time, there is no point trying to continue the exact drill. In a situation like this I prefer the participants to not stop, but adapt to the situation and flow to a conclusion. However after that, they must recognise the error and continue with the drill.

Doing these will make for good drilling, which are designed to instil certain reactions and principles in your body and mind.

Hans stuffed up the drill one too many times.

Hans stuffed up the drill one too many times.

~ by Magnus on 9 May, 2008.

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