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Jan Chodkiewicz
Industry Professional



Location: Danzig - POLAND
Joined: 26 Jan 2004

Posts: 31

PostPosted: Tue 08 Jan, 2008 2:28 pm    Post subject: Fechtschule Gdansk - Federschwert Sparing Videos         Reply with quote

Hi,

These are few sparing videos of Fechtschule Gdansk (Gdansk before WWII was called Danzig) We based on Peter von Danzig treatise.

How do you find it?

Nine 20-40 MB videos, (640x480)

http://www.mediafire.com/?0yog1mgllzu
http://www.mediafire.com/?0kzdinjg2jg
http://www.mediafire.com/?eedxky091nx
http://www.mediafire.com/?9ygtptcvldz

Smaller version, you can find here (sorry for poor quality):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rnou8YiQgeU

"Omnis enim artifex intendit producere opus pulcrum et utile et stabile."
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Mick Czerep




Location: Poland
Joined: 30 May 2007

Posts: 59

PostPosted: Thu 10 Jan, 2008 5:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Jan!
I think the films of you kicking my ass are not very popular around here Wink

Gentlemen? No comments at all? I'm sure there are some longsword fencing afficionados who could share their hints and tips with us.

Sordes ocurrit
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Marton Pap




Location: Hungary
Joined: 16 Jan 2006

Posts: 47

PostPosted: Thu 10 Jan, 2008 11:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi!
I just wanted to ask about your protective gear. What kind of breastplate is that you use? Do I see correctly that it's made of plastic? (we are planning to start an almost new club where I live now (because there is no such club here yet)so we desperately need tips about equipping new members (and ourselves) with light but protective stuff.)
Btw is a 350N fencing mask enough for sparring with feders?
Thank you!
Cheers!
Marton
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Jan Chodkiewicz
Industry Professional



Location: Danzig - POLAND
Joined: 26 Jan 2004

Posts: 31

PostPosted: Thu 10 Jan, 2008 12:44 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Marton Pap wrote:
Hi!
I just wanted to ask about your protective gear. What kind of breastplate is that you use? Do I see correctly that it's made of plastic? (we are planning to start an almost new club where I live now (because there is no such club here yet)so we desperately need tips about equipping new members (and ourselves) with light but protective stuff.)
Btw is a 350N fencing mask enough for sparring with feders?
Thank you!
Cheers!
Marton


We wear leather (split) plastrons (2.5 -3 mm thick) - it protects torso and throat from thrust mostly, but also improves torso "armour".

350 mask is very fragile, it will bend with every hit. I advise using Allstar [- url]http://allstar.de/[/url]1600 N trainer mask. It's very durable, good looking equipment. Thing is, that, not every company certificate mask mesh. So you can buy 1600 N mask, with certificate only for collar, and mild mesh ... (look at Mick mask in 1 and 2 sparring, it's bended 350 N)
Besides, it's black Wink

Do you have some seminars, tournaments or gatherings in Hungary connected with Longsword Blossfechten? Maybe you can give us a few links to hungarian Longsword fencing groups, sparing videos etc ?

If you have other questions, don't hesitate to ask Wink

Lengyel, Magyar, két jó barát, együtt harcol, s issza borát !!!

"Omnis enim artifex intendit producere opus pulcrum et utile et stabile."
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Hugh Knight




Location: San Bernardino, CA
Joined: 26 Jan 2004
Reading list: 34 books

Posts: 739

PostPosted: Thu 10 Jan, 2008 1:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello Gentlemen,

I only watched the first of the small YouTube videos, and with respect, it didn't look much like German swordsmanship to me, it looked more like Kendo. White spent almost the entire bout with his sword in front of himself in the Kendo guard called Chudan-no-Kamae, a guard not used in any German school with which I'm familiar. His defenses tended to be right or left slaps of the blade (which Ringeck would call "an empty displacement"), and he failed to Nachreisen when his opponent left the bind. Black didn't use Chudan-no-Kamae as much and was more active in his attacks, but I couldn't identify any specific German Meisterhauen and he tended to cut at his opponent's sword rather than his head and body as the masters direct us to do (both men did this). Both combatants tended to pull their swords back then cut rather than cutting straight in as if a string was connected from the point to the target without a windup as Döbringer instructs, but this was largely because they didn't start their attacks from guards as they should have. Moreover, since his opponent wasn't reacting from the bind, Black simply left the bind to do something else rather than staying in the bind and working in the Krieg as he should have. Black also made several long lunges with a huge, wide stance to cut at his opponent's legs, contrary to Döbringer's injunction against long steps and stances and contrary to the central idea of not attacking the legs except in special cases; White failed to respond to these legs attacks with an Uberlauffen as he ought to have. Toward the end of the bout Black also used a sport-fencing technique in which you raise your hands high, catch a cut on your blade with your point out to the right and then whip your sword around in a circle to cut your opponent--again, not one of the German longsword techniques (and white failed to Durchwechseln as he should have with Black's point so far offline). The bout finished with an attempt at grappling, but it did not appear to be one of the Ringen am Schwert in Ringeck or von Danzig, however the details were a bit hard to see.

I do not mean for this to be taken as a harsh criticism, but you did ask.

Regards,
Hugh
www.schlachtschule.org
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Jan Chodkiewicz
Industry Professional



Location: Danzig - POLAND
Joined: 26 Jan 2004

Posts: 31

PostPosted: Thu 10 Jan, 2008 2:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hugh Knight wrote:
Hello Gentlemen,

I only watched the first of the small YouTube videos, and with respect, it didn't look much like German swordsmanship to me, it looked more like Kendo. White spent almost the entire bout with his sword in front of himself in the Kendo guard called Chudan-no-Kamae, a guard not used in any German school with which I'm familiar. His defenses tended to be right or left slaps of the blade (which Ringeck would call "an empty displacement"), and he failed to Nachreisen when his opponent left the bind. Black didn't use Chudan-no-Kamae as much and was more active in his attacks, but I couldn't identify any specific German Meisterhauen and he tended to cut at his opponent's sword rather than his head and body as the masters direct us to do (both men did this). Both combatants tended to pull their swords back then cut rather than cutting straight in as if a string was connected from the point to the target without a windup as Döbringer instructs, but this was largely because they didn't start their attacks from guards as they should have. Moreover, since his opponent wasn't reacting from the bind, Black simply left the bind to do something else rather than staying in the bind and working in the Krieg as he should have. Black also made several long lunges with a huge, wide stance to cut at his opponent's legs, contrary to Döbringer's injunction against long steps and stances and contrary to the central idea of not attacking the legs except in special cases; White failed to respond to these legs attacks with an Uberlauffen as he ought to have. Toward the end of the bout Black also used a sport-fencing technique in which you raise your hands high, catch a cut on your blade with your point out to the right and then whip your sword around in a circle to cut your opponent--again, not one of the German longsword techniques (and white failed to Durchwechseln as he should have with Black's point so far offline). The bout finished with an attempt at grappling, but it did not appear to be one of the Ringen am Schwert in Ringeck or von Danzig, however the details were a bit hard to see.

I do not mean for this to be taken as a harsh criticism, but you did ask.


Could you send me some sparring videos with real geman school of longsword? (steel swords please)

"Omnis enim artifex intendit producere opus pulcrum et utile et stabile."
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Marton Pap




Location: Hungary
Joined: 16 Jan 2006

Posts: 47

PostPosted: Thu 10 Jan, 2008 2:31 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you for the info!
Here is the site with the links to hungarian groups.
http://haditorna.lap.hu/
Among the column "hungarian sites" there are groups from roman era to the 19th century.
I'm in http://www.mathiasrex.hu/
Here is a link to a happening http://www.palotajatekok.hu/ There are others too but I don't know the links to them:(

Unfortunately the 1600N mask seems to be quite expensive, but maybe two pieces ar enough for beginning Happy
In this semester we were doing some drilling (meisterhauen and their plays) with my pal using only 350N masks, feders and welding gloves so we had to be careful because the lack of breastplates mainly in stabbing Sad

Btw: seeing some sparring videos with sharp and clean techniques would be extremely useful for me too

Quote:
Lengyel, Magyar, két jó barát, együtt harcol, s issza borát !!!

Big Grin
Sorry but I can't respond to that in Polish Sad
Cheers!
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Hugh Knight




Location: San Bernardino, CA
Joined: 26 Jan 2004
Reading list: 34 books

Posts: 739

PostPosted: Thu 10 Jan, 2008 2:44 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jan Chodkiewicz wrote:
Could you send me some sparring videos with real geman school of longsword? (steel swords please)


I'm sure you're a "real" German school of the longsword (and I'm very jealous you get to practice in what was once Peter von Danzig's city!!), but if you mean good bouting videos from a German longsword school, I can't because I've not seen any good ones. In my opinion the protective gear and safety rules necessary (and even more so, the safety swords, but your group obviously doesn't have that problem) make it impossible to do realistic Bloßfechten bouting; as just one example, in tests in our Schule we found that it's almost impossible to wear hand protection of the sort you're using and still Winden fast enough in the bind because the hand protection made the hands too clumsy. I call this the "Kendo Syndrome" because it reflects the same problem Kenjutsuka faced which lead to the change from Kenjutsu to Kendo, two almost completely unrelated arts.

Our Schule is entirely focused on reviving historical style and so we don't practive Bloßfechten bouting for the reasons I stated above; like the surviving Koryu Kenjutsu Ryuha, we maintain our art with carefully-done two-man exercises similar to Kenjutsu Kata. We do practice Harnischfechten bouting, however, since in that case you're *supposed* to be using safety gear and because safer weapons can be used since the fine delicacy of Winden isn't an issue there.

Regards,
Hugh
www.schlachtschule.org
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Jan Chodkiewicz
Industry Professional



Location: Danzig - POLAND
Joined: 26 Jan 2004

Posts: 31

PostPosted: Thu 10 Jan, 2008 3:43 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hugh,

Quote:
I'm sure you're a "real" German school of the longsword (and I'm very jealous you get to practice in what was once Peter von Danzig's city!!), but if you mean good bouting videos from a German longsword school, I can't because I've not seen any good ones. In my opinion the protective gear and safety rules necessary (and even more so, the safety swords, but your group obviously doesn't have that problem) make it impossible to do realistic Bloßfechten bouting; as just one example, in tests in our Schule we found that it's almost impossible to wear hand protection of the sort you're using and still Winden fast enough in the bind because the hand protection made the hands too clumsy. I call this the "Kendo Syndrome" because it reflects the same problem Kenjutsuka faced which lead to the change from Kenjutsu to Kendo, two almost completely unrelated arts.


It's not as complicated, as you wrote. You have to find, or make, good, lightweight and mobile protective gear. You can make in that gear Winden, Absetzen and other longsword techniques, but it's not easy. It's a lot simple to point out, somebody's errors, according to the treatise. Things change, when you sparing for real. When you attack with series of strikes , when you try to bounce oponent sword and then attack, when you provoke smb to attack to parry/displace and riposte - I know, that it's not describe precisly in von Danzig treatise, but if you think about it, search, you can draw a conclusion that it was used.

Besides, I think that people who learned german longsword, don't remember that is " forbidden and secret words of the teachings are hereafter in the glosa clarified and explained so that anyone who otherwise understands fencing can understand them." So, it's not the basics - we have to discover them by ourselves. If you study modern fencing, you can find, that most of medieval techniqes now belong to advanced actions in sport fencing. Sombody without few years of training, simply cannot use only these techniques in sparing.

Quote:
Our Schule is entirely focused on reviving historical style and so we don't practive Bloßfechten bouting for the reasons I stated above; like the surviving Koryu Kenjutsu Ryuha, we maintain our art with carefully-done two-man exercises similar to Kenjutsu Kata. We do practice Harnischfechten bouting, however, since in that case you're *supposed* to be using safety gear and because safer weapons can be used since the fine delicacy of Winden isn't an issue there.


In my opinion, schools, which don't try to use their skills in any form of competion are already dead. It's without any sense to practice only Kata. You cannot revive style, skills etc. if you don't practise with real opponent. For example some kenjutsu schools use their skill very well - http://youtube.com/watch?v=i1aNiy2i7X0 In my opinion it's totally diferent then modern sport Kendo.

Marton,

Quote:
Thank you for the info!
Here is the site with the links to hungarian groups.
http://haditorna.lap.hu/
Among the column "hungarian sites" there are groups from roman era to the 19th century.
I'm in http://www.mathiasrex.hu/
Here is a link to a happening http://www.palotajatekok.hu/ There are others too but I don't know the links to them:(

Unfortunately the 1600N mask seems to be quite expensive, but maybe two pieces ar enough for beginning Happy
In this semester we were doing some drilling (meisterhauen and their plays) with my pal using only 350N masks, feders and welding gloves so we had to be careful because the lack of breastplates mainly in stabbing Sad

Btw: seeing some sparring videos with sharp and clean techniques would be extremely useful for me too

Quote:
Lengyel, Magyar, két jó barát, együtt harcol, s issza borát !!!

Big Grin
Sorry but I can't respond to that in Polish Sad
Cheers!


Thank you for links Marton! If we have something really clean, with good quality, we will share Wink

In polish it's: Polak Węgier dwa bratanki i do szabli i do szklanki Wink

I hope Mick will translate this well, soon.


Best Regards

Jan Chodkiewicz

"Omnis enim artifex intendit producere opus pulcrum et utile et stabile."
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Hugh Knight




Location: San Bernardino, CA
Joined: 26 Jan 2004
Reading list: 34 books

Posts: 739

PostPosted: Thu 10 Jan, 2008 4:53 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jan Chodkiewicz wrote:
It's not as complicated, as you wrote. You have to find, or make, good, lightweight and mobile protective gear. You can make in that gear Winden, Absetzen and other longsword techniques, but it's not easy. It's a lot simple to point out, somebody's errors, according to the treatise. Things change, when you sparing for real. When you attack with series of strikes , when you try to bounce oponent sword and then attack, when you provoke smb to attack to parry/displace and riposte - I know, that it's not describe precisly in von Danzig treatise, but if you think about it, search, you can draw a conclusion that it was used.


It's not about being complicated, it's just what happens. I'm sorry if my comments upset you, but I believe they were factual. What you were doing wasn't what the Fechtbücher say to do. And yes, the right things can be hard to do, but you can't use that as an excuse for not doing them. You asked for input on your bout, and I showed you how it differs from what the Fechtbücher direct; you can't then turn around and criticize me for doing what you asked!

Quote:
Besides, I think that people who learned german longsword, don't remember that is " forbidden and secret words of the teachings are hereafter in the glosa clarified and explained so that anyone who otherwise understands fencing can understand them." So, it's not the basics - we have to discover them by ourselves. If you study modern fencing, you can find, that most of medieval techniqes now belong to advanced actions in sport fencing. Sombody without few years of training, simply cannot use only these techniques in sparing.


Right there you make my point. You're saying that people move to sportive forms which change the art.

Quote:
In my opinion, schools, which don't try to use their skills in any form of competion are already dead. It's without any sense to practice only Kata. You cannot revive style, skills etc. if you don't practise with real opponent. For example some kenjutsu schools use their skill very well - http://youtube.com/watch?v=i1aNiy2i7X0 In my opinion it's totally diferent then modern sport Kendo.


Sorry, but that video is straight Kendo, not Kenjutsu. And no, schools who don't bout are not dead; on the contrary, I believe that bouting changes the nature of the art we're practicing, and every single video of WMA bouting I've seen only serves to reinforce that opinion--you've as much as said it yourself. Kenjutsu isn't a dead art, it's very much alive and is kept so through careful study of kata, not by bouting. Der Kunst des Fechtens has been brought back to life and I, for one, will not change it to a sportive form at the cost of authentic techniques but will, instead, steal a page from Kenjutsu to keep the authenticity there.

Of course, as I said, Harnischfechten is different. If you really want to fight, get a pollaxe and some armor!

Regards,
Hugh
www.schlachtschule.org
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Mick Czerep




Location: Poland
Joined: 30 May 2007

Posts: 59

PostPosted: Thu 10 Jan, 2008 10:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Hugh!
I think you make some very valid points here! What we have here, I believe, is a communication problem, not really a technical issue as such.

What you see is obviously different from 'pure treatise' technique, as it is extremely difficult to DO the prescribed moves in a fight against a determined opponent who doesn't conform to 'the system' and not just DEMONSTRATE them in more or less isolation or at lower speed level.

We used to train almost solely the 'pure' technique and at some point we decided that we don't erally understand fencing basics - acting under stress, in split-second timing, with varying and unpredictable distance and getting bruised. That's why we forayed into the experimentation area and tried out various tactics and technical solutions not described in German tradition.

Don't get me wrong here, we can demonstrate all right, we can name the things we do and do them 'the German way'.

Now, the next step is - where these two approaches meet? How can we successfully and effectively DO the things against an opponent who does what he damn well pleases and very hard too?

Well, not an easy task, but we do believe that a dechnique that is only demonstrable, but not applicable is dead. And thus we return to proper technique, review it constantly, retry and walk laboriously towards the ideal of easily recognizable, Liechtenauerian fencing that works agains any bastard you choose to name.
We still have quite a bit to go, though.
Cheers
Mick

Sordes ocurrit
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Jan Chodkiewicz
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Location: Danzig - POLAND
Joined: 26 Jan 2004

Posts: 31

PostPosted: Fri 11 Jan, 2008 12:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:

It's not about being complicated, it's just what happens. I'm sorry if my comments upset you, but I believe they were factual. What you were doing wasn't what the Fechtbücher say to do. And yes, the right things can be hard to do, but you can't use that as an excuse for not doing them. You asked for input on your bout, and I showed you how it differs from what the Fechtbücher direct; you can't then turn around and criticize me for doing what you asked!


Of course, part of your comments were factual, indeed. But if you will practice blossfechten bouting, you will see, that techniqeus in treatise is only part of fencing. I'm not saying, that we don't do "right things" becouse it hard, but rather we do them but not always. If you watch other videos, you will see quite a few clear techniques. Belive me, there are situation when you have to use simple parry, to avoid hit.

Quote:
Right there you make my point. You're saying that people move to sportive forms which change the art.


I'm not saying that. I pointed out that Fechtbucher, are not basics for beginners, but rather part of advanced techniqes for experienced fighter. That's why, you cannot search only Fechtbucher techniques in bouts, becouse there are a lot other actions, you can make. Besides, in fencing you don't have, one and only answer for every move. If you do, you are predictable.

Quote:
Sorry, but that video is straight Kendo, not Kenjutsu


No, it's not. Acording to the info, they use Kendo gear only:

This is my sempi and me fighting using kenjutsu style instead of sports kendo. This is the real kendo you can be lucky if you see. I am the one in dark blue. he wears white to show his rank. he has practiced kendo and serious hyoho niten ichi ryu kenjutsu for about 9 years.

"Omnis enim artifex intendit producere opus pulcrum et utile et stabile."
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Hugh Knight




Location: San Bernardino, CA
Joined: 26 Jan 2004
Reading list: 34 books

Posts: 739

PostPosted: Fri 11 Jan, 2008 1:29 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jan Chodkiewicz wrote:
Of course, part of your comments were factual, indeed. But if you will practice blossfechten bouting, you will see, that techniqeus in treatise is only part of fencing. I'm not saying, that we don't do "right things" becouse it hard, but rather we do them but not always. If you watch other videos, you will see quite a few clear techniques. Belive me, there are situation when you have to use simple parry, to avoid hit.


Look, you asked for input, I gave it to you. What you were doing was not very indicative of der Kunst des Fechtens. I think the reasons your bouting looks nothing like der KdF are inherent to bouting, you think you can bout using real KdF if you just practice enough. Great. We disagree. But don't argue with me that what you're doing is accurate when it is patently not. If you didn't want an honest (and positive, I might add) critique you shouldn't have asked for one.

Quote:
No, it's not. Acording to the info, they use Kendo gear only:

This is my sempi and me fighting using kenjutsu style instead of sports kendo. This is the real kendo you can be lucky if you see. I am the one in dark blue. he wears white to show his rank. he has practiced kendo and serious hyoho niten ichi ryu kenjutsu for about 9 years.


They can call it whatever they want, it's Kendo (as the guy says--"This is the real kendo." It's not about the armor (although that's a factor), the way they fight is clear. If you want to see Kenjutsu, look here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=leKwXXxG1_A
(And it's a privilege to have that available to us, too!)

Trust me, I've seen (and done) enough to know the difference. Do you see anyone controlling a Tsuki (thrust) by using the curvature of their blades? No? Well, that's because shinai have none. The equipment we use changes the way we use it.

But this is moot, the Kendo thing is an analogy, OK? I was trying to use the Kendo/Kenjutsu analogy to show how a a change in form *always* develops when someone tries to do unarmored free play. Everyone I talk to says they're different, every time I see it they're just the same--they don't practice the art they study when they bout. Perhaps I'm wrong, but I have yet to see any evidence to that effect. I hope you're right and I'm wrong. I hope that in ten years you can come back and show me two guys bouting with excellent techniques clearly derived from the Fechtbücher, but I'm not holding my breath.

Regards,
Hugh
www.schlachtschule.org
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Vincent Le Chevalier




Location: Paris, France
Joined: 07 Dec 2005
Reading list: 15 books

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 843

PostPosted: Fri 11 Jan, 2008 2:39 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hugh Knight wrote:
They can call it whatever they want, it's Kendo (as the guy says--"This is the real kendo." It's not about the armor (although that's a factor), the way they fight is clear. If you want to see Kenjutsu, look here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=leKwXXxG1_A
(And it's a privilege to have that available to us, too!)


I'm sure you are aware of it, but I think it should be mentionned to readers that katas from Katori Shinto Ryu are not meant to represent a real fight. All the moves are martially valid but Otake sensei has explained himself that in a real fight, with only a slight modification you could get a kill at about any point.

Thus, a duel between students of the style (which should not happen because it's forbidden by the school Wink ) would perhaps not look like these katas. Katas, in this school, are really drawn-out representations of the principles, but not applications. In fact they are deliberatly obfuscated so that an uninformed watcher would not be able to get anything useful from just watching.

And even inside the school they take differing shapes depending on the branch. Another informative video in this regard is this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KUVzT9tvquY. Different rythms, different mechanics sometimes...

I study Katori Shinto Ryu kenjutsu in a French Aikibudo club. About once a year, for the fun of it, we try some limited sparring with foam covered bokens. I think I only started to get something informative out of it about the katas' interpretation once I obtained my first dan. Even though from the external point of view I'm sure it wasn't looking any good Happy

In my opinion, discovery through sparring is a bit problematic from the technical point of view, because of the necessary limitations from either weapons of armor. Any sparring weapon has to sacrifice a part of realism, or else it becomes too dangerous. But from the tactical point of view, it can bring insights. In order for this to work there must be rules (even if only implied) to maintain the realism of reactions, for example not attacking blindly and not counterattacking without defending.

I agree with Jan that the manuals do not cover everything possible, and that especially against unexperienced opponents (which most of us are Wink ) you can make some things work that are not explicitely advised. As long as everyone continues to work towards what is in the manual and does not focus on winning the sporting game, I don't mind much. I think the techniques in the manuals will naturally appear more and more useful as opponents gain skill and become less prone to more basic motions...

--
Vincent
Ensis Sub Caelo
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Mick Czerep




Location: Poland
Joined: 30 May 2007

Posts: 59

PostPosted: Fri 11 Jan, 2008 4:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ah, Vincent!
Good to read your post.
One could maybe say that bouting distorts the technique, yet polishes the understanding of the principles. While it is probably impossible to have a bout/fight which is a perfect reflection of the techniques as prescribed I wouldn't say that it is unreasonable or indeed detrimental to one's development as a fighter and representative of one's style to try and work towards that ideal.

What is more - the Stuecke were designed to work in free fighting conditions. I firmly believe that they should be tested in conditions as close to a real fight as you can achieve while retaining relative safety. All this discussion probably boils down to these two questions:

Do you believe it possible to teach yourself (or be taught) the effective use of a certain technical curriculum without serious bouting, basing only on drills and imagination?

Do you want your skills to be applicable (or as near as) in a theoretical real fight?

Our answers are NO to the first and YES to the second. While the first answer may be said to be arguable, the second depends only on the will of the person training. If one wants to practice in order to demonstrate, to go through the motions, understand how a sword works better, then both questions are irrelevant.

The first question is really axiom level. Either you believe it or not. And it is fair enough for me.

Cheers
Mick
P.S. Not that we are planning any live blade matches. We may be silly, but we are not insane.

Sordes ocurrit
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Marton Pap




Location: Hungary
Joined: 16 Jan 2006

Posts: 47

PostPosted: Fri 11 Jan, 2008 5:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hugh Knight wrote:
and even more so, the safety swords, but your group obviously doesn't have that problem) make it impossible to do realistic Bloßfechten bouting; as just one example, in tests in our Schule we found that it's almost impossible to wear hand protection of the sort you're using and still Winden fast enough in the bind because the hand protection made the hands too clumsy. I call this the "Kendo Syndrome" because it reflects the same problem Kenjutsuka faced which lead to the change from Kenjutsu to Kendo, two almost completely unrelated arts.

Could you please describe the hand protection you have tried? Was it the "thumbgrip" that was effected so heavily by it? Could you give me a few further examples where safety seriously deforms the technique?
As I mentioned earlier I desperately seeking for information about this problem.
Thank you!
Regards!
Marton
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Mick Czerep




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PostPosted: Fri 11 Jan, 2008 5:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

In our case the gauntlet makes it slightly more difficult to turn the hand fron standard to thumbing grip, but nothing is impossible if you have a little bit if practice. The gauntlets were made especially for us (and for himself) by Jan.
Cheers
Mick

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Vincent Le Chevalier




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PostPosted: Fri 11 Jan, 2008 5:56 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Mick!

I think your two questions are a rather good analysis indeed. In fact I believe most martial artists agree on a Yes to the second one, the first one being the hard part Happy

I'll give you my take on the first question as of now (it changes with time and experiments Happy ). Many proponents of bouting, maybe it's not your case, seem to use it as a way to find the right way to do a technique, or even the right techniques, the ones that really work. It is true that with drills only there is a lot of imagination, speculative work going on. Bouting seems, at first glance, less arguable because it does not need explanation.

My problem with that approach is that there is more imagination and speculation going on in bouting than may be apparent at first. Any bouting has rules or limitations making it distinct from a real fight. The equipment itself constrains the techniques, making some a bit more appropriated, sometimes even preventing some other for safety or physical reasons. In the end, the imagination and speculation you have to use in drills, you find again in bouting when evaluating what has worked, which hits were significant, and so on.

I've seen some people proudly declare that they were not using any rules, with the implied benefit that the fight is more realistic. Most of the time it is not so, because rules must exist to ensure a realistic behaviour while in a far less dangerous situation than a real fight. Either that or you are indeed in a real fight, with all the safety concerns that follow.

In the end, the people that are proficient in doing and explaining drills are also the one that are able to design appropriate rules for freeplay, that preserve the tactical objectives and do not distort technique too much. Historically it seems that the freeplay was less free than we would think, in most traditions. That's how we end up with all the rules in foil fencing, the very limited freedom in kendo, etc. There is also a good discussion of rules in Belgian fencing guilds here:
http://forums.swordforum.com/showthread.php?t=80863

So I think that drills and their careful analysis are a first important step. I know I already make too many errors in katas, and I'm sure none of these would be corrected by freeplay alone Wink I think someone very at ease in drills, and able to understand what he is doing, gains a significant edge even in sparring. The problem some Japanese swordmanship students have, and I have seen it first hand, is a flawed understanding of the principles, but in general they have a good technique. In European swordmanship, we have more problem with techniques, because the depiction in the manuals are necessarily incomplete, but the principles are laid out in a very clear fashion. Looking at rapier manuals did help me understand my kenjutsu katas a bit better, in fact Happy

To conclude, for me studying the drills is posing enough problems by itself, and together with their interpretations, they contain most of the knowledge necessary to fight. It is mainly this knowledge that is of interest to me, rather than my own capacity to apply it, so freeplay will remain a fun but rare part for me, I think...

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Vincent
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Mick Czerep




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PostPosted: Fri 11 Jan, 2008 6:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Vincent:

We spent some 3 years doing various drills.

Then we took a look at bouting and decided to give it a go. I must say that our practical efficiency improved a great deal in a realtively short time. Free sparring really forms maybe 15 minutes of a 2h session we normally have, rest being devoted to more controlled forms of practice (including drills, restricted play, shadowfighting etc). We see a steady improvement in timing, distance, speed, power and control.

Without these qualities, unfortunately, there is no real fencing, just theatre.

There are different methods apart from ours to develop these, of course. We just feel that these work best for us.
We in no way forget the technique proper, and indeed we see that in more controlled forms of practice technique comes easier and more decisively.

We will continue to bring out clips in future, so that difference between older bouts and newer ones would (we believe) show an improvement. There are lots of things we don't like about these clips posted here.
Cheers
Mick

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Vincent Le Chevalier




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PostPosted: Fri 11 Jan, 2008 8:17 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Perhaps posting videos of your drills would provoque some interesting comments as well? Not from me as I'm not into German longsword Wink , but I'm sure some members here could give an informed opinion...

I don't know if it's true, but I have the impression that for WMA there are many freeplay videos around, that are often criticized for technique when they do not really aim at showing technique... But very few videos of paired drills. The few I have seen were often most interesting.

Keep going!

--
Vincent
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