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Michael Curl




Location: Northern California, US
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PostPosted: Sat 11 Jul, 2009 11:03 pm    Post subject: The Back foot         Reply with quote

So I have been beginning longsword, one very important question, what do I do with myfront foot (which then becomes the back foot) when performing a passing step? It I pick it up and place it at the 45 degree angle it feels like it slows everything down (and ruins my cut) but if i slide it into place it grinds me knee painfully.
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M. Eversberg II




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PostPosted: Sun 12 Jul, 2009 12:02 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It should be picked up and brought into the same alignment the former back foot was. Takes some practice is all; ideally your cut should be landing with your passing foot, so you should be covered while you do this.

M.

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Elling Polden




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PostPosted: Sun 12 Jul, 2009 5:25 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

As a rule of thumb, you should always return to (a) stance after the step.
So, step, imedeatly bring up the foot, and step again.
You can move quite quickly in this fashion, with a bit of practice.

However, if you are going to cover a lot of ground in stance, "fencing" steps are actually faster. The principle is the same. Step-stance-step.

Just practice moving around with the different steps, in straight lines, or manouvering around objects. As you get the hang of it, speed up.

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Bill Grandy
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PostPosted: Sun 12 Jul, 2009 5:40 am    Post subject: Re: The Back foot         Reply with quote

Michael Curl wrote:
So I have been beginning longsword, one very important question, what do I do with myfront foot (which then becomes the back foot) when performing a passing step? It I pick it up and place it at the 45 degree angle it feels like it slows everything down (and ruins my cut) but if i slide it into place it grinds me knee painfully.


You need to pivot on the balls of the feet. If this feels like it grinds on your knee, perhaps you are wearing very grippy shoes? You should be wearing shoes that allow you to pivot easily. Obviously medieval shoes are one option, but martial arts shoes, ballet shoes, wrestling shoes, etc., all work well. I often am wearing athletic shoes (since I teach at a fencing school that requires athletic shoes on the main floor), and so I just always make sure to buy ones that aren't too grippy.

Virginia Academy of Fencing Historical Swordsmanship
--German Longsword & Italian Rapier in the DC Area--


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Michael Curl




Location: Northern California, US
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PostPosted: Sun 12 Jul, 2009 10:25 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I was barefoot while practicing but i feel that ivoting on the ball of my foot is going to bebad for my knee.
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Jessica Finley
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PostPosted: Sun 12 Jul, 2009 12:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Michael - Are you transitioning the majority of your weight to your (now) front foot? The rear foot should be mostly devoid of weight by the time it's turning. Also, it's only turning 45 degrees. It's a relatively small shift, and you shouldn't feel it in your knees, assuming the minimal grip of medieval or low-grip athletic shoes.

(I only feel this shift in my knees when practicing in cross-training athletic shoes on a tennis court. That you will feel. *grin*)

Alternately, if you really are worried about it to the contrary of all of the advice that it won't be a problem, then you certainly can pick up the foot to shift it's angle. In this video from MEMAG (http://www.youtube.com/user/memag?blend=1&ob=4) you can see both kinds of footwork.

Jess

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James R.Fox




Location: Youngstowm,Ohio
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PostPosted: Sun 12 Jul, 2009 1:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sir- Try a good vid on boxing. When I was able to fight, this was the technique to land a power punch.. It's all the same, the human body only has so many joints. Push off back foot,punch while advancing front foot, bring up back foot. If you feel it in your left (fromt) knee, maybe you are not following through on your right side, butt,back, shoulder, arm, and are catching some of the force on your left knee. This drives trainers crazy.If you watched the Kelly Pavlik- Bernard Hopkins fight, thats's how Bernard whipped the stuffing out of Kelly at 43 He saw on the vids of Kelly's previous fights that Kelly did this. Bernard kept to Kelly's left and pounded him, as any good longsword fighter will do you.Get the vid and watch it, it shows in terms more mentally and culturally accessable to modern fighters what this mistake is and how to correct it. Of pay some money and get a boxing trainer to show you how to work the heavy bag.
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Jean-Carle Hudon




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PostPosted: Sun 12 Jul, 2009 1:24 pm    Post subject: left knee         Reply with quote

Michael,
I would have that knee looked at. The classical move to tear the meniscus involves a bent knee with body weight upon it in a twisting motion. While passing the right foot forward in a slightly crouched position there will be a certain tension, or slight twist, on the left knee and more so should your left foot stick a little bit. A healthy knee won't complain but if you already have a small tear it will be painful and could aggravate the situation.
I hope that this is not the case, but it is better to be safe than sorry. JC

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Bill Grandy
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PostPosted: Sun 12 Jul, 2009 2:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I would second Jessica's question about your weight. And if you're doing that right, then I second what Jean-Carle said about getting the knee checked out. You don't want to do [more] damage to it.
Virginia Academy of Fencing Historical Swordsmanship
--German Longsword & Italian Rapier in the DC Area--


"A despondent heart will always be defeated regardless of skill."
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Michael Curl




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PostPosted: Sun 12 Jul, 2009 2:46 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well I'm not a particularly athletic person (cross-country being my only previous excercize and that was 2 years ago) and my left knee was always sore when running (not my right knee), so I have been practicing various leg excersizes the past week to get it into shape. Being right handed, my left knee is often in front, so I think I will try placing the foot because when I tried that earlier it made a world of difference. Only problem was that It seemed like if someone were to rush me then I am off-balance till I move it into place.


Thank you all so much for your advice and help.

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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Mon 13 Jul, 2009 2:32 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Michael Curl wrote:
Well I'm not a particularly athletic person (cross-country being my only previous exercise and that was 2 years ago) and my left knee was always sore when running (not my right knee), so I have been practising various leg excersizes the past week to get it into shape. Being right handed, my left knee is often in front, so I think I will try placing the foot because when I tried that earlier it made a world of difference. Only problem was that It seemed like if someone were to rush me then I am off-balance till I move it into place.


Thank you all so much for your advice and help.


When I started out I felt some stress in one knee when my foot slipped a bit and overcompensated with a muscle or ligament pull in the knee. I skipped a few classes and let the knee recover before stressing it again.

The damage was minimal and the pain very slight but the knee felt weak and unstable for a couple of weeks so I avoided putting any stress on it.

Having it checked out might be a good idea if it doesn't get better after a short rest but in general one should listen to one's body even if it seems " wimpy " to not work through the pain: Working through the pain is rarely a good idea and usually just means that a small minor injury becomes a serious or a nagging injury that sticks around for a lot longer or just gets worse and worse.

After my knee problem went away, and I got used to moving my feet better the problem didn't recur, but occasionally some other problems appears like some strain in the Achilles tendon that bothered me recently for about 6 weeks. ( Babied myself by skipping a few classes or attended and just watched instead of participating until things got better ).

Oh, just watching a few classes instead of being active is also productive as seeing other people move without having to concentrate on doing it oneself is useful because one can see a lot of things that one also does, good or bad, when others do it that one misses when too preoccupied by performing the actions.

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Michael Curl




Location: Northern California, US
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PostPosted: Mon 13 Jul, 2009 8:28 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If it gets serious I will get it looked at, however for now I'm just going to rest it for a few days and then see how it feels, thank you all so much for your advice.
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Kel Rekuta




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PostPosted: Mon 13 Jul, 2009 11:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Put the sword down and learn to move your balance over your feet. Passing, turning, reversing, advancing, retreating. If you can't move yourself over your feet while maintaining a column of balance that doesn't trash your ankles, knees, hips or any combination of the above then why would it be any easier with a sword in hand?

Forget the sword until you learn the fundamentals of moving your body.
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Lafayette C Curtis




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PostPosted: Sun 19 Jul, 2009 7:52 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Michael Curl wrote:
I was barefoot while practicing but i feel that ivoting on the ball of my foot is going to bebad for my knee.


Why? It's a more secure and more stable way of pivoting than on the heel--unless there's been some terminology mix-up here. The ball of the foot is the front, or in other words the part immediately behind the big toe.

Just taking care to put your weight on the balls isn't enough, however. You'd also need to keep your knee pointing the same way as your feet, because any other alignment would put undue stress on the knee tendons. In this regard I strongly second Kel's advice of trying to practice moving around without the sword.

And I also agree with everybody who said that having the knee looked into might be a good idea. Sometimes this kind of problem comes not from people doing things the wrong way but from them having some prior injury that they hadn't been entirely aware of beforehand.
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Michael Curl




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PostPosted: Sun 19 Jul, 2009 10:31 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

What I meant about pivoting on the ball of my foot, is that it might be a better idea for me to pick up and place it instead, since this will keep me from putting weight on it, also I read one internet source that said you should pick up and place the back foot rather than pivot on it, however the book I have recommends pivoting instead.
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Bill Grandy
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PostPosted: Sun 19 Jul, 2009 1:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Michael Curl wrote:
What I meant about pivoting on the ball of my foot, is that it might be a better idea for me to pick up and place it instead, since this will keep me from putting weight on it, also I read one internet source that said you should pick up and place the back foot rather than pivot on it, however the book I have recommends pivoting instead.


That's contrary to just about every martial art I've ever heard of (at least, to do so every time, anyway). What internet source did you read this at?

Out of curiosity, do you have access to an instructor?

Virginia Academy of Fencing Historical Swordsmanship
--German Longsword & Italian Rapier in the DC Area--


"A despondent heart will always be defeated regardless of skill."
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Michael Curl




Location: Northern California, US
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PostPosted: Sun 19 Jul, 2009 4:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Lol, well its not very reputable but if you go to http://www.sword-buyers-guide.com/ they have a free ebook n longsword that suggests that. I will have an instructor when fall semester begins but right now I am just trying to get into shape and get some practice using Christian Toblers Fighting with the German Longsword (which says you should pivot). I am assuming that I should take all weight off of it when I pivot it? If not then I think my knee (or my technique ) is just messed up.
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Lafayette C Curtis




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PostPosted: Tue 04 Aug, 2009 11:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Michael Curl wrote:
I am assuming that I should take all weight off of it when I pivot it? If not then I think my knee (or my technique ) is just messed up.


Not quite all the weight, perhaps, but what I feel is that the weight is shifting away from the pivoting foot if you're doing the step properly.
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