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Mark Wilkie





Joined: 19 Aug 2008

Posts: 28

PostPosted: Sun 24 Oct, 2010 12:15 pm    Post subject: Teaching longsword         Reply with quote

Dear myArmoury community

I am in need of the help of those that teach german longsword, i have was asked by a group of mates to start a longsword grop at my uni. So i did and we have had a couple of classes in which i covered foot work and the basic guards.

Now i am experienced in longsword, well more so than the rest of my mates. so what i ask all of you what is a good way to teach a class, i know this is vague but i cant think of a better way to word it. i suppose what i want to know is a good way to stucture a class and any good exercise to use with my group be it single or partner based.

Many thanks
Mark
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Sam Barris




Location: San Diego, California
Joined: 29 Apr 2004
Likes: 4 pages

Posts: 615

PostPosted: Sun 24 Oct, 2010 12:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Have you seen this book?
http://www.myArmoury.com/books/item.1891448463.html

There's also this one, which is geared more towards classical fencing, but might give you something that you can adapt to your own practice:
http://www.myArmoury.com/books/item.0965946800.html

Pax,
Sam Barris

"Any nation that draws too great a distinction between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards, and its fighting done by fools." —Thucydides
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
Joined: 15 Mar 2004
Likes: 50 pages
Reading list: 1 book

Spotlight topics: 5
Posts: 8,144

PostPosted: Sun 24 Oct, 2010 1:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There are also the books by Christian Tobler, Hugh Knight and Guy Windsor that might be helpful, if you don't already know about them or have read them. ( Which you probably already know of but just mentioning for others who might not. Wink Cool )

All of the above and those mentioned by Sam are useful but I find the ones written by Hugh to be well explained and illustrated by clear and well posed photographs.

http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t...highlight=

By the way, it's not easy to teach if one arrives without some sort of teaching plan on the day.

Not sure how I would approach it myself and it would make a great deal of difference if I was trying to teach people completely new to the subject versus people who had at least read up on it a little or already had some experience even if just the very basics.

I guess using one of the books suggested and after giving a general overview of the master strokes, distance/measure, timing, foot work then start with one thing and slowly add something from each topic/chapter shown in one of the training books.

A little history of it all maybe also useful to give period contexts ? Try to keep it fun but still approached in a systematic way and avoid trying to explain to much all at once ...... as I'm probably illustrating right now. Wink Laughing Out Loud Cool

So much is not just visual but in the tactile feel of hard and soft at the sword that only comes with practice, but one has to start somewhere. Wink

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


Last edited by Jean Thibodeau on Sun 24 Oct, 2010 8:47 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Sam Gordon Campbell




Location: Australia.
Joined: 16 Nov 2008

Posts: 677

PostPosted: Sun 24 Oct, 2010 6:43 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Aw, why just longsword? Sad
Anyway, I guess the first thing is to decide which, dare I say, school you choose to follow (Italian, English, German), then stick to that for a time.
Secondly, I assume you have some wasters or something to hand out so that those without can join in.
Lesson planwise I'd go thusly:
1. Stretches/Warm ups and general chit-chat.
2. Basic solo drills (so you basicaly showing them what to do and they follow).
3. Give demonstration on that lessons "move". Then get class to pair up (More experianced with less experianced).
4. Everyone practicing, then rotate once in a while.
5. Rinse repeat.
6. Then everyone just relax... Then have a game of British Bulldog or a general melee just for fun (sometimes we fight in pairs from corners of the room. Last team standing wins).

So yeah, hope that helps.

Member of Australia's Stoccata School of Defence since 2008.
Host of Crash Course HEMA.
Founder of The Van Dieman's Land Stage Gladiators.
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David Teague




Location: Anchorage, Alaska
Joined: 25 Jan 2004

Posts: 409

PostPosted: Sun 24 Oct, 2010 9:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello All,

As a instructor of German Longsword let me say this:
Choose the style (i.e German, Italian, or English) and choose an single author's interpretation to work from (ie Hugh Knight , Christian Tobler, ARMA's , Guy Windsor, Brian Price et al). Choose a time period ( if in the German Tradition, early vs late). It will keep you sane and on track.

It sounds like you have a base in German longsword, so that would be a good place to start. Who's interpretation do you know? How did you learn? Did you take classes? Did you teach yourself? Have you had any feedback on your own footwork, form, movements and power generation?

Footwork, form, movements and power generation are the foundations needed to be be a good martial artist in any art and the lead student needs to have those dialed in to teach a class.

There are books out there that have a modern progression to teach from. One such book is Christian Tobler's Fighting with the German Longsword. He has made adjustments to his interpretation since that book was published. It's the one I used at first to base my classes off of.

How I run my classes:

Opening class salute with the sword, warm up, laps, warm up games, solo foot work drills, solo guard drills, failing drills,solo cutting forms, paired drills (and coached freeplay for more advanced students) ending salute with the sword and clean up.

I started with CHT books, traveled to events to take his classes, took other instructors classes to see who's teaching style's I liked and I brought those games, techniques, and teaching skills back home with me and blended them into my teaching style and class.

Good luck with it.

Cheers,

David

This you shall know, that all things have length and measure.

Free Scholar/ Instructor Selohaar Fechtschule
The Historic Recrudescence Guild

"Yea though I walk through the valley of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou's sword art is with me; Thy poleaxe and Thy quarterstaff they comfort me."
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Mark Wilkie





Joined: 19 Aug 2008

Posts: 28

PostPosted: Mon 25 Oct, 2010 2:00 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you to everyone who has replyed, your help is greatly needed


"It sounds like you have a base in German longsword, so that would be a good place to start. Who's interpretation do you know? How did you learn? Did you take classes? Did you teach yourself? Have you had any feedback on your own footwork, form, movements and power generation?"

I do have my base in german longsword i use Hanko Dobringer's interpretation from 1389, i was taught by dave rawlings and have had feedback on form, movement, footwork, and power generation.

I hope answering these questions will allow you to help me further.

many thanks
mark
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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Mon 25 Oct, 2010 4:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

While Doebringer's manual is good- his intensive discussions about vor and nach and the vorschlag and nachschlag are unparalleled, to my knowledge- you might want to supplement his work with another relatively early German master, such as Ringeck or von Danzig. I don't think that the Doebringer manual is as good on the technical side of the art as some of the other masters.
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David Teague




Location: Anchorage, Alaska
Joined: 25 Jan 2004

Posts: 409

PostPosted: Mon 25 Oct, 2010 9:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mark Wilkie wrote:
I do have my base in german longsword i use Hanko Dobringer's interpretation from 1389, i was taught by dave rawlings and have had feedback on form, movement, footwork, and power generation.


Hi Mark,

Then you should have a leg up on how to teach a class as you have taken instruction from Dave Rawlings.

You can base your class off of how Dave taught you and change your class structure as you see fit based on your own personality and fellow student levels of skill.

I agree with Craig, flesh out your curriculum with some related manuals such as Ringeck or von Danzig. I currently teach a curriculum based off of HS.3227a, Ringeck , von Danzig and Kal. I use the guards shown by Kal and currently we are working though the plays laid out in the anonymous longsword section of vD.

You'll need to set goals for your study group, how quickly can they free play ( if all or most free play is going to be a coached - self coached tool for learning or just to hit each other for fun) and what your long term goals are for both yourself and your fellow students of the sword.

You know Dave Rawling's interpretation of HS.3227a so stick with that as your base of form, movement, footwork, and power generation.

I teach once a week with a 2 hr session. In my first class for beginners I'll cover how to hold the sword, the parts of the sword in the German system, the standard grip & thumb grip, the basic footwork (passing, slope, double, adjustment, compass, and lunge), forward & backward falls, the 4 primary and 4 transitional guards of the early masters, and start them on full cuts with proper form. As the class progresses, we spend less time on the basics with a quick review at the start of each class and add in paired drills, Since I have a core of longtime students, I split them off the last hour of the class to work on more advanced techniques or coached - self coached freeplay while the beginners work on learning the basics.

I carry a stick and a camera as part of my teaching tools. I use the stick to help position the student's body and form and I use it to "pop" offending body parts when a student has been corrected a number of times on how to do a technique correctly and they fail to do so. (This is a trick I learned form Guy Windsor) I don't cane them, just a small pop on the part failing to follow instruction. It works pretty quick on cleaning up form. I use the camera to film a student so they can see how they are doing a technique incorrectly. If they can see themselves and see how off they really are it can help clean up their form fast.

Pain can be a good training tool when used correctly. Just this last week, I had my long term students freeplay in their tee-shirts instead of their padded coats... why? The prior week saw far to many simultaneous attacks with no "fear" of being struck. Both parties would attack with out controlling the line in Vor or Nach. Free play in tee shirts got rid of the problem... no double kills this last class, lots of clean forms and counters.

I hope this helps.

Cheers,

David

P.S Here is something I carry in my pocket when teaching. A good goal is your best students understanding all the the below in fencing theory and application. This is the basics of the system in a cliff note. Wink

Liechtenauer’s 5 hidden strikes and the 12 main parts (Hauptstücke):

1. Zornhau: Angry man’s strike
2. Krumphau: Crooked strike
3. Zwerchhau: Cross strike
4. Shielhau: Squinting strike
5. Sheitelhau: Scalp strike

1. Vier Leger: The four primary guards
2. Versetzen: Setting aside incoming blows
3. Nachreisen: “Traveling after” by using their movement to attack
4. Überlaufen: A high line attack outreaches a low one.
5. Absetzen: A parry in which the opponent's attack is caught by the longsword
6. Durchwechseln: “Changing through” the line of attack from one target to another
7. Zucken: Withdrawing the blade before or after contact by pulling away with the hilt
8. Durchlaufen: Running under an incoming attack with a wrestling throw
9. Abschneiden: Deflecting the incoming attack with a slicing motion of the blade.
10. Hände Drücken: The pressing of the hands using a slicing motion of the blade.
11. Hangen: The two hangers in which the blade angles over an opponent's guard
12. Winden: The 8 windings at the bind

2nd resource. (Pronunciations of Medieval German Combat Terms)
http://www.academyofarms.com/audiodictionary/

DT

This you shall know, that all things have length and measure.

Free Scholar/ Instructor Selohaar Fechtschule
The Historic Recrudescence Guild

"Yea though I walk through the valley of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou's sword art is with me; Thy poleaxe and Thy quarterstaff they comfort me."
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