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Lancelot Chan
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PostPosted: Sat 18 Dec, 2010 5:14 am    Post subject: Sparring with an iaido friend         Reply with quote

A friend who trains in a local iaido dojo came over to test his techniques with us. I and my student trained with him.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oF4XDug9hmY
Me and our iaido friend.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X35gYtuhJLg
My student Hong and our iaido friend.

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Isaac H.




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PostPosted: Sat 18 Dec, 2010 12:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hey,nice video.It looks like you guys have pretty nice fighting form.I must say that it's a little hard to take the fights seriosly with the Final Fantasy-like skyline setting and the hockey/motorcross armor.Still,quite interesting as well as entertaining,especially that disarm Razz I checked out the website with sparring weapons,and I was a bit confused.What exactly are these weapons made of,and what makes them ideal ? It almost looked like the guard on the rapier was wrapped in duct tape Question Eek! WTF?!
explanations?

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We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves.
Each of us should please his neighbor for his good ,to build him up.
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Lancelot Chan
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PostPosted: Sat 18 Dec, 2010 3:15 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There were made of fabric layer, foam padding, plastic core with aluminum and steel reinforcement. They have the exact weight and balance of their real counterpart. They were made to allow someone to practice unarmored sparring with the same set of rules with swords from various background sources, while spending on the minimal protectional equipment. Sometimes it's financial or even environmental (being at hot places) infeasible to don full historical protectional gears, not to mention the gears will get into the way of movement as well.

As of the guard in wrapped state, it was becausae the guard was metal and with edges that would cut into the opponent's foam blade, so we have to wrap it with foam or rubber to protect the sparring partner's sword.

Isaac H. wrote:
Hey,nice video.It looks like you guys have pretty nice fighting form.I must say that it's a little hard to take the fights seriosly with the Final Fantasy-like skyline setting and the hockey/motorcross armor.Still,quite interesting as well as entertaining,especially that disarm Razz I checked out the website with sparring weapons,and I was a bit confused.What exactly are these weapons made of,and what makes them ideal ? It almost looked like the guard on the rapier was wrapped in duct tape Question Eek! WTF?!
explanations?

Ancient Combat Association —http://www.acahk.org
Realistic Sparring Weapons — http://www.rsw.com.hk
Nightstalkers — http://www.nightstalkers.com.hk
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Jean Thibodeau




PostPosted: Sat 18 Dec, 2010 4:08 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Interesting bouts but I always have trouble following what happens as it happens so fast.

One thing which is difficult to do with some simulators is play at the sword i.e. doublings and windings and because of bounce between the swords it puts more emphasis on quickly detaching and hitting from a new angle than using strong or weak at the sword to gain advantage ? But maybe because the group I belonged to put great emphasis on how dangerous it is to detach if the other person knows how to take advantage and attack the swordsman rather than attack the sword and we put much emphasis on indes and play at the sword I'm biased in what I think of as ideal tactics and technique.

One disadvantage I did perceive was that your guest is small in stature plus his Katana simulator is much shorter than the typical European longsword. ( Well the Katana even if it is a two handed sword tends to be shorter than the average European longsword and this seriously affects technique and makes some styles of Japanese sword fighting much closer and faster paced as much more of the fighting happens well inside measure ..... a generalization not always true depending on style ).


With a shorter weapon is often better to let the other attack first, block with a single time riposte than to attack first lacking reach as the one with the longer weapon will see you move way before you are in measure.

Easy to say and hard to do, but if one takes advantage of changes of guard by the other when in measure or close to measure one can out time the other and attack just as they initiate a change of guard, a change of measure, detach or telegraph by cocking back their weapon before their planned attack. Moving back out of measure and voiding an attack and counter attacking while the opponent is spent is also a way to use the other's rhythm to advantage. ( All much easier to say than to do and do well. Wink Razz Laughing Out Loud )

Oh, I also hope that the clean up after the fire is going well.

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James Head





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PostPosted: Sat 18 Dec, 2010 6:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Thibodeau wrote:
Interesting bouts but I always have trouble following what happens as it happens so fast.

One disadvantage I did perceive was that your guest is small in stature plus his Katana simulator is much shorter than the typical European longsword. ( Well the Katana even if it is a two handed sword tends to be shorter than the average European longsword and this seriously affects technique and makes some styles of Japanese sword fighting much closer and faster paced as much more of the fighting happens well inside measure ..... a generalization not always true depending on style ).


I don't want to speak for Lance, but my understanding is that he used to train primarily with the European Longsword and has recently switched to a large single bladed sword that works better with certain Chinese swordsmanship systems. I think he is using this large single bladed simulator in the video, and I think the other fighter (not the Iaido guy) is using the same thing. I think what you said about the disadvantage in length is still certainly apparent, but the guest fighter also had to deal with a very hefty blade. I recall an exchange in the second video where the Iaido fighter raised an effective hanging guard position against his opponent's downward strike, but he didn't hold it firmly enough and the big sword just blew through his guard and made the kill anyhow.
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Lancelot Chan
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PostPosted: Sat 18 Dec, 2010 10:43 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You're right. I used to practice German longsword and bind and wind were my primary techniques to speak of. If one wonders, here's a video of 2008 where I sparred with a friend from Taiwan who practice Miao Dao form but was using a katana in the sparring. Interestingly, what I'm doing right now is exactly Miao Dao form too, with Taichi mechanism movement. It looked very different from what he did in the sparring though.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BbbBPOK4I8A

In this video, you can see a very different me. ;P There were Schielhau, Zwerchau, Zornhau, Krumphau and Shietelhau, as well as their variations. Thus it's not the simulator's limit to cause the lack of bind and wind in my recent bouts but a difference in style. My CMA master countered my bind and wind attempts back then with powerful short-range explosive movements , not putting forte to my foible but simply blew my blade away from the contact to a significant distance, losing the bind and the protection line. It simply didn't work against someone who could suddenly cause me to lose any contact on his blade. I lost 3 rounds straight! I've only learned how to do that in the recent month.

You're also right that both my and my student's swords were a lot heavier than the katana was. Deva Slayer (my sword), weighting 4 lbs 13 oz, balanced at 7.625". My student's miao dao was 4 lbs, balanced similarly. The katana was 2 lbs something, and balanced at 6". Huge difference.

Thanks for Jean's best wishes. We've cleaned most of the places but there's a need to refurnish on January so there will be more cleaning done by then.

James Head wrote:
Jean Thibodeau wrote:
Interesting bouts but I always have trouble following what happens as it happens so fast.

One disadvantage I did perceive was that your guest is small in stature plus his Katana simulator is much shorter than the typical European longsword. ( Well the Katana even if it is a two handed sword tends to be shorter than the average European longsword and this seriously affects technique and makes some styles of Japanese sword fighting much closer and faster paced as much more of the fighting happens well inside measure ..... a generalization not always true depending on style ).


I don't want to speak for Lance, but my understanding is that he used to train primarily with the European Longsword and has recently switched to a large single bladed sword that works better with certain Chinese swordsmanship systems. I think he is using this large single bladed simulator in the video, and I think the other fighter (not the Iaido guy) is using the same thing. I think what you said about the disadvantage in length is still certainly apparent, but the guest fighter also had to deal with a very hefty blade. I recall an exchange in the second video where the Iaido fighter raised an effective hanging guard position against his opponent's downward strike, but he didn't hold it firmly enough and the big sword just blew through his guard and made the kill anyhow.

Ancient Combat Association —http://www.acahk.org
Realistic Sparring Weapons — http://www.rsw.com.hk
Nightstalkers — http://www.nightstalkers.com.hk
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Jean Thibodeau




PostPosted: Sun 19 Dec, 2010 3:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Lancelot Chan wrote:

In this video, you can see a very different me. ;P There were Schielhau, Zwerchau, Zornhau, Krumphau and Shietelhau, as well as their variations. Thus it's not the simulator's limit to cause the lack of bind and wind in my recent bouts but a difference in style. My CMA master countered my bind and wind attempts back then with powerful short-range explosive movements , not putting forte to my foible but simply blew my blade away from the contact to a significant distance, losing the bind and the protection line. It simply didn't work against someone who could suddenly cause me to lose any contact on his blade. I lost 3 rounds straight! I've only learned how to do that in the recent month.



That is interesting that some very fast detaching can disrupt the play at the sword and make it fail.: I assume a sharp slap displacement making the initial contact of swords very short and forcing your blade to one side so sharply that you really have no time to react to a bind or feel intent or degree of resistance?

On the other hand this may be due to waiting to feel if the opponent is hard or soft at the bind and not having the reaction time needed to react appropriately when the opponent is very fast at leaving the bind.

One way around this is to act as a default mode as if the opponent is soft at the bind right at initial contact and try to push through: If they are in actuality soft your cut or thrust will hit them, if they are hard at the bind you wont be able to push through but can then instantly act the way you should when your opponent is hard in the bind by doubling or other similar techniques.

When someone leave contact at the sword almost instantly it is very much as if they where soft in the bind so if you act from the beginning as if they are soft you will catch them very early in their detaching from the blade and if you are attacking rather than chasing their sword you have a good chance of hitting them before their next attack can hit you.

For this to be true your fόhlen must be near perfect and if you delay too long then your only option become meeting their sword as you missed your window to attack safely.

All this is very theoretical and I can't say I could pull it off successfully and I just wish to hear if this makes sense to you.

Generally, the one with the most skill at reading the other's intent before they even start to move will win the encounter and a lot of this is very intuitive, based on experience and not a little luck as only a short instant of lack of concentration can make a big difference.

A lot of the above is guesswork and my gut feeling rather than extensive technical knowledge or expertise.

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Lancelot Chan
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PostPosted: Sun 19 Dec, 2010 10:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Your solution worked for me most of the time. In fact, in that video where I sparred against the Miao Dao friend, I was doing that so you can see most of my strikes landed right after contact, that was because I was assuming a soft bind as default mode and was successful.

My master's techniques allow him to strike my sword away with his tip on anywhere of my sword. My version was a lot less powerful but you can still see in this video, at 1:12, and hit him with my tip to his side of the head at 1:13:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OKE-DhbQmKg

This kinda changed the mechanic that German Longsword assumed to work. Each contact with my master's sword resulted in my sword being blew away with increasing distance and I lost that 3 rounds straight, every round in the third contact where my sword couldn't get back in time to defend.

Jean Thibodeau wrote:
Lancelot Chan wrote:

In this video, you can see a very different me. ;P There were Schielhau, Zwerchau, Zornhau, Krumphau and Shietelhau, as well as their variations. Thus it's not the simulator's limit to cause the lack of bind and wind in my recent bouts but a difference in style. My CMA master countered my bind and wind attempts back then with powerful short-range explosive movements , not putting forte to my foible but simply blew my blade away from the contact to a significant distance, losing the bind and the protection line. It simply didn't work against someone who could suddenly cause me to lose any contact on his blade. I lost 3 rounds straight! I've only learned how to do that in the recent month.



That is interesting that some very fast detaching can disrupt the play at the sword and make it fail.: I assume a sharp slap displacement making the initial contact of swords very short and forcing your blade to one side so sharply that you really have no time to react to a bind or feel intent or degree of resistance?

On the other hand this may be due to waiting to feel if the opponent is hard or soft at the bind and not having the reaction time needed to react appropriately when the opponent is very fast at leaving the bind.

One way around this is to act as a default mode as if the opponent is soft at the bind right at initial contact and try to push through: If they are in actuality soft your cut or thrust will hit them, if they are hard at the bind you wont be able to push through but can then instantly act the way you should when your opponent is hard in the bind by doubling or other similar techniques.

When someone leave contact at the sword almost instantly it is very much as if they where soft in the bind so if you act from the beginning as if they are soft you will catch them very early in their detaching from the blade and if you are attacking rather than chasing their sword you have a good chance of hitting them before their next attack can hit you.

For this to be true your fόhlen must be near perfect and if you delay too long then your only option become meeting their sword as you missed your window to attack safely.

All this is very theoretical and I can't say I could pull it off successfully and I just wish to hear if this makes sense to you.

Generally, the one with the most skill at reading the other's intent before they even start to move will win the encounter and a lot of this is very intuitive, based on experience and not a little luck as only a short instant of lack of concentration can make a big difference.

A lot of the above is guesswork and my gut feeling rather than extensive technical knowledge or expertise.

Ancient Combat Association —http://www.acahk.org
Realistic Sparring Weapons — http://www.rsw.com.hk
Nightstalkers — http://www.nightstalkers.com.hk
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Jean Thibodeau




PostPosted: Mon 20 Dec, 2010 6:41 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Lancelot Chan wrote:
Your solution worked for me most of the time. In fact, in that video where I sparred against the Miao Dao friend, I was doing that so you can see most of my strikes landed right after contact, that was because I was assuming a soft bind as default mode and was successful.

My master's techniques allow him to strike my sword away with his tip on anywhere of my sword. My version was a lot less powerful but you can still see in this video, at 1:12, and hit him with my tip to his side of the head at 1:13:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OKE-DhbQmKg

This kinda changed the mechanic that German Longsword assumed to work. Each contact with my master's sword resulted in my sword being blew away with increasing distance and I lost that 3 rounds straight, every round in the third contact where my sword couldn't get back in time to defend.



Well I'm happy that my comments seem to make sense at least in theory. Wink Happy Cool

If your master can consistently knock your sword aside sufficiently as to leave you open to his attack then playing at the sword can't work because you are never really " At the sword " for any length of time to be able to take advantage of it.

What options/ideas/tactics can I imagine ? ( Keep in mind that I'm just pulling this out of the air and I am not a scholar or teacher of the art but I do have a bit of imagination ..... maybe too much imagination. Wink Laughing Out Loud ).

A) Firstly why can you not resist his attack to your sword and not be pushed off line or be able to return on line with a menacing point ? Does his tip displace your sword even when he hits with his weak to your strong as your words seem to indicate ? if true, and I understand your words correctly this is impressive !

B) Is he attacking your sword to displace it before he attacks you, and if this is true, is he in measure to hit you if he choses or just in measure of your sword ? If you are out of measure or can lean back or step back out of measure ignore is sword and void it and attack him instead of the sword. ( Obviously not easy to do if he is a master and controls measure and distance as well or better than you can do so.

C) if he makes it impossible for you to play your game at least don't play his game and if play at the sword isn't possible use what you would against someone who is always strong at the sword, use measure and voiding as much as possible, all your attacks no matter how fast or powerful should stop with your point menacing ( if at all possible ) i.e. be able to stop on a dime where you want and not let the inertia of your sword carry it further out of line than you wish and not let your opponent push you out of line as much as he wants.

All of the above very easy to say and hard to do against someone as good as you are and even less so if your opponent is a true master.

Would any of the above work ? I really don't know but it's my take on one might try to see if it would work.

Oh, a secondary comments on the video clips: Although at times one can clearly see who won the exchange, as in you got the best hit in first, there seem to be many cases where the winner would also be at risk of being seriously hit as well a fraction of a second later i.e. somewhat suicidal double kills maybe ? In a real exchange the " loser " might not be able to execute the following blow because of death or missing body parts .... The opponent might be able to still place his lethal blow just before dying or losing consciousness. The point being that one should after a successful attack still actively block whatever attack the loser might still be able to make or withdraw to out of measure as fast as possible to void his last effort at taking you will him.

Well, I assume that if I could spar/play with you it would be fun and challenging and maybe somewhat a humbling experience and not as easy giving advice from my keyboard. Wink Laughing Out Loud Cool

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Lancelot Chan
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PostPosted: Mon 20 Dec, 2010 9:39 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A) Exactly! This was the case. It awed me and whenever I tried to take advantage by putting my forte on his tip, my sword got knocked away and unlike the version I showed in the video above, my blade failed to stay in contact with his after his knocking blow.

B) He was in the measure of my sword, because my longsword was longer than his Chinese War sword, a very broad blade double edged sword, weighting near 5 lbs for not very long length, so it was VERY sturdy. I could try to stay away but that was not something in my mind. I had too much confidence that my bind and wind would have worked as usual. If I tried to stay out of his reach and snipe here and there, I could score a couple hits perhaps, but his strikes would be lethal while mine would be less so. His style was assuming we were at least partially armored, if not fully armored. So in that case my sniping hits wouldn't do much.

C) If I was less surprised and more prepared, I think that is feasible. At least I have reach advantage.

I agree with your comments on the "seemingly" double hits. Since youtube doesn't allow frame by frame playback at our original video format 60 frame per second, it was impossible to tell which one was truly double kills and which one was successful interceptions. For example, on the video where I raised an example of how to knock my opponent's sword away with the tip, take a look at the second round where I blew my partner's helmet aparts with the heavy blow. Many would have thought of that as a double kill. But frame by frame playback showed that my sword landed on his head AND his sword's hilt simultaneously, cutting his sword's hilt in halves if mine was a real sword, before his sword was close to my head. His sword wouldn't be heading my way as in the video if mine was a real sword. It would be thrown behind me instead.



When we review our videos, we analyse which one would be true double kills by 2 factors:1. Would the attacking strike stopped the dying hit if it was a real sword. 2. Where the disabled sword would have been thrown to.

Sometimes it was clear that even if the attacker's strike was truly successful and would amputate the opponent's limb/head/whatsoever if it was a real sword, the dying strike would still follow through and hit the attack due to gravity's or inertia's work, then the attacking person would be a victim of double kill.

So we did take into account of what you mention here and I try to stay unharmed from such double kills. I can't speak of the others who practice here but at least I do. :P That's why I practice interception strikes at targets that yield the most stopping power, like hitting the fingers, the wrist or the hilt of the opponent's sword. It would immediately let loose his grip and affect the track of his sword's movement.

It was a very entertaining experience to discuss tactical options with you here. Big Grin While I've shown videos on many places, there were not many who took them so seriously as you did. Big Grin Thanks a lot!

Jean Thibodeau wrote:

A) Firstly why can you not resist his attack to your sword and not be pushed off line or be able to return on line with a menacing point ? Does his tip displace your sword even when he hits with his weak to your strong as your words seem to indicate ? if true, and I understand your words correctly this is impressive !

B) Is he attacking your sword to displace it before he attacks you, and if this is true, is he in measure to hit you if he choses or just in measure of your sword ? If you are out of measure or can lean back or step back out of measure ignore is sword and void it and attack him instead of the sword. ( Obviously not easy to do if he is a master and controls measure and distance as well or better than you can do so.

C) if he makes it impossible for you to play your game at least don't play his game and if play at the sword isn't possible use what you would against someone who is always strong at the sword, use measure and voiding as much as possible, all your attacks no matter how fast or powerful should stop with your point menacing ( if at all possible ) i.e. be able to stop on a dime where you want and not let the inertia of your sword carry it further out of line than you wish and not let your opponent push you out of line as much as he wants.

All of the above very easy to say and hard to do against someone as good as you are and even less so if your opponent is a true master.

Would any of the above work ? I really don't know but it's my take on one might try to see if it would work.

Oh, a secondary comments on the video clips: Although at times one can clearly see who won the exchange, as in you got the best hit in first, there seem to be many cases where the winner would also be at risk of being seriously hit as well a fraction of a second later i.e. somewhat suicidal double kills maybe ? In a real exchange the " loser " might not be able to execute the following blow because of death or missing body parts .... The opponent might be able to still place his lethal blow just before dying or losing consciousness. The point being that one should after a successful attack still actively block whatever attack the loser might still be able to make or withdraw to out of measure as fast as possible to void his last effort at taking you will him.

Well, I assume that if I could spar/play with you it would be fun and challenging and maybe somewhat a humbling experience and not as easy giving advice from my keyboard. Wink Laughing Out Loud Cool

Ancient Combat Association —http://www.acahk.org
Realistic Sparring Weapons — http://www.rsw.com.hk
Nightstalkers — http://www.nightstalkers.com.hk
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Vincent Le Chevalier




PostPosted: Mon 20 Dec, 2010 10:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Interesting problem with the small powerful displacement...

I think it's closest to a beat really. I don't know what options German Longsword gives against that kind of thing... Normally it's handled by evading the blade and taking advantage of the brief moment where it is carried away by the beating motion. Of course if the guy that beats is insanely skilled, you won't even see that moment Happy

Against someone able to displace and beat your sword so easily (which is not avoiding the contact, it's making it useless to you), perhaps it's wisest to act as if all binds were hard (meaning you won't be able to displace his sword, ever). Soft bind options cannot succeed. Even then, the options against hard binds won't necessarily work if he is able to pull this without too much effort...

Really I believe it's not something that can't be figured out in the theory of German Longsword, rather it's the skill differential that makes it very hard to apply all the range of options.

Regards,

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Vincent
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Nicholas A. Gaese




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PostPosted: Mon 20 Dec, 2010 11:35 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Very interesting about the master swordsman, thats some pretty impresive stuff. Just my thoughts, but judging from the sword you described him using, id say he might just be applying brute strength with his tip to force your somewhat lighter sword away. Many Chinese war swords tend to have a bit more farward balance and assuming his sword has a large tip area he could apply that strength well and it may had been a historical way for such large swords to fight light swords like jians and such.

just my thoughts as otherwise id be interested to know how else it could be done.

As for the video, great work as usual and everyone seems to progress well. Ive actually been watching your vids for a long time but havnt posted about them til now. Certainly interesting to compare how people change and progress.

When I saw your guest in his match I started comparing it to the vid you showed of that smaller fellow who was sopposidly trained by a "master" swordsman. Your friend did well and looked like he knew his stuff but lacked sparring experiance to apply it.

hoping all is well especially after that fire!

Regards
Nick
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Lancelot Chan
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PostPosted: Mon 20 Dec, 2010 11:47 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I agree with you. The problem was that my master took no preparation for the beat to come. It was just normal contact as usual and suddenly my blade was away at the moment he chose, opening up all my lines of defense. You can see in my demonstration that I maintained contact with my opponent's blade before the beat occurred and there was no need to detach my blade to help the acceleration. The difference was that I wasn't as powerful as my master was that I could not blow his sword away from my blade contact. Otherwise, I could thrust at his eyes without any threat of his blind strike. My master's version was that he made his move shorter and more explosive, so it took a lesser blade-contact time to beat my blade away, hence he had more leisure to return his point online for a thrust. It was so fast that he didn't seem to have moved and my sword was detached by a repulsive magnet.

Vincent Le Chevalier wrote:
Interesting problem with the small powerful displacement...

I think it's closest to a beat really. I don't know what options German Longsword gives against that kind of thing... Normally it's handled by evading the blade and taking advantage of the brief moment where it is carried away by the beating motion. Of course if the guy that beats is insanely skilled, you won't even see that moment Happy

Against someone able to displace and beat your sword so easily (which is not avoiding the contact, it's making it useless to you), perhaps it's wisest to act as if all binds were hard (meaning you won't be able to displace his sword, ever). Soft bind options cannot succeed. Even then, the options against hard binds won't necessarily work if he is able to pull this without too much effort...

Really I believe it's not something that can't be figured out in the theory of German Longsword, rather it's the skill differential that makes it very hard to apply all the range of options.

Regards,

Ancient Combat Association —http://www.acahk.org
Realistic Sparring Weapons — http://www.rsw.com.hk
Nightstalkers — http://www.nightstalkers.com.hk
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