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Evan Jones




Location: Michigan
Joined: 25 Jul 2009
Reading list: 4 books

Posts: 25

PostPosted: Wed 16 Mar, 2011 9:29 am    Post subject: Started a Club at my university, suggestions anyone?         Reply with quote

Long story short, I started a Historical European Martial Arts club at my university, and I'd like suggestions for practice session routines. Right now (we've only had one session so far) we meet for two hours weekly, and the time is divvied up into one-hour blocks of time. The first of these is spent on warm ups and wrestling, which everyone participates in since unarmed fighting is the basis of all combat. Then everyone splits off to study whatever else it is they want to study (longsword, rapier, polearms etc.)

I'd just like to know if anyone has any suggestions from their experiences in their HEMA/WMA group that could benefit us in our studies.

Thanks a bunch!

Evan

"Love and serve your friends, hate and harm your enemies..." -Geoffroi de Charny
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Allen Foster





Joined: 17 Feb 2008
Reading list: 4 books

Posts: 244

PostPosted: Wed 16 Mar, 2011 10:58 am    Post subject: Re: Started a Cub at my university, suggestions anyone?         Reply with quote

Evan Jones wrote:
Long story short, I started a Historical European Martial Arts club at my university, and I'd like suggestions for practice session routines. Right now (we've only had one session so far) we meet for two hours weekly, and the time is divvied up into one-hour blocks of time. The first of these is spent on warm ups and wrestling, which everyone participates in since unarmed fighting is the basis of all combat. Then everyone splits off to study whatever else it is they want to study (longsword, rapier, polearms etc.)

I'd just like to know if anyone has any suggestions from their experiences in their HEMA/WMA group that could benefit us in our studies.

Thanks a bunch!

Evan


You can talk to Jonathon Mayshar & Jason Taylor who started a HEMA group at Cal State Fullerton. You can also talk to Jon Wolfe who started a group at the University of Central Florida. Lastly, I know that Ben Smith started a group at Washington State University. I will PM you their contact information if you like.

"Rise up, O Lord, and may thy enemies be dispersed and those who hate thee be driven from thy face."
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Peter Smallridge





Joined: 30 Apr 2008

Posts: 6

PostPosted: Fri 18 Mar, 2011 2:25 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

My brother's taken over teaching classes at his local HEMA group this year, and decided to blog about it. It includes more than a few lesson plans and subsequent appraisals of them.
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Christopher VaughnStrever




Location: San Antonio, TX
Joined: 13 Jun 2008
Reading list: 1 book

Posts: 382

PostPosted: Fri 18 Mar, 2011 6:12 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Having recently started a group in San Antonio as we have had 4 classes so far (And the 5th later today) I have come to have a direction for our group in mind as the students are taught.

I'd like to refrain from the subject that wrestling is core to all forms of wma, because the fact is that there are a whole lot of opinions and view points regarding that matter in particular, however my point is that one can start off from any weapon (Just about) in wma and a whole bunch of w/e is learned from w/e form/weapon can transfer over into any other form/weapon training in wma.

I am am awaiting my order of swords from Albion, so we can't practice with swords until they arrive. So we are going with the weapon I love and the primary weapon of knight vs. knight sort-to-speak, the Pole Axe. And also the Dagger.

The class isn't flashy. Our guys work out on a regular basis (3/5 members do) So we don't put alot of time into actual work-outs per-say. I have been teaching foot work (I have come to really understand that foot work is so hard to perfect and thus the first 30 minutes of our class is dedicated to foot work.

Here is a quick tip on footwork, take your stance, likely the heel of your rear foot may be directly in line of your lead foot. Tell your student to take his stance (As we all tend to stand like I mentioned) Now tell him to resist you and grab his hips/waist and push him or pull him. He will loose his balance extremely easily...><

Now imagine a North, East, South, West icon -l- Tell your student to place his lead foot as if it was in the NE corner of the icon. And tell him to place his rear foot in the SW Icon (Or lead foot in the NW and the rear foot in the SE corners) So that the feet are not in line with each other, though the feet should have a bit of a diagonal shoulders width distance apart. Tell him to resist you. Grab his hips/waist again and push and pull. He will be able to hold his stance firmly and will now be able to resist your actions.

I explain this aspect of the study because it shows that one does not have to learn to perform 10 fancy foot steps at once. But learn to do something correctly and then once it is mastered move on. Then at a later time give a brief "refresher course" on the topic that has been mastered so they remember it.

On another note seeing as we have been putting a lot of time into the pole axe. I wanted to teach every attack there is so that the students knew how to attack... and I showed them in the first class. I didnt teach it as I should have, though I just let them get a feel for each attack. Then I went to the Oberschlag attack. And I started to teach this attack. Now As I put it you have an attacker and a defender. A defender depending upon which stance he has will deal with the same incomming attack several different ways. And depending which guard the attacker is using the oberschlag, well there is a different displacement the defender will use.

The question to ask yourself would be "Do I want to show every aspect that there is of said subject? Or do I want to teach so that the student will learn how to execute said subject perfectly?

In the long run, the end result is the same I believe, though personally I believe to learn anything correctly the first time, means not having to fix something later. And fixing anything takes a lot longer than building something new.

I hope this was as helpful as it all sounds in my mind. but I am not sure if I conveyed the info in an understandable reasoning...

Experience and learning from such defines maturity, not a number of age
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Quinn W.




Location: Bellingham, WA
Joined: 02 May 2009

Posts: 197

PostPosted: Fri 18 Mar, 2011 7:31 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Christopher, I would just like to second your statement about pushing and pulling on the hips. I am taking martial arts lessons and periodically while we are doing moves our sensei will come by and push on our hips in one direction to see if we lose our balance. Because this could happen at any time it helps me keep track of my own balance and positioning at all times until holding a properly distributed stance seems natural no matter what my upper body is doing.
Just wanted to give a second example of a very similar technique that has worked very well for me in my own experience as a student.

"Some say that the age of chivalry is past, that the spirit of romance is dead. The age of chivalry is never past, so long as there is a wrong left unredressed on earth"
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Mike O'Hara




Location: New Zealand
Joined: 10 Jul 2010
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Posts: 110

PostPosted: Fri 18 Mar, 2011 9:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Evan Jones said

Quote:
The first of these is spent on warm ups and wrestling, which everyone participates in since unarmed fighting is the basis of all combat.


I think this is a really good idea Evan. It is actually complimentary to Christopher's approach to stance testing but is dynamic. I'd recommend you use Christopher's suggestion as well as it will help your students learn stable stances for the unarmed and then be able to carry them into the weapon work.

I think also helps people deal with the fear or hurting themselves or someone else - you get a little used to contact.

Fiore in particular has a number of unarmed moves that certainly built into dagger and then into many of the close plays for long sword.

As an aside, two members of our WMA group have done a lot of Eastern arts as well (I'm one of them) and because we have had dynamic balance drilled into us, we pretty much always 'win' if it comes to a close play.

MIke O'Hara
Location: Plimmerton, New Zealand
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Mike O'Hara




Location: New Zealand
Joined: 10 Jul 2010
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Posts: 110

PostPosted: Fri 18 Mar, 2011 9:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Evan Jones said

Quote:
The first of these is spent on warm ups and wrestling, which everyone participates in since unarmed fighting is the basis of all combat.


I think this is a really good idea Evan. It is actually complimentary to Christopher's approach to stance testing but is dynamic. I'd recommend you use Christopher's suggestion as well as it will help your students learn stable stances for the unarmed and then be able to carry them into the weapon work.

I think also helps people deal with the fear or hurting themselves or someone else - you get a little used to contact.

Fiore in particular has a number of unarmed moves that certainly built into dagger and then into many of the close plays for long sword.

As an aside, two members of our WMA group have done a lot of Eastern arts as well (I'm one of them) and because we have had dynamic balance drilled into us, we pretty much always 'win' if it comes to a close play.

MIke O'Hara
Location: Plimmerton, New Zealand
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Michael Edelson




Location: New York
Joined: 14 Sep 2005

Spotlight topics: 2
Posts: 1,032

PostPosted: Fri 18 Mar, 2011 11:33 pm    Post subject: Re: Started a Club at my university, suggestions anyone?         Reply with quote

Evan Jones wrote:
The first of these is spent on warm ups and wrestling, which everyone participates in since unarmed fighting is the basis of all combat.


Out of curiosity, what is your background in unarmed combat?

New York Historical Fencing Association
www.newyorklongsword.com

Byakkokan Dojo
http://newyorkbattodo.com/
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William F Cain III




Location: Apple Valley, CA
Joined: 26 Aug 2010

Posts: 14

PostPosted: Sun 27 Mar, 2011 8:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Definitely would like to echo Michael's question on this.

Grappling is indeed an important element in the HEMA curriculum, but it's also very easy to get it wrong.

Case in point, I study Judo, both for its own sake (it's addicting and fun) and to gain a 'complete' wrestling system of basics that I can then use to better understand Ringen/Abrazare, etc.

The other night at practice, my training partner grabbed my arm and threw a joint lock (specifically an arm bar) so forcefully that I screamed. It hurt, everyone stopped, and I had to stop training. It could have very easily broken, according to someone who'd seen how hard my partner seated the lock.

So I have to reiterate - if you're going to be training wrestling...good. It's useful. BUT - do you have a background in it? If not, I strongly, strongly urge you to find someone who does. Simply looking at the techniques in the manuals and experimenting is an approach that some espouse, but it will be inefficient and far more risky than taking some wrestling, judo, or brazillian jiujitsu classes to provide context and a base of knowledge that will make sure you get the most out of your study.

Do right, there is nothing else.
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Sun 27 Mar, 2011 9:06 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

William F Cain III wrote:

So I have to reiterate - if you're going to be training wrestling...good. It's useful. BUT - do you have a background in it? If not, I strongly, strongly urge you to find someone who does. Simply looking at the techniques in the manuals and experimenting is an approach that some espouse, but it will be inefficient and far more risky than taking some wrestling, judo, or brazillian jiujitsu classes to provide context and a base of knowledge that will make sure you get the most out of your study.


From my limited to one 3 month session of wresting and dagger I took last Summer I can say that it can be very dangerous if one doesn't use even greater control than with sword training because most of the techniques are " Brutal " if done completely since the complete moves often involve taking your opponent apart in a real fight.

Mostly it means that joint lock have to stop before you actually break someone's arms or shoulders at the joints.

The way we did the training was in learning how to get into the right position and stop before pressure was applied to joints like the elbow for example: What one would do at this point becomes obvious and one need not finish.

The danger is in going too fast to stop in time, or the " patient " resisting or trying to test if they can resist and setting themselves up for injury because of pride ! One can " carefully " test if a joint lock or dismembering technique works against resistance but it has to be stated before trying it out and not as a surprise to the one doing the lock ..... if the technique is well applied one find out very quickly that " resistance is futile " but one can successfully resist if the technique is misapplied or badly timed and when one knows what to expect one might be able to neutralize a joint lock if one is much stronger than the person applying the lock.

One important feature of many of these techniques is often a preparatory distracting blow making possible to apply pressure unopposed ! Note some techniques can be opposed or countered if stopped at the very start of the technique but past a certain point resistance is just going to cause injury !

In a real fight injury is the goal, or at least control of the opponent if one doesn't wish him great harm, but one doesn't want to injure one's training partners or be injured oneself.

Well, many here know this stuff much more than I do but just saying that wresting has to be done responsibly, with knowledge and a great deal of physical and emotional control.

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




Location: New Zealand
Joined: 10 Jul 2010
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PostPosted: Mon 28 Mar, 2011 12:11 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:

So I have to reiterate - if you're going to be training wrestling...good. It's useful. BUT - do you have a background in it? If not, I strongly, strongly urge you to find someone who does. Simply looking at the techniques in the manuals and experimenting is an approach that some espouse, but it will be inefficient and far more risky than taking some wrestling, judo, or brazillian jiujitsu classes to provide context and a base of knowledge that will make sure you get the most out of your study.


William is absolutely right.

You need to think carefully about what it is that you want your students to learn. Several of the moves in Fiore are more what I would describe as breaking the balance, rather than throws our locks. Others are full throws.

If your students do not know how to fall, please do not do throws. I would be much more concerned about that (no disrespect intended William) that the accidental application of too much pressure. People instictively put their hands down WRONG when they fall and many people break wrists as a result. It takes some months to re-learn what you knew as a kid, namely how to fall 'relaxed'.

I am always very careful teaching adults any of the grappling arts - they pick up the danger of striking arts (boxing/karate) much faster.

If you are looking to help people learn posture and balance - a very laudable goal - then stick to the simple push moves done very slowly indeed.

If you are skilled Evan then fine, otherwise as William says perhaps there is a local Eastern (or another Western instructor with the experience) who might cross-train

We are just starting a big push on this in our WMA club due to a couple of nasty recent injuries including one at a tournament (dislocated shoulder)

cheers

mike

MIke O'Hara
Location: Plimmerton, New Zealand
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