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Lafayette C Curtis




Location: Indonesia
Joined: 29 Nov 2006
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PostPosted: Thu 27 Sep, 2012 12:29 am    Post subject: Scheitelhau problems         Reply with quote

Lately I've been doing some paired drills with a longsword waster significantly shorter than what I'm used to (the blade is barely 80cm/32in. long!) and ran into problems in doing the Scheitelhau against an opponent with a longer weapon: my blade was simply not long enough to reach his head before his low cut hits my leg. On a couple of occasions I managed to trick the technique back into working by continuing the Scheitelhau all the way down until it hit his arms, but is this a reasonable extrapolation/variation? If it is, I may have to modify my Scheitelhau drills so that I make the habit of bringing the cut all the way down to the navel/midsection rather than stopping at head/shoulder height, since one never knows when the opponent might show up with a significantly longer weapon.
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Thomas R.




Location: Germany
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PostPosted: Thu 27 Sep, 2012 2:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

In my opinion you just shouldn't do a Scheitelhau, if it's obvious, that your sparrings partner has more reach than you. The Scheitler relies on simple biomechanics: if the opponents are of roughly the same stature and have equally long blades, the one, who goes for the head will have a longer reach than the one, who goes for the legs. The reach declines as the arm is lowered, because it has always the same radius, measured from the shoulder joint.

Nevertheless: if your Scheitelhau fails, there is no reason why you should not try to hit another target or at least bring the point into a position to threaten your opponent.

http://maerenundlobebaeren.tumblr.com/
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Lafayette C Curtis




Location: Indonesia
Joined: 29 Nov 2006
Reading list: 7 books

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PostPosted: Thu 27 Sep, 2012 2:59 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

What do I do against a leg-cut, then? Of course, there's still (some versions of) the Krumphau, but I'd really like to have more than one alternative for facing this situation with a reach disadvantage. A direct Oberhau to the hands, perhaps?
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Randall Pleasant




Location: Flower Mound, Texas
Joined: 24 Aug 2003

Posts: 333

PostPosted: Thu 27 Sep, 2012 5:40 am    Post subject: Re: Scheitelhau problems         Reply with quote

Lafayette C Curtis wrote:
Lately I've been doing some paired drills with a longsword waster significantly shorter than what I'm used to (the blade is barely 80cm/32in. long!) and ran into problems in doing the Scheitelhau against an opponent with a longer weapon: my blade was simply not long enough to reach his head before his low cut hits my leg.


Seek a bind. Cutting into a bind is how Scheitelhau breaks Alber and how the 7th guard is broken in I.33.

Ran Pleasant
ARMA
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Craig Shackleton




Location: Ottawa, Canada
Joined: 20 Apr 2004
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PostPosted: Thu 27 Sep, 2012 6:47 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm baffled that this is an issue. I'll have to play with it against someone my height with a shorter sword. I do this with kids, and I can attack the legs of a kid a foot or more shorter than me and they can still outreach me with a schietelhau.

That said, I aim the scheitelhau at the forehead, and then drop the point onto the face so that either my opponent runs onto the point, or they stop and give me the chance to stab them. Sometimes the actual cut to the forehead is short, and I just get the thrust, but I always tell my students that that is preferable to hitting the head and getting cut on the leg.

I view the scheitelhau as being about gaining the absolute maximum reach advantage possible, so striking with the very tip of the sword.

I also approve of doing the same action as a cut to the arms if the distance works better, but I'm not sure it is a scheitelhau anymore.

I wouldn't ever krump or seek a bind against someone fighting low, unless they were changing from low to high, which is an entirely different situation.

My alternative action would be to spring offline with a wrist cut.

Another option would be to do the scheitelhau as a free stroke with only the left hand on the pommel and left side forward to further maximize your reach.

Ottawa Swordplay
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Matthew P. Adams




Location: Cape Cod, MA
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PostPosted: Thu 27 Sep, 2012 4:55 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

In the Itallian tradition, at least in my class, we train to continue and hit the hands if we don't reach the head or face.
"We do not rise to the level of our expectations. We fall to the level of our training" Archilochus, Greek Soldier, Poet, c. 650 BC
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Jimi Edmonds




Location: Dunedin, New Zealand
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PostPosted: Sun 30 Sep, 2012 9:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I gather that you are coming from the right side with the Schietal, against his low cut to the leg, this I'll assume is coming from an oberhau and not an unterhau.
So you both stand left foot forward in vom tag, he strikes an oberhau to your lower opening ie: left thigh/knee
You strike in response, so possibly in the Nach a schietal to the forehead, but you are falling short (due to the blade reach) and he is cutting your leg apart. though it sounds as though that even should you have a longer sword he may possible still cut your leg.

I would upon striking the schietal slip my left leg back to just infront or just behind my right foot (behind will give better balance), voiding the incoming cut, and in doing so arch my upper body to give reach to the head, but not so much that it leaves you for dead! Or you could step off line in a forward slope pace.

Try that...
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Mike O'Hara




Location: New Zealand
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PostPosted: Sun 30 Sep, 2012 9:44 pm    Post subject: Defending leg strikes         Reply with quote

Hi folks

I'm a bit with Craig, pythagoras rules here (as my sword instructor drums into me).

If it is an issue e.g. your opponent has made a somewhat suicidal charge to attack the leg, there are a number of one hand longsword techniques where the sword is cast powerfully with the left hand that significantly increase reach and when accompanied by slipping the leg back leaves you very safe.

cheers

mike

MIke O'Hara
Location: Plimmerton, New Zealand
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Lafayette C Curtis




Location: Indonesia
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Reading list: 7 books

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PostPosted: Mon 01 Oct, 2012 2:41 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jimi Edmonds wrote:
I would upon striking the schietal slip my left leg back to just infront or just behind my right foot (behind will give better balance), voiding the incoming cut, and in doing so arch my upper body to give reach to the head, but not so much that it leaves you for dead!


I always do that with the Scheitelhau--and it works with my usual weapon even though I'm shorter (in some cases significantly so) than most of the partners I've practiced with. This time, though, my Scheitelhau came up short even though I did it exactly the same way I had done it so many times before, and the difference completely baffled me. Maybe the lesson is that I simply shouldn't use a sword that short for Uberlauffen stuff, seeing as I already had a disadvantage in reach to begin with.

Or maybe I should move forward with an entirely different technique instead. A couple of days ago I found that that somebody recorded some of the drills on video, and in one of them I out-timed a leg cut by closing in with a passing step rather than slipping the lead leg as usual. Which is funny because I didn't quite remember that happening, but maybe that was because I chalked it up as not Scheitelhau at a time when I was specifically trying to practice/demonstrate the Scheitelhau,
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Lafayette C Curtis




Location: Indonesia
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PostPosted: Wed 26 Dec, 2012 9:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've had the time to obsess over the practice videos, and I noticed one possible cause for the problem here. I noticed that I wasn't just slipping the left leg backwards, but also pulling the right foot back in a slight hop that I didn't notice at the time. While this didn't quite take me out of my opponent's range since he had an advantage in both height/reach and blade length (he was using my usual waster with a 90cm/36in. blade), it did make my Scheitelhau attempt fall slightly short of his head and upper torso while I was using the short 80cm/32in. waster. Has anyone encountered a similar phenomenon?

On the other hand, I'm pretty sure now that the Scheitelhau would have worked if we both had 90cm/36in. blades; it took the combination of the short blade and my reach disadvantage for the problem to exist at all. That being said, I'm still eager to hear of alternative solutions since being stuck with both a shorter blade and less physical reach sounds like a situation that a decent warrior should be prepared for.
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Patrick De Block




Location: Belgium
Joined: 10 Aug 2008

Posts: 84

PostPosted: Thu 27 Dec, 2012 12:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Lafayette C Curtis wrote:
... I noticed that I wasn't just slipping the left leg backwards, but also pulling the right foot back in a slight hop that I didn't notice at the time. ...


What's wrong with it? Slip your left leg behind your right, bring back the right to the side of your left foot and enter with your right, all in one move. If he still cuts you, either he cuts with the middle of his sword which is stupid, just stab him. Or you didn't move back enough, you should have seen the length of his sword and his height. Or your timing is off. And in that case, if you were of equal height with swords of equal length he would still cut you.

And what about putting pressure on him so he doesn't dare to enter far enough? That's what you start with, but that's more easily written than done.
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Mike O'Hara




Location: New Zealand
Joined: 10 Jul 2010
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PostPosted: Thu 27 Dec, 2012 7:08 pm    Post subject: The Master strokes         Reply with quote

Hi folks

Seeing as this thread has come back again, I'll add something I meant to include last time.

The various master strokes were designed to break other master strokes. Admittedly we are mostly training Fiore rather than the German tradition, but the same seems to apply with 'refuse' the only really safe defence against a good attack from posta di donna.

Against the 'common' attack or a poor attack our swordsmaster drills us to just bind and then either patiently wait for the mistake that seems to inevitably follow. He keeps reminding us that the recipient of the attack is often called the 'patient' (vs the agent).

If the stroke is to the leg, form a low bind with your hands high. If they disengage to come around you have lots of time to either bind again or hit something. If they try to push through you, you have other options.

We have been finding that even against other well trained martial artists, if we always first seek to form the bind we end up with a lot more time to make the next move.

cheers
mike

MIke O'Hara
Location: Plimmerton, New Zealand
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