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Bill Grandy
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Location: Alexandria, VA USA
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PostPosted: Wed 24 Oct, 2012 8:12 pm    Post subject: "From Drills to Free Play" articles         Reply with quote

So for the past few years I've taught a class at several HEMA events called "From Drills to Free Play: Putting Practice into Practice", dealing with bridging the gap between static drills and full out free play. And the number one question I get asked at the end of each class is, "Do you have all this stuff written down somewhere?"

So now, finally, I do, and with video, too! Perhaps not as good as learning the drills live in class, but still a close second. Hosted by the Chivalric Fighting Arts Association, here are detailed descriptions of the drills and free play variations:

Part I:
http://chivalricfighting.wordpress.com/2012/0...ce-part-i/

and Part II:
http://chivalricfighting.wordpress.com/2012/1...e-part-ii/

Please feel free to post questions and comments on the blog, and stay tuned for some pretty awesome articles that will be coming out from other instructors!

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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Sam Gordon Campbell




Location: Australia.
Joined: 16 Nov 2008

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PostPosted: Wed 24 Oct, 2012 10:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Whoa. Eek!

Well executed format, clear and concise guidelines extrapolated when needs be, solid camera work, and dude your movement is so fluid!
Was that Meyer's staff in there towards the end?
I guess that's what you get for training for years!
Nice work.

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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Kai Lawson




Location: Madison, WI
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PostPosted: Wed 24 Oct, 2012 10:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This is quite helpful, and the videos illustrate the points nicely. Thanks much to you and everyone involved for compiling this.
"And they crossed swords."
--William Goldman, alias S. Morgenstern
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Bill Grandy
myArmoury Team


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Location: Alexandria, VA USA
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PostPosted: Thu 25 Oct, 2012 9:32 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks, guys!

Sam Gordon Campbell wrote:
Was that Meyer's staff in there towards the end?


Technically it's more influenced by Andre Paurenfeindt than Meyer, but I'd be lying if I said we didn't use any of Meyer in our work (particularly David Rowe, who's the fencer on the right, who has really immersed himself in Meyer's treatise).

Quote:
and dude your movement is so fluid!


Very much appreciated, but how can you tell which one is me? We're wearing masks, and I'm actually often not one of the fencers in a lot these vids! Happy

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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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Thu 25 Oct, 2012 7:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Very well made, clear and more easily understood than most training instructions and videos, although one still has to study and practice and review the content to really absorb the information, but then it would nice if we could watch something once, do it correctly once and learn instead of it being hard work. Wink Laughing Out Loud

I really like the different games and they remind me of things we used to do in my defunct group.

We used to do a variant of the Bruce Lee game but although only one person was supposed to attack at one time there was no order to it, so that one didn't know in advance where the attack would be coming from.

We also used the whole floor space and could move around as freely as one could.

Since there was no " official " order of attack there where occasional simultaneous attacks happening and one way to deal with this was to move in ways that " clumped " the various potential attackers so that it limited who could attack at any one time: Using the closest attackers as shield getting in the way of the other one.

One would always end up " theoretically dead " eventually but it was very good in forcing one to transition from one effective defence from one opponent to making an effective parry from whatever position one had ended up in.

Oh, also the defender would mostly concentrate on defence but could also end with keeping his point or edge menacing.

The slow motion game was also one of my favourites and the main difficulty is in avoiding the competitive mindset and winning by going just a fraction faster than the other when one perceived that one was going to be hit or one could see an opportunity to hit: I don't think it's possible to maintain equal speed of slow motion over an extended time, but one can " reset " the speed if one has started to go faster ..... being honest and aware of the goal of the game plus a great deal of mental discipline is needed to not get over excited. This also means that it's a great exercise to practice being " calm " in a fight and not let emotion take over.

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




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PostPosted: Thu 25 Oct, 2012 7:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A new post to not clutter up the my first one as I have a suggestion for one game that I have never tried but think might be interesting:

This game I might call the Bind Avoidance Vacuum Game or sort of a negative version of fhlen where instead of trying to maintain a bind one tried to make it as difficult as possible for the opponent to make contact with one's sword or other weapon.

The point of this exercise is to increase ones ability to avoid the other's blade and change through and use weakness against strength.

The way I think it would work is that (A) would try to close and bind and work from the bind and (B) would try to make his blade as difficult to contact as smoke and depend as much as possible on managing measure and voiding as a defensive tactic. ( Parry only when nothing else will work ).

(B) Would also use any opening to counter attack.

One idea I have is that this would be an exercise to counter the tendency to fight and seek the opponents sword when avoiding it completely would have been effective. ( Avoiding fighting the sword rather than fighting the man or woman ).

One wouldn't fight this way consistently but as an exercise/game it puts emphasis on the mirror image of the bind and may also make the opponent's fight a void rather than a wall. Wink

Anyway, hope that this makes sense to you and is useful as a potential new game as explained or inspires something similar with a better set of rules to meet the same objective.
[/i]

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




Location: Ottawa, Canada
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PostPosted: Fri 26 Oct, 2012 5:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I took your workshop at Chivalric weekend a few years ago and adopted a lot of stuff from it. I don't have time to read the material and check out the video right now, but I will certainly do so later.
Ottawa Swordplay
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Scott Hanson




Location: La Crosse, WI
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PostPosted: Fri 26 Oct, 2012 3:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've been trying to read these some as I have time, but the material so far as been great. Thanks for posting!
Proverbs 27:17 "As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another"

Wisconsin Historical Fencing Association (WHFA)
A HEMA Alliance Affiliate
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Sat 27 Oct, 2012 8:54 pm    Post subject: Re: "From Drills to Free Play" articles         Reply with quote

Bill Grandy wrote:

So now, finally, I do, and with video, too! Perhaps not as good as learning the drills live in class, but still a close second. Hosted by the Chivalric Fighting Arts Association, here are detailed descriptions of the drills and free play variations:
!


Great site, apart from reading your article and viewing the videos I " Bookmarked " the site to be able to find it again easily and check for new content often. Happy Cool

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