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Bill Grandy
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PostPosted: Wed 15 Feb, 2006 10:46 pm    Post subject: Congrats, Pamela Muir: New Longsword Instructor at VAF         Reply with quote

A hearty congratulations (and welcome from me) to Pamela Muir, the new instructor for our Saturday adult intermediate longsword class at the Virginia Academy of Fencing. Pamela has been a student of mine for a few years now. She's started out taking private lessons from me, seemingly very reserved but determined to truly understand this as an artform. Over the years I've watched her dedication and passion develop into a wonderful fighter, and at the same time a humble student of the sword (who will probably be embarressed by this post!). But she deserves the congratulations, as she has not only really excelled in her practice, but in teaching beginning courses has also shown the patience and demeanor of an excellent teacher as well. I couldn't be happier to have Pamela taking over the Saturday class. Heck, I need a day off sometime, right? I kid, Pamela, I kid. Happy

Seriously, Pamela is going to be a wonderful addition to our program, and I just wanted to share how proud of her I am.

Anyone want to see her kicking my butt all over the place? Of course you do. Here you go:

http://www.ericwargo.com/sword/bouts/sbgvpm1_4_05.mov

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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Gordon Clark




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PostPosted: Thu 16 Feb, 2006 5:07 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Congratulations Pamela!

Thanks for the movie link, Bill.

A question for either/both of you. Bill has longer arms, and a longer sword. How much of an advantage does that give him?
I would have thought more than is obvious by watching the clip.

Gordon
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Thu 16 Feb, 2006 5:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Congratulations Pamela; The clip is very impressive even for my untrained eye. Moving the clip frame by frame sort of helps understanding a bit what is happening.

Just a question for you or Bill: How much do you depend on your eyes before sword contact and how much does your brain switch to the tactile feel of pressure & sliding of blade on blade once the swords make contact ?

How much goes according to a conscious plan and how much is reactive and in the moment ? I would think you need the training in various moves / techniques to give you an alphabet / vocabulary as a starting point while having to " write " the actual script of the engagement based on initial intent and modified by opportunity and mistakes made by you and your opponent. ( Now this is a real convoluted sentence !!! Razz )

In any case this is my intuitive impression of what is happening at each engagement and my attempt to put it in words: Just curious if this makes sense. Wink Laughing Out Loud

If my words end up being true, being able to express it in words might be useful. Question Big Grin

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Bill Grandy
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PostPosted: Thu 16 Feb, 2006 7:52 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Gordon Clark wrote:
A question for either/both of you. Bill has longer arms, and a longer sword. How much of an advantage does that give him?


Apparently not enough! Wink Seriously, it does give an advantage against the less trained, but when you start getting to more advanced levels I find that the reach advantage evens out. The reach gives the obvious advantage of being able to hit the person at a distance, but a good fighter can negate that distance by closing in but protecting themselves. When the shorter person closes, it's a little harder for the taller person to move at close distance. That's pretty generalized, but you get the idea.

Jean Thibodeau wrote:
How much do you depend on your eyes before sword contact and how much does your brain switch to the tactile feel of pressure & sliding of blade on blade once the swords make contact ?

How much goes according to a conscious plan and how much is reactive and in the moment ?


Phew, that's a tough one to answer exactly. But when doing things at speed, it is definately far more unconscious reaction than concscious thinking. Thinking too much when a sword comes flying at you results in a delayed reaction and getting whacked. I tell students all the time that feeling the pressure through the blade contact has to become almost a sixth sense so that you react before your opponent even realizes what is going on. The only way to do this, though, is to drill and drill and drill some more so that it becomes instinctive. Many drills we do force you to have to think about what you're doing and not react on instinct. By engaging the concsious thought and actively forcing it to come up with intelligent solutions you are also engraining the actions into the unconscious, and into the muscle memory, so that when the time comes to use the movement you [hopefully] get it right.

So basically you have the right idea!

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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William Goodwin




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PostPosted: Thu 16 Feb, 2006 8:11 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Congrats Pamela! Under the wing of Mr. Grandy and having seen him in action making fruit salad out of a cantalope, I'm sure you will excel even more.
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Steve Grisetti




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PostPosted: Thu 16 Feb, 2006 8:39 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That is very exciting news, Pamela! Congratulations! I will be interested to hear of the differences you notice in the transition from student to teacher.
"...dismount thy tuck, be yare in thy preparation, for thy assailant is quick, skilful, and deadly."
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Eric Wargo




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PostPosted: Thu 16 Feb, 2006 10:30 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Let me add my huge congratulations, Pamela (my favorite sparring partner Happy ) Besides the qualities Bill mentioned, you also have the ego-less-ness that makes a great teacher. In Bill's case, it is probably due to brain-damage Big Grin . But in your case it is natural. You'll do great!

Eric
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Jessica Finley
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PostPosted: Thu 16 Feb, 2006 11:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Congratulations! And Yay for female instructors!!!
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Pamela Muir




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PostPosted: Thu 16 Feb, 2006 12:25 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Wow. Blush Bill, the compliments from you mean a lot. Thank you for your confidence in me.

Gentlemen and Lady Jessica, thank you for all of your kind words. I must give most of the credit to Bill, my teacher, coach and mentor, and to Eric, my friend, favorite sparring partner and photographer. After all, passion is contagious. If they weren’t so willing to work with me, I’d still be hiding in the corner before class. Happy (And Bill would still be calling me “Pam." yuck.)

It’s time to dust off that education degree and put it back to use. I hope I can live up to your expectations.

Post Script: Jessica, I took a peak at your profile and it looks like we have a lot in common!

Pamela Muir

Founder/Lead Instructor
Academy of Chivalric Martial Arts


"I need a hero. I'm holding out for a hero 'til the end of the night. He's gotta be strong, And he's gotta be fast, And he's gotta be fresh from the fight." ~Steinman/Pitchford
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Thu 16 Feb, 2006 12:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Pamela;

If I didn't live about a thousand miles away I would rush out and join your class as a student. Sad Sad I'm so far away. Wink Laughing Out Loud

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




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PostPosted: Thu 16 Feb, 2006 3:49 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Pamela:
Congrats on taking over the Intermediate longsword class BUT also for your first Intermediate 6-8 year old Olympic Sport class! I'm so very proud letting people know that you are my friend as well as a good coach and then signing them up for your class Happy. You've got nothing but great reviews from your beginning students and more will come with your intermediate students. You go girlfriend!!!!

(Now I hope I don't see her anytime soon for embarrassing her even more...yikes!)

Regards,
Helen
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Pamela Muir




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PostPosted: Thu 16 Feb, 2006 6:53 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Thibodeau wrote:

If I didn't live about a thousand miles away I would rush out and join your class as a student. Sad Sad I'm so far away. Wink Laughing Out Loud

Jean, next time you are in the neighborhood, drop on by! Wink It would be great fun to have you here. Happy

Helen, aw shucks! Blush Thanks, girlfriend (and my first on-line buddy).

Pamela Muir

Founder/Lead Instructor
Academy of Chivalric Martial Arts


"I need a hero. I'm holding out for a hero 'til the end of the night. He's gotta be strong, And he's gotta be fast, And he's gotta be fresh from the fight." ~Steinman/Pitchford
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Helen Miller




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PostPosted: Fri 17 Feb, 2006 5:19 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
Helen, aw shucks! Thanks, girlfriend (and my first on-line buddy).


*Hugs Pamela!* Your welcome Happy Happy Happy
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Fri 17 Feb, 2006 5:52 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Pamela;

Again, I'm impressed about what I see in the clip: Lighting fast, precisely timed and accurate moves IMHO. Cool Cool Cool

Maybe you should do movie / T.V. sword work or look into it: I know that theatrical fighting is very different but if you could make the movie stuff much closer in look than the real stuff it would be great.

I keep thinking of the " Highlander the Raven " series without the cheesy quality sword fighting. Love what I saw of your fighting even if my eye / brain can't follow it.

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Bill Grandy
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PostPosted: Fri 17 Feb, 2006 3:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Thibodeau wrote:


Maybe you should do movie / T.V. sword work or look into it: I know that theatrical fighting is very different but if you could make the movie stuff much closer in look than the real stuff it would be great.


I can see the newspaper headlines now:

"Actress kills fellows in movie fight scene. When asked for comments, Pamela Muir claimed, "I didn't know I WASN'T supposed to hit him with the sword!"

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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Lancelot Chan
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PostPosted: Fri 17 Feb, 2006 6:08 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Congratulations Pamela! Big Grin It's good to see your accomplishment being recognized!
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Pamela Muir




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PostPosted: Sat 18 Feb, 2006 4:13 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you, Lance!

And a special note to Mark, my husband, thank you for not just understanding my need to participate in this hobby, but for joining me in it as well. :*

Pamela Muir

Founder/Lead Instructor
Academy of Chivalric Martial Arts


"I need a hero. I'm holding out for a hero 'til the end of the night. He's gotta be strong, And he's gotta be fast, And he's gotta be fresh from the fight." ~Steinman/Pitchford
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Sat 18 Feb, 2006 9:08 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Pamela;

So do you and your husband settle disputes or make decisions with a friendly duel: Who wins decides which movie to go to or where to go on the next vacation. Razz Laughing Out Loud

One way to break an impasse when a decision is hard to arrive at. Big Grin

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Thomas McDonald
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PostPosted: Sat 18 Feb, 2006 9:19 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Getting this in a little late here, but .... Congratulations, Pamela !

Were all proud of you, lass ! Cheers, Mac
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PostPosted: Sat 18 Feb, 2006 10:54 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Congratulations Pamela!

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