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Al Muckart




Location: NZ
Joined: 27 Dec 2005

Posts: 309

PostPosted: Tue 29 Aug, 2006 2:57 am    Post subject: Weekend cutting pics         Reply with quote

Hi All,

We got the cutting stand out for a play this weekend. I didn't have enough newspaper to roll targets out of but four of us went through I don't know how many PET bottles and milk jugs and we all had some fun.

Having no practical idea of correct technique but having read all I could find on this forum I was pretty happy with what I learned. I didn't have any real issues with edge alignment but I definitely found that there was a huge difference when I managed to hit with "relaxed speed" rather than really trying to hit hard. Lots to un-learn from doing SCA fighting but I was learning a little bit with every shot.

One thing I'm still not sure of is the 'right' way to grip a sword like the Albion knight. What I found was that I was tending to start in a hammer-like grip and partway through the shot was transitioning to more of a handshake grip. Is this bad? Looking at these I'm also twisting my body a lot more than I thought I was at the time.

Herewith some pics of the fun, including pics of the adjustable cutting stand we made last weekend. This is designed to go high enough to put water bottles on and low enough to put rolled newspaper targets on.



 Attachment: 88.87 KB
actionshot.jpg
Successful cut. Don't know if my stance is any good, but it worked.

 Attachment: 85.06 KB
followthrough.jpg
Follow though. Is it ok to be bending my wrist this much?

 Attachment: 35.12 KB
trimbottle.jpg
In NZ low fat milk is sometimes branded "Trim" milk, so of course we had to do what it said on the bottle!

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Al.
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Patrick Kelly




Location: Wichita, Kansas
Joined: 17 Aug 2003
Reading list: 42 books

Spotlight topics: 2
Posts: 5,678

PostPosted: Tue 29 Aug, 2006 6:11 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The cutting stand looks great, the adjustable feature is a great idea.

I find the handshake style of grip to be much more effective in these kinds of exercises with single-handed swords, as illustrated here.


I find I have a much better sense of control when I grip the sword in this fashion. It also seems easier to get the sword up to speed without involving an excessive amount of power.
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Al Muckart




Location: NZ
Joined: 27 Dec 2005

Posts: 309

PostPosted: Tue 29 Aug, 2006 5:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Patrick Kelly wrote:
The cutting stand looks great, the adjustable feature is a great idea.


Thanks. It was pretty simple to build, only too about an hour. A key feature is that the top made of very soft wood (NZ pine) and is glued and pegged, no metal bits anywhere that's likely to get accidentally hit. This turned out to be a good thing when one of my friends cut on too steep an angle and took a slice out of the platform Big Grin

Quote:

I find the handshake style of grip to be much more effective in these kinds of exercises with single-handed swords, as illustrated here.

I find I have a much better sense of control when I grip the sword in this fashion. It also seems easier to get the sword up to speed without involving an excessive amount of power.


Thanks for the hints. Do you power mostly from your arm or from your body/shoulders? I worked out that the twisting of my body in the follow through is just me slowing the sword down, I'm not twisting that much into the cut, but I still have the habit of throwing shots with my core muscles from SCA fighting.

Are there any books I can learn the finer points of cutting technique from?

Thanks.

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Al.
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Mike Arledge




Location: Indianapolis, IN
Joined: 05 Feb 2006
Reading list: 8 books

Posts: 434

PostPosted: Tue 29 Aug, 2006 6:50 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here is one I took recently


 Attachment: 71.62 KB
Mike-cutting1.jpg

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Patrick Kelly




Location: Wichita, Kansas
Joined: 17 Aug 2003
Reading list: 42 books

Spotlight topics: 2
Posts: 5,678

PostPosted: Tue 29 Aug, 2006 8:43 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Al wrote:
Do you power mostly from your arm or from your body/shoulders? I worked out that the twisting of my body in the follow through is just me slowing the sword down, I'm not twisting that much into the cut, but I still have the habit of throwing shots with my core muscles from SCA fighting.

Are there any books I can learn the finer points of cutting technique from?


I'm fairly new at taking cutting seriously as a discipline so I'm far from an expert. However, most of my power seems to come from the shoulders instead of the hips. It seems if you're rotating too much from the hips you're over extending in the cut, something that would be bad mojo in reality. In the end it seems to be about speed and technique not power. Remember, you're not trying to use a rattan club to ring the bell of someone wearing a helmet that could stop an RPG, all so he'll recognize he's "dead". Instead, we're trying to cut objects that are rather soft with a sharp sword. It's vital to stay relaxed and fluid throughout the cut. If we try to concentrate on power we inevitably seem to tense up, which is counterproductive and makes getting the sword up to the required velocity much more difficult.

I don't know of any books that deal specifically with cutting, in the european arts. Most cover it very little if at all.
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Al Muckart




Location: NZ
Joined: 27 Dec 2005

Posts: 309

PostPosted: Tue 29 Aug, 2006 9:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mike Arledge wrote:
Here is one I took recently


Nice Happy You should enter that into Christitan Fletcher's "dog days" competition Happy

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Al.
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Al Muckart




Location: NZ
Joined: 27 Dec 2005

Posts: 309

PostPosted: Tue 29 Aug, 2006 9:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Patrick,

Patrick Kelly wrote:

I'm fairly new at taking cutting seriously as a discipline so I'm far from an expert. However, most of my power seems to come from the shoulders instead of the hips. It seems if you're rotating too much from the hips you're over extending in the cut, something that would be bad mojo in reality.


Thinking back to shots I threw that went wrong on the weekend that makes perfect sense. Several of the shots I stepped into I ended up hitting way too close to the base of the blade even after I'd "ranged them out" slowly. I think what was happening there was I was stepping into the shot and unconsciously powering it out of my hips.

There's my thing to keep an eye on next time, thanks.

Quote:
In the end it seems to be about speed and technique not power. Remember, you're not trying to use a rattan club to ring the bell of someone wearing a helmet that could stop an RPG, all so he'll recognize he's "dead". Instead, we're trying to cut objects that are rather soft with a sharp sword. It's vital to stay relaxed and fluid throughout the cut. If we try to concentrate on power we inevitably seem to tense up, which is counterproductive and makes getting the sword up to the required velocity much more difficult.


That all makes sense. It's definitely a case of realising that the habits I've picked up for SCA fighting aren't doing me any good, I'm just not sure what the good habits are yet. I'll keep working on it.

Thanks.

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Al.
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Mike Arledge




Location: Indianapolis, IN
Joined: 05 Feb 2006
Reading list: 8 books

Posts: 434

PostPosted: Wed 30 Aug, 2006 3:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Al Muckart wrote:
Mike Arledge wrote:
Here is one I took recently


Nice Happy You should enter that into Christitan Fletcher's "dog days" competition Happy


Oh, I did already Happy
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Addison C. de Lisle




Location: South Carolina
Joined: 05 Nov 2005
Likes: 27 pages

Posts: 614

PostPosted: Wed 30 Aug, 2006 3:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

No lense flare in this one Wink

I like seeing how you can see the blade flexing in the cut in this picture . Very cool. However, I'm curious as to how you managed to actually capture mid-cut. Whenever I try to take a picture, it's always either too early or too late...
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Mike Arledge




Location: Indianapolis, IN
Joined: 05 Feb 2006
Reading list: 8 books

Posts: 434

PostPosted: Wed 30 Aug, 2006 3:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Addison C. de Lisle wrote:
No lense flare in this one Wink

I like seeing how you can see the blade flexing in the cut in this picture . Very cool. However, I'm curious as to how you managed to actually capture mid-cut. Whenever I try to take a picture, it's always either too early or too late...


I have a camera that can take 4 frames per second for 3 consecutive seconds. Its still hit or miss, but this oen turned out well enough Happy
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