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Jean Thibodeau




PostPosted: Tue 07 Apr, 2015 10:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Lancelot Chan wrote:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qMbpfdB68dk
Bought her a softball face mask as birthday gift as a result.


Yes, using spears without at least eye protection, and maybe even throat protection, could be dangerous.

Again, she is doing a fine job of at least matching you and sometimes really catching you by surprise.

NOTE, a suggestion for your videos: I find that the 3/4 angled position of the camera relative to the action makes it a lot easier to see what is happening, when the camera is at 90 to the side it becomes very difficult to distinguish between good hits and misses, and many times it looks like a " double Kill " even when it isn't.

One thing she might be able to improve is that at times her spear gets too far out of line: She does a great job in recovering, and at times it happens because of the force of one of your parries, but at other times she goes a little wide all by herself.

I'm not an expert on spears, but with the German style of swordsmanship there is emphasis on keeping the point menacing as much as possible and in keeping motions small, and I think the same would apply to the use of the spear.

But she again does a very impressive job of getting past your defence and being very hard to pin down ... it's a bit like fighting smoke ..... Big Grin Cool

I almostt felt like you where fighting a scorpion's tail or a rattle snake's bite.

A lot of words to just say " IMPRESSIVE " Exclamation

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PostPosted: Tue 07 Apr, 2015 11:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks a lot. I'll let her know about your words.

I'll see if we can shoot videos more from this angle. But I was worrying if we need 2 camera this way for it shows the back of one of the participants mostly hahha. We'll experience about that. Annie said this camera angle is way more exciting too, like movie or games. Big Grin


Jean Thibodeau wrote:
Lancelot Chan wrote:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qMbpfdB68dk
Bought her a softball face mask as birthday gift as a result.


Yes, using spears without at least eye protection, and maybe even throat protection, could be dangerous.

Again, she is doing a fine job of at least matching you and sometimes really catching you by surprise.

NOTE, a suggestion for your videos: I find that the 3/4 angled position of the camera relative to the action makes it a lot easier to see what is happening, when the camera is at 90 to the side it becomes very difficult to distinguish between good hits and misses, and many times it looks like a " double Kill " even when it isn't.

One thing she might be able to improve is that at times her spear gets too far out of line: She does a great job in recovering, and at times it happens because of the force of one of your parries, but at other times she goes a little wide all by herself.

I'm not an expert on spears, but with the German style of swordsmanship there is emphasis on keeping the point menacing as much as possible and in keeping motions small, and I think the same would apply to the use of the spear.

But she again does a very impressive job of getting past your defence and being very hard to pin down ... it's a bit like fighting smoke ..... Big Grin Cool

I almostt felt like you where fighting a scorpion's tail or a rattle snake's bite.

A lot of words to just say " IMPRESSIVE " Exclamation

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PostPosted: Sat 11 Apr, 2015 5:09 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nmRQVYhi3mE
Corridor spear fight.

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PostPosted: Wed 15 Apr, 2015 10:24 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LVNwagDs8rs
Using our most familiar weapons, my DS vs my wife's spear.

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Jean Thibodeau




PostPosted: Thu 16 Apr, 2015 8:32 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Lancelot Chan wrote:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LVNwagDs8rs
Using our most familiar weapons, my DS vs my wife's spear.


Just a short comment of my general impressions:

Annie seems to be getting a lot better at changing the range of the spear, lengthening and shortening the spear in her hands, and combining it with very good footwork and managing measure and timing.

She also does a good job of avoiding your parries by voiding them before your sword can make contact, and this limits your ability to control her spear and move safely inside her guard: She still manages to get around your defences very well, but you seem to also be getting better in stopping her subtle spiralling attacks, and stopping her in getting in close with her spear point

Even when she doesn't hit you with the point she gets very close even when it's a miss and it forces you to work hard in the defensive taking away a lot of your opportunities to take the offensive ..... I think !

In a way it's that practising frequently with the same person it becomes a lot easier to read their intentions and know in advance what to expect.

But Annie is still getting in some really good hits.

Watching you two bout is a lot of fun for me.

I also notice that she is wearing a bit more protective equipment, and that is a good thing because the speed and pace of your exchanges are getting faster and the chances of an unfortunate accident increase with speed if little or no protective gear is used protecting at least the eyes and the throat ..... any place else it could be minor bruises or possibly a broken finger.

Well, a good trust into the solar plexus is never any fun at all. Wink Razz Laughing Out Loud Cool

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PostPosted: Thu 16 Apr, 2015 8:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for your encouraging words. I told Annie your comment word by word.

I bought her a new chest protector after yesterday bout, where I hit her chest twice and left a bump there.

She has neck problem so her weight carrying and heat dissipation ability are very hindered. The plate I chose for her is a lightweight, open back design so she can worry less about heat dissipation.





Jean Thibodeau wrote:
Lancelot Chan wrote:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LVNwagDs8rs
Using our most familiar weapons, my DS vs my wife's spear.


Just a short comment of my general impressions:

Annie seems to be getting a lot better at changing the range of the spear, lengthening and shortening the spear in her hands, and combining it with very good footwork and managing measure and timing.

She also does a good job of avoiding your parries by voiding them before your sword can make contact, and this limits your ability to control her spear and move safely inside her guard: She still manages to get around your defences very well, but you seem to also be getting better in stopping her subtle spiralling attacks, and stopping her in getting in close with her spear point

Even when she doesn't hit you with the point she gets very close even when it's a miss and it forces you to work hard in the defensive taking away a lot of your opportunities to take the offensive ..... I think !

In a way it's that practising frequently with the same person it becomes a lot easier to read their intentions and know in advance what to expect.

But Annie is still getting in some really good hits.

Watching you two bout is a lot of fun for me.

I also notice that she is wearing a bit more protective equipment, and that is a good thing because the speed and pace of your exchanges are getting faster and the chances of an unfortunate accident increase with speed if little or no protective gear is used protecting at least the eyes and the throat ..... any place else it could be minor bruises or possibly a broken finger.

Well, a good trust into the solar plexus is never any fun at all. Wink Razz Laughing Out Loud Cool

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PostPosted: Fri 24 Apr, 2015 9:14 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4a-jVmj3dr4
Practice with my wife Annie and figured out how to use her killer move from the past, the single handed spear strike. The cost was I got hit in the throat once too.

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PostPosted: Sun 26 Apr, 2015 12:56 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

https://youtu.be/t1yUUFJcjY8

This time Annie employed the right tactic, which made her a difficult opponent.

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Jean Thibodeau




PostPosted: Mon 27 Apr, 2015 7:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Lancelot Chan wrote:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4a-jVmj3dr4
Practice with my wife Annie and figured out how to use her killer move from the past, the single handed spear strike. The cost was I got hit in the throat once too.


You both seem to be getting better at this. Big Grin Cool

One issue I can see is that the flexibility of the spear shaft has an effect on how you use it and how it deflects from a parry or even avoids a parry: This can be used to advantage, and I think some spears where intended to be very flexible, but a more rigid spear would handle differently in subtle ways affecting the style of combat I think.

For safety reasons, I think you have little choice about using flexible spear shafts.

Annie does seem to move/footwork like she has been practicing martial arts for years, or she has a natural talent for it.

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PostPosted: Mon 27 Apr, 2015 10:55 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

She indeed practiced martial arts before her bad neck injuries. So she's on the path of recovery after having laid down for so many decades. She figured out relying on rest alone ain't going to help. Hence she's trying to push through all the pain and try not to over do it in the same time. A delicate center path.

I've sparred with Takara Takanashi from Japan yesterday, a master of Niten Ichi Ryu, Shinkage ryu and 關口流. If you want to watch, PM me. Happy Videos only for friends.

Jean Thibodeau wrote:
Lancelot Chan wrote:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4a-jVmj3dr4
Practice with my wife Annie and figured out how to use her killer move from the past, the single handed spear strike. The cost was I got hit in the throat once too.


You both seem to be getting better at this. Big Grin Cool

One issue I can see is that the flexibility of the spear shaft has an effect on how you use it and how it deflects from a parry or even avoids a parry: This can be used to advantage, and I think some spears where intended to be very flexible, but a more rigid spear would handle differently in subtle ways affecting the style of combat I think.

For safety reasons, I think you have little choice about using flexible spear shafts.

Annie does seem to move/footwork like she has been practicing martial arts for years, or she has a natural talent for it.

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Jean Thibodeau




PostPosted: Thu 30 Apr, 2015 9:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Lancelot Chan wrote:

I've sparred with Takara Takanashi from Japan yesterday, a master of Niten Ichi Ryu, Shinkage ryu and 關口流. If you want to watch, PM me. Happy Videos only for friends.



I viewed the videos and there are some very interesting things.

In the first one against your student, he sort of neutralized the spear"s advantage by rushing in and taking control of the spear enough to get past the point a good amount of the time, but the spear's advantage still seems to be an important factor in even in the hands of a less experienced fighter.

When master Takara Takanashie is using the spear your student can't defend and counter attack with the sword with the same level of effectiveness.

In the test cutting I can see that wet newspaper is a lot more difficult than the mats, I think it's mostly a question of getting the sword moving fast rather than trying to power the sword through the cutting target.

You do make it look easy, and I guessing that anyone trying to cut wet newspaper rolls the first time would be surprised at how difficult it can be if they are used to cutting some other kind of target.

The last video clip with both of you using the spears you may average the same amount of kills, but he does seem to get in many times before you can even react. He also grabs your spear to immobilize it and then finish you off using the spear one handed.

The great flexibility to the bouting spear shafts do affect the bouts a great deal I think: In some ways the extreme flexibility makes blocking and controlling the adversary's spear more difficult to pin down as it can whip around and bounce off a good parry. I think that this can be an advantage or a disadvantage, someone choosing a very flexible spear shaft would learn to use it's flexibility to advantage, but a much stiffer spear shaft would change the way some techniques succeed or fail.

A spear fight where one person is using a flexible spear shaft against someone using a stiffer shaft would be an interesting variable and each fighter should know how to adapt their weapon's characteristics to fighting a weapon reacting to parries in a very different way.

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PostPosted: Thu 30 Apr, 2015 11:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Not only did he get me many times before I could react, he also hit lethal spots more often than I did in the spear fight. He has previous training in naginata so that benefited him.

We chose the flexible shafts for the spear because it's safer to thrust and hit someone with, when the shaft can flex to dissipate the impact force.

Here are some photos of the day and among them were some marks left on my student by the spear shaft's hitting.

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.659265540884418.1073741832.122410021236642&type=1

He was also very good in fighting against the spear. The best I've seen so far.

Our swordfight was the best of the year too. Big Grin

Jean Thibodeau wrote:
Lancelot Chan wrote:

I've sparred with Takara Takanashi from Japan yesterday, a master of Niten Ichi Ryu, Shinkage ryu and 關口流. If you want to watch, PM me. Happy Videos only for friends.



I viewed the videos and there are some very interesting things.

In the first one against your student, he sort of neutralized the spear"s advantage by rushing in and taking control of the spear enough to get past the point a good amount of the time, but the spear's advantage still seems to be an important factor in even in the hands of a less experienced fighter.

When master Takara Takanashie is using the spear your student can't defend and counter attack with the sword with the same level of effectiveness.

In the test cutting I can see that wet newspaper is a lot more difficult than the mats, I think it's mostly a question of getting the sword moving fast rather than trying to power the sword through the cutting target.

You do make it look easy, and I guessing that anyone trying to cut wet newspaper rolls the first time would be surprised at how difficult it can be if they are used to cutting some other kind of target.

The last video clip with both of you using the spears you may average the same amount of kills, but he does seem to get in many times before you can even react. He also grabs your spear to immobilize it and then finish you off using the spear one handed.

The great flexibility to the bouting spear shafts do affect the bouts a great deal I think: In some ways the extreme flexibility makes blocking and controlling the adversary's spear more difficult to pin down as it can whip around and bounce off a good parry. I think that this can be an advantage or a disadvantage, someone choosing a very flexible spear shaft would learn to use it's flexibility to advantage, but a much stiffer spear shaft would change the way some techniques succeed or fail.

A spear fight where one person is using a flexible spear shaft against someone using a stiffer shaft would be an interesting variable and each fighter should know how to adapt their weapon's characteristics to fighting a weapon reacting to parries in a very different way.

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PostPosted: Sat 02 May, 2015 6:11 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

http://youtu.be/cm1A7EVntZM
Lancelot DS vs Crimson European longsword
Crimson is from another club where they use hard plastic swords without any protection gear.

https://youtu.be/AUsBuftmFgc
my student hon wing practiced with him. hon wing's straight dao is same weight as the longsword but shorter in reach.

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Jean Thibodeau




PostPosted: Sun 03 May, 2015 10:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Lancelot Chan wrote:
http://youtu.be/cm1A7EVntZM
Lancelot DS vs Crimson European longsword
Crimson is from another club where they use hard plastic swords without any protection gear.

https://youtu.be/AUsBuftmFgc
my student hon wing practiced with him. hon wing's straight dao is same weight as the longsword but shorter in reach.


Now, it's easy to criticize and analyse from one's office chair, and I might not do any better in real life, but my impressions are that Crimson is sort of telegraphing before each of his attacks, either a little twitch or small moves of the legs or tensing of muscles just before attacking.

His attacks are just too much out of measure, he should try to close the distance a bit by sneaking into true measure.

I do notice that as with most people the attacks are very linear while with the Liechtenaeur technique I am familiar with one should try to move and attack slightly to one side.

In some cases I think he has the wrong leg forward, if he is using the European German tradition with the right leg forward with the sword already on his right side ? this is the proper technique with Japanese katana I think ? I could be wrong ? With the German longsword the sword is usually longer than the average Katana.

Having the left foot leading one can attack from the side with a passing step slightly to the right of the centre line better protecting and attacking at the same time, a linear attack without a slight movement to the right can lead to double kills.

Attacks to the legs can be avoided by withdrawing the lead leg but I think he was withdrawing the wrong leg at least once in one of the videos.

As usual, I could be incorrect, so feel free to correct my impressions should you think that I'm in error.

He does seem to do a lot better against your student, and I think he did try to do some plays at the sword in his exchanges with you. I think that some of his hanging parries where a good try, but in some cases he is almost turning his back on you while doing them .... or at least that what it seems like from the camera position ?

If he just started with " The Small " or " The time of the Hand " he would be much more successful, since he often move a foot or leg just before launching an attack you are getting an advantage that cancels out any reaction time advantage he might have had.

On the plus side he does use different guards even if at times he does seem to have the wrong foot forward, but in the heat of a duel one can end up with the wrong foot forward and there are way to make that work.

So, in summary, one must first avoid telegraphing, one much get into measure before launching the attack, one should attack slightly off the centre line, and only attack when one sees an opening ..... otherwise better to stay defensive and control measure forcing the opponent to attack when maybe he shouldn't ?

Well, all this easier to write than to actually do ..... Wink Big Grin

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PostPosted: Sun 03 May, 2015 11:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think your comments are accurate. Happy He self-taught German longsword and has a very common problem with other self-taught swordsmen in mainland China, which is doing things way out of measure, thus telegraphing a lot. They thought it looked cool perhaps. At least the mainland guys do show me their "successful strikes" as animated GIF where one of the guy started to run in from afar (way out of measure) and crashed into the other guy with a successful simultaneous attack and defense. I didn't criticize them for they don't know better. But such is so common out there now.

You're right about the fineness. I think most self-taught out there are not as attended to details as to noticing the difference in the fineness yet.

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PostPosted: Fri 15 May, 2015 8:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bKVXKH1oGW4
Demonstration during newspapers interview. Liability training, trying to control the reach not to risk getting hit mortally.

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PostPosted: Sat 30 May, 2015 3:39 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YMCuK8jCUnM
Doing a demo sparring for Eric to show how his custom heavy jian (2 lbs 6 oz, 1.1kg) should be used.

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Jean Thibodeau




PostPosted: Sat 30 May, 2015 7:13 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Lancelot Chan wrote:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bKVXKH1oGW4
Demonstration during newspapers interview. Liability training, trying to control the reach not to risk getting hit mortally.


Yes, not being there is the best way to not be hit: I" or 1 mile out of reach is basically the same thing in effect, except that at 1" one is more at risk of being wrong about being in or out of measure.
( One mile is still too close for a cruise missile, all depends on context and the weapons involved ...... Wink Razz Laughing Out Loud ).

Not reacting by parrying to a cut or thrust that wont hit you, or voiding, makes it safe to just follow up on the opponents spent attack with an almost simultaneous attack of your own, but this is only true if your opponent neglects to keep his point or edge dangerous or menacing when he misses by misjudging the distances. ( Well at least in the German fencing tradition ).

Weapons like spears that can be extended or shortened quickly can create a trap to the attacker since he ( or she ) often base their estimate of range of what they currently see before them and it is very much more difficult to factor in the maximum reach of a spear: Measure can be seen then as a minimum and maximum zone of some degree of thickness rather than zero thickness spheres around each opponent that touch when in measure.
( Adding in that often if the head and shoulders are in measure the legs and feet are not, also the hands extended too far can be in measure when the rest of the body is safe ..... so measure is very much a zone that varies in context making much more difficult to be sure if one is safe or not ).

Parrying, in theory should only happen when one has misjudged the distance in defence, or when one wants contact with the opponent's weapon to neutralize it and use techniques like winding etc ..... in those cases the attack is often done just out of measure to force or tempt the opponent to parry to set them up for a planned counter.

So above one is in range of the weapon but just a bit out of range or measure ..... but getting into a measure is only half a step away.

All this gets a lot harder to do than write because of reaction time, varying reach of people and/or weapons, fooling and trapping the opponent in making a mistake about when and how far you are both into measure.

Basically I'm writing this as it comes, as watching your video makes me think about what is happening or about core basic principles: Specific tricks and techniques are very good to master but often people get so obsessed by knowing every possible trick they forget about the basics of measure, timing and judgement.

A funny thought just crossed my mind: Imagine that a thousand years from now historians find this discussion as the only surviving text related to fencing, and a HEMA group in 3,015 uses this stuff as if it was " A HISTORICAL FIGHTBOOK " on which they would be trying to recreate a system of fencing ?

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PostPosted: Sat 30 May, 2015 7:22 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I agree with EVERYTHING you wrote on that passage. Man, you're such a good analytic writer! And yes, I enjoy that thought that maybe many years later our discussion may survive as some fencing material. LOL!
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PostPosted: Sat 30 May, 2015 7:32 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Lancelot Chan wrote:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YMCuK8jCUnM
Doing a demo sparring for Eric to show how his custom heavy jian (2 lbs 6 oz, 1.1kg) should be used.


Really nice footwork: I'm not going from parsing the specific, but it looks and feels like " DANCING " in it's fluidity + maybe reading your opponent well enough that you get a substantial reaction time bonus in being able to move and counter sooner than what would seem " normal " Big Grin Cool

I could be wrong, but I think you are using and teaching the whole " measure/voiding/timing " thing a lot more than you where before ? Or, I just started noticing it Question Surprised Laughing Out Loud

Just because I know the German tradition better than other systems I wonder if you use stepping subtlety off line and avoid a totally linear approach when getting into measure for an attack ?

A 3/4 profile view or an overhead view might show up slight or subtle stepping off line ? I realize that some camera angles are just not practical to set up. Wink Big Grin

In theory the best would be multiple cameras in sync and then editing to various angles that show best what is happening.

Also, one extra camera hand held might capture additional interesting things to edit in, make close ups on hands or contact of swords etc ..... Now, I realize that this would need a film crew and would be expensive in time editing and/or money. ( So this isn't a criticism, but just what it would take if you where making commercial training videos ).

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