Practice Notes – Feb 19, 2012

Worked on a variety of drills today, these are the ones I can remember. Each set or two was separated by a fairly long break to ensure our arms didn’t tire too much. Most of these drills are far more demanding on the sword arm than spending a comparable amount of time sparing.

Drills Covered

Range Drill 1

  1. Swords down, approach until just barely in range to hit with an extended arm.
  2. Test range, correct if needed.
  3. Incrementally retreat until at the maximum range for a lunge
  4. Test range, correct if needed.

Repeat until the minimum and maximum ranges are known by sight.

Range Drill 2

Same as before, but this time the student is trying to gauge the teacher’s range.

Counter-Posture Drill

See Counter-Posture Training Exercise.

Range Dance 1

Teacher and student stand in guard, points barely crossed. Teacher moves in any direction and the student reacts accordingly to maintain distance.

Note: If the student has a longer range than the teacher, then use the student’s wide measure as the target distance.

Range Dance 2 – For a shorter student

Find three ranges:

  • Both can strike
  • Only the teacher can strike
  • Neither can strike

Repeat the dance, but this time the student is to stay either inside his own measure or completely outside both measures. Periodically pause to check distance.

Closing with a Dagger 1

The assumption here is by whatever means the student has managed to enter range with a sword and dagger against a teacher armed only with a sword.

The student is to step forward and strongly constrain the teacher’s sword such that a disengage isn’t possible. The teacher will attempt retreat in order to a safe distance. The student should advance using single and passing steps until the can strike with the dagger.  They must be careful to maintain the hard constraint while not advancing so fast that they risk injuring the opponent.

Closing with a Dagger 2

In this refinement the teacher not necessarily allow their sword to be constrained (usually using a disengage). The student must be aware of this and retreat if the constrain fails.

Attacking against Counter-Postures 1

The teacher starts in 3rd on either side. The student advances to contact, then attacks. The teacher will not actively move or defend himself. At first the student will probably parry too wide, which results in both of them getting hit in the head. Work on narrowing the parry until they can do it safely while striking.

Attacking against Counter-Postures 2

Repeat the exercise but with the teacher will take a variety of counter-postures. The novice student may attempt to attack along a line that is covered. Ideally they will discover that trying to muscle through won’t work.

Plans for Next Week

Disengages would be good to work on. Both in terms of performing them and how to respond when someone tries to disengage within measure. This should have been a prerequisite for “Attacking against Counter-Postures 2”.

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