At a recent practice we came to the realization that we were not properly teaching the concept of likely lines of attack.
For example, if someone is in right ochs with the longsword, they are unlikely to try directly attacking from their left side to your right. (He can of course use a preparatory action such as a thrust or guard change, but that’s a different matter.)
So when you are facing just such an opponent you should instead be focus on being ready to counter attacks from above and to the left.
In order to correct for this oversight, our new club training manual is including sections on basic attacks. Rather than telling the student which lines he can attack in, we are instead having him figure that out for himself experimentally.
He does this by attempting to attack along all eight lines and noting key aspects such as:
- Balance at the completion of the cut
- Speed, including any predatory actions
- Power of the cut
My belief is that by a combination of physically attempting the cuts, verbally acknowledging which are most likely, and writing them down in a workbook the student is more likely to remember where the threat will arise from during a bout.