This is both an update on the first practice of 2013 for me and a test of the WordPress app for my phone.
Sebastian was back in town this week, so we decided to head out to practice. He hadn’t fenced since May, and I hadn’t fenced since the beginning of November so we were both knocking some rust off. We started out with some basic slow work and single sword work.
After that we each started fencing others and working on specifics. After a few bouts with one fencer don Godfrey recommended I think about how to fight against refuse fencers. In my next bouts I worked on attacking the opponent’s right elbow as a way to draw them out so I could take control of their sword and a way to limit their actions. It was very effective.
I fenced Sebastian again, and we played for a while trying out things and genuinely enjoying fencing together after so long.
Towards the end of the night everyone was winding down and I fought don Guido. He was nice enough to work with me on the same thing I had been struggling with earlier, controlling a refuse fencer. I learned a lot there about good ways to cut down on my opponents options, and to not give priority to their off hand weapons.
All in all a good practice, I had missed it.
I’ll be at the Vancouver International Swordplay Symposium next month, so I’m planning on going to practice more this month to get ready.
Had a great time at Fencing last night. Wait, what? This is a food blog now? No, this is a fencing blog. Hmmm…. to be fair my Laurel was at practice today, does that connect my interests enough? Ok then. Back to the blog.
There were five fencers last night, two of us were being taught by Oberst Luther (his cadet and me) and one was being taught by Don Richarde (his cadet). With Luther he had originaly planned on working on fighting from the knees, but both Alejandro and myself weren’t all that keen on it, as we have a generally good concept of it, and we don’t tend to need it as much as other things. So he asked what we would like to learn. Alejandro asked that at the next practice that Luther would be at if he could go over combatting various period styles, but that it wouldn’t work for today as it requires some research on Luthers end.
Instead we went over fighting someone you’ve never seen, and also one of Luther’s mainstays the semi-refuse stance where your feet are in presented, but your torso is twisted so your dagger is forward. It was working a bit, so I plan to continue to use it and see if it’s a good fit for me.
I’m ramping up my fencing practices as I’ve got a few tourneys comming up soon.
Fencing last night was great. I had the opportunity to fight vs longsword. Very interesting. I had a speed advantage, but that was balanced by his strength. When I was using dagger we were very much equals, but when I was fighting open hand I was definatly strugling. My guard seemed to be perfect at stopping his cuts, and my shorter blade meant that I had to fight close enough that he was on the defensive a lot. What surprised me the most were the similarities. Gaining the sword was still the best way to work. There was a little more need for double parrying, but it translated perfectly into thrusts. I found that when gaining the sword there was very little difference between that and a rapier, though my opponent was more likely to withdraw before an attack, but that gave me a tempo to attack in, so it was actually advantagious. Double parrying with the dagger and rapier together was helpful for getting me to actually move both at the same time. Because of the strength of the longsword any parries done with just my dagger had to be well away from my body, or else it would go through anyway. To counter that I was using my sword to parry at the same time. It was much more effective, and as I mentioned previously allowed me to then step in with a thrust and compas step. I also go to work on closing out a line even if my opponent has his sword pulled back so I can’t completely take the sword.
At the beginning of practice I did my fifty lunges with a dagger, and tweaked that a bit. Then Lee (from Blood and Iron Martial Arts) did thrusts against me as I parried and attacked. He gave me some good tips regarding the tempo of my attacks and his. He also helped me with moving sword and dagger at the same time, and the next move from the initial attack, often a compass step out.
After that was the Longsword fighting, and then some pickups against one of the newer students who was learning about using a shorter blade.
All in all a great practice, and I managed to do my plan.
Next practice January 7th 2010.
Things I have been working on up to now.
Don Godfrey has been helping me work with the shorter blade that I use rather than trying to imitate those with longer blades. Makes sense. Instead of trying to mimic the strengths of the stronger blade focus on your own strengths and find your opponents weaknesses.
One new thing on this is that I’m now only using sword and dagger. The reason behind this is that with the shorter blade I have two choices: I can stand further out beyond my opponent’s reach (and much beyond my own) and counter punch what they throw, which may be sometimes effective, but I can’t parry everything all of the time; and the second is to close to where I am within a comfortable distance and my opponent is having troubles because I”m too close for them. What this means is that I”m at a range where I can use a sword, but my opponent will be using his dagger. In order to combat that I will need to use a dagger myself. That way I will equalize their advantage, and surpass it. I will have two blades which I can easily wield at that range, and my opponent will only have one.
Continue reading “To bring us up to speed”