|Back on this subject! There are a number of discussions going on about this, and a few "names"have recently come out in favour of training with minimal or no protection, there is a growing number of people doing this. This post was originally written some weeks ago...|
I read not long ago on a FB thread, someone saying that they had done some fencing recently. Announcing that is followed the "Safety Last" format which I took to be at least a slight dig at the on going moves by some to fence and spar in minimal no additional protective gear.
Having said that it was fun and interesting he then pointed out that he lost by a certain number of points but then put that down in part to the lack of protective gear making him fence cautiously.
Aside from the idea that had the weapons been sharp and the intent to kill or maim, then he may have lost even sooner, with few hits against him, I was struck again by the obvious disconnect revealed by the statement.
At what point would one not expect fight with sharp and potentially deadly weapons not to be carried out cautiously. Certainly in comparison to safe sparring and certainly where one was accustomed to wearing protective clothing.
The second disconnect for me was while acknowledging that the cautiousness was caused by difference between the normal and the new one but then not seeming to recognise or acknowledge that the current approach was at fault, instead rather blaming the way it had been most recently tested it, the one closer to the actual experience being trained for.
I'll try not to sound like a broken record;
The comment in the thread sounded like someone who was shocked that having inly ever driven a car around an empty parking lot, suddenly stating their driving was worse when they drove on a busy street for the first time, because it made them more cautious and then kind of blaming the busy street.
- If you are training for un-armoured fighting then you should fight un-armoured,
- If you want to spar/fence/free fight (as opposed to training specific actions that may require protection), but do not have the confidence to do so with out adding lots of protective equipment then seriously consider whether you are at a level of skill to be considering free-play in the first place.
- Remember that how you train conditions you on a deep level for what you expect to actually happen.
- Don't forget that the mind set with the real potential for danger is going to be markedly different from when you feel safer.
- Remember to not confuse the built in flaw (the things one does so you and others don't get broken in training) for reality.
We should bare in mind.
- Wearing protective gear can not but change how you approach a dangerous situation.
- Our forebears seem to have conducted training unprotected, at least when training for unprotected fighting.
- The Guild advocates unprotected training as the main method.
- If you feel that you can not train without protective gear, then look at what you are doing and how you are doing it. Or think on the skill level you have and what you are expecting to do.
- Just because most people want to play sword tag, doesn't mean it is the only or best way to train.
Be safe be sensible be real.
|Don't mistake hard and fast, for "liveness" or pressure testing.|
One can see people doing drills and exercises, generally with some protection, sometimes only minimal levels of protection, doing drills hard and fast.
It can look impressive. the speed and force being used makes it look exciting and creates a sense of
However look beyond that....
- Look at the distancing, are launching the attack out of distance?
- Look at the timing, is the responder anticipating the attack they "know" is coming?
- Look at the attack, is there a wind up that serves as the feed cue for the responder or is it bigger than it should be to give the responder time to make it work?
- Look at the preparations of both, are they maintaining an appropriate focus and transition into and out of the exercise or is switch on switch of? Do they both take time to "settle" before the actions or is their a continuous transition through Approach, Close and Entry
- Look at the actual energy being used, is it forceful but stopping at the point of contact? Or is the responder actually dealing with or redirecting the continuous force?
- Look at what happens after the "block" does the attacker just stop? Or do they stay present and "in the fight". Also how do both parties come out of the contact, do both stay present or do they switch off?
- Look at the Protective equipment, are they using it to help them do the technique. Do you believe they would do the actions in the same way without the protection?
If even one of this is faked without a clear and stated reason, then it really doesn't matter how Hard and Fast it seems, it's not any more "Real" ©™®. than a slow drill done with all of the above.
However we an be fooled hard and fast can seem real but really they are extras and are easy to use as fake sincerity especially when both parties have confidence. However confidence doesn't always correspond to competence and when it comes to creating an illusion or deceiving people as I was told... "Once you learn to fake sincerity, everything else is easy"
|A short last post for 2013.|
This is one of a number of pieces that have been sitting in the Drafts folder, that I intend to get published as we enter the new year.
I hope that you have all had a good 2013 and will have a better 2014...
I have seen some videos recently, and have again been reminded of the issue that comes back to the interpretation of sources...
When a video is posted claiming to be an interpretation of some images from a MS. and then the live action shown. looks nothing like the images shown.
While I understand the idea extrapolating concepts, principles, tactics etc from techniques. However if one is going to show specific illustrations, I believe it holds that the moving interpretation you shown should contain moments where the illustrations are reflected.
For example is the MS shows the technique being done from behind someone who has been turned in the set up, then the "interpretation" shows a technique being done from the front of the opponent, then it really is not an interpretation but an extrapolation. The same thing with hand and foot positions, either do the action as illustrated and then explain why you can or may need to do it differently, or don't show the illustration.
Otherwise all I am seeing is stuff that has been made up claiming to be something it is not.
Of course once you have done a faithful interpretation of the technique etc. then show how it may be applied in different ways and under varying circumstances, but show it being done the original way first
|The image below was shared on Facebook|
It has obvious connections to positions seen in the Works of Fiore dei Liberi, if you are familiar with them, you can see it.
Various comments arose, going over the areas of the universal nature of certain actions and positions due to the morphology of the human body, the nature of influence and transmission in the form of lineage or teaching and the concept of a pan European combat "style".
I find it interesting that when similarities between actions in different cultures, for example medieval Japan and Medieval Europe are observed and highlighted the general response is... well because the human body is basically the same the world over... so it's not surprising that we will encounter things that look and/or operate the same way. However if someone suggests that their may be some connection via lineage or direct transmission...we consider then to be a bit strange.
Yet when the same thing is observed in a similar culture or time frame and where despite cultural differences there is over lap and similarities, the attitude often flips. Now people look for and suggest, linear transmission, direct influence... Now... if one is suggesting that the similarities could be down to morphology, and facing the same problems and having the same tools to solve them often producing similar results, is treated as a little strange!
I am not holding with any faction or view point, just airing an observation on the workings of the human mind.