Session 2 Recap

Thanks to everyone who came out tonight. We had eight students, which is almost double the number we had last week. I expect that different people will be able to attend on different days of the week, which is why I rotate days.

Tonight’s school was essentially a repeat of last week’s. I believe that repetition is important in developing good technique, and all my classes will basically begin in the same way – with warmups and practicing the Tai Chi Step. Over the summer we will develop different focuses and explore new techniques.

It is true that I talk a lot during my classes – this is just the way I do things. There is a lot of theoretical knowledge associated with swordplay, and sometimes it can only be given to students verbally. However, I want to make sure that practical knowledge is a priority in my classes, and so I started this blog.

Here, I intend to pontificate to my heart’s content, pouring out all the words that I keep in during classes in order to maintain the focus on practice. I have a number of posts on the boil – such as an examination of the differences between single combat and group fighting, discussions of several different weapon types and their use and purpose, and my thoughts on the battle games that are part of the Hundred Swords experience.

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Session 1 Recap

Thanks to everyone who came out to the School tonight. I think we had a fun and interesting time. I’d like to emphasise here that my way of doing things is not the only correct way. It’s what has worked for me over the past 25 years, but every sword fighter is an individual with their own preferences and techniques.What follows is a recap of the main points of the lesson. This is intended as a memory jogger for those who attended the class, but also as an introduction to those who didn’t.

Warmup/Footwork
1. Fighting Stance: Feet at opposite corners of a square, weight evenly distributed between the feet.
2. The Tai Chi Step: Shift weight to the front foot. Lift the rear foot and touch it to your other ankle. Reach out with that foot and place it on the ground without putting weight on it. Then shift your weight so it is evenly distributed.

Solo Drill
3. Ward: Silver’s Open Fight – fighting stance, sword aloft. Arm next to ear, leading edge of sword and knuckles towards the enemy.
4. Strike: Diagonally at the enemy’s shoulder. With Tai Chi Step, time so that the foot lands at the same time as the blade.

Pairs Drill
5. Agent/Patient: The Agent does the action, the Patient has the action done to them.
6: Distance: fight takes place outside distance, so that the Agent needs to take a step to attack. Measure distance by touching your opponent’s chest with your sword, then take a small step back.
7. Ward: True Guardant – sword leg forward, point of sword directed at shield knee, gaze below the arm. A good defensive ward.
8. Ward: Variable aka Forearm Ward – protecting one side of the body or the other. Inside, outside, high, low for 4 separate forearm wards. Very good for defence, but vulnerable to thrusts.
9. Agent in Open, patient in Forearm Ward. Agent strikes with a step (as point 4 above), Patient shifts Forearm ward to intercept the strike. Not a parry, a shifting of the ward.

Sparring
10. Rock/Paper/Scissors: Guardant counters Open, Variable counters Guardant, Open counters Variable.
11. Change opponents regularly.