Showing posts from March, 2013

Fundamental technique: alignment and stance

Reading Louis Preto's book has got me thinking about a few things, as all good books should :)

This picture represents how I tend to align myself when I fence, in a pretty much straight line directly at my opponent (represented by the diamond) with the weight squarely on my front foot:

However from reading Preto I notice he has an alignment more like this:

His stance is wider and his alignment is more in the centre of his body.

After checking Meyer I think both alignments can be seen but perhaps the narrow alignment is adopted in the End stance and the wider alignment is associated with the middle stance, possibly for receiving blows and perhaps as a stronger base for throwing multiple cuts.

I've been trying Preto's stance and I find it is more grounded and balanced allowing for more stength and speed. It does however present a slightly shorter measure, it reduces your ability to move so quickly forward (but this could be an experience/training issues) but it allows for m…

Book review: Understanding and developing footwork - Luis Preto

Understanding and developing footwork - Luis Preto.

"Footwork has always been regarded as one of the most important elements to the success of a Martial Artist's performance. However, almost all comments heard about this topic are, usually, generic at best: "great footwork", "amazing speed", "better footwork", thus failing to build a better understanding about what makes up effective footwork. This easy to read book with over 100 photos looks to shed some light on this issue by analysing and systematizing: * The variables that make up effective footwork * The difference between offensive and defensive footwork * The relationship between footwork when using weapons of different length * How to learn footwork so as to have it transfer into sparring"

I ordered the book from Preto's website and by HEMA book standards it was relatively cheap. Postage was reasonable and it arrived in good time with recorded delivery.


It's a relatively…

Equilibrium is death

From my experience there is a school of thought I commonly encounter, what I call in my head the "conversation" approach. This is where one persons makes an action, your opponent makes a response and then you respond back and forth like having a civilised conversation. This mental approach can be detected most easily in two areas, in the onset and in the bind. It looks like follows:

1. Two people advance to just outside of measure
2. At an agreed signal or after a certain amount of circling one will adopt a guard
3. Then the other a counter guard
4. The attacker will then attack
5. The defender will take a defensive action
6. A bind is formed
7. Both partys push backwards and forwards for a bit "feeling" in the bind
8. It all ends up in a heap with scrappy cuts in the bind or semi-half sword wrestling 

The problem with this approach is it encourages equilibrium, where the person with the initiative is continually giving it up so their opponent can respond and potentially t…