Opportunistic v's creative

"To begin to understand how an advanced fencer thinks, we must understand the difference between opportunistic and creative actions... Opportunistic actions rely on your opponent making mistakes. Creative actions are more important since the attacker initiates what will happen next. Faced with the challenge of producing an all-important winning hit, a creative action will serve you best." Ed Rogers, Advanced Fencing Techniques 2013

The more I study the Bolognese School the more I come to understand that the "differences" between the "Italian" and "German" schools have been vastly overstated to me. In fact the more I learn the more continuity I see. Undoubtedly this is due to bio-mechanics: the optimal cutting and thrusting positions and techniques do not change, so you will find a Alta/Vom Tag position and a pflug/Coda Lunga position etc. It appears to me that the main difference lies in the tactical application of the mechanical actions rather than completely different actions.

From what I see the above quote from Ed Rogers summarises for me the primary difference between say Dal'aggochie and Meyer. That Dal'aggochie is what Ed would call Opportunistic, in that he favours provoking attacks from your opponent that you can then capitalize upon, whereas Meyer is Creative, in that he favours attacking your opponent to deliberately create openings to attack.

The reason I think the differences are less than has been stated is that I feel it's possible to apply a whole body of the core technique from one system quite easily to the other. Cross training is more about adjusting your way of thinking than tweaking your actions than learning a whole new martial art.

Perhaps this is obvious but I don't think so from reading on forums or facebook, a great many people seem to think these are somehow completely different ways of fighting rather than of thinking.


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