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Showing posts from April, 2018

Some thoughts on biomechanics

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TL:DR - fencing is not all about maximum force generation.

Biomechanics, or body mechanics as I call them for no apparent reason, are simply about understanding how your body moves and how this movement can be used to generate force. To summarise to my level of understanding, certain ways of moving can generate more force than others which lead to guidelines for improving your understanding of historical fencing, these include:

Righthanded blows will be stronger than blows from your leftCutting using just the wrist will be weaker than cutting from the shoulderStepping increases the force behind most blowsCutting with the false edge can break the transmission of force and therefore often makes for a weaker cut These are useful guidelines to help understand the "why" of specific techniques or overall philosophies of specific treatises.

However, they only form a component of understanding why an action might be "optimal" in a given situation. To crudely summarise ther…

Meyer myth busting: guards explained concisely

Myth1: Meyer is hugely complicated with lots of novel new guard positions
Myth1.1: Meyer is a massive departure from the earlier systems, just take his many guard positions as an example.

"the four guards work like this: the opponent is divided into four parts as has been shown previously in the illustration. The upper two are called the Ox, the lower two are called the Plow. Now when you have your weapon high on the right or left, then are standing in the Ox or Steer, and whatever you may execute by way of techniques or cuts from the Ox, you can also execute the same from all your other upper posture or guards."
"And you should not get confused that there are more than four named guards, such as Steer, Watch, Wrath Guard. These names arise from the intent, and should not be taken as being primary, as for example: I hold my weapon gathered for a stroke up above my head so that the point extends behind me, which I call the Watch - not that it is not in the Ox, but because…