Perceived difference between linear and arced motion

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mackenzie cosens
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Perceived difference between linear and arced motion

Postby mackenzie cosens » Wed May 23, 2012 3:40 pm

Perceived difference between linear and arced motion http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120522180700.htm?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+sciencedaily+%28ScienceDaily%3A+Latest+Science+News%29. It possibly explains some the perceived tempo differences between cut and thrust.

If we perceive only the start and end positions of a linear motion but can follow a curved motion through the arc, then a thrust, being a linear motion, has the advantage over a cut, an arcing motion even if the thrust in absolute terms is slower.

Some Speculation by me:
If it is true that we only perceive only the beginning and end of the thrust, then we must deal with a thrust it at the beginning of its path because it is the only time which we can perceive it until reaches its end. Which means feints off of the thrust which change the required defensive line become incredibly dangerous and hard to deal with.

Adopting a contra-guard closes the simple line of attack and converts a linear attack into an arced attack and arced attack is perceived through its whole arc which gives us a longer (perceived) tempo in which to defend. Any-time we can force the companion to adopt a arced path rather then a linear one while we adopted a linear rather then arced we gain the advantage.

mackenzie

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Re: Perceived difference between linear and arced motion

Postby Steven Reich » Wed May 23, 2012 6:46 pm

This is very interesting stuff. As another "complication" to understand what our opponent is doing, I remember reading (several years ago) that we actually have a harder time perceiving motions which are slower than we do those which are faster. Thus, perhaps the hardest thing to deal with is the calm and not too quick thrust (obviously, not a thrust in slow motion).

I wish I could remember the article and the details, but my impression is that a smooth and "casual" thrust should be much harder to perceive than one at full speed. Of course, all of this assumes that there isn't a nice big "tell" that signals our opponent that we're going to do something dangerous and to get the hell out of range...

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Jeffrey Hull
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Re: Perceived difference between linear and arced motion

Postby Jeffrey Hull » Wed May 23, 2012 7:49 pm

Just one question:

What would Silver do?

:?:

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Re: Perceived difference between linear and arced motion

Postby Steven Reich » Wed May 23, 2012 7:54 pm

Jeffrey Hull wrote:Just one question:

What would Silver do?

Probably drink with his brother until the wee hours of the night, then wander around outside the apartment of any non-English fencing instructor he could think of and shout semi-coherent challenges into the latest hours before dawn until the night watch chased him away...

;)
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Jeffrey Hull
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Re: Perceived difference between linear and arced motion

Postby Jeffrey Hull » Wed May 23, 2012 8:14 pm

Some problematic assertions when applying that study to historical fencing:

1. Fencing strikes for killing a foe are not illusions for entertaining an audience.

2. Fencers and other predators do not necessarily/inherently perceive motion like the "average person".

3. In effect, the circular motion of a strike like Schielhau is perceived by the foe facing frontally to the fencer as linear motion.

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Re: Perceived difference between linear and arced motion

Postby Jeffrey Hull » Wed May 23, 2012 8:16 pm

Steven Reich wrote:
Jeffrey Hull wrote:Just one question:

What would Silver do?

Probably drink with his brother until the wee hours of the night, then wander around outside the apartment of any non-English fencing instructor he could think of and shout semi-coherent challenges into the latest hours before dawn until the night watch chased him away...

;)


I think even Silver would say that the watchman armed with a pollaxe (or especially with a forest bill) would have the advantage over the drunken fencer armed with sword & buckler.

:)

mackenzie cosens
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Re: Perceived difference between linear and arced motion

Postby mackenzie cosens » Thu May 24, 2012 8:55 am

Jeffrey Hull wrote:Some problematic assertions when applying that study to historical fencing:

1. Fencing strikes for killing a foe are not illusions for entertaining an audience.

2. Fencers and other predators do not necessarily/inherently perceive motion like the "average person".

3. In effect, the circular motion of a strike like Schielhau is perceived by the foe facing frontally to the fencer as linear motion.


Of course feints are very much like slight of hand, full of deception.

Testing if you can train to improve the ability to see linear motion would be interesting but I am betting that its just a hard-wired limitation of being human. I bet good fencers start noticing other clues, shifting of opponent body weight and other tells. It would also be interesting to know if there are outriders in the population who are better at seeing linear motion, they would have and advantage in thrust oriented fencing.

I was talking to Mark Shire at Linx sword study group in Victoria ca, he noted that this agues to make your cuts look like thrusts as much as possible, I think he and if that is what you mean by Schielhau, are probably right ( I do some Fiore not German stuff so I get lost in translation :).

I wonder if this supports later fencing theorists who advocate making light physical contact, which would provide non-visual information - strong vs weak plus a little what is in doing?

St. George would call one names from out of measure, tirade on false times and imperfect weapons and in the tempo where one begin to argue the point he would thrust in a perfectly formed stocata because the bugger was just using all the noise to win his place. Afterwards he might hack the body up a bit just to keep up appearances.


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