DRILLS DRILLS DRILLS [Read the rules before posting]

Discussions about manual study, translations, philology, historical research, and similar topics.
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Peter S
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Postby Peter S » Fri May 21, 2010 5:44 am

  • Drill Number - 0021
  • Drill Name - Krieg Introduction *NOW EXTENDED*
  • Type - Drill
  • Skill Trained - Fuhlen, timing and the concepts of Absetzen, Duplieren, Mutieren and Abnehmen
  • Props - 2 Fencers, with sword-like-objects and whatever personal protection they feel necessary
  • Description - Begin in the sprechfenster.

    Agent thrusts. Patient displaces with his point offline to the left - a bad, instinctive response that this drill will demonstrate the flaws of.

    Agent dupliers with left hand pushed low and right to thrust around his opponents strong in a duplieren. Patient responds by winding up to left Ochs to correctly displace the thrust, and then counterthrusting.

    Agent pulls back to Kron-like position to displace strong-on-weak, and as soon as safe, mutiers over Patient's blade to thrust to Patient's lower-right opening (left for Agent!). Patient saves himself by dropping to a very low right Ochs or right Pflug - depending on whether he comes off the bind completely for a moment to switch it.

    The Agent then cuts to Patients hands/ forearms while stepping off to Agent's right side (Patient's left) to avoid any thrust.

  • Remarks - Got it from Adam R of KdF Nottingham. Useful to introduce the concepts of cone-of-protection displacement to the hangers, duplieren and mutieren, and timing vor/indes/nach. Somewhat awkward to get flowing smoothly if the timing isn't understood. Footwork is whatever works, although usually a step forward gets made while dupliering, a step back then forward while displacing to Ochs, a step backwards to displace and mutier, and of course a step at the end. Updated with another exchange at our most recent seminar.
Last edited by Peter S on Tue Nov 22, 2011 4:02 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Jay Acutt
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Postby Jay Acutt » Wed May 26, 2010 4:58 am

Here's one that's worked VERY well for me -
  • Drill Number - 0022
  • Drill Name - Hand Drucken, or "sticky swords"
  • Type - Game
  • Skill Trained - Proprioceptive skills at Tactile range: Fuhlen, Hengen, Winden, Bleiben, Nachfolgen, Abschneiden et al
  • Props - Any weapon (artefact)
  • Description - Both fighters begin within range of each other, in Sprechfenster, swords crossed at the middle of the sword, within range.

    The point in the "game" is that both fighters attempt to hit the other whilst attempting not to let the other man hit them.

    Usually fighters attempt to shift the Weak-strong ratio between the blades, yet the other fighter usually compensates for this - it makes for an incredibly demanding game. Yet after a while you do reach a heightened level of Proprioceptive skill, by extending one's senses to the "end of the blade".

  • Remarks - I created this one based upon my experience in Eastern Martial Arts. It was specifically inspired by Wing Chun "Chi Sao" exercises as well as Taijiquan Tui Shou. Both are abstractions from the necessity to be able to "feel" applied force on our weapon and respond accordingly in the "moment". I have also "toyed" with "dynamic" versions of the Game wherein fighters constantly shift the ratio of weak-strength and fighters attempt to "cease the moment" whilst the ratio is in their favour.

This is a superb thread by the way!
Jamie Acutt MIMAS
Director of Eskirmology, Martial Art of Chivalry
Devonshire Wrestling Society
Contributor to Wiktenauer
On Academia.edu

Previously published under the name 'James Wallhausen'

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Jay Acutt
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Postby Jay Acutt » Tue Jun 08, 2010 10:29 am

  • Drill Number - 0023
  • Drill Name - Edel Krieg, or The "Noble War" (or simply brechen die vier blossen)
  • Type - Drill / Game
  • Skill Trained - An intuitive feeling for flowing from one blossen to another, the convergence of action.
  • Props - Any weapon (artefact)
  • Description -

    Initial position: The constituents stand facing each other within range. The Agent places his artefact/fist etc on the opponent's right shoulder / neck. The Patient stands ready.

    The Game/Drill: The patient attempts to "knock" the movement out of convergence, and when he moves, we recognise the nachreissen opportunity from the exposured blossen where he moves from. The Agent then "flows" his weapon into any of the other 3 blossen. The Patient then tries to "knock" it away again, and the "game" continues allowing the Agent to continually flow from one blossen to another.
  • Remarks - Yet another one based upon my years of Eastern Martial Arts practice. The purpose of fighting is to reach the target, but should the opponent move towards our weapon to bisect it's trajectory, we shift to the next, then the next, then the next etc. Intuitive "feeling" for convergence is essential, not only to Duplieren and Mutieren but all other operations. This one also shares the appearance of Wing Chun training. There's no winner or loser, its placed for it's pedagogical value.
Jamie Acutt MIMAS
Director of Eskirmology, Martial Art of Chivalry
Devonshire Wrestling Society
Contributor to Wiktenauer
On Academia.edu

Previously published under the name 'James Wallhausen'

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Jason Taylor
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Postby Jason Taylor » Sat Jun 12, 2010 1:26 am

  • Drill Number - 0024
  • Name - Durchwechseln/Thrust Drill
  • Type - Drill/Game (in later iterations)
  • Skills trained - Changing through, thrusting, moving hands before feet in thrusts, deceptive thrusting, parrying thrusts
  • Props - longsword trainers; fencing masks for later iterations; gloves optional but probably a good idea for “game” version
  • Description -
    Partners start in Sprechfenster in a middle bind. Foot forward is immaterial. Side of bind is immaterial.
    First iteration: Agent begins by changing through under the opponent’s blade with as little movement as possible—what modern fencers call a “disengage.” After making a small “u” with the tip of his sword, agent thrusts to the new line of attack, stepping forward into a simple step but probably leaving the back foot planted (essentially a lunge, which I believe is the term Stew Feil used in Berkeley a year or so ago). Patient defends by simply pulling the sword across the body to parry the thrust, ending up in a position resembling plow, or a plow with the feet backwards depending on the side (i.e., on the rear or leading hip). Patient should exercise care not to overblock: maintaining a good “point-on-opponent’s—eyes” plow is essential for later iterations (and is just a generally good idea). Depending on the height of the thrust, and the relative heights of the partners, the defender may have to rotate the plow up into a higher position to maintain a closed line, kind of like going halfway to ox. Maintaining the bind, both partners reset to Sprechfenster bound in the center and agent and patient switch. If the agent wishes to, he may change his feet or the side of the bind before proceeding.
    Second iteration: Proceed as above, but agent may choose to change the line again. After the initial change-through, the agent may begin to thrust by extending the hands, then dip the blade tip in another “u” to the opposite side and continue the thrust with his feet. Agent should be careful not to make a big motion with the hands or to pull the hilt back toward his body—the dip should be accomplished with the hands/wrists/fingers. Patient defends as above but may need to track the thrust.
    Third iteration: Testing the defense. Proceed as above, but after the parry is accomplished, the agent may choose to test the guard of the patient. If the plow position is too “flat” (perpendicular to the ground), he can slide down to whack the fingers. If the point of the defender’s sword is too far off line, he may choose to change through yet again and thrust to the centerline, or, if he wishes, use another appropriate technique (hilt displacement, hand check, etc.) to capitalize on the opening.
    Fourth Iteration: Counterthrusting. Once a good parrying position is achieved, patient responds by thrusting into the face of the agent (assuming that both are wearing fencing masks). Generally this will only require a shallow simple step in, as the agent has already lunged, but the patient will need to relate to his partner’s position.
    Fifth Iteration: Game version. Bind is maintained, but agent and patient aren’t predetermined. Either partner may choose to go at any time and may need to respond or abandon a motion based on what the opponent does. Gloves are often handy here, because it cuts down on ouchy internecine finger thrusts.
    Later iterations:Durchwechseln over the top (similar to a modern fencing cut-over) with thrust follow-up can be thrown into the mix, and the levels can be repeated.
  • Remarks - I created this drill for our practices because almost nobody thrusts. It’s really effective at getting you used to thrusting in a controlled manner and using the bind as a starting point for a thrust. It feels very “fencingey” for those of you who’ve taken sport fencing, but even with a weapon as bulky as a longsword, it still works quite well (and is probably closer to how disengages work with real weapons). The game version can be a lot of fun, but be careful and don’t try it without eye protection.
Kron Martial Arts, Orange County
HEMA Alliance Founding Member
World-Famous Sickle Authority and General Proponent of all Things Sickle

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John Harmston
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Postby John Harmston » Thu Aug 05, 2010 10:54 am

  • Drill Number - 0025
  • Drill Name - Free Counters by Technique
  • Type - Drill/Game
  • Skill Trained - Thrusting, cutting, master cuts, half-swording, footwork, timing, range, parrying, feeling, winding, binding, twitching, grappling, wrestling at the sword, and much more
  • Props - Longsword wasters, helmets and gloves (optional)
  • Description - The Agent begins the drill by selecting a guard, then making a single attack from it. After executing the attack, the Agent remains still while the Patient defends with a technique, then counters. If the defense or counter made by the Patient proves ineffective, then they both reset and the Agent makes the same attack, allowing the Patient to try something different. Otherwise, the Agent selects a new attack and goes again. Ideally the Agent would use a different attack every time. One person is the Agent for a series of 10 or more attacks, before both people switch roles. The first series is free form with any type of counter permissible. The subsequent series, however, stipulate the type of counter that must be used. So, the next series requires that you counter by winding. The following series requires that you counter with a master cut. Etc. Possible versions include:
    1. Winding to a thrust
    2. Master cuts
    3. Twitching
    4. Half-swording
    5. Grappling
    6. False edge cuts
    7. Striking with pommel or cross
    8. Etc.
  • Remarks - I didn't see this exact drill in any of the prior iterations, even though it is arguably the most basic of drills. This version is slightly unique in that it runs through many iterations of counters. Free counters in general help to teach you to recognize what types of attacks come from which guards and the most effective ways to defend and counter those attacks. Once you get the basics figured out, the subsequent set counters in this drill forces you to experiment with counters that you would not normally use. This is probably my very favorite drill because it trains almost every possible attack and counter in an endless number of combinations with fencers of any skill level. This drill provides a structure for practicing any technique or principle, while also creating combinations of counters that you might have not otherwise considered.
John Harmston
Senior Instructor - True Edge Academy
HEMA Alliance Forum Admin
Lifetime Member, HEMA Alliance

Patrick Dean
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Postby Patrick Dean » Wed Sep 22, 2010 8:17 am

Hello All -
Here's a solo drill (Form/Kata) that I came up with to help teach stances, strikes, guards and transitions for beginning practitioners.

Drill Number - 0026
Drill Name - Solo Drill #1
Type - Exercise
Skills Trained - Stances, guards, strikes, thrusts, quadrants, movement
Props - Longsword trainer
Description -
1. Salute
2. Slide Left foot forward into Right Vom Tag (breathe, get Centered)
3. Glance briefly to the right [seeing first opponent, standing in right ochs]; Turn Right 90° (pivot on Right foot, left slides forward, maintaining Right Vom Tag)
4. Diagonal Cuts with simple steps forward (Note: all diagonal cuts go to guard in opposite corner of the Box described by R+L Ochs, R+L Pflug)
- Upper Right quadrant cut (Right diagonal Oberhau) into Left Pflug
- Lower Left quadrant cut into Right Ochs
- Lower Right quadrant cut into Left Ochs
- Upper Left quadrant cut into Right Pflug
5. Right Lunge, thrust to left eye
6. Left step forward into High Vom Tag (above head)
7. Vertical Oberhau [killing blow] with Right step forward into Alber
8. Pivot 180° on Right foot into Left Ochs [blocking second opponent attacking from behind with right oberhau]
9. Diagonal Cuts with simple step forward:
- Upper Left quadrant
- Lower Right
- Lower Left
- Upper Right
10. Right Lunge to right eye, recover forward into Right Ochs (sword stays in same spot; move in behind sword)
11. Thrusts with simple steps forward:
- Thrust to left eye, recover into Left Ochs
- Thrust to right eye, recover into Right Pflug
- Thrust to left eye, recover into Left Pflug
- Thrust to right eye [killing blow], recover into Right Pflug
12. Step forward with Right foot into High Vom Tag and pivot 180° on right foot with Right Upper cut into Left Pflug [blocking third opponent attacking from behind with right unterhau]
13. Diagonal Cuts with simple step forward:
- Upper Left quadrant
- Lower Right
- Lower Left
- Upper Right
14. Right Lunge to right eye into Langenort [killing blow], recover back into Right stance, High Vom Tag
15. Pivot back on Right foot 90° (swing Left foot back) with Right Upper cut into Left Pflug [blocking fourth opponent attacking from left side with right unterhau]
16. Simple steps backwards with thrusts and diagonal cuts:
- Thrust to right eye, recover into Right Pflug
- Right Upper quadrant cut into Left Pflug
- Left Upper cut
- Thrust to left eye, recover into Left Pflug
- Thrust to right eye, recover into Right Pflug
- Right Lower cut
- Left lower cut
17. Right Lunge forward to left eye
18. Diagonal Cuts with simple step forward:
- Left Upper cut
- Right Upper cut
- Left Upper cut
- Right Lower cut
- Left Lower cut
- Right Upper cut
19. Triple Right Lunge to left eye (3 Lunges in a row with Right Sliding steps and without hesitation), recover forward into High Vom Tag
20. Step Left foot forward with vertical Oberhau [killing blow] into Alber
21. Salute

Remarks -
- All attacks are moving from and into Guards
- In the fight, Guards are not static – merely transitory positions between attacks
- Keep point on line with opponent’s eyes, especially during transitions
- Control the Box (described by R+L Ochs, R+L Pflug)
- Balance, maintain Center (move with hips first, not shoulders)
- Smooth, level movement (no bouncing)
- Precision (in movement; in technique: "Aim small, Miss small"))
- Coordination
- Power generation
- Breathing – exhale on exertions (cuts, thrusts)
- Tension on thrusting; no telegraphing
Patrick Dean
Instructor, Ochs America
Lifetime HEMA Alliance member

"Can ye warde your selfe? This was a pass, 'twas fencer's play, and for the after veny, let me use my skill."
Excerpt from The Two Maids of More-clacke, 1609

John Hunt
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Postby John Hunt » Wed Oct 27, 2010 2:26 pm

I know that I am going to spell the German wrong so I will explain the Strikes I will include before hand. By Ubershtiche, I mean a thrust downwards to the enemies chest from either Ox. By Shieldhowe, I mean a strike with the short edge of the sword after having blocked with barrier guard opposite that of your forward foot - hands are crossed. This is not my own creation, It is a basic drill we have learned as beginners in Kron.
Drill Number: 0027
Drill Name: Shieldhowe Drill #1
Type: Solo Drill
Skills Trained: Strikes, Blocks, Steps
Props: Waster, Shenai, long stick etc... This is a Solo drill so any implement will suffice though I do not suggest the stick.
Description: (I will describe this as if starting from right Ox)
1.)Begin in Ox.
2.)Thrust forward into an Ubershtiche.
3.) From the Ubershtiche, do a passing step into barrier guard (right foot is forward, hands are crossed in a barrier guard on the left side.)
4.) From the barrier guard, attack with a Shieldhowe to the opponents head (From barrier guard, the temptation will be to twist your sword and strike the long edge. Do Not! The entire point of this excersise is to strike from barrier guard with your short edge)
5. Reset to left Ox and repeat.

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Postby william_cain_iii » Thu Nov 11, 2010 11:52 am

Drill Number - 0028
Drill Name - Grapple Tag
Type - Exercise, Game
Skill Trained - Muscle strength, warming up, competitive spirit, ringen grabbing skills, balance, grappling breaks and grabs
Props - Room to move around a bit.
Description - There is no Agent or Patient in this drill. Both participants begin a bit out of range, and close in. They are allowed to perform arm grabs, focusing on elbows, wrists, and biceps. They can perform simple breaks, pulls, and pushes, but cannot engage in body grabs or throws. The purpose of the game is training upper body movements. The object of the game is to break the opponent's grab and get a palm-grab on the back of the opponent's neck. The grab must be clear and in control - a countergrab made at the same time gives a point to neither. After a grab, the parties step back one step, then close in again and begin grabs, breaks, and neck-tag. First to three wins, and the game moves to new partners or continues again, depending on people available.

Remarks - Thanks to Jessica Finley for suggesting including the bicep and wrist grabs in this drill. Further, this drill was adapted from exercises shared with us by William Medus in my North Carolina group. The techniques largely come from his college wrestling background, the 'game' element is my own addition.
Last edited by william_cain_iii on Thu Nov 11, 2010 11:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Michael Chidester
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Postby Michael Chidester » Thu Nov 11, 2010 11:00 pm

  • Drill Number 0029
  • Drill Name Fencing from the Absetzen
  • Type Drill
  • Skill Trained Primarily covering, also stance, footwork, timing, distance, cutting, etc.
  • Props Swords or sword-like objects, masks, protective gear to taste
  • Description This is a sequence of drills that builds from basic principles to limited sparring. The initial guards may vary for these drills, but by default both players will begin in the high guard.

    1. Upper Absetzen: Agent throws a descending diagonal cut, Patient covers to the upper hanger and thrusts to the face or chest. Repeat ten times on each side.
    2. Lower Absetzen: Agent throws a rising diagonal cut, Patient covers to the lower hanger and thrusts to the face or chest. Repeat ten times on each side. (The Agent may also mix in thrusts with prior agreement.)
    3. Free Absetzen: Agent strikes along any of the four diagonal lines, Patient must cover to the appropriate hanger and counter-thrust. On a more advanced level, any strike the Agent desires is allowed.
    4. Fencing from the Absetzen: Agent faces Patient in an extended guard (sprechfenster, posta longa, etc.) and advances on the Patient, threatening a thrust. The Patient strikes at the Agent (or his sword) with any strike he wants to prevent the thrust. Agent covers this strike with the appropriate hanger while completing his thrust. If the Patient fails to strike in time or with sufficient threat, the Agent thrusts him from long point without bothering to cover.
    5. Fencing from the Absetzen with Opposition: As before, but now the Patient may attempt to wind or throw secondary strikes in response to the Agent's cover, and the Agent must continue to move between hangers until his thrust lands.
    6. Sparring from the Absetzen: The Agent will fence from the Absetzen as before, but the Patient now has no restrictions on his actions. (This gets messy with wrestling mixed in, so you might disallow it, or you might just tell the Agent to learn to defend wrestling better.)
  • Remarks Special thanks to Ringeck for getting me thinking about this during my class today. See Folio 51r of the Dresden version, titled "Mörck ain zu° fechten vß den absäczen".
Michael Chidester
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HEMA Alliance, WMAC

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Peter S
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Postby Peter S » Sat Nov 27, 2010 9:04 am

A relevant drill from a recent MMA seminar, and a sneaky comment on a drill posted above.

  • Drill Number 0030
  • Drill Name Upright Grappling Drill
  • Type Drill/Game
  • Skill Trained Switching from one tactic to another in a grapple, the tactics themselves.
  • Props A partner, and some egomaniac in the room shouting at everyone (can also be taking part, I suppose). We'll call the shouty guy "instructor" for short.
  • Description
    Take whatever hold you like on the partner, e.g., one underhook, one overhook, hands on arms, or thai clinch while standing.
    When the instructor calls out, do it.
    Push! - try to push each other.
    Pull! - try to drag your partner towards /past you.
    Pummell! - swim drill type exchanging of underhooks. You take one side underhooked, one over, then swap.
    Clinch! - Thai style double-neck-clinch drill. Usually via getting one hand on, then the other, then the partner getting one hand inside your arms and creating an opening for another.

    This is to train not just the movements, but switching between them quickly and fluidly. It was used in warm ups. Footwork was whatever was needed, e.g., bringing feet further towards opponent to pull, then back away to push, but not moving around significantly.

Regarding the various sticky swords drills above, we recently tried sparring from the bind via adopting sprechfenster/middle bind and then having someone shout "Go!". Very Bruce Lee movie, but it was working as an Alive way to show the utility of Fuhlen and acting Indes as opposed to simply trying to guess your opponent's action and deciding on a counter.

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