DRILLS DRILLS DRILLS [Read the rules before posting]

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Jake Norwood
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DRILLS DRILLS DRILLS [Read the rules before posting]

Postby Jake Norwood » Tue Apr 06, 2010 1:51 pm

Following the 2010 Houston International Open Gathering, I've found myself thinking a lot about drills. Of all the excellent classes I took (and there wasn't a bad one among them), the bits that stuck with me the most weren't interpretations or even theory (as much as I love it), but rather the different drills each instructor used, and the range of skills that drills and exercises can cover.

Drills and exercises are probably the best way to train. Coming up with a good one takes effort, though, and each drill teaches something a little differently. I would like to use this thread to collect drills and exercises that you and your clubs use for training. I'm primarily interested in the "good ones," emphasizing quality and consistent results.

Definitions

For the purposes of this thread and related discussion

…an Exercise can be done by one person. These are often called "Solo Drills."
…a Drill requires two or more people
…a Game is a form of Drill that has an unscripted winner. Sometimes the line between a Drill that is and a Drill that isn't a game is a little sketchy. That's okay…these are working definitions.
…the Agent is the first person to act in a Drill (often called the "Attacker"…but not always)
…the Patient is the person in the Drill who is reacting to the Agent's first move (note that, depending on the drill, either the Agent or the Patient could "come out on top" at the end of it)
…a Spotter is a person who is not directly participating in the Exercise or Drill, but who observes and corrects the person(s) involved in the Exercise, Drill, or Game. The Spotter is often--but not necessarily--an Instructor.
…a Prop is any tool piece of equipment necessary for the Drill or Exercise other than the weapon itself or standard protective kit (e.g. mask, gloves, whatever).

Format

For the purposes of this thread and all related discussion in other threads on this forum, I propose we use the following format and conventions:

  • Drill Number - Just put this in order, picking up where the last poster left off. If you put three drills in your post, numbered 0001-3, then the next poster will start at 0004, and so on. Don't distinguish between Drill types (Exercises and Games or whatever) here. Use this number to refer to a given drill in follow-on discussions in this or other threads. For those of you who like databases, this is the Primary Key.
  • Drill Name - What do you call this Drill?
  • Type - Exercise, Drill, or Game
  • Skill Trained - This is the "why" of the drill. In other words, why do this? What will it accomplish?
  • Props - What equipment or other similar considerations are necessary for the Drill?
  • Description - Describe here what the Agent, Patient, Spotter (if any), or other people actually do. Feel free to use crazy HEMA words here, like Abrazare and Pflug. We'll figure it out. Diagrams and videos are a big plus.
  • Remarks - Put anything like "Thanks to Matt Galas, from whom I stole this Drill" or "Don't do this in a public place, you'll get arrested," or whatever here.

To help make this easier, cut and paste the following into the body of your post:

Code: Select all

[list]
[*][b]Drill Number[/b] -
[*][b]Drill Name[/b] -
[*][b]Type[/b] -
[*][b]Skill Trained[/b] -
[*][b]Props[/b] -
[*][b]Description[/b] -
[*][b]Remarks[/b] -
[/list]



* Please take any discussion of a given drill into a new thread, quoting or cutting-and-pasting the drill into that new thread for discussion. The idea is to have a list of drills "for prosperity."

Thanks,

Jake Norwood
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Re: DRILLS DRILLS DRILLS

Postby Jake Norwood » Tue Apr 06, 2010 1:52 pm

Okay, so, I'll go first.

  • Drill Number - 0001
  • Drill Name - Swedish Zwerch Drill Rip-off
  • Type - Drill
  • Skill Trained - Zwerchau vs. zorn, multiple zwerchs at once, throwing the zwerch "zum pfluge, zum ochse."
  • Props - Don't forget your mask, gloves, and elbow pads for this one.
  • Description - First Iteration. Agent and patient circle, trying to feel out range (don't just start in perfect range). Agent strikes a zornhau along line "1" (for those using Galas notation) or toward the patient's upper left quarter along the "zornlini." Patient responds by stepping out and to the Agent's left and striking a short-edge zwerch to the head. Second Iteration. As before, but Patient follows up his first zwerch with a second, now with the long edge, to the opposite side. Agent reacts and tries not to get hit. Following iterations. Add more Zwerchs to the process until the patient is doing as many as 5 in rapid succession, from side to side, high and low. Agent tries not to get hit and may attempt to counter-attack. This drill doesn't require a spotter, but it couldn't hurt, either.
  • Remarks - I borrowed this, probably butchering it in the process, from a drill decribed to me from Gothenburg Historical Fencing Society. We've been using it for a few practices now; I'm very pleased with the results. I recommend doing this with a variety of simulators: steel for the "right feel," nylon or similar for speed and viciousness. Every cut from both participants needs to be thrown with intent to hit, or you're training bad form.

  • Drill Number - 0002
  • Drill Name - Dobringer's Flourish (eternal version, Jake's first interpretation)
  • Type - Exercise
  • Skill Trained - Flourishing, guard and cut transitions, basic footwork
  • Props - none
  • Description - Shake your sword manfully. Assume Schrankhut on the right. Step (all steps are passing steps) with the right and transition to schrankhut on the left. Step with the left and bring the weapon up into Ochs on the right (with crossed forearms). Step with the right and transition into ochs on the left. Step with the left and wind down into pflug on the right. Step with the right and transition into pflug on the left. Step with the left and cut a zwerch from the left, ending in a right ochs-like position (with the blade ending horizontal; this is a subtle cut with a very "duplieren" feel to it). Step with the right and cut "helicopter style" with a zwerch from the right, ending in a left ochs-like position (blade horizontal). Step with the left and lower the point down into Schrankhut on the right. You are now in a position to repeat the sequence.
  • Remarks - I have been doing this with all passing steps forward. It could be done with any mixture of passing steps (forward, backward, diagonal, triangle, etc.). The most challenging movements are the transition from left schrankhut to right ochs and from left ochs to right schrankhut, because the movements are so subtle when compared to the overt windings and cuttings of the other transitions. The cut from left pflug to that first left zwerch is sweet…it feels quick and lively.

* Please take any discussion of these or other drills into a new thread, quoting or cutting-and-pasting the drill into that new thread for discussion. The idea is to have a list of drills "for prosperity."

Best,

Jake
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Re: DRILLS DRILLS DRILLS

Postby Jake Norwood » Wed Apr 07, 2010 6:00 am

I've split the schrankhut/ Drill 0002 discussion into another thread. Remember, all discussion of drills--to include questions, etc., should be moved to another thread.

If you want to include questions and commentary within a post where you also post a drill, that's fine. But every post must contain at least one drill. Future posts not adhering to this will be deleted.

In that spirit...
  • Drill Number - 0003
  • Drill Name - Winding and Thrusting Exercise
  • Type - Exercise
  • Skill Trained - Winding, the four hangers (ox/plough), thrusting, langort
  • Props - None, though I recommend using an egg timer for all solo exercises
  • Description - First iteration. Start in right Ochs (with the hands crossed on the right side of the head). Grip (horizontal/vertical/thumb/hammer) is immaterial. Thrust into long point, untwisting the hands (long edge is now down), and stepping out with the right foot (all steps are passes). Recover to left ochs without stepping. Thrust again into long point with a step of the left foot, and recover to right ochs. Repeat ad nauseum or for a specific time (egg timer!). Second Iteration. Start in right pflug (hands crossed). Step and thrust into long point. Recover with a clockwise twist into left pflug with the long edge up (a thumb grip is easier here, but not required); do not step in the recovery. Now thrust into long point from left pflug, reversing the previous "twist" so that the long edge is down in long point; do this with a step of the left foot. Recover into right pflug (no twisting, long edge down). Repeat a bunch of times. Third Iteration Mix the previous two iterations by transitioning diagonally from ochs to pflug to pflug to ochs to pflug to pflug to ochs to ochs to pflug to ochs to pflug to ochs to ochs, etc...
  • Remarks - This is a good "slow" drill to warm up or for practicing after a meal. Increase intensity by adding in a target, preferably something that gives a little (a pell or a tire swing or something…not your wall). Focus on RANGE, SPEED, and ACCURACY when working against a target. When working in the air, focus on good, solid winding motions for each transition and stable thrusting movements. Make sure your hands move before your feet, etc.


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Re: DRILLS DRILLS DRILLS

Postby Matt Anderson » Wed Apr 07, 2010 7:14 am

I think everyone probably knows this one already, but I'll throw it in there to help round out the list:

  • Drill Number - 0004
  • Drill Name - Hengen/Uberhau Drill
  • Type - Drill
  • Skill Trained - Coordinated movement of weapon/feet/body, transition from absetzen to counter strike
  • Props - Longsword waster or Blunt
  • Description - Agent starts in right vom tag, patient in right pflug. Agent cuts uberhau to patient's high left opening, passing the right foot forward, patient responds by transitioning through hengen on his left side, recieving the blow on his blade, then passes right foot forward, cutting around to deliver his own uberhau. Agent now perfoms the hengen/uberhau and the whole thing repeats over and over with agent and patient passing back and forth, cycling through hengen/uberhau. You can put a timer on this, maybe doing it for a minute, then increasing the time as you get better at it.
  • Remarks - It's best to start slow, then ramp up the speed till you are going as fast as you can. It's really a good warm-up and gets the heart going if you do it with some energy. Also good for getting new folks used to the idea that they can protect themselves and counter atack with a very simple technique. For variation, try reversing everything and striking to the other side. Or, instead of straight back and forth footwork, traverse so that you circle each other.
Matt Anderson
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"He is a brave man who fights his own weaknesses."
-Hanko Dobringer, 1389

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Re: DRILLS DRILLS DRILLS

Postby Jake Norwood » Thu Apr 08, 2010 5:23 am

  • Drill Number - 0005
  • Drill Name - Dobringer's Flourish (eternal version, Jake's corrected interpretation)
  • Type - Exercise
  • Skill Trained - Flourishing, guard and cut transitions, basic footwork
  • Props - none
  • Description - (1) Shake your sword manfully. (2) Assume Schrankhut on the right. (3) Step (all steps are passing steps) with the right and transition to schrankhut on the left. (4) Step with the left and wind over into pflug on the right (long edge down). (5) Step with the right and transition into pflug on the left (short edge down). (6) Step with the left and bring the weapon up into Ochs on the right (with crossed forearms). (7) Step with the right and transition into ochs on the left (this can be a simple wind or an explosion through longpoint as in Drill 0004). (8) Step with the left and cut a zwerch from the left, ending in a right ochs-like position (with the blade ending horizontal, hands crossed). (9) Step with the right and cut "helicopter style" with a zwerch from the right, ending in a left ochs-like position (blade horizontal, arms uncrossed). (10) Step with the left and lower the point down into Schrankhut on the right. You are now in a position to repeat the sequence from (2) - (10).
  • Remarks - This is a correction from Drill 0002, in which I had reversed the order of the hangers (the lower hangers preceed the upper hangers, in reverse of Drill 0002). This change removes the two "tricky spots" in that flourish, namely the transition from left schrank to right ochs and the duplieren-like cut from left pflug into the left-to-right zwerch (crossed arms). I still like that version, but it isn't what's in Dobringer, so I've left that as Drill 0002 and given this it's own entry. Please experiment and report back to me.
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Re: DRILLS DRILLS DRILLS

Postby Mike Cartier » Thu Apr 08, 2010 6:00 pm

  • Drill Number - 0006
  • Drill Name - Meyer Hanging Point Drill
  • Type - Technique Form Drill
  • Skill Trained - Proper Hengetorte/Hanging Point form
  • Props - none
  • Description - back and forth drill where Agent attacks Patient and patient responds with a Hanging Point Guard, Patient then attacks back in kind and Agent now parris in hanging point guard, this goes back and forth with proper footwork. A switch to the other side can be done with a quick setting off to the other direction
  • Remarks - We have been doing this drill for many years (since our ARMA days) and find it the best way to teach new folks how to properly hanging point parry, that is not to move the point but instead move the schilt and hilt keeping the point oriented at the opponent. It tendsto build up a good efficient use of the guard. We have an article on the drill here http://freifechter.com/hangingpoint.cfm
    I should also add that this drill was taken from a similar drill in kali/Escrima that teaches a similar concept for thier roof guard, its been adapted specifically for longsword in the Meyer style.
-mike cartier
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Re: DRILLS DRILLS DRILLS

Postby Christopher Wheeler » Fri Apr 09, 2010 1:14 pm

  • Drill Number - 0008
  • Drill Name - Wheeler's long flourish? (I hadn't really thought to give it a name before)
  • Type - Excercise
  • Skill Trained - Flourishing, guard and cut transistions, intermediate-level footwork
  • Props - whatever longsword-simulator you have at your disposal (having a crossguard helps though)
  • Description - All parts may be taken as individual flourishes, or linked into one, as shown here:

    (Part 1)(Reverse all use of "right" and "left" if left handed). Start standing with the sword held in the left below the hilt, at hip level (as if in scabbard). "Draw" the sword with a pass back with the right foot, ending in right ochs (this part works best with a thumbed grip, horizontal ochs on both sides). Make a short thrust with a sliding step (my term for a "fencer's advance/retreat", what Christian Tobler refers to as a "gathered step," although I used Jeff Tsay's definition for that term), and recover in right pflug. Thrust to langenort with a pass forward and recover in left ochs. Make a short thrust with a sliding step back, recovering in left pflug (long-edge up). Pass back with a thrust to langort, and recover in right ochs.

    (Part 2) From right ochs, drop the sword’s point to left hangenort, bring the sword around, and with a pass forward, make a right-to-left diagonal oberhau, ending in left weschel/nebenhut (short-edge forward). Make a short-edge unterhau along the same line (no footwork) (begin a pass back here), bringing the sword to high vom tag, and make a left-to-right diagonal oberhau, ending in weschel/nebenhut on the right side (short-edge forward). Make a short-edge unterhau, with a pass forward, bring the sword back to the right to a long-edge forward right nebenhut and make a right-to-left unterschnitt, ending in left einhorn. Begin to continue the motion, bringing the sword to left-side, long-edge forward nebenhut, and passing back, make a left-to-right unterschnitt, ending in right einhorn. Turn the blade (and, if necessary, adjust the body) to “the day”, and you should end in a left-foot forward high vom tag.

    (Part 3) From high vom tag, make a vertical oberhau with a pass forward of the right foot, ending in alber. Pass back, making a short-edge unterhau, and bring the blade to right shoulder vom-tag. With a traversing step to the right, cut a zornhau to the left lower hanger, and bring the sword back to left pflug, long-edge down. Bring the sword to a left-shoulder vom tag, and with a traversing step to the left, make a left zornhau to the right lower hanger, and recover to right pflug. Bring the sword to right shoulder vom tag, and with a pass forward, cut explosively to longpoint (this may be angled, like a zorn, or more verticle, like a low schietellhau). Lower the sword to alber, then cross the right arm over the left to stand in left schrankhut. Cut a left-to-right short-edge krumphau (I use a slightly more forward-angled version of the “windshield whiper” interpretation) with a traverse to the left, ending in right schrankhut. With a traverse to the right, make a right-to-left long-edge krumphau, ending again in left schrankhut. Slice up with a pass back of the right foot, ending in right ochs.
  • Remarks - I kinda made this up, and have been showing it to some of my guys down here, and while a bit long, it seems to work pretty well, and as I said, it can be broken up into shorter flourishes. It contains most of the major actions with the sword, and one can even throw in a couple of zwerch's in the end there. Other than that, I'm actually looking for feedback from you guys on what you think?

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Re: DRILLS DRILLS DRILLS

Postby Mike Cartier » Sat Apr 10, 2010 6:37 am

  • Drill Number - 0009
  • Drill Name - Staff/Spear/Halberd Field Guard Drill
  • Type - Exercise
  • Skill Trained - Cnter parrying and thrusting
  • Props -Staff/Spear/Halberd
  • Description - Each person takes up the field guard or Middle guard (the pflug of the polearms) The agewnt steps forards and thrusts and the patient steps back and parries in a very tight circular manner, again with another step the agent attacks and the patient steps back and parries. This continues as long as you care to do it, using passing steps (or gatherings) until you decide to turn the whole thing around and go back the other way switching the agent and patient.
    To help work the parries to either side the fellow defending can use the Durchwechselen/Changing through) handwork to go under the opponents weapon and coime up to parry on the other side.
  • Remarks - This can be done quite quickly back and forth developing the very good attributes of tight parries not taking your weapon very far of line, good distance management from both perspectives (attack and defend) and good distance coverage, in an attempt to over run the enemy. With Halberd it can be terminated with a hooking motion to eiother wrench the opponent or getting into a pullig match which of course can quickly turn into (using mutieren) and thrust in the piehole or goggles. We use this drill to introiduce beginners to the use of the staff and teach super efficient use of the weapon while not giving up any defensive advantage to the opponent either in attack or defense. (keeping your point online in other words)

-mike cartier
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Meyer Freifechter Guild South Florida
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Re: DRILLS DRILLS DRILLS

Postby Bill Grandy » Mon Apr 12, 2010 11:18 am

  • Drill Number - 0010
  • Drill Name - Lignitzer Sword and Buckler Drills
  • Type - Drill
  • Skill Trained - The ability to keep the Vor when defended against
  • Props - Sword, buckler, and whatever safety equipment your group uses
  • Description - For this drill to work, a person has to already be familiar with Lignitzer's sword and buckler plays, and be at least moderately competent with the Liechtenauer tradition. The goal is to take any of Lignitzer's plays and turn them into a drill where you constantly attack but are always ready to respond to whatever defense happens. We'll use the first play as an example.
    The agent and patient face each other out of measure. The agent rapidly approaches the patient with the intent to begin the play the moment he is in measure. The patient has a few pre-determined actions as the agent comes into range. The patient will randomly perform one of the following actions:
    1. Attack with an oberhau as soon as the agent is in measure. If the agent is doing his zornhau correctly, he will have parried and hit the patient without any problems.
    2. Stand still and do nothing, letting the agent hit with his zornhau. (This is an important thing to mix in so that the agent doesn't start going for the sword since he knows its a drill.)
    3. Let the agent make his zornhau, and then parry very softly at the sword so that the agent should blow through the defense and hit on the first zornhau anyway.
    4. Let the agent make his zornhau, and parry with some moderate force, causing the agent to need to wind against the sword.
    5. Let the agent make his zornhau, parry with some moderate force, and when the agent winds, parry harder, causing him to have to take off.
    6. Let the agent make his zornhau and parry with hard force so that the agent's attempt at a wind simply blends directly into the take off.
  • Remarks - Variations can be made with this (both the agent and the patient rapidly approach each other at the same time; the agent must approach in a non linear path, etc). These types of drills can easily be extrapolated from the other Lignitzer plays, and they really give a full range of actions when combined with one's standard training with the other aspects of the art (i.e. longsword, spear, messer, ringen, etc). You can just as easily make similar drills for non-sword and buckler work.

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Re: DRILLS DRILLS DRILLS

Postby Bill Grandy » Mon Apr 12, 2010 11:39 am

  • Drill Number - 0011
  • Drill Name - Step Drill (passive and active versions)
  • Type - Drill
  • Skill Trained - Fluidity in the art, and developing creativity within the structure of the system (i.e. the "Art" portion of "Martial Art"). Also a good transition from static drills to free play.
  • Props - Just your weapons, or nothing if you're practicing unnarmed
  • Description - There are two variations of the step drill: Passive and Active. First the Passive Step Drill.
    -Both Fencers stand in guard just out of measure.
    -Step 1. Fencer A steps into measure and makes the first attack, then freezes without actually hitting.
    -Step 2. Fencer B makes a counter and freezes, again without actually hitting.
    -Step 3. Fencer A makes the next counter without actually hitting.
    ... and so on.

    Active Step Drill:
    -Both fencers stand in guard just out of measure.
    -Step 1. Fencer A steps in to make the first action and actually hits (unlike the Passive version). He then resets and does it again. He resets and repeats it again. He does this until he is comfortable that he can consistently do the technique *exactly* the same each time, and at full speed.
    -Step 2. When both fencers are ready to continue, Fencer A makes performs step 1, and Fencer B must make a counter attack that both defends and hits. The two reset and repeat. This can be slowed down at first while Fencer B is figuring out what exactly he wants to do, but eventually it needs to be done at full speed. The two fencers absolutely should not progress to step 3 until step 2 is *perfect* and can be done at full speed.
    -Step 3. Fencer A performs step 1, Fencer B performs step 2, and Fencer A goes from his initial attack into a counterattack against step 2. Once again, reset and repeat until it is perfect and can be done at full speed.
    -Step 4. etc.
  • Remarks - These drills are a nice gap between static drills and free play, particularly for students who have learned enough that they have a decent sized "toolbox" of techniques, but haven't quite yet learned to "connect the dots" between the various techniques. These drills can be modified with additional variables, such as forcing Fencer A to make a purely defensive action on the fifth step, or forcing Fencer B to have to step back on step 8, or disallowing grappling for fencer A but not fencer B, or that the fencers have limited target areas, and so on.


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