DRILLS DRILLS DRILLS [Read the rules before posting]

Discussions about manual study, translations, philology, historical research, and similar topics.
Bill Carew
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Re: DRILLS DRILLS DRILLS

Postby Bill Carew » Tue Apr 13, 2010 1:45 am

Hi all

Great idea for a thread! Mind if I join in?

Note: I am going to spend a while defining my notation here, as this is a really simple, but really valuable way to breakdown and describe exercises and drills.

Once a reader understands the following notation schema, a huge variety of complex drills and variations can be described with a just few keystrokes.

Bladework:
In all my drills I will use Joachim Meyer’s cutting angle notations to describe bladework, as follows (see also the ‘signo’ or ‘sign’ of the sword diagram included here):

Image

A- direct vertical descending attack.
B- right to left diagonal descending attack.
C- right to left horizontal attack.
D- right to left diagonal rising attack.
E- direct vertical rising attack.
F- left to right diagonal rising attack.
G- left to right horizontal attack.
H- left to right diagonal descending attack.

Edges:
The addition of “-s” following one of the letters above, indicates the short edge (or opposite edge to the preceding strike) of the sword is used (e.g. “C-s” indicates a short edge strike). If no “-s” is present, assume the long edge of the sword is used.

Half hews:
A single letter as above (e.g. “B”) indicates what I call a ‘half hew’ to the centre (e.g. longpoint).

Full hews:
A ‘full hew’ through the centre can be described by the use of two letters, the first the beginning and the last the ending point. So “BF” is a full right to left diagonal descending strike through the centre down to a low position (e.g. vom Tag > Langort > Wechsel). “FB” is a full left to right rising diagonal strike passing through the centre and finishing on the right side (e.g. Nebenhut or Wechsel > Langort > Ochs or Einhorn). Etc…

Footwork:
These are the 3 primary forms of longword footwork, as described by Joachim Meyer and interpreted by moi.

P- “Passing” or simple steps forward, backward or both forward and backward with each attack, ensuring agreement of hand and foot. This is the easiest and default type of footwork.

T- “Triangle” steps to the side, varying the angle and depth i.e. from a left foot forward stance, step with the right foot out to the right side, then remove the left foot back behind the right foot to restore the line of defence.

S- “Stolen” (or “broken”) steps. From left foot forward stance, bring the right foot up as in a normal passing step, but don’t complete the step: instead, place the right foot down close by the left foot, and then pass the left foot back behind the right foot, changing the lead foot more or less in place (there are other ways to use the broken steps, but this one suffices for this series of drills).

Sides:
R: Right (from the perspective of the person performing it)
L: Left (from the perspective of the person performing it)

Footwork direction
Fwd: obviously denotes a step with forward motion (where applicable)
Back: denotes a step with backward motion (where applicable).

Thus, the basic steps on each side are described as follows:

R:P* = passing step with the right foot (either fwd or back)
L:P* = passing step with the left foot
R:T* = triangle step directly out to right starting with right foot
L:T* = triangle step directly out to left starting with left foot
R:S = stolen step with right foot moving up near the left
L:S = stolen step with left foot moving up near the right

*fwd or back can be added to any step if forward or backward motion needs to be added, e.g. R:P fwd = passing step forward, with the right foot moving first, L:P back = passing step backward, with the left foot moving first etc.

The ‘>’ separator:
Each action (bladework or footwork) is separated by the use of “>” symbol.

With all that out of the way, and if you are still with me (it really does get simpler now) let's look at an exhaustive list of four openings drills, all inspired by Meyer’s four openings segno and drills…

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Re: DRILLS DRILLS DRILLS

Postby Bill Carew » Tue Apr 13, 2010 1:49 am

  • Drill Number - 0012
  • Drill Name – Attack the 4 Openings
  • Type – Solo Exercise
  • Skill Trained – Striking to the centre of the 4 openings (high and low, left and right) fluidly and with effective and diverse footwork
  • Props – Longsword (performing the exercise with a heavy waster is useful for developing strength, balance, stabilisation and endurance).
  • Description – Begin in vom Tag or Zornhut. With passing steps forward (or backward) on each attack, strike to the 4 openings using a zwerch mechanic (i.e. employ a thumb grip and use alternate edges on each side and keep the hilt high for cover in between each motion) in the following sequences:

    Drill 0012a: 4 direct attacks to the 4 openings
    Bladework: B > F-s > D > H-s
    Footwork: R:P fwd > L:P fwd > R:P fwd > L:P fwd

    This is the simple, foundational exercise. Everything that follows in successive drills and variations are the options that transform this into a very complete and challenging exercise…

    Alternate bladework sequences* include:
    D-s > H > B-s > F
    H > D-s > F > B-s
    F-s > B > H-s > D

    * As per Meyer.

    Examples of alternate footwork options:
    L:P back > R:P back > L:P back > R:P back
    R:P fwd > R:P back > R:P fwd > R:P back
    R:P fwd > L:P fwd > L:P back > R:P back
    R:P fwd > L:T > R:P fwd > L:T
    L:P back > L:T > L:P back > L:T
    R:T > L:P fwd > R:T > L:P fwd
    R:P fwd > L:S > R:P fwd > L:S
    R:S > L:P fwd > R:S > L:P fwd
    R:T > L:T > R:T > R:T
    R:S > L:S > R:S > L:S
    R:T > L:S > R:T > L:S
    R:S > L:T > R:S > L:T
    R:P fwd > L:S > R:T > L:P fwd
    L:P back > L:S > R:T > R:P back
    Etc…
  • Remarks – This drill is inspired by Joachim Meyer’s 4 openings exercises, however this is also implicit in the earlier Liechtenauer sources, where striking the zwerch to the openings/hangers (i.e. “zum ochs und pflug schlagen”) is a key play called out in the zwerch stücke.

    The enormous variety of footwork options allows an instructor to diagnose and help focus on and correct particular areas of weakness in a student. The simple striking patterns include high and low strikes on both sides, and are simple enough that they will be quickly internalised by a student, allowing them to focus on their biomechanics (footwork, bodywork, bladework, balance, fluidity etc).

    I am trialling this (and all the following variations and drills) as the key foundational exercise in the novice longsword curriculum within my school, and so far it is showing itself as an excellent foundation for developing (and allowing an instructor to diagnose and correct) core striking biomechanics and footwork.

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Re: DRILLS DRILLS DRILLS

Postby Bill Carew » Tue Apr 13, 2010 1:51 am

  • Drill Number - 0013
  • Drill Name – Attack and Defend the 4 Openings
  • Type – Solo Exercise
  • Skill Trained – Striking to the centre of the 4 openings (high and low, left and right) fluidly and with effective footwork, and also moving into the upper and lower hangers (oberhängen and unterhängen - akin to extended forms of Ochs and Pflug) that defend these same 4 openings.
  • Props – Longsword (performing the exercise with a heavy waster is useful for developing strength, balance, stabilisation and endurance).
  • Description

    Drill 0013a: 4 straight attacks followed by the four hangers
    Bladework: B > F-s > D > H-s > L:Ochs > R:Pflug > L:Pflug > R:Ochs
    Footwork: R:P fwd > L:P fwd > R:P fwd > L:P fwd > L:P back > R:P back > L:P back > R:P back

    Drill 0013b: Contraction into the upper hangers in between extended attacks
    Bladework: B > L:Ochs > F-s > R:Ochs > D > L:Ochs > H-s > R:Ochs
    Footwork: R:P fwd > no step > L:P fwd > no step > R:P fwd > no step > L:P fwd > no step

    Drill 0013c: Contraction into upper and lower hangers in between extended attacks
    Bladework: B > L:Ochs > F-s > R:Pflug > D > L:Ochs > H-s > R:Pflug
    Footwork: R:P fwd > no step > L:P fwd > no step > R:P fwd > no step > L:P fwd > no step

    Note: these alternate sequences are excellent for emphasizing the return (contraction) back into one of the four hangers, in between each attacking strike and in preparation for extending out into the next attack (this is a core biomechanical, as well as defensive tactical, principle). There is no footwork involved when transitioning from the terminus of each strike (i.e. langort) into the respective hanger – it is simply part of the full motion of a complete attack leading into the next attack, with cover provided by the movement through the hanger.
  • Remarks – This exercise is a simple extension of the previous, in preparation for the partnered versions to follow. Versions b and c of the exercise in particular are excellent for re-enforcing the biomechanical principle of ‘contraction’ and ‘extension’, the importance of the four hangers, their role in defence and the way they provide cover whilst linking attacks between the 4 openings.

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Re: DRILLS DRILLS DRILLS

Postby Bill Carew » Tue Apr 13, 2010 1:54 am

  • Drill Number - 0014
  • Drill Name – Attack and Defend the 4 Openings Against a Partner
  • Type – Partner Drill
  • Skill Trained – As Agent, striking to the centre of the 4 openings (high and low, left and right) fluidly and with effective footwork. As Patient, defending those same openings with the upper and lower hangers (oberhängen and unterhängen).
  • Props – Two fencers, two longswords, two masks and PPE (for increasing the intensity and later free form/alive drills).
  • Description

    Drill 0014a: Straight Offence and Defence
    The Agent strikes, with passing steps forward, to the four openings against the defender, who passes back whilst winding into the various hangers (Ochs and Pflug) to defend each opening.

    Agent
    Bladework: B > F-s > D > H-s
    Footwork: R:P fwd > L:P fwd > R:P fwd > L:P fwd

    Patient
    Bladework: L:Ochs > R:Pflug > L:Pflug > R:Ochs
    Footwork: L:P back > R:P back > L:P back > R:P back

    Drill 0014b: Flow drill - continuous
    At the end of the 4th attack, the roles swap over, and the Patient immediately attacks using the same sequence, and the Agent must defend using the hangers whilst passing back. Continue the drill, fwd and back for several passes.

    Modifiers:
    Lengthen or shorten the number of consecutive attacks (e.g. 6 attacks in a row, or only 2 etc).

    Drill 0014c: Progressive (“alive”) drill
    Note: start slowly – 25% speed is good! The Agent may strike in any 4 strike sequence he/she wishes at random, and the Patient must try to read the intent and defend appropriately with the correct upper or lower hangers, before the roles swap over.

    Continue the drill, fwd and back for several passes. If the partners are becoming good at this, up the speed to 50%, then 75%, then 100% when they are ready (ensure adequate PPE and control, and ensure they are observed by a Spotter who can tell them to slow down or stop if the drill gets out of hand).

    Modifiers:
    Change the number of consecutive attacks the Agent may make (e.g. 3 in a row, 2 in a row, then 1) before the offensive and defensive roles swap over.

    Allow both Agent and Patient to use any combination of footwork they desire (i.e. passes, triangles, stolen steps).
  • Remarks – Be aware of a key risk associated with over-reliance on the continuous flow drill: if it doesn’t incorporate an immediate counterattack from the defender with the wind into the upper or lower hangers, it may develop an overly defensive mindset in trainees: for this reason, it is vital to incorporate the next set of drills (0015+ which include Absetzen) soon after this is performed, so that trainees see what an ideal, rhythm breaking ending might be (i.e. Absetzen counter thrust).

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Re: DRILLS DRILLS DRILLS

Postby Bill Carew » Tue Apr 13, 2010 1:56 am

  • Drill Number - 0015
  • Drill Name – Attack and Defend the 4 Openings Against a Partner, including the Absetzen
  • Type – Partner Drill
  • Skill Trained – As Agent, striking to the centre of the 4 openings (high and low, left and right) fluidly and with effective footwork. As Patient, defending those same openings with the upper and lower hangers (oberhängen and unterhängen) and using Absetzen (setting off) to defend and counter attack at once.
  • Props – Two fencers, two longswords, two masks and PPE (for increasing the intensity and later free form/alive drills).
  • Description

    Drill 0015: Use of Absetzen by the Patient

    As in Drill 0014, however, at specific points in the drill, having made their cover by winding into an upper or lower hanger, the Patient immediately thrusts forward to plant their point upon the Agent (armoured body or fencing mask) with a step forward and/or to the side, breaking the drill. This is an application of the Absetzen.

    4 options are described below, a, b, c and d.

    Agent
    Bladework:
    Drill 0015a: B > F-s > D > H-s
    Drill 0015b: B > F-s > D
    Drill 0015c: B > F-s
    Drill 0015d: B

    Footwork:
    Drill 0015a: R:P fwd > L:P fwd > R:P fwd > L:P fwd
    Drill 0015b: R:P fwd > L:P fwd > R:P fwd
    Drill 0015c: R:P fwd > L:P fwd
    Drill 0015d: R:P fwd

    Patient
    Bladework:
    Drill 0015a: L:Ochs > R:Pflug > L:Pflug > R:Ochs + thrust
    Drill 0015b: L:Ochs > R:Pflug > L:Pflug + thrust
    Drill 0015c: L:Ochs > R:Pflug + thrust
    Drill 0015d: L:Ochs + thrust

    Footwork:
    Drill 0015a: L:P back > R:P back > L:P back > R:P back + fwd
    Drill 0015b: L:P back > R:P back > L:P back + fwd
    Drill 0015c: L:P back > R:P back + fwd
    Drill 0015d: L:P back + fwd

    Drill 0015e: Progressive (“alive”) drill
    Note: start slowly – 25% speed is good! The Agent may strike in any 4 strike sequence he/she wishes at random, and the Patient must try to read the intent and defend appropriately with the correct upper or lower hangers, ensuring that on the last attack, they attempt to plant their point on the Agent, before the roles swap over.

    Continue the drill, fwd and back for several passes. If the partners are becoming good at this, up the speed to 50%, then 75%, then 100% when they are ready (ensure adequate PPE and control, and ensure they are observed by a Spotter who can tell them to slow down or stop if the drill gets out of hand).

    Modifiers:
    Change the number of consecutive attacks the Agent may make (e.g. 3 in a row, 2 in a row, then 1) before the offensive and defensive roles swap over.

    Allow both Agent and Patient to use any combination of footwork they desire (i.e. passes, triangles, stolen steps).
  • Remarks – This drill builds upon all the previous ones, and allows training partners to practice both their offensive and defensive skills in a simple way that easily transforms into flow drills and alive drills that progressively introduce options, pressure and competition.

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Jake Norwood
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Re: DRILLS DRILLS DRILLS

Postby Jake Norwood » Tue Apr 13, 2010 10:50 am

Hi Bill and Bill! Welcome to the DRILLS. Please keep posting.

From me...

  • Drill Number - 0016
  • Drill Name - Upper Hanger Absetzen Drill
  • Type - Drill
  • Skill Trained - Zornhau, striking to the openings, ablauffen/umbschlagen/zucken, absetzen using the upper hangings
  • Props - longswords (preferably steel; something thicker won't work as well) and masks. Light gloves recommended.
  • Description -
    (0) Start: Agent stands in vom Tag at the right shoulder; Patient stands in alber, iron gate, or pflug with the right leg leading.
    (1) Agent strikes zornhau at Patient's head with a pass forward (right foot); Patient counters by moving to left ochs with the point positioned for a thrust to the face. The Agent's blade should be weak on the Patient's strong, and locked into the space between the cross and the schilt/strong/ricasso.
    (2) Agent flows off to his right and strikes a zornhau from his left with a pass back of the right foot; Patient passes forward with the left foot and winds/transitions to right ochs, countering the zorn with an absetzen and placing the point for a thrust as before.
    (3) Agent flows off to the left, then passes forward with right foot and strikes zorn from the right; Patient passes back with the left and performs an absetzen using left ochs, as before.
    (4) Repeat ad nauseum steps 2 - 3, then switch roles after a while.
  • Remarks - I'm using this drill to try and counter-act my trained-in habit of responding to oberhau with Kron/hanging parry followed by an oberhau of my own (see the discussion on Drills 0002 and 0004). The goal is to supplant that response with the more "correct" absetzen-and-thrust to the face. This drill gets moving pretty quickly and the strikes at the head should escalate in force as the drill goes on. Poor form on the hangers will result in mashed fingers. It is not necessary to actually thrust on every repetition, as it will break up the flow and irritate your training parner. It is *vital* that the Agent (attacker) strike with intent and follow-through for the head *every time,* or the technique will not work. So far I am very pleased with this drill.


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Re: DRILLS DRILLS DRILLS

Postby Frederico Martins » Wed Apr 14, 2010 4:02 am

very nice idea, i don't practice sword fight so i don't understand most terms(but that is my problem not yours), it would be great to have some videos

here is an exercise we do at jogo do pau, hope you like it.

  • Drill Number - 0017
  • Drill Name - weight transfer and counter attack drill
  • Type - Drill
  • Skill Trained - weight transfer with half steping, opportune counter attacks for the strike in question and visual awareness of different heights of the strike.
  • Props - staff
  • Description - Agent Strikes a oblique/diagonal descending strike on the dominant side to the neck, patient parries with a oblique parry on the dominant side, and counters with the opportune strike (that is the same oblique/diagonal descending strike always used in this exercise). this can continue indefinitely, but for this exercise, the patient will count 4 strikes(total) and from then on continues the same exercise without stoping, but at any time, he can strike low to the knee instead of the going for the neck. the agent will have to be aware of it and lower his parry to block the lower strike instead of the higher one. When this happens the drill stops.
  • Remarks - This exercise assumes both are right handed or both left. Use weight transfer and halfsteps with footwork, this means, in one parry move half step back with the front leg, and counter with the other leg, then parry again with the front leg moving back, and counter with the other etc.. When you get used to it, any of the practitioners can strike to the leg from the 4th strike at any time, instead of that being defined on the beginning.

I don't know what you call the parry so here is a video example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-zID9s_K5w#t=00m8s
at 00:11

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Frederico Martins
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Re: DRILLS DRILLS DRILLS

Postby Frederico Martins » Fri Apr 30, 2010 9:05 am

The flow of drills have stoped. I noticed the one i posted is similar to some... hope it is more different now.

  • Drill Number - 0018
  • Drill Name - Jogo do Pau Introductory move to combat against 2 opponents
  • Type - Drill
  • Skill Trained - Strategy against 2 opponents
  • Props - 1 staff (or any double handed weapon)
  • Description - 3 People in this exercise, I will try to make this very basic without going in detail.
    -Place all 3 in a line, separated with a little more distance than the striking range.
    -The one in the middle is the agent, will have the staff and will initiate. The first to be confronted will be patient 1 and the second patient 2, both unarmed, just to simplify the exercise.
    - Agent strikes patient 1 with a oblique descending strike from the non dominant side, patient 1 moves back to not get hit, and agent continues attacking with a repeated oblique descending strike on the non dominant side. Patient 1 moves back again to not get hit. Agent should step forward when striking to force patient back.
    - Patient 2 should, at the speed the exercise is being executed and as that happens, get closer to try and (since he is unarmed for this exercise) punch/grad agent (to simplyfy and allow slow practicing speed, just get closer to keep distance adjusted).
    -As agent ends striking patient 1, he should immediately look back to notice patient 2, and before letting him get too close, start the same oblique descending strike on the direction of patient 2, and as before, repeat it.
    - Patient 2 should reach like patient 1 did and move back to not get hit, and patien 1 as patient 2 did before, should adjust distance.
    - From this on agent can go back to patient 1 and entering the loop.(don't go too crazy and do a momentary stop to think between complete loops)
  • Remarks - This is basic jogo do pau technique against multiple opponent. Get used to it and try with padded weapons, really trying to grab the agent, without getting hit. The agent will have to be really fast to avoid it. It should be fun for everyone, even if I don't go much in depth or in variations here. This technique is for staffs, but the strategic basis here are applicable to most kind of weapons.

examples of a more complex versions of this exercise.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zpD9K5IV3bk

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gSDSsereOdg#t=0m58s

this is the basics of the most traditional technique of jogo do pau, would really like to see people have a go at it, hope you like it,
Cheers.
Last edited by Frederico Martins on Fri Apr 30, 2010 1:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: DRILLS DRILLS DRILLS

Postby Jake Norwood » Fri Apr 30, 2010 9:41 am

Hey, that looks like fun. It’s been ages since I’ve done multiple-opponent drills.

Here’s one we were working with last week:

  • Drill Number - 0019
  • Drill Name – Mutieren practice
  • Type – Game
  • Skill Trained – Mutieren (Mutating/Transforming), a binding action
  • Props – Swords…masks are a good idea, too.
  • Description – The goal is to get a thrust in on the opponent’s lower right opening while binding over the opponent’s blade using the principle of mutieren.

    0. Both fighters enter a bind, starting from right-on-right. Agent winds to left ochs/upper hanger to thrust.

    1. Patient responds by also winding into his upper left hanger (ochs) so that his blade is over the agent’s. Patient finds the weak of the agent’s blade and thrusts to the agent’s lower right side (agent’s right, patient’s left) while maintaining the bind.

    2 and on... Agent counters by mutating over the patient’s blade and attempting the thrust again, ad nauseum.
  • Remarks – In its basic form, neither fighter will ever leave the position of the upper left hanger. The trick is to learn to find the opponent’s weak, overbind, and thrust, all without moving your point too far offline and giving your opponent an opening without a corresponding counter-threat. If done too quickly the game can devolve pretty badly, so it’s best to start out at ¼ to ½ speed and stay there until the movement is tight and crisp. This is a high-percentage krieg technique for me.
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Re: DRILLS DRILLS DRILLS

Postby Mark W » Thu May 20, 2010 5:57 am

This is a drill for my new Fuhlen "theory".

  • Drill Number - 0020
  • Drill Name - Zornhau Fuhlen Drill
  • Type - Reaction
  • Skill Trained - Fuhlen, Agression
  • Props - Longswords, masks
  • Description -

    -Agent strikes Zornhau
    -Patient does likewise to head creating the "classic" bind
    -Agent strikes the Nachschlag IMMEDIATELY from the bind, more or less pivoting over/dominating the Patient's sword. Should have the rhythm of a "double tap" with a pistol. Look at Kal for a picture of this.
    -Patient gets hit.

    OR

    -Patient displaces the Nachschlag, pushing it up and to the left with his flat.
    -Agent Dupliers (or Abnehmen, Twitch, etc)

    OR

    -Rather than step into the bind, Patient passes back with the initial Zornhau, striking a Zornhau out of range (a fear response that's not too stupid)
    -Agent passes forward with the left foot in Longpoint (this is why I feel that Langort is always described with the left foot forward).
    -Patient is hit with the thrust

    This can also be done with the Patient merely retreating back without striking, which collapses into drills mirroring the plays from disengaged Sprechfenster, etc etc.

  • Remarks -

    In essence, this teaches Fuhlen, control through aggression in the bind, and running down an opponent who retreats.

    This can be extended into the patient throwing a nice Zornhau-ort instead of the pass back, forcing the patient to cross-smash the Ort away before getting skewered.

    One can also drill the person in the Nach in the same way, though at the AES we spend more time on getting the Vorschalg than learning counters.

    This kind of drill is the centrepiece of my teaching methodology now. Breaking down the techniques into simple if/then scenarios. It takes the "magic" out of Fuhlen that some people ascribe to it, just doing what it sayis in HS 3227a. Bascially, if you try to hit him from the bind in the same direction as the Vorschlag was headed, he was soft (and now injured). If you can't, then he's hard, try something else depending on how much he displaces you.



Best regards,

-Mark
Last edited by Mark W on Thu May 20, 2010 10:33 am, edited 2 times in total.


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