Workbooks for Independent Study Groups

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Jonathan Allen
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Workbooks for Independent Study Groups

Postby Jonathan Allen » Fri Dec 21, 2012 5:35 pm

I think workbooks with a heavy emphasis on experimentation would be useful for independent study groups that lack an experience teacher. Here are a couple of examples that illustrate what I'm thinking:

http://grauenwolf.wordpress.com/2012/12 ... k-level-1/

http://grauenwolf.wordpress.com/2012/12 ... k-level-1/
Jonathan Allen
Scholars of Alcalá
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http://grauenwolf.wordpress.com/

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Ben Floyd
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Re: Workbooks for Independent Study Groups

Postby Ben Floyd » Fri Dec 21, 2012 5:45 pm

Ha... funny. I was just thinking about starting a similar topic.
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Krieg School of Historical Fencing, a HEMAA group

"A poor Stück will be executed by an ingenious mindful person much more usefully in the work, than the best one will be executed by a fool."

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Re: Workbooks for Independent Study Groups

Postby Jonathan Allen » Fri Dec 21, 2012 10:27 pm

Well then, it seems I have a collaborator. How were you thinking of doing it?
Jonathan Allen
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http://grauenwolf.wordpress.com/

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Ben Floyd
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Re: Workbooks for Independent Study Groups

Postby Ben Floyd » Sat Dec 22, 2012 6:21 am

I was having problems opening the pdf when I posted. Your idea is much more expansive than what I had planned.
Ben Floyd
HEMAA Lifetime Member
Krieg School of Historical Fencing, a HEMAA group

"A poor Stück will be executed by an ingenious mindful person much more usefully in the work, than the best one will be executed by a fool."

Jonathan Allen
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Re: Workbooks for Independent Study Groups

Postby Jonathan Allen » Sat Dec 22, 2012 4:50 pm

German Longsword Workbook – Level 1 - Added review questions for each lesson

http://grauenwolf.wordpress.com/2012/12 ... level-1-2/
Jonathan Allen
Scholars of Alcalá
San Diego, CA
http://grauenwolf.wordpress.com/

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Re: Workbooks for Independent Study Groups

Postby Keith P. Myers » Sun Dec 23, 2012 4:04 am

Strong work Jonathan! I think that's pretty cool! :)
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Jonathan Allen
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Re: Workbooks for Independent Study Groups

Postby Jonathan Allen » Sun Dec 23, 2012 9:05 am

I'm really happy with how the long sword one came together. The Bolognese still needs some work. If anyone is interested, I especially could use some help with the review questions.
Jonathan Allen
Scholars of Alcalá
San Diego, CA
http://grauenwolf.wordpress.com/

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Re: Workbooks for Independent Study Groups

Postby John Hines » Tue Jan 22, 2013 7:23 pm

I really enjoyed your longsword guide. I love the use of the cutting chart and having the person record feedback on each cut from each guard as well as the parrying exercises. Your use of both an early and later source allows the student to experiment and determine which they prefer. I love how you are engaging multiple learning styles and bringing a technical side to the study. I feel the writing exercises will truly help the student internalize the material. All in all it's a great lesson that will allow someone to determine which future module to use, Meyer or Lichtenaur.
One area I did find confusing was cutting from guard such as Ochs and Pflug. This may be because of having any kind of prior knowledge I was having difficulty picturing many of the cuts being done without transitioning to other guards. After thinking about it for a bit I realized that was the point. I love the experimental method you are using to help the student figure out what works and what doesn't. Another question I have is for the parrying exercises. Is the parry supposed to be static or is the person supposed to be static (maybe shifting the guard a little) or are they supposed to block however they want but start in the guard?
I would also like to ask about your intent of drawing the guard. I assume you are hoping the student will use this to further think about all the positioning of the limbs and the blade itself. I know I'm personally turned off by any request at drawing due to my terrible skill at it. At the same time I could see stickman drawings being very helpful as it breaks it down to it's individual components and gives simple lines to review.
I feel the guards should be reordered. Starting with Ochs (a thrusting heavy guard) would be very confusing the first time using it. I recommend starting Vom Tag and Alber as they are very cutting friendly, making the first round of drills easier on the novice, and will make it easier to understand the limits of other guards that are less cut friendly. Since how to throw an oberhau or unterhau is not fully discussed in this material, I also believe that completing these guards first will assist the later exercises by practicing these basic techniques.
For review questions I do have a couple of ideas. One would be asking the student to write a brief paragraph about the guard's strengths, weaknesses, version preference, and any other comments. This will help the novice externalize his thoughts from the exercises and guide his choice of future module. There could be an appendix page for these so all the guards could be listed together. This can form the building block to basic reference guide for the student. Applying this same idea to the meisterhau/secret strikes as well as any plays completed can allow the student to look back quickly at their thoughts. Also your sign man needs to be a full page so the student can tape it up on the wall for quick visual reference just like you suggest.
I do feel there are some extra items that could be included in this module. First would be to include a brief explanation of stance and footwork (simple and passing steps) along with an exercise. In your review questions you discuss stepping offline, attacking both forwards and backwards, as well as a higher or lower stance. Many great questions but the concept isn't introduced until the review section and then with a short description. These concepts need to introduced prior to asking about them.
It would be nice to have an answer guide. I know the module is about self exploration but an explanation of what you were looking for and why you asked certain questions can be very helpful. Also your sword labeling exercise needs an answer key for the independent scholar to check himself.
A guide on how to use the material and your full entent would be very helpful. Just explaining how you are basically using Socratic method and this will require critical thought and pointing them toward resources where they can discuss their answers (such as this forum) will expand upon this.
All in all this is a fantastic start. I work in corporate training and your structure is very similar to our training material. These definitely have merit and can go a long way towards establishing some kind of basic curriculum. I know with my work training materials we have the workbook for the learners and a more detailed leader's guide. Do you feel this base concept could greatly benefit from this. I know many study groups divide up the material and they each take a bit. A leaders guide would include specific advise about how to run to the drill and an explanation of the goal of each drill.
I'm printing this thing out and taking it to practice on Sunday to try it out. I have a very solid academic knowledge and ok mechanical basics and we'll see how it goes.

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Re: Workbooks for Independent Study Groups

Postby Jonathan Allen » Wed Jan 23, 2013 7:19 pm

The parries are free-form. The goal is to be able to defend yourself from any basic attack while camping in a guard. In my mind someone shouldn't be able to successfully attack someone lying in wait using a simple cut or thrust.
I've been explaining it as such:

No points if you get hit.
One point if you don't get hit.
Two points if you don't get hit and you strike your attacker with a cut, thrust, or slice.
Remember to step as you parry.

I can definitely see expanding this into a whole page or two discussing the purpose of the parry drills. I think distinguishing between a single and double time counter is important.
Jonathan Allen
Scholars of Alcalá
San Diego, CA
http://grauenwolf.wordpress.com/

Jonathan Allen
HEMA Alliance Member
Posts: 1122
Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2012 12:37 pm
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Re: Workbooks for Independent Study Groups

Postby Jonathan Allen » Wed Jan 23, 2013 7:22 pm

Footwork... yea, something needs to be done there. How about some dance step style charts showing the basic kinds of steps?
Jonathan Allen
Scholars of Alcalá
San Diego, CA
http://grauenwolf.wordpress.com/


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