Quite a large turn of out eleven people, but three of them were new (I think two were likely never to return again, but just showed up for the lulz and to socialise). The person who took a nasty hit to the hand a couple of weeks back attended too, and seemed totally unfazed, except that I managed to kick them in the knee during the warm-up game of tag and send them to the floor. Fffffffffffff-
Johann took the srs new person to one side for some one on one learninatin', while I began with the whole Lichtenauer system. In retrospect, they could probably have joined in too, and I hope/think that everyone could have gained something from it.
The basic lesson structure pretty much went along with the last post, except that the Integration and Isolation stages there were pretty merged together, and I added in the famous 'Scott Brown's Windmill drill' at the end; - I stood cutting an infinity sign in the air (cut down from the right shoulder [fendente/zornhau], cut down from the left shoulder, cut down from the right shoulder), while people queued up to step in and try and displace the attack with a thrust. Particular kudos at this stage goes to the two new people who we probably won't see again, who were doing it great, and Ben, who had the knack for it and seemed to be helpful through the other drills.
That said, things weren't perfect - the session didn't begin very promptly at all, and I copped out and had people do the 'ten cuts from the right shoulder' thing in a circle while I tried to work out what was happening. Two of the people there already had some grasp of the German system, and pissed off to do their own thing. Cool, whatever. It did show when they re-joined later in the session though, when during the 'Windmill Drill', they seemed to have an attitude of 'Hurrah! I have hit this person really hard in the leg when they weren't defending in the slightest. We are the dudes!'. Eh, whatever, they didn't waste my time, and I hope that I didn't waste their time.
The other problem was lack of kit. I picked up my left-glove and Jon's left-glove yesterday after the Dojo, there were three new people, and the kind of drills/forms I was trying to teach didn't really suit shinai at all. A lot of people were trying to do Ochs with one handed nylons, or swapping gloves while waiting for the 'Windmill Drill.' I'm skint, the club isn't raking in the pounds, and most of the regulars already have their own kit, so I can't really see a way past this. Sure, if I had a few grand to invest in a HEMA club (along with 20 hours a week, and a willingness to pretend that it has real-world applications), then it wouldn't be an issue, so fuck it.
Sparring was pretty meh - I was slow and not on top of my game, and it didn't help that the majority of the sparring was against people wanting to use nylon one handers. (Cool, let's build some dussacks and fuckin' well go at it, but one-one-handed nylon against a longsword-nylon, when we can't really throw eachother to the floor? Well, I won't be gaining anything from this, and I'm not really sure if you will either. Sure'd be happy to go one handed nylon vs. one handed nylons (what the hell are those things anyway? Arming swords? I need to Oakeshotte it some time), or S&B vs. S&B, or poll-axe vs. poll-axe or whatever, but sparring time was limited, and it seemed like a bit of a 'let's fuck about with toys' rather than a 'let's get some learninatin' in. I know I'm over-reacting, but this blog is for thinking about teaching/learning in the club. [/rant].)
Ben did well though. Pity his poll-axe was broken by others. Johann did bring a camera, but I don't think any decent sparring footage was taken. Should have seen about taking one out from the Uni, but I didn't get up there today. Slept through my lecture...
After the session, pub was fine. Chatted to Johann about things a bit, and hopefully something'll get worked out later in the week. Then read about John Danaher for a bit, got a man-crush, and thought about 'analytic grappling vs. opportunistic grappling'.
Worth £5? Probably for the newer-guys. Hopefully the regulars found it interesting and stuff too. That said, I feel like a socially awkward penguin trying to organise things and get skills/ideas across to people who want to be there. Also, worrying a bit about the autumn.
For next week - probably concentrate on some element of winding apart from versetzen. Duplieren? Mutieren? That cutting behind the blade after too strong a displacement whose name escapes me right now? For the future, also Ringen am Schwert and the meisterhau-s.
Need to be up in six hours. Time to read some Fuller Memorandum...
P.S. - People doing HEMA right.