Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Something a bit wierd from Jorg Wilhalm

Jörg Wilhalm was a hatter in C16th Ausberg, and a bit of a mad one at that - everyone loves the pretzel seller hanging around in CGM 3711:




But personally I find CGM 3712 more interesting - the sketches of the fighters are simply beautiful in places, although apparently it was a copy made in 1556 - I don't know, I'm relying on wiktenhauer here because my Renaissance era German sucks. What it does have is an unlabelled section on sword and buckler fencing. What's so interesting in it, to me at least, is that the clothes of the fencers keeps changing. To begin with they're wearing skirts:
[Edit, apparently there were armoured skirts called 'tonlets', fashionable for blokes in the early C16th - http://www.royalarmouries.org/visit-us/leeds/leeds-galleries/tournament-gallery/henry-viii/tonlet-armour Some resemblance?]
and then they're wearing puff and slash:




and for the last section they are wearing hooded cloaks, with one fencer always wearing the hood up:


Now, I'm no expert on changes in fashion, but to me they certainly don't look to be wearing C16th guard - in fact it looks medieval. Now, somewhere before I saw pictures of two people fencing with swords and bucklers, wearing cloaks, one of whom is always wearing one with a hood up. Where was it again? Oh, I.33, a German manual from around 1300ish:
The top pair look really similar, don't they? Which would be awesome - it could simply be a trace. Didn't PHM or someone once see a copy of I.33? Except for the fact that Jorg Wilhelm contains all kinds of wierd stuff not seen in I.33, including changes of perspective:
So can anyone shed some light onto what's going on here?

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Class plan for 4/4/11 - The Krumphau

Warming Up:
I’m pretty sure I wrote something about footwork drills, jogging and stretching:

  • While jogging, swing your arms in circles with straight arms (i.e. shoulder warm up) in time with running - so arms point down as you land with the left foot etc.  Coordinating arms and legs is a useful skill, whether in wrestling or swordplay.
  • Similarly, skipping while jumping as high as possible and reaching up with the rising hand.  You should feel like you’re really exerting yourself with this.  You should also feel ridiculous.
  • Include some side-to-sides, possibly in wrestling stance (i.e. low), and stepping outside/inside with hips turning.
  • Hip opening/closing.  The “Stoeppler Tai Chi” drill.  It’s all about the knee-hip opening and closing, and the chest one, and keeping legs bent enough to notice.

10 mins

Stretches
10 mins

Cutting practice:

  • First of all, cutting in a circle. 20x Zornhaus from the right, 20x Zornhaus from the left. 20x Zwerchaus from the right. 20x Zwerchaus from the left.
  • Jog the length of the hall, cut a zornhau/zwerchau at me, sprint to the back of the queue.

10 mins.

Go get water, etc.

Introduce a new guard, the Schrankhut:

  •  Show it on the right and the left.
  •  Explain its tactical uses.
  •  Get everyone to do it on the right and the left.
  • Note thumbing the blade.
  •  Get people to cut from Schrankhut on the right to Schrankhut on the left, and vice versa.
10 mins

Schrankhuuuuuut

YOU CAN HAS KRUMPHAU

Introduce a new technique, the Krumphau:

  • Conceptually - One of the five secret strikes, breaks the guard Ochs, making it one of the vier versetzen. When done from the right, at an opponent doing an uberhau or unterhau, the krumphau is cast with crossed hands, at the opponent's hands. Make sure that you jump out to the right as you do so. Use it in the same way against someone in Ochs.
  • Explain cutting it from vom Tag, with the sword rotating around its centre of balance, into Schrankhut.
  • Get people to do it.
7 mins
Isolate the Krumphau:
  • Partner people up. Attacker thrusts from Pflug. Defender does the Krumphau from vom Tag to displace it or void it and cut to the hands. Get the defender to mask up, so that the attacker can do their part with intent, and the attacker to glove up so that the defender can cut to their hands with intent. 
  • Look for problems. They should be down to not doing one of the above.
  • Get people to change into threes, and examine eachother doing it. Be critical! Also, don't piss about and do whatever you feel like.
8 mins
Intergrate the Krumphau:
  • Now, get two people in front of the class. Ask them to do it so that everyone can see. Then, if they do it correctly, ask the the to do a zornhau from the right, and the defender to krumphau against it. If they do it wrong, get everyone to change partners and keep doing until people do it right. The rest of the lesson is contingent on getting everyone, by the end of the session, to be able to do the krumphau against a thrust from Pflug.
  • In this demonstration, show how if the defender's blade is below the attacker's then they can hangen and schnappen.
  • In this demonstration, show how if the defender's blade is above the attacker's then they can wind their point on-line, or just bounce off it into their head with the short edge
  • Show how this can be done against an unterhau too.
10 mins
  • Change partners, attacker can thrust, uberhau or unterhau from vom Tag. The defender can krumphau against it from vom Tag. Get people to mix up the footwork. Get both to wear masks and gloves.
10 mins

Congradulations, now Sparring!
However, I haven't been paying too much attention to sparring lately. To be honest, I haven't done enough of it myself. However, I will point you to a post by Axel, the Swedish Man'O'War, which is just spot on. To this end, sparring on Monday will be done in groups of three, with the third person coaching the other two. They then swap around and keep going.  When they go around for the third time, the coach is allowed to stop the other two and give advice mid-bout.
For the last ten minutes, have a king of the hill fencing match - randomly select two people to begin, whoever wins three points gets to stay in, whoever loses swaps out and coaches the next contender.