Monday, 7 November 2011

07/11/11 Lesson Plan - Now with video and added feedback.

Well, last week's lesson wasn't great - I was tired and unclear, the drills didn't play out well enough and there were the usual kit issues. Today's plan is nice and laid back - partly in response, partly because I may be running late.
Plan is to run a pair of drills, and then go straight into coached and cornered sparring. If anyone wants to do any one-on-one work, I'll be more than happy to.

The drills are:

  1. Start out of distance. The aggressor enters in Vom Tag and makes an attack with intent from that guard. The defender can respond however they want. Swap roles. Swap partners.
  2. The second drill is very similar - the pair start out of distance, with the aggressor in Vom Tag. However, as he closes to enter he transfers to a different guard - could be one of the main four, such as Alber or Pflug, or it could be one of the more marginal guards. In either case, the defender still has the same job - recognise the threat, respond to it, repeat.
Also, don't do this please:
Well, when I say 'however they want', this wasn't what I had in mind...
See you all in a few hours...

How'd it go down? Middle I guess. Low turnout (partly because of the holiday weekend, partly because of illnesses). We were off to a slow start, and again there was the usual swapping around of kit to be able to drill. A rather nasty smack someone received in the first few minutes also blew the wind out of the sails of the drill.
On the other hand, the free-play went quite well. I spent a lot of time working with Tom to try and encourage him to develop his fencing and not just rely on a few techniques, his build and our unwillingness to hit him really hard. By the end of it his footwork had improved a lot, he was experimenting with bind-work and it was all pretty encouraging. Hopefully we can build on that.
Ant also surprised me with how his bind-work has come along. Hopefully his feet will get with the program and he can start kicking my arse soon!
JP bought along a camera, so hopefully there'll be plenty of footage soon.

I'll also try and organise a play in the park this weekend if the weather is any good.

Edit 2:
JP's put up some of the footage from Monday night: - Ant and I are sparring in this one. As I said above, your bind-work has come along nicely. None the less though, I get the impression that you're not always using the guards other than Vom Tag very effectively out of the bind - there's a section from about 1m44s where it really shows (although I'm impressed by how quickly your feet recover when you realise you're in a grappling situation, although you haven't done very much of it). At this point I think we should probably work on your fencing before we get to the bind - transitioning between guards, hunting for openings and having the footwork in place to support your cuts and closes into distance. - JP and I are sparring in this one. Looking at your Vom Tag, your hands are wandering forward to the point where they become easy targets (although I don't go for them in the video), and your head is crouched forward as well, meaning that your cuts are very strong, but don't have the range (or don't have the structure to support them when the cuts are more extended.) I also feel that you're passively waiting for opportunities and openings to arrive in this exchange/spar/assault/whatever, rather than moving around, transitioning between guards and trying to create them. A lot of the time you're not stepping to support your cuts/work the angles, instead fencing linearly. Although looking at the end of the video your footwork is a lot better. - Tom and Jakob are sparring in this one. I think/hope this video was taken before we had the one-on-one training session. A lot of the things that we talked about are evident in it, from the 'pawing the ground' tell at 12s in, to making big swings with all your weight on a straight front leg, like at 16s. You're also swinging at Jakob's sword a lot of the time, rather than trying to hit him, and ending up getting really heavy blows to the side after your opponent gets bored of the clackety-clack game. As I spelt out on Monday - you can get away with it in a friendly sparring situation at the risk of upsetting the other guy who is hoping to learn something, but in a tournament or competitive environment you'll get muller-riced if you try and fence like that. Relying on physical intimidation in free-play has also meant that your fencing hasn't progressed much - you've shown me that you can use the bind, displace and all that kind of stuff, but it's not showing up in sparring. Hell, if we skip back to March then back then your free-play was better, if anything - . I think you need to ask yourself if you're happy to sit comfortably on the plateau you've reached, or if you want to become better at fighting with a longsword. If you do, then I'll do everything possible to help and support you in that ;)

Any other feedback, comments, criticisms etc. from the rest of the internet?

1 comment:

  1. And just so people don't think I'm just being mean to other people:
    My footwork needs to get better. In those videos there are plenty of occasions when I could have taken another step and done a whole lot better. My covers need to be more robust - for example Ochs needs to be higher. I'm not covering the line/controlling the other guys swords well enough.
    I also want to play with steel...