Tuesday, 17 January 2012

16/01/12 Session - Krumphau

Well, I took this session to get back into the swing of things after the festive season. I felt like someone who had eaten too many roast potatoes lately.

The basic plan for the class was to introduce the Krumphau to the newer people, and to get more experienced people used to the positions, pressures and opportunities that arise in the bind after the krumphau is struck.

At the beginning of the session, Garry led the warm-up and stretch side of things. Which was very nice of him, and a good alternating pattern of jog/footwork/sprint/footwork/jog etc.

After that it was on to the Krumphau. We don’t tend to use that secret-strike very often. Partly because it’s a situational technique, but partly because we’re not comfortable using it yet.

Introduction:This is the krumphau. It’s a downwards cut that falls along the plane perpendicular to the centre-line, and from the right ends in crossed wrists. That’s a definition. You can do it by waggling your sword from Schrankhut to Schrankhut. Want more information than that? Come here and let me show you...

When do you use it? Well, when the other guy is thrusting, or in Ochs. You spring out to the side and let the weight of the sword fall on his hands, or on his blade. Or you can do it if he cuts are you. Theoretically it’s what I should be doing when I get hit by rising cuts up the centre-line. It doesn't work so well against Pflug, because Pflug is structurally strong in that plane.

Practice it against a standing still target. First, practice throwing the point at their hands from a standard Vom Tag, hitting with the flat. Then try hitting them on the blade with the edge of your sword. Remember to spring out to the side and get used to not forcing the blade...

Okay, we've started on dead foundations. Let's start things off by building from that. Mask up. Start well out of distance, and then begin with the Agent entering from the guard of their choice with a thrust to the head or body. Do that ten times, getting used to the movements.

Stage 2, as the thrust comes in, the patient krumphaus, getting used to krumphauing (krumphewing?) to the blade. The agent gets used to the different pressures. Hard and soft. Equally, the patient gets used to the feel of it, whether or not they managed to break their opponent's structure.

Stage 3, mix it up. Game it up. Introduce the concept of tempo to it. When do you want to be beginning the movement of the krumphau? Where on their blade do you want to strike?

Stage 4, introducing decision trees. Just like in a 'standard' bind, there are a lot of different options depending on the circumstances, ie the distance, the pressures, the movement of the fighters. For the Agent, these are mainly either sticking in the bind or leaving it. The basic decisions aren't too different to any other bind - if the opponent is too strong, duplieren behind their blade or leave the bind. If the opponent is too weak, push on through immediately. If the opponent is structurally sound and threatening you, wind like a windy thing. If you're both rushing in, grapple and disarm and throw like a ninja. Simples, eh? He's an example of Pete's old decision tree for the krumphau:
Mine was a mess of lines on a page, all leading to 'Zwerchau like a boss'.

Stage 5 - Show the guys this video:
So yeah - there's the krumphau. Being demonstrated at fairly high intensity. Can we get working up to that speed, if only doing constructive freeplay, if only for five minutes?

Damn right we can. You guys made me proud!

And then some people sparred, and I had a chat with a new person. The End.

No idea what to run next week. Suggestions (and any videos from this session) on the back of a post card please.

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