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ImplicitAssembler
Jan 24, 2013



inscrutable horse posted:

So I'm a huge nerd who's decided to pick up HEMA (longsword) to stave off cabin fever at my new job. I will be utterly alone (well, with 10 other people) on an island in the middle of nowhere for a year, with an embarrassing amount of free time. Considering that I'm an absolute beginner, how should I practice this stuff? I've been looking at various articles and fechtbücher on the net, and together with this thread, I get the idea that footwork and general fitness are vitally important, so that's something I'd like to know more about. But then there's stuff like stances/guards/whatever the terminology is - how much of that can I practice on my own? Is it actually feasible? And then there's the unknown unknowns that I don't even know to ask about!

So how about it? I know I'm in totally over my head, but can you goons teach me swim (metaphorically)?

The HEMA guys might differ, but from a kendo stand point, you can't and you are more likely to teach yourself bad habits than teaching yourself anything useful. You're better off spending the time getting fit.

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Siivola
Dec 23, 2012



Yeah, you should really try to find a buddy. Fighting with swords is fundamentally a multiplayer experience and you can't really learn to parry a blow without someone swinging a sword at you. However, if you can find yourself a training partner, it's all good. There's a number of "HEMA for Dummies" -books available, and the existing HEMA community is proof that you can, in fact, learn to fight from a book. (If you've got someone willing to swing a sword at you.) You just need a pair of swords or sword-like objects and preferably also a pair of fencing masks, and you're good to go.

inscrutable horse
May 19, 2010

Parsing sage, rotating time





That sounds reasonable enough. So what kind of fitness training would you recommend? I've been hiking in the mountains since I was 6 or 7, so I'm reasonably fit, if not exactly an athlete, but I don't know how well that transfers to exercises that seem to favour quick, sharp motions.

Siivola
Dec 23, 2012



Hiking's good, keep doing that if the island allows. If you want to be stronger, (and hey, who doesn't?) doing lots of pushups and lifting heavy barbells is good stuff. Goons over in YLLS are probably better at that side of fitness.

In any case, you don't really need to worry about training specifically for swordfighting, since the sword is basically a labour-saving device designed to make up for a lack in strength. Speed comes more from practice than exercise. On the other hand, strong shoulders make the sword lighter and a strong core gives you a better posture, so there are of course benefits to working out.

ImplicitAssembler
Jan 24, 2013



inscrutable horse posted:

That sounds reasonable enough. So what kind of fitness training would you recommend? I've been hiking in the mountains since I was 6 or 7, so I'm reasonably fit, if not exactly an athlete, but I don't know how well that transfers to exercises that seem to favour quick, sharp motions.

Any HIIT work. Trail running is good too, especially shorter loops where you can push yourself. You can diy a speed-ladder for footwork/speed drills.
Barbell-work if you can (but being on an island with only other people that sounds unlikely). so look up body-weight exercises.

Rabhadh
Aug 26, 2007


buy a skipping rope

thewireguy
Jul 2, 2013


Do the stupid fencing step up and down the beach all day. Squat while you do it. You need to build those muscles. The beginning sucks.

inscrutable horse
May 19, 2010

Parsing sage, rotating time





No beach, I'm afraid. Just 50m vertical cliffs.

thewireguy
Jul 2, 2013


Ha! I have to do it up a minor hill and am limping the next day. Do that damned exercise. after you are worn out, then basic training starts. Keep it up. It is pretty fun.

dupersaurus
Aug 1, 2012

Futurism was an art movement where dudes were all 'CARS ARE COOL AND THE PAST IS FOR CHUMPS. LET'S DRAW SOME CARS.'

Squat until your legs are crying for mercy, then do ten more.

Verisimilidude
Dec 20, 2006

Strike quick and hurry at him,
not caring to hit or miss.
So that you dishonor him before the judges





ImplicitAssembler posted:

The HEMA guys might differ, but from a kendo stand point, you can't and you are more likely to teach yourself bad habits than teaching yourself anything useful. You're better off spending the time getting fit.

I would also say not to train completely on your own. You'd be surprised how easy it is to get something that seems simple completely wrong. Martial arts of any kind definitely require some kind of teaching, or at least an outside perspective.

inscrutable horse
May 19, 2010

Parsing sage, rotating time





Teaching of any kind is, I'm afraid, pretty much impossible I live in the Faroe Islands, and after months of exhaustive investigation, I've found out that there is no one in the country who has practiced any sort of sword-based martial art, bet it Olympic, historical or JSA. This is kinda what inspired me to start this in the first place - my ambition, once I'm off The Hermit Island of Desolation and Despair, is to start recruiting other interested individuals so that we can start a club. From there I hope to get it recognized as an "official" sport or something, and get my filthy hands on some in order to invite teachers over here for a short period. Well, those are my "professional" ambitions - personally, I just want to swing a sword around like a huge nerd.

Rabhadh
Aug 26, 2007


Re: exercise chat, walking lunges are more interesting than squats if you get bored easily (like I do).

inscrutable horse posted:

Teaching of any kind is, I'm afraid, pretty much impossible I live in the Faroe Islands, and after months of exhaustive investigation, I've found out that there is no one in the country who has practiced any sort of sword-based martial art, bet it Olympic, historical or JSA. This is kinda what inspired me to start this in the first place - my ambition, once I'm off The Hermit Island of Desolation and Despair, is to start recruiting other interested individuals so that we can start a club. From there I hope to get it recognized as an "official" sport or something, and get my filthy hands on some in order to invite teachers over here for a short period. Well, those are my "professional" ambitions - personally, I just want to swing a sword around like a huge nerd.

You could start a study group, as long as everyone understands that you're all new at this and your role is basically just to give structure to the sessions rather than as a teacher it could be ok. Everyone I've met through HEMA has been very nice and I'm sure you could get some teaching tips if you approach an established trainer.

inscrutable horse
May 19, 2010

Parsing sage, rotating time





Yeah, that's pretty much the outline of my future plans: get some likeminded people to swing swords, and then get in contact with established groups elsewhere for guidance. I've noticed that there are groups in Scandinavia which explicitly offer to help establish new groups, so I've bookmarked them for further reference.

As for exercise chat, am I wrong in thinking that a lot of it is geared towards general endurance? If so, then it's not really an issue for me - like I said before, I've been hiking in mountainous terrain for nearly 25 years, and by now I can keep up a pace of ~8 kph pretty much indefinitely. When weather allows it, I often walk from where I live to the capital city, and that's around 45 km of constant hills and valleys. I'm thinking more about upper body endurance (gotta hold and swing that thing) and "explosive" movement (lunging forward).

Or am I just being a complete Jon Snow who knoos noothin'?

Siivola
Dec 23, 2012



Here's a good blog post about training for speed: http://guywindsor.net/blog/2012/10/i-am-slow/ Tl;dr: Don't worry about it quite yet, it comes with practice. (Longsword fencers are also super lazy so we don't lunge a lot anyway.) (And also because very few sources show lunging motions.)

Upper body strength is good for fencing, because the stronger you are the lighter the sword feels, and the easier it is to manipulate precisely. Working out also opens up new nerve channels, which makes it easier to activate the correct muscles.

Thanks for reminding me I really should hit the gym again.

inscrutable horse
May 19, 2010

Parsing sage, rotating time





Super, thanks for the good advice!

fakeedit: Just one more question, and then I'll stop bothering you guys! I've been checking out videos in this playlist. Matt Easton seems like a guy who knows his things, so is this a good resource?

Nektu
Jul 4, 2007

FUKKEN FUUUUUUCK


Cybernetic Crumb

inscrutable horse posted:

So I'm a huge nerd who's decided to pick up HEMA (longsword) to stave off cabin fever at my new job. I will be utterly alone (well, with 10 other people) on an island in the middle of nowhere for a year, with an embarrassing amount of free time. Considering that I'm an absolute beginner, how should I practice this stuff? I've been looking at various articles and fechtbücher on the net, and together with this thread, I get the idea that footwork and general fitness are vitally important, so that's something I'd like to know more about. But then there's stuff like stances/guards/whatever the terminology is - how much of that can I practice on my own? Is it actually feasible? And then there's the unknown unknowns that I don't even know to ask about!

So how about it? I know I'm in totally over my head, but can you goons teach me swim (metaphorically)?
If you are a complete beginner to martial arts and spend a year training all alone with a few books as your help there is a very high probability that you will aquire a shitload of nasty habits that you will have to unlearn again once you find a trainer. Its basically impossible to learn a martial art from a book.

If you already have a solid background in martial arts, go for it. Without a training partner you will only aquire the very basics, but at least you will know your drills after a year.

inscrutable horse
May 19, 2010

Parsing sage, rotating time





Let's put it this way: I know that the pointy end should generally point away from me.

Nektu
Jul 4, 2007

FUKKEN FUUUUUUCK


Cybernetic Crumb

inscrutable horse posted:

Let's put it this way: I know that the pointy end should generally point away from me.


Use that year to learn the theory, nomenclature, read and use online forums and sperg about equipment and so on.

Regarding physical training, imo your best bet is that one of the other 9 persons is a martial artist - train the stuff he is doing. Even if its not swords, it will probably prepare you far better for swords in the future than anything you can do as a complete beginner by yourself.

Also use that year to become really, really fit.

inscrutable horse posted:

Teaching of any kind is, I'm afraid, pretty much impossible I live in the Faroe Islands, and after months of exhaustive investigation, I've found out that there is no one in the country who has practiced any sort of sword-based martial art, bet it Olympic, historical or JSA. This is kinda what inspired me to start this in the first place - my ambition, once I'm off The Hermit Island of Desolation and Despair, is to start recruiting other interested individuals so that we can start a club. From there I hope to get it recognized as an "official" sport or something, and get my filthy hands on some in order to invite teachers over here for a short period. Well, those are my "professional" ambitions - personally, I just want to swing a sword around like a huge nerd.
Oh welp, that is looking bad. Maybe you can use vacationtime to go to the continent and train there for a few weeks each year to get you started/keep you going at least?

That said, a complete beginner to martial arts will not be able to absorpt much of relevance in a few weeks. Learn any other martial art (bonus points if you actually do fights in it), and revisit swords later. Maybe someone on that island does some form of stick fighting - its weapon based, and even if its very different from swordsplay, you will aquire a shitload of qualities that will be very useful for learning other weapon systems.

If you insist on basically starting on your own with books only, or even a few more beginners as partners, the quality of the stuff you will do will stay abmyssal for a long, long time. It will probably be fun though

Nektu fucked around with this message at 16:21 on Aug 13, 2015

HEY GUNS
Oct 11, 2012

FOPTIMUS PRIME


you're the second faroese i've ever met--what percentage of that region is that?

inscrutable horse
May 19, 2010

Parsing sage, rotating time





HEY GAL posted:

you're the second faroese i've ever met--what percentage of that region is that?

Second Faroese, you say? That would make me about 1/24000th then

Nektu posted:



Use that year to learn the theory, nomenclature, read and use online forums and sperg about equipment and so on.

Regarding physical training, imo your best bet is that one of the other 9 persons is a martial artist - train the stuff he is doing. Even if its not swords, it will probably prepare you far better for swords in the future than anything you can do as a complete beginner by yourself.

Also use that year to become really, really fit.

Oh welp, that is looking bad. Maybe you can use vacationtime to go to the continent and train there for a few weeks each year to get you started/keep you going at least?

That said, a complete beginner to martial arts will not be able to absorpt much of relevance in a few weeks. Learn any other martial art (bonus points if you actually do fights in it), and revisit swords later. Maybe someone on that island does some form of stick fighting - its weapon based, and even if its very different from swordsplay, you will aquire a shitload of qualities that will be very useful to learn other weapon systems.

If you insist on basically starting on your own with books only, or even a few more beginners as partners, the quality of the stuff you will do will stay abmyssal for a long, long time. It will probably be fun though

The only martial art practiced in the country is Judo, and I've been thinking about maybe taking a few classes of that for their perspective on grappling, but that won't be possible for another year, once my job has run its course. I do, however, have a brother-in-law-ish in Denmark who does viking reenactment, and according to my sister, he was totally psyched earlier today about hearing I've wanted to pick up the German longsword, so it seems I'm not completely lost for training opportunities.

Fun Faroese fact though: Once I get my hand on a proper sword, I will likely be the first civilian person in about 1000 years to wield a blade

I'm totally onboard the whole get "git swole noob" before doing any drills or stuff, though. I might not have even a single competitive gene in my body, but I do want to do things properly!

I did buy myself a sweet looking Rawlings Proline Xtreme Sparring sword, though, so I can't promise that I won't swing it around on occasion...

10 Beers
May 21, 2005

Shit! I didn't bring a knife.



inscrutable horse posted:

Super, thanks for the good advice!

fakeedit: Just one more question, and then I'll stop bothering you guys! I've been checking out videos in this playlist. Matt Easton seems like a guy who knows his things, so is this a good resource?

Additionally, does anyone have a link to some videos that demonstrate the meisterhaue? I want to make sure I'm remembering them right, and looking at a series of static pictures isn't helping a lot.

ScratchAndSniff
Sep 28, 2008

This game stinks


If a group of Jamaicans can start a bobsleigh team, a group of Faroeses can hit each other with swords. Follow your dreams, goon sir!

Buried alive
Jun 8, 2009


Nektu posted:



Use that year to learn the theory, nomenclature, read and use online forums and sperg about equipment and so on.

Regarding physical training, imo your best bet is that one of the other 9 persons is a martial artist - train the stuff he is doing. Even if its not swords, it will probably prepare you far better for swords in the future than anything you can do as a complete beginner by yourself.

Also use that year to become really, really fit.
...

I just wanted to expand on this and say that if any of the other 9 people are into any kind of physical thing that involves most of the body at all; weight-lifting, dancing, martial arts, etc; then you would probably do well to hook up with them. Becoming aware of your own body, where it's going and how to control it in various ways is general skill that overlaps with a lot of stuff and you only get bad habits if something conflicts directly with what you eventually want to start doing.

Crazy Achmed
Mar 13, 2001



Apart from just getting fit, footwork is something you can definitely get lots of benefit from practising on your own. I can't speak for HEMA, but in Olympic at least, good footwork/basic bladework will often beat good bladework/sloppy footwork.

But until you know you're doing it right and it's getting to become second nature, go slowly and stay relaxed. Approach it more like learning a musical instrument than expecting some kind of count of monte cristo montage... Getting feedback on your technique is very important, both in terms of learning to fence effectively and also making sure you don't learn a bad habit that leads to a serious sport injury.
If you can't get actual in-person tuition, it's going to be a lot safer to learn another sport/martial art from someone who does know what they're doing. Plenty of skills and types of fitness will end up being transferable. Hell, foil is more or less contact badminton sometimes.

Crazy Achmed fucked around with this message at 02:49 on Aug 14, 2015

Verisimilidude
Dec 20, 2006

Strike quick and hurry at him,
not caring to hit or miss.
So that you dishonor him before the judges





https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=52ykRz95JRU

HEMA form video by Dustin Reagan (winner of the Longpoint 2015 open longsword tournament, and tournament champion)

Nektu
Jul 4, 2007

FUKKEN FUUUUUUCK


Cybernetic Crumb

I guess inscrutable horse could just post videos of his work, and I bet that the thread would be very willing to help him out with critique and advice.

Its just so much harder to explain stuff verbally only...

Rodrigo Diaz
Apr 16, 2007

Knights who are at the wars eat their bread in sorrow;
their ease is weariness and sweat;
they have one good day after many bad

Verisimilidude posted:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=52ykRz95JRU

HEMA form video by Dustin Reagan (winner of the Longpoint 2015 open longsword tournament, and tournament champion)

are these guys really skinny or are their masks throwing off my sense of proportion

Siivola
Dec 23, 2012



A fencing mask is pretty big, but these are some thin dudes.

inscrutable horse
May 19, 2010

Parsing sage, rotating time





ScratchAndSniff posted:

If a group of Jamaicans can start a bobsleigh team, a group of Faroeses can hit each other with swords. Follow your dreams, goon sir!

Hahahaha! I need to translate this into Latin, and then it will be my future club's motto!

Han Feizi
Jul 20, 2014


Would anyone in the SoCal area be interested in a Jukendo study group?

As mentioned previously in this thread, Jukendo is the Japanese martial art of bayonet fighting, based off the French school of bayonet incorporating elements of Japanese spear styles. It is practiced heavily by the Japanese Self Defense Forces, but is extremely obscure outside Japan. My Naginata dojo is trying to start a study group here in Irvine. There doesn't seem to be much interest, but I figured goons might be interested in getting into an obscure martial art.

ImplicitAssembler
Jan 24, 2013



Han Feizi posted:

Would anyone in the SoCal area be interested in a Jukendo study group?

As mentioned previously in this thread, Jukendo is the Japanese martial art of bayonet fighting, based off the French school of bayonet incorporating elements of Japanese spear styles. It is practiced heavily by the Japanese Self Defense Forces, but is extremely obscure outside Japan. My Naginata dojo is trying to start a study group here in Irvine. There doesn't seem to be much interest, but I figured goons might be interested in getting into an obscure martial art.

Even in Japan, it's extremely obscure...

HEY GUNS
Oct 11, 2012

FOPTIMUS PRIME


yeah i'm into this kinda niche martial art

you probably haven't heard of it

Siivola
Dec 23, 2012



Today I learned a thing: To fix my strike, I need to fix the guard it begins from. To fix my guard, I need to fix the blow that ends in it. Making progress.

HappyKitty
Jul 11, 2005



HEY GAL posted:

yeah i'm into this kinda niche martial art

you probably haven't heard of it

kind of a hip-hop martial arts system

Crazy Achmed
Mar 13, 2001



So what do you guys like to do against absence-of-blade attacks? I really hate those.

Verisimilidude
Dec 20, 2006

Strike quick and hurry at him,
not caring to hit or miss.
So that you dishonor him before the judges





Crazy Achmed posted:

So what do you guys like to do against absence-of-blade attacks? I really hate those.

What do you mean?

Ravenfood
Nov 4, 2011


Crazy Achmed posted:

So what do you guys like to do against absence-of-blade attacks? I really hate those.
Attacks? Retreat. An absence-of-blade general fencer? Control the distance and play footwork games with several feinted attacks until they're slightly off their guard, then fleche.

dupersaurus
Aug 1, 2012

Futurism was an art movement where dudes were all 'CARS ARE COOL AND THE PAST IS FOR CHUMPS. LET'S DRAW SOME CARS.'

Crazy Achmed posted:

So what do you guys like to do against absence-of-blade attacks? I really hate those.

Sweeping parries, check steps, accordion distance. Get them to commit when you want them to, and kill them with distance. Counterattack if they're too close and too hidey (he says with a knowing nod).

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ScratchAndSniff
Sep 28, 2008

This game stinks


Crazy Achmed posted:

So what do you guys like to do against absence-of-blade attacks? I really hate those.

This could describe a ton of different things. Maybe try describing the attack in more detail, along with weapon you are using.

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