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Verisimilidude
Dec 20, 2006

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





I've been practicing historical fencing for almost 2 years now, as well as some katana-based fencing here and there. Primary weapon is the longsword (German school), secondary is the langes messer (German), as well as some experience with dagger, and Italian rapier. Practicing Olympic fencing with my school's club is quite an experience, and I find myself frustrated during matches. My biggest gripe is that some actions by my opponents can be downright suicidal, such as them flicking my torso while simultaneously running themselves directly into my weapon, and then they get the point because they hit first (this is foil). That's the name of the game though, so I can't complain.

And yes, if you learn how to fight with a weapon you will look at any weapon fight in a movie and think to yourself "none of this makes sense." Though to the credit of the actors, I have been told that when an actor with experience in stage combat starts to learn how to fight they're generally better at giving forward pressure than even most technically skilled students. So they have good pressure but bad technique, while novices tend to have good technique but bad pressure.

Also there ARE some good movie fights out there. The final fight in Rob Roy springs to mind, as well as this saber fight from the Polish movie Deluge.

Verisimilidude fucked around with this message at 21:32 on Jan 8, 2015

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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:

On the subject of the flick - yes, it's a pretty dastardly tactic, but it is by no means easy to pull off. It is possible to parry them and they fail horribly if your distance isn't perfect.
Off the top of my head, the rules were changed relatively recently to discourage flicking, by increasing the duration that the tip switch needs to be closed for in order for the box to register a hit.
Also, if screw up a flick enough you'll end up clubbing your opponent with the blade and getting carded for that too.
Oh yeah, I can see how this would be frustrating for you. Someone charging in for a flick is showing off sport fencing's somewhat abstract nature at its finest :)

Just to explain the logic behind this, though - they would only win the point here if they started attacking you before you extended your weapon towards them.
In this situation the onus is put on the defender, the idea being that no matter how suicidal your assailant might be in their attacks, if you are being threatened you should ideally find a way to remove the threat rather than counterattacking and hoping that their bum-rush misses you.

I do agree that it's suicidal from a martial arts point of view, but so is counterattacking rather than defending, right?

The thing is I'm not necessarily counterattacking when it happens. I'm maintaining my defensive position, and the attacker is literally running into my weapon. It's where imo things like right of way tend to break down. It assigns absolute roles to individuals (attacker/defender) when in actual swordplay offensive actions have to be defensive simultaneously rather than after-the-fact. It's the difference between swordplay and electric tag.

Anyway, I don't want to turn this thread into Olympic vs Historical/Classical fencing, so how about some pictures of equipment?



From left to right, lange messer trainer, Cheblowski federschwert, Albion Crecy for cutting practice, and Regenyei federschwert (my oldest and dearest trainer).

Verisimilidude fucked around with this message at 17:01 on Jan 9, 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





Gadamer posted:

How does epee compare to this, as double touches and timing lock outs are a common occurrence?

I'm not sure how it works with epee, but in longsword tournaments double hits are common, and in kendo as well (at least from what I know watching tournament videos of the latter). In kendo it seems like they just ignore it and keep going, while in longsword we pause to count the hit and depending on the rule system either award points based on who had a more targeted, higher quality attack, give a warning to attempt to prevent double hits, or ignore it and move on with the match.

Since we're talking about it, here's a few videos that I think are pretty rad.

Rapier exhibition

Rapier sparring in the park

Rapier versus longsword

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:

No you don't. The official stance is that there is no such a thing as simultaneous hits and one will always hit first. If no point is scored, it's because neither attack is deemed good enough.
They implemented similar (but less strict) policy for sabre fencing at the London Olympics to discourage people using it as a defensive tactic, something which upset quite a few of the Sabre fencers and made the whole thing much more interesting to watch.

As for the 'suicidal' atttacks, it's very common in the early stages. In kendo and JSA in general, the concept of 'sutemi', which translates to something varying between 'attacking with reckless abandon' and 'throwing your life away', refers to attacking without caring for your own life. The basic concept of that is that if are worrying about getting hit, you will not attack freely and then increase the likely of your attack failing and then getting hit. This is primarily taught through 'kakari-geiko' which is a method of practice, where you continuously attack your partner, regardless if they attack you or not.
In a similar vain, there is no concept 'blocking' in kendo. There's counter-techniques, but no blocks.

Now, back to suicidal attacks. Again, these are very common in the early stages, as people are encouraged to attack, but don't know what an opening looks like. Through repeated practice, you will develop the eye/mind for it and because you have always been taught to attack, your attacks, when you do attack, have a much higher chance of success.

That's good to know. I didn't mean to assume, I just don't speak Japanese and my experience with Kendo is limited to what I've gathered from YouTube.

Verisimilidude
Dec 20, 2006

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





Here's a good article about getting hit by noobs

http://boxwrestlefence.com/blog/2014/04/14/dying-hands-babes-arms/

Verisimilidude
Dec 20, 2006

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





Zeitgueist posted:

Stabbychat: Do you think that separating tournaments by gender is an appropriate thing to do in fencing? What about a woman's tournament and a unisex tournament both as an option?

This is apparently a hotbutton issue on the historical swordfighting group I read.

Which group is that?

From what I've seen, most people in HEMA are ok with a separate women's tournament along with a unisex tournament. The pool for women is generally smaller, and they have a fairly similar ratio of good to bad fencers that the men do. While it's true that a weapon equalizes the playing field, there are some distinct advantages I think men have overall regarding physicality, and many times (at least from what I've seen) it's attribute fighters dominating the upper level of the playing field in unisex tournaments (that is dudes who are really tall, have really long reach, are really fast and really strong without necessarily showing a lot of technique). They don't usually win against the really, REALLY technical fencers, but they do have a presence in the semi finals. It takes a lot of technique to overcome really strong attributes, especially against someone who trains to fight in tournaments rather than trains to fight accurately.

That being said, some of the most technical fencers I know are women, and one of whom is a world champion at sword and buckler. You can see a great video of her fighting against an attribute fighter for the gold in 2011. She's pure technique, especially apparent against her opponent's obvious attribute fencing. At one point he hits her in the arm so hard it fractures, but she goes on to win the fight regardless. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k7bh9RHfOnI

Verisimilidude
Dec 20, 2006

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





Zeitgueist posted:

Good post and I agree with a lot of it. I read the HEMA Alliance facebook group from time to time, and I remember reading somebody comment that they should ban discussion of contentious issues like women's tournaments.

Oh boy, I finally gave up on that place maybe a month or two ago. Are you going to Longpoint this year? If so we should get drunk and wrassle.

Bitter Mushroom posted:

So, how many of you have a sharpened sword for dispatching villains in real life? If not, why not?

Oh boy do I! I mean, it's not for dispatching anything but tatami mats, but it does a great job at that.

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:

My biggest gripe is when practicing counter attacks and the partner doesn't really attack. After a couple of those 'attacks', I usually just lower my guard and let them hit the air in front of me, which usually gets the point across.
Yes, seniors will often not complete the attack in order to let more inexperienced people have a chance at completing the counter, but if you are practicing with any one near (or above) your own level, you need to attack properly. Otherwise the exercise is pointless.

We call that "keeping things honest". A drill doesn't work if you're attacking someone out of distance or off target, or if you're not applying pressure in a specific way. I do the same thing you do, especially when I'm working with noobs. If I see they're attacking out of distance and there's no reason for me to engage their weapon, I just let them throw a strike that inevitably misses. They usually get the message.

This is a good thing to do in any drill-based exercise, just let yourself get hit randomly from time to time, or purposefully miss a step and if your partner continues the sequence anyway, punish them for it. Just a word of advice for potentially new fencers, it's also a good idea to not get into a rhythm when doing drills. Change distances, take pauses, anything that messes with the tempo of the drill. This way you're still technically doing what you're supposed to be doing, but you're making it more dynamic and you're not prematurely doing movements based off a rhythm.

Verisimilidude
Dec 20, 2006

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





ScratchAndSniff posted:

This person will typically do one or more of the following:
1. Interrupt the class with a description of d&d rules.
2. Ask when we get to dual wield.
3. Ask who would win in a fight between a fencer and a...
4. Spaz out during a drill and completely disregard instructions to re-enact star wars.
5. Say "whoosh!", "ting!" or otherwise verbalize what they are doing.

Our beginner classes are structured in such a way that it usually weeds out the crazies (at least the offensive crazies). No blade-on-blade contact until intermediate classes is the biggest part, and you're only allowed to take intermediate classes once you've finished the three beginner classes, but sometimes we get some smug guy who has watched too many movies and thinks fighting with a sword is easy. I beat one up once after he kept hitting a noob way too hard with a padded sword, and he never came back.

Verisimilidude
Dec 20, 2006

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





Zeitgueist posted:

They should know that only comes at higher levels.

:goonsay:

I know you're joking, but in a lot of rapier treatises they actually say you should only learn rapier + dagger after mastering the single rapier. So it's /basically/ like being high level.

Verisimilidude
Dec 20, 2006

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





ConfusedUs posted:

I've always loved the idea of fencing, but I've never tried. Thanks to this thread, I discovered that there is a local fencing club!

I think I want to go sign up for their next set of intro classes.

I'm kind of concerned about the fact that I'm a really short guy (5'5") and about 20lbs overweight. I want to make sure I'm not just throwing money away as I'm hardly the ideal physical specimen for the sport. Still, I just want something active to do once or twice a week to help drop that last excess 20lbs, and I hate running.

Everyone can't be a fencing master, but if you dedicate yourself to it and set short and long term goals you'll be great at it regardless. If anything, let it be a motivation to lose that extra weight on your own as well as in the school.

Verisimilidude
Dec 20, 2006

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





ScratchAndSniff posted:

Don't worry about getting bored of something before you are bored of it. I can't give you exact numbers, but I would guess that the majority of fencers are non-competitive types who fence once or twice a week for fun and that's it.

Here's a question for anyone: What are good ways to market a fencing club? We are having trouble keeping our membership up, and while marketing isn't exactly my thing, the owner has asked us coaches to suggest ways we can get our name out there.

Part of our problem is that the area has a number of larger clubs which somehow do way better than we do at getting people in the door.

Edit:

Completely unrelated, but if anyone here likes Leon Paul stuff they are offering 15% off weapons and parts for today only with the coupon code bringbacksummer. They don't usually offer sales, and their stuff tends to hold up pretty well, so anyone in the market for a new weapon may want to check them out. I would put this in the Coupons and Deals forum, but I doubt most people there know what a Leon Paul is.

My school does a Groupon thing where you can get a few starting classes for cheap, or a larger package that includes more classes and a weapon to practice with (a cheap weapon, but it's something).

Armagnac posted:

Any recommendations for clubs in NYC? I'm in brooklyn if that changes anything...

Are you interested in any particular type of fencing? I'm at Sword Class NYC which meets in midtown, but we do historical fencing and Japanese sword arts. For more historical/classical fencing, you can check out The Martinez Academy.

Verisimilidude fucked around with this message at 15:09 on Jan 30, 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





ScratchAndSniff posted:

This guy gets it.

Sometimes I like to think of myself as a fencing Giant Dad (Dark Souls). When I'm against a new guy I just run up and spam the same move over and over until they figure out how to neutralize it, or until they ask me for help.

I do the same thing against noobs. I typically sit around to watch what the noobs are learning during the intermediate class, and then try to apply that to training with them.

Verisimilidude
Dec 20, 2006

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





Strom Cuzewon posted:

What I love about that fight is how it's both professional and sloppy. They (the characters) have quite clearly been taught the Noble and Honourable Art of Swordsmanship in a nice clean, empty piste. And they're determined to kill each other in that way, because they're gentlemen and that's how gentlemen kill.

But of course they're not on a piste, they're in a crowded office with a dodgy floor. There's all the obvious Errol Flynn stuff with the stairs and the cushion, but I love the little details, the clumsy steps, the little skids. It's really nicely done.

Edit: Also the dude in the background running back and forth with the biggest poo poo-eating grin.

I love that they had to work around the environment. Even in our training space we have to contend with gear bags, walls, and sometimes other people, and it definitely makes a huge difference.

Verisimilidude
Dec 20, 2006

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





Roland of Dimicator speaks exactly about this.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L0LpsnO0E4U

Though some people take issue with this because while it works for a thrusting weapon (which the arming sword very well is) it doesn't necessarily effect a cut because you're essentially cutting out of distance, then closing distance. Many historical documents regarding longsword and hewing weapons explicitly detail stepping THEN cutting, though this is more of a guideline than a rule. Feet planted firmly on the ground allows better control of the weapon, hence step first, cut second. Practicing JSA lately has taught me that this is a universal concept (or at least one that my school follows, since our great grand-teacher is a Toyoma Ryu Battodo master).

Verisimilidude fucked around with this message at 01:36 on Feb 10, 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





Zeitgueist posted:

If you or anyone else is interested, here's a video about doing an Italian Renaissance lunge with the guy people are complaining about not being the one teaching.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DcWN1FE-CXA
I will shut up about nerdy historical stuff for now.

From what I understand, Richard Marsden (the skinny bearded guy) has only really started practicing rapier relatively recently. His main thing is polish saber (which he's writing a book on, complete with period costumes!) and he's pretty good at longsword. I've always thought his school's footwork looked strange, or at the very least a bit awkward, but it could be an influence from their polish saber-heavy background.

Also, to make the distinction, the "arm first, then torso, then feet" rule works best with thrusting weapons. I practiced rapier with the Martinez Academy under Jared Kirby and Maestro Martinez himself, and they both utilize the same rule (although they don't really lean, preferring instead to keep the torso erect). Arm locks out a line of attack, arm shoots forward to ensure line is protected, then lunge.

Speaking with my JSA sensei, he's says the following: "There's no right way per say. For two-handed weapons planting the feet is key as it allows you to generate power. At first you make big motions to generate power, but if you understand how to use your feet you can generate the same amount of power with smaller motions, so fewer tells. Sometimes your hands do have to move first however, but those are like last second reactions. High risk, high reward. If you get parried you'll most likely be off balance, or you wouldn't have weight behind it so it would get cut through."

Verisimilidude fucked around with this message at 23:41 on Feb 10, 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





Zeitgueist posted:

I've only ever learned Fiore Longsword from Marsden. When he visits my area, that's what he teaches. He's a pretty fun teacher as well, he's very enthusiastic.

I've seen him be pressed in sparring with rapier, and it's fun to watch because he's even skinnier in person that that video makes it look, and he's flexible so he does all sorts of unorthodox body voids. But I don't think I was qualified at the time to say whether what he was doing was technically correct, or just idiosyncratic to him.

My teacher is very similar (super skinny at 5'7", 125 lbs) and he's lightning fast and crazy good at voids. I'm trying to drop some weight to be in the same physical league as him since I'm short.

Also I haven't met Marsden in person but I've spoken to him over the internet and he's definitely a nice guy. The dude's a High School teacher and runs a historical fencing club! So rad.

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, uh, how do you deal with hitting/getting hit in historical rapier? Those things don't look like they bend much.

They're more flexible than you'd think. Not foil levels of flex, but enough that with a rubber tip or some electrical tape you should be alright.

Verisimilidude
Dec 20, 2006

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





ScratchAndSniff posted:

Interesting. Can anyone else comment on how it's done in their area? I imagine sportifying any martial art is a hard thing to do, and I'm interested to hear different ways how it has been done.

At Longpoint (largest tournament in the US) the rules for longsword are as follows (at least from last year. I believe they've changed things around this year, but it should give you an idea)

Two fighters with a head judge and four line judges (2 per fighter). Bouts are 90 seconds (not including pauses, kinda like American football) or they end when one fighter has 14 more points than their opponent. All hit locations are valid except the groin, back of the head, and spine.

When a hit is made, a judge will call "point" and pause the action (fighters reset). Hits are broken down into several criteria, each with their own point value.

Contact: 1 point for successful contact of a valid strike surface against a valid target.
Quality: 1 point for striking with quality, meaning sound structure, balance, posture, or biomechanics, without falling or dropping a weapon.
Target: 2 points for striking the head or torso.
Control (of the opponent’s weapon): 3 points for striking while actively controlling the opponent’s ability to attack and/or defend himself with his weapon.

Each point after Contact is required to qualify for the next point, so you need contact to get quality, you need quality to get target, and you need target to get control.

Fighters delivering or receiving an after-blow may receive points. Both fighters are scored independently and the difference in points is awarded to the higher scoring fencer. When hits are equal no points are awarded.

Example: Sarah hits Greg with good edge alignment in the leg, and Greg (in the same tempo but not simultaneously) hits Sarah with the flat of his blade on the head. "Point!" is called and both fighters return to their corners.

Sarah receives 1 point for contact, 1 point for quality, 0 points for target, and 0 points for control. (Total: 2 points)
Greg receives 1 points for contact, 0 points for quality (because he hit with the flat rather than the edge), 0 points for target (because he doesn't have quality), and 0 points for control. (Total: 1 point)

Sarah is awarded 1 point (her 2 points minus Greg's 1 point), the head judge yells "Judges ready? Fighters ready? Fight!" and the bout continues.

Verisimilidude
Dec 20, 2006

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





ScratchAndSniff posted:

Yeah, that sounds like a pretty good way to organize scoring, but I'm curious about how/if the judges enforce "proper" technique. If someone signed up and started using, say, kendo techniques and scored valid hits, would they be kicked out for doing things wrong? Or what if they used an obscure European style nobody there had ever heard of?

I'm not trying to be a jerk here. I'm really interested how this kind of thing is done, and how they balance the sport with the "historical".

There really isn't much difference between JSA and HEMA techniques, just different names and applications. The weapons are different, so you can do short-edge or pommel strikes with a longsword rather than a katana, etc. Really there is no "definitive" way to fight in a longsword tournament. If you're using good, strong technique, no matter what school or style you're using, you'll go pretty far.

We so badly want to dress up my sensei in HEMA gear, give him a longsword and let him loose on Longpoint, but I'm pretty sure he'd literally kill someone. (for reference, this is him: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LraEQyZaarM)

Also judging at most tournaments is notoriously bad, and we're making attempts to fix that with things like judging classes, workshops, etc.

Verisimilidude fucked around with this message at 00:50 on Feb 12, 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





Crazy Achmed posted:

Brutal. The scoring system sounds fair, though, considering what you're trying to achieve. What ways do people try to game the system, out of curiosity? It seems to have just enough subjectivity built into it to weed out that sort of stuff (kendo is similar in this respect, too, isn't it?)

Kendo is very sportified, similar to how Olympic fencing is sportified.

As for gaming the system, as far as I know it's the most effective at keeping fencing clean and controlled. After all if you're a fencer who can execute clean attacks you're likely to get more points per hit and thus more likely to win. This is, of course, assuming you're capable of keeping up with your opponent. The control point in particular can be seen as the "WOW" point, because when it happens it's usually really obvious and everyone in the audience goes "wow!"

My only issue with it is that the control point requires the target point, and target is only possible from hitting the head or torso. There are many maneuvers in the texts that show absolute control of your opponent while ultimately hitting their hands, which in itself is a potential fight ender (assuming you're simulating a real fight). If you missing a hand you're basically hosed. There are also things like hand pressen and unterschnitt, the former starting by pushing the blade against the wrists, and the latter ending the former maneuver with a strike to the face. If point is called on the start of the move, you're incapable of getting points for ending the maneuver with a back-edge strike to the face (as it says in the text), because you've already made contact with your blade against their body. This is ultimately a minor issue, but you can see how rules like this could devalue potentially effective maneuvers.

Verisimilidude
Dec 20, 2006

Strike quick and hurry at him,
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So that you dishonor him before the judges





Crazy Achmed posted:

You have a bit of freedom in being able to move laterally - the piste is wide enough to allow enough room to sidestep a thrust if you really want to, and at times doing so can be golden. But any further width isn't really necessary, because it takes way longer for your opponent to circle around you than it does for you to simply turn in place and face them. Like, you could probably turn at least 180 degrees in a single step, whereas the guy trying to sidestep around you would have to move several metres at least.

It's not exactly empirical evidence, but I was in a bout once with wireless packs and no piste boundary, and this was exactly what happened when my opponent tried to circle around me. The fight still ended up being effectively linear, just with the direction of that line changing sometimes.
I did win, but in retrospect instead of fencing normally, I should have sprinted out of the room and ambushed them from behind the doorway; that would have been much more fun.

[edit] Wouldn't foil without target and epee with priority end up being the same thing, aside from the weapons?

I would imagine most fights with anything become one-dimensional (since you can only ever draw a straight line between two people), but keeping the fight linear seems arbitrary. I know Olympic fencing isn't /really/ one-dimensional (since like you said you can side step), but then I suppose it's a sport and it's the same reason why football isn't played in a giant circular field.

Verisimilidude
Dec 20, 2006

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





ScratchAndSniff posted:

All this talk about realism reminds me of a woman I once trained with who legitimately thought that her fencing experience translated into knife-fighting, and she always carried around a knife "just in case." She swore that she could draw her knife fast enough to fight off any mugger who had a gun.

Anyone else know people who legitimately believe fencing/swordfighting can be used for self defense?

Like any martial art you're bound to get people who think they're a badass and wish some street punks would mess with them. Then your hanzo steel would cut a bloody swathe through the mass, causing the thugs to flee in fear and reverence of your skill. That being said, like any martial art if it's pressure tested enough you're probably going to fare better than a total scrub who relies on strength or sucker punches. Historical fencing utilizes grapples (shockingly similar to judo), and dagger fighting deals with, in many cases, being caught unarmed by a dude with a knife.

Verisimilidude
Dec 20, 2006

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not caring to hit or miss.
So that you dishonor him before the judges





ScratchAndSniff posted:

No way. If you use Fiore's dagger fighting techniques properly you will walk away without a scratch.



To be fair I don't know any dagger martial art that doesn't teach that you're likely to get cut during the exchange. Some of the moves I've practiced show you how to grab below the knife wrist with the back of your arm towards the blade, because it's better for the back of your arm to get cut than the veiny part.

Verisimilidude
Dec 20, 2006

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curious lump posted:

It seems poor to rely on a technique that assumes your opponent has a bare minimum of training or experience.

The standard isn't a completely untrained person, but rather someone with basic training at the time. Swords and daggers were the self defense weapons of the time, so inevitably you have people who know how to use them to a degree (common fencers). It's all about context, and the context at the time of those illustrations is essentially "everyone is armed, and most people know how to use these weapons well enough to save their own lives and probably kill someone else", which is where you get fighting treatises teaching you methods designed to defeat the common fencer.

In fact, this is often an issue because many techniques break down against similarly trained fencers (why would you ever do X if you already know Y is way better), and also learning how to fence historically is often an issue because you're not going into it with a baseline of common fencing.

Verisimilidude
Dec 20, 2006

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not caring to hit or miss.
So that you dishonor him before the judges





ScratchAndSniff posted:

We will have to agree to disagree, then. I would argue that it's pretty dumb to trust techniques developed for renaissance dagger fighting in any modern context, especially considering all you have to go by is a book and not real demonstration or training by the actual master. I would rather just give the mugger my wallet and move on with life.

Literally every martial artist no matter the style will tell you "just give them your wallet". But "you weren't there so how could you know how it works?" is a pretty weak argument to make when it comes to historical fighting treatises.

Verisimilidude
Dec 20, 2006

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





ScratchAndSniff posted:

You make some good points, and I admit that some training in knifefighting is better than nothing. My main beef is with sport fencers who think fencing epee somehow prepares them for a knife fight.

Sport fencing doesn't even prepare you for a sword fight, let alone a knife fight.


That dude looks exactly like someone who would carry a katana around with them for "self-defense".

Verisimilidude
Dec 20, 2006

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





IM_DA_DECIDER posted:

I'd use my perfect footwork to run the gently caress away.

This.

Verisimilidude
Dec 20, 2006

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





Cutting practice with two different longswords. The first video is with my sword, an Albion Crecy, and the second is using a friend's Albion Count.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wi7zuY-I-c0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3UFzBmhcz7M

Verisimilidude
Dec 20, 2006

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





Rodrigo Diaz posted:

It seems like you have enough space to incorporate footwork (passes, steps) in your cuts. I think that would be more valuable than standing still. Sort of like shadow boxing.

Working on them in isolation helps me focus on hip rotation more. With step is a different process.

Verisimilidude
Dec 20, 2006

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





IM_DA_DECIDER posted:

I'm looking into learning some Rapier, but the only place that offers lessons around here is the SCA. How much dorky fuckery should I expect?

From my experience you're unlikely to get legit rapier fencing experience with the SCA. They're probably fine as a whole, but you're less likely to get actual martial training. I suppose it's better than nothing, but I would keep looking. And who knows, like Zeitgueist said they could be one of the (few) SCA groups that practices actual fencing.

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:

Hey, if you want to do that write-up on historical fencing, I'll add it into the OP or something.

How much standardisation is there with weapons in historical? It seems like there's a hell of a lot of variety; do you get a lot of choice in terms of weight and proportions?

I'll work on it today!

And not really. At least for longsword, there are many different profiles, weights, points of balance, proportions, etc. Some longswords have side rings, some don't. Some are heavy, some are light. Some are really long and some are relatively short. There's a certain amount of preference involved in choosing a training or cutting sword.

Verisimilidude
Dec 20, 2006

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





Zeitgueist posted:

Everything is going to be a compromise as far as accuracy, you can always be more historical. Just recognize what compromises are made.

I believe the SCA ruleset has some specific stuff about cuts, acting out injuries and whatnot but if you have a good group it can be fun.

They do ask you dress up in a vaguely historical manner for official events(not practice) but that's like their only requirement.

And there's nothing stopping you from being like "Hey, I have these manuals and pictures. Wanna try this out with me?" to some people in the group if you so desired.

I'm just wary of the SCA because I remember a video of a group demonstrating the zwerchhau, but that the move is blocked by a shield, so you should jump to hit over it. He does this little hop in his armor, it's adorable. Sadly I haven't been able to find it again.

Verisimilidude fucked around with this message at 20:26 on Mar 4, 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





Sheikh Djibouti posted:

Is cutting really effective at all with a rapier? I'd have thought you'd need something more like a Kilij or Talwar for that type of attack.

I imagine so, mostly considering fencing masters like Giganti discuss cutting in their texts. You probably won't cut off a limb, but I imagine you'd leave a nasty gash if you did it right.

If I recall correctly, one of the rapier fencing masters says "If you are weak, cut from the shoulder. If you are strong, cut from the wrist."

Verisimilidude
Dec 20, 2006

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Crazy Achmed posted:

It's beginners' course time again at my club, does anyone has any fun not-quite-a-real-bout group games we should try out? I.e. letting them stab each other a bit but without having to learn all the rules yet.

Just for context, this is purely to make sure they're having a bit of fun and not just drilling in their first few lessons.

We do one at my school's fencing club where everyone stands in a circle and says their name, then someone lunges at someone else in the circle and says that person's name, and that person had to do the same. Eventually you amp up the speed and it's genuinely fun as people try to remember everyone's name.

Verisimilidude
Dec 20, 2006

Strike quick and hurry at him,
not caring to hit or miss.
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Ko_Sine posted:

As far as I know, sidesword was a mistranslation. It is just an earlier rapier.

Sidesword has a different method of fighting attached to it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cuJ9ACn_a20

Verisimilidude
Dec 20, 2006

Strike quick and hurry at him,
not caring to hit or miss.
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ibntumart posted:

Question for the other HEMA folks: what do you prefer for head protection? I've been borrowing my gym's safety equipment, but want my own since sometimes we run out. I was thinking about an epee mask with a SPES mask overlay.

Also, since this may be the only thread that might appreciate this, have a pic of my recently restored rapier:



I use this AF helmet. It's one of the best, especially for the price point. The mask itself is rigid, which is good for when you get thrusted in the face with a feder or stiff rapier. The back of head protection is great, if a bit bulky at times. Highly recommend it, otherwise I would go for a separate AF mask with a PBT back of the head protector.

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 I've always wondered, how does a basket hilt actually protect the hand? The one posted above looks like you could still thrust a blade through it at a near dead-on angle and hit the weapon hand. Or is it just a trick of perspective?

[edit]Also, apparently there's a new event in the FIE grand prix series or something starting in Havana in a couple of days. I hope they broadcast it...

I wouldn't be surprised if that's exactly why they adopted the cup hilt.

Verisimilidude
Dec 20, 2006

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





Zeitgueist posted:

Get a heavier pommel.

This partially. I bought the economy rapier from Darkwood and thought it felt pretty heavy, but then I picked up someone's custom rapier (also from Darkwood) and it felt like nothing in comparison. Weight wise they were relatively similar, with his actually being slightly heavier than mine, but because of the distribution of weight, and the overall better quality of the weapon, it felt much lighter.

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Verisimilidude
Dec 20, 2006

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





HEY GAL posted:

I think it's funny that this is the same thread that had a debate about whether or not women are strong enough to fence men

Gender politics in HEMA are so loving bad. Feminism is generally viewed as this archaic thing ran by tumblr stereotypes, and the woman's group Esfinges gets poo poo on constantly because it holds functions and classes specifically for women. The word "egalitarian" gets thrown around a lot.

Crazy Achmed posted:

One interesting thing I've heard about is that at competitive levels where genders are segregated, the separation apparently extends to tactics as well. That is to say, men end up favouring different tactics to women, not because of :biotruths:, but purely because the pool of people they fence against, at least under tournament conditions, is being restricted.
Anyone with experience in this area care to comment?

From what I've seen, many women tend to be very aggressive with their approach (at least in HEMA). I'm pretty small for a dude (5'5") and most of the women in my group are taller than me, so it works in their favor. They'll charge forward, strike to an off-side, and then close distance to get leverage. It works when you're not expecting it, but keeping your point on line tends to foil it. On the flip side to that, you have people who are generally slower (or perhaps more methodical) but otherwise technically excellent, and honestly you don't need to be super quick if you have amazing technique. We have one girl in our group who is relatively new, but she's already turning out to be an amazing fencer. Her attributes are fantastic for the art and she has really good technique. If she sticks with it she'll definitely be one of the best in our group.

Verisimilidude fucked around with this message at 11:32 on Mar 12, 2015

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