Friday, December 24, 2010
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
The order of (put cool name here)’s lectures on becoming the fight.
By (put impressive title here ) Rennuke.
Although this is done predominantly with western swords I think most of the information given here could be used with eastern swords.
I ‘am going to start with the basic basics
This is a sword.:)
Now before we discus how to use it,lets talk about grip.This may seem trivial and if you do it right it is. But if you do it wrong then it becomes a big problem. Notice in the picture below the swordsman has his thumb over his pointer. This feels natural to some people but it leaves your grip weak in one direction. You might say that you plan on fighting two handed which would cancel this out, but that gives you a disadvantage that we will talk about later. #2
This is the proper way to gab the hilt (slightly exaggerated for the camera) I don’t know why but where as with the first grip you can literally have the sword knocked out of your hand, with the second (short of a trick) you will probably have your guard hit aside before you lose you grip. Now we have the question WHERE do you grab it.#4
The closer to the pummel you grab it the more reach and leverage you have but you scarifies maneuverability unless you are strong enough then you don’t lose that but you sword is still five inches longer then the guy In #3 sometimes that’s a good thing and sometimes that is a bad thing.
Short of actually grabbing the blade( which some people have been known to do, albeit as part of a two handed hold) this hold gives you the most maneuverability of any one handed hold. (observe that this hold is not possible with a katana. Which exchanges the flexibility and extra weapons the cross guard provides in exchange for more protection, though it does get some of that back with its longer handle.)
Now in this next picture I have tried to illustrate that disadvantage I mentioned earlier. When using both hands your left-hand shortens your right hands reach and vice versa so if your opponent is using one hand he can force you to move your hole body to block his attack and one hand holds can move and twist in ways that both hands just can’t.
Some people have tried to remedy this with holds like this one.
This gives you the strength of two handed holds and the some of the maneuverability of single hand holds. But at the same time shifts your effective area. In picture #10 the black line represents the effective operational section of holds like the one in #10 and the blue one shows it for the one used in #9.
On a side note left handed swordsmen have an advantage on right handed ones because there are so many more right handed people then there are left handed so both right and left handed swordsmen are used to fighting the right hand but left hander’s moves are the opposite. Now let’s look at some basic moves.
Let’s start with some of the guard positions.
#11 shows what is called the plow guard this is a balanced good all around stance. Its central location allows you to have lower response time and boasts strong blocks which is useful especially if you are fighting an opponent that you are unsure of while at the same time offers a good position for thrusts. This stance is your tried and true, your rock strategists, good for new swordsmen and more experience ones in difficult situations. It’s weakness, if there is one, is that it doesn’t lend itself well to anything fancy or psychological tricks, at least not my type.
This Is the floor guard from knights and men-at-arms to the samurai this guard has seen a lot of use. An excellent one for fights with opponents who like to go for the legs or are just shorter than you. It also puts you in a good thrusting position but is weak against head blows and if your opponent is very close to you. Quite hard to use successfully when running .
The high guard as #13 is called. Almost the mirror of the floor guard its characteristics include: a good upper body defense, very strong downward cuts, and is fairly easy to use while running. It also permits some of the more complicated moves that the guards I’ve already mentioned don’t. As far as weaknesses go it’s lower body defense is mediocre and it is fairly hard to thrust from. (Good position to execute a surprise attack with you pommel.)
This is the roof guard, it sacrifices the powerful downward blows of the high guard for better lower defense and gives you a good thrusting or draw cut position but makes it hard to do a standard cut.
I’m still trying to figure out whether this is called the fool’s guard because when you use it you are trying to get your adversary to think you’re a fool ,you are trying to make him a fool or because you are a fool. The idea is that it makes you look like you’re leaving yourself wide open for attack. The problem is, you are. Theoretically it gives you a very strong swing so you can cover ground very quickly, and knock you enemies blow aside hopefully leaving him unguarded and or over extended. Of course if his is fast, or strong, or smart enough then he just kills you. And so much for your fancy maneuver.
Well, it sounds good on paper ,and learning moves, guards and their uses is beneficial,even necessary ,but there is no substitute (in my humble opinion) for getting out there and having the daylights beaten out of you. Of knowing the thrill of victory and the taste of defeat. Feeling the fear of KNOWING that unless you do something different NOW you are going to loose…..again. Knowing the power and responsibility of having a well balanced blade in your hands…. and knowing how to use it.
But remember something ,the sword is just a supplement to your body’s arsenal and your body is just the medium through which your mind and heart Fight.
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
I’m sorry but my article on eastern swords suffered the fate of “experiencing technical difficulties” Indefinitely If any of you would like to read it I would be glad to get you a hard copy.
In other news I was thinking that since we have a new interest in sword fitting Gryphon could do something on the art of drawing and I could do one on some practical sword fighting.