An observation

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An observation

Postby scholadays » 16 Mar 2006 12:11

Okay, so I've got this daft theory.

And it's just an idle theory.

I've been watching Schola steadily improve their skills over the years and I've noticed that folk might go through the same sort of progression as they add repertoire to their skill set. In particular a prefernce for the same sort of repertoire depending upon how much sparrng experience they have.

For example, I have observed that for some folk once they start upon their sparring career they tend to start experimenting with posta di donna for a bit. Initially they tend to reach a little too much and thus fail to cover themselves properly on the way in. Thus they get hit in the forearm for a time until their footwork becomes better and faster and they can start to pull their fendente in a little to keep the point high, the pommel low and their line covered as they attack. They do this for a time until they suddenly start to favour fenestre as a guard to stand in. They'll use this for a time as they'll gain succeses by using this as a sort of hanging guard. However, once they've spent a long part of their career doing this they'll begin to use this experience with fendestre as the mid point of the volta. They'll then progress onto preferring to just use the cross to ward blows left and right and starting to use the point more often - volta-ing when neccesary. Perhaps experience with the use of this cross will then be used as the end point of a fendente from posta di donna and we seem to find ourselves all the way back to the beginning.

This could pretty much describe my progression over the last couple of years, however I find it rather curious when I see other folk going through rather similar steps.

Now, perhaps this is simply an observational bias as a result of my own experience. However, has anyone else out their in swordland noticed a similar common favouring for particular repertoire depending upon the stage of one's swordly career and the amount of sparring experience they have amassed?
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Postby Abomination » 16 Mar 2006 12:38

Yeah that's what I did with Posta di Donna, I remember the huge number of double kills we used to inflict on each other at that stage. It's not really surprising that most people start by using that guard. It's the one we use most in drilling. I never went much for fenestra - I'll go there to defend & then put the thrust in, but generally I feel it's a bit too predictable to attack from so I don't wait there, whereas you like to use it as a precurser for halfswording. When I had a bit more confidence I experimented with Dente di Cinghiaro & Tutti di Porta Ferro. I still fight in low guards a lot.

I think it's natural that people will start with the guard that they know best, then experiment with all the others (& end up with some they prefer to others) before they go back to the first guard they learned because it is one of the stongest & most versatile.
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Postby scholadays » 16 Mar 2006 12:53

Abomination wrote:I think it's natural that people will start with the guard that they know best, then experiment with all the others (& end up with some they prefer to others) before they go back to the first guard they learned because it is one of the stongest & most versatile.
Oh yes, agreed.
But primarily I'm curious if folk go through a sort of similar progression.

Furthermore, if this is the case, I'm wondering if this is due to the charcertistics of sparring itself? See, sparring is different to drilling in its speed. So, if we take a typical Fioriism -

we start in post di donna.
we cut with a fendente
we thrust.
we volta.
we cut a fendente from the other side.

Now, getting all this done at speed in one go is rather tricky at first. So I'm wondering if folk unconsciously practice bits of it in isolation first, as their sparring career progresses. Perhaps,

they use the fendente in isolation in an attempt to get a first intention through.
they poke a bit to get a direct thrust on.
they adopt fenestre for a number of weeks/months as a guard, as this essentially feels like the mid point of a volta.
they practise the use of the cross to cover in isolation, as it is the bottom of the fendente if this cut is used whilst covering one's self in the process.
etc, etc.

Then they start to put such bits together here and there - a fendente with a thrust, etc.

I was just wondering if anyone saw any consistency in when and which repertoire became favoured by a student.
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Postby Fab » 16 Mar 2006 13:10

Things are a bit the same and a bit different in Dijon, as for now with our noobs (tye don't want to be called padawans. Some of them) we haven't delved inough into the 'deep' Fiore so far, and as we also work on Ringeck (to beat the Arts d'Armes guys mainly).

Phase I in sparring is IMO "using a no-guard", ie adopting a conan-samurai-whatever video game - stance, and trying to play tag.Though others adopt these same guards and simply hack wood (with you in the role of the lug).

Then people start to be 'technical' : taking proper stances, etc...nearly.

Though the main step is made when they start fearing less, and go for it. Agression is someting you cannot fake, and agression is a key factor in real combat.

Still we get many double kills.

It will take some time before my padawans (or I) manage to leave the 'intellectual' state and reach the 'instinct reaction' level - the one in which your eyes ad hands and body and feet know and do even before you can voice what happened.

Now, in terms of stances/tehniques : I think a second huge step is made when you learn how to move out of the line, while still covering it. It takes a lot of non-intellectual (ie, no intellectually analyzed, forethough and imagined) time and work to get your feet moving. But after a while, it happens. sometimes.

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Postby Vive la France ! » 16 Mar 2006 13:40

Fab wrote:Things are a bit the same and a bit different in Dijon, as for now with our noobs (tye don't want to be called padawans. Some of them) we haven't delved inough into the 'deep' Fiore so far, and as we also work on Ringeck (to beat the Arts d'Armes guys mainly).

Of course, one can't beat a Liechtenauerian by using only Fiore's tricks :)
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