Page 1 of 10

SG6: Schola Gladiatoria Bradford

PostPosted: 06 Jun 2008 12:10
by Paul B
In the grand tradition of Internet ego-stroking, I will be posting my ramblings as SG6 gets going. Also news and info, but mostly ramblings

PostPosted: 06 Jun 2008 13:05
by admin
Welcome to the club!

PostPosted: 14 Jun 2008 20:32
by Paul B
Schola Bradford Facebook Group

Feel free to post vids, piccies and rude comments about Paul

PostPosted: 14 Jun 2008 22:13
by Neil Cardy
Good luck Paul, I look forward to hearing how SG6 progresses.

PostPosted: 16 Jun 2008 21:56
by Paul B
SG6 now has a venue

Shiply United Reformed Church Hall
Bradford Road
West Yorkshire
BD18 3DS

Training Wednesday Nights 7 - 9pm

I will aim to start the regular classes after fightcamp, or as soon as I get 6 attendees (which is the number we need to pay for the hall)

PostPosted: 17 Jun 2008 10:00
by admin

PostPosted: 17 Jun 2008 10:56
by Abomination
Paul B wrote:SG6 now has a venue

Shiply United Reformed Church Hall
Bradford Road
West Yorkshire
BD18 3DS

Training Wednesday Nights 7 - 9pm

I will aim to start the regular classes after fightcamp, or as soon as I get 6 attendees (which is the number we need to pay for the hall)

You can't do Wednesdays as it clashes with SG3! :lol:

PostPosted: 24 Jun 2008 19:26
by Paul B
The first regular training session of SG6 will be on Wednesday 2nd July. 7pm at Shipley United Reformed Church, Bradford Road.

The hall is the large white wooden building to the left of the church, please use the small side door down the path to the right.

Parking is either across the road behind the chip shop, or behind the church itself.

After training, we will repair to the Ring-O-Bells pub just down the road (kit can be left in the hall while we are there).

PostPosted: 25 Jun 2008 11:26
by admin

PostPosted: 03 Jul 2008 08:41
by Paul B
We passed the churchy peoples nutter test with flying colours and went on to have a small but productive session.

Progressing at breakneck speed, just giving an overview idea of what we do and are trying to achieve. Still, it was rather satisfying when the newbie managed to hit me repeatedly over the head. Everyone made at least some improvement, myself included, and I dont think you can ask for a more successful outcome.

PostPosted: 03 Jul 2008 12:02
by admin
Awesome. 8)

PostPosted: 03 Jul 2008 16:26
by Paul B
This is a handout we have prepared for SG6. Copied, stolen, begged, borrowed and twisted from a few sources, but mostly from Scott Browns lectures at Dijon.


As we are dealing with weaponry in an enclosed space, safety is our prime concern. As we are not training an army, having fun is also a prime concern.
We feel that the best way to train in a fun, safe way is to have everybody reading off the same hymn-sheet when it comes to training.

Firstly, everybody has a different way of understanding things. It is almost impossible for a single instructor, or even a group of instructors to get everyone understanding what they are supposed to be doing or achieving individually. There is a way through this though, and that is for people to have the right attitude in training. But what is the “right” attitude?

For my part, I feel that the correct attitude to have is that while you are taking part in partnered drills, you are responsible for training your partner, as they are responsible for training you. After all, if I do not give you the right pressure, or the right technique then you are loosing out on training. Likewise, if I get competitive and change the drill so that I “win”, neither of us benefit.
By taking this attitude, we keep our reactions honest and our training productive. It enables people of different skill levels to train together and keeps things challenging and fun. It also increases the level of safety, as we are much less likely to get silly and speed up or change the drill from competitive spirit. Not that there is anything terrible about competitiveness, but it has a time and a place.
By feeling responsible for the training of our partner, we also tend to look more closely at the art and our own understanding of it, so that we become better training partners.

Being a good training partner is more than just being nice. It is learning when to point out a mistake, and when to let it go and concentrate on what is happening right. It is making a suggestion or talking through a problem, but not spending the whole time talking. It is making good, committed attacks safely and to the right targets, rather than aiming off or making weak attacks that do not have the correct feeling/intent.

A great help to me in understanding how people learn and train is the 4 stages of learning (very simplified here)

1 – Unconscious incompetent
Does not know there is something to learn at all.

2 – Conscious incompetent
Knows there is something to learn but not necessarily how to go about learning it

3 – Conscious competent
Has grasped the basics/concept but is practicing or improving their understanding.

4 – Unconscious competent
The lesson is learnt, does it without thinking

Most of our time will be spent between stages 2 and 3. Stage 1 is an important stage that can also be very easy to break thorough, but if not addressed can lead to problems later. If you do not understand why you are doing something, you will get very little out of it.

We will also be doing several forms of drill to help you train. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages:

1 – Static Drill
“Stand here, do this” – this is usually a brief look at a position or limited range of movement that is going to be useful later. Longsword fencing is an art of constant motion, so we will avoid truly static drills like the plague.

2 – One/two Step Drill
“Person A does this, Person B does that – reset and repeat”
This is generally for blocking out a technique, or set of techniques and for setting up the correct intention/feeling for a more flowing drill.

3 – Cooperative Flow drill
“Keep the drill going”
The one/two step drill is circulated, with no pauses so that we get a lot of repetition, and learn to adapt our positions and read the situation. This is still quite co-operative in that we have as set “script” we are both trying to keep to.

4 – Uncooperative drill
“Person A does this, Person B tries to stop them”
This is especially useful for training the right intention of a technique.

5 – Uncooperative flow drill
This will most often be seen in the “sticky sword” drills. We have a limited repertoire or limited set of targets/objectives and keep it fairly free-form. At this point it should look like a conversation, a dance. This is an opportunity to explore things at your own pace and try approaches and ideas in a low pressure environment.

6 – Cooperative Freeplay
Sparring – no script or limitation other than that the participants are still trying to help each other, presenting a technique to be countered, showing where the partner has a hole in their defence etc.

7 – Uncooperative Freeplay
Sparring! This is where we stop training each other and try to win. To paraphrase a fellow Schola, “This is our wave, this is the beach where we surf”.

PostPosted: 03 Jul 2008 20:16
by Cutlery Penguin
So? How did it go?

Did you all survive?

PostPosted: 03 Jul 2008 20:31
by Paul B
Small turn out, it seems next week is the one where people will be comming. Which worked out OK, as the church people kept us talking for a stretch into the lesson time. We have a couple of enthused people now, as they were able to see progress through the course of the night. And swords are unspeakably cool

The pub people looked at us funny.

But I was wearing an arming doublet

PostPosted: 03 Jul 2008 21:23
by Colin F.
Plus next week I'll be there :D

PostPosted: 03 Jul 2008 21:39
by Paul B
I told the barman to set up our tab for a bloke called colin to pick up next week

PostPosted: 04 Jul 2008 18:35
by Colin F.
Paul B wrote:I told the barman to set up our tab for a bloke called colin to pick up next week

Ah, but will I be attending the pub...

PostPosted: 17 Jul 2008 19:19
by Paul B
This is the drill that I presented at Fightcamp, and forms one of the cornerstones of training at SG6
It should work the (as I see it) 5 basic skill sof swordsmanship - Distance, feeling, judgement, control and bravery. It is also very simple, self led by the students and free form, so i can just set them on and see were they take it.

It has many variants, so I will only do the basic set here, but each variant has the option of there being "aggressor" and a "defender" roles - basicaly one person leading.
Also, the target areas can be tailored - eg) one goes for the body only, one goes for the hands only
A further option to all variants is einlaufen - closing to grapple while controling the sword.

Basic Drill:

Partners establish a bind (how is not important yet).
Maintaining the blade contact, each tries to dominate the centre line by pushing the others sword off line.
Both partners must try to keep the point of their sword within the outline of the other's body at all times (creating a threat) at about 1-2 feet distance.
Both partners will try to push the other's point outside the outline of their own body (voiding the threat).
Both are free to move wherever and however they wish, as long as they stay at the bind.

Intended result:
This should look like a dance. Eventualy partners should be maintaining distance, varying the footwork, getting behind the blade and using the forte against the foible.
They should be able to increase the speed without altering this dynamic.
The movements should also naturally introduce the guards of pflug, ochs and alber.

Common Mistakes:
The first thing that happens is that people go "flat" with their stance - bringing the feet up together, rather than having one foot back. Slowing down helps this.
Also, people tend to start using a "magic wand" motion - letting the tip of their sword go round and round in a large circle. Again, slowing down helps, as well as repeating the objective of keeping ones point on the partner.

All this takes very little time get down, but the variations should not be tried until all are comfortable with this basic drill.

1st variation:

Introducing more intent and a bit more pressure:
Both partners are now trying to get a light contact with a thrust or schnitt to the torso, upper thighs or upper arms.

Intended result:
The guard positions should become more like the von Danzig illustrations, deeper and held further back. The distance should decrease.

2nd variation:

Still keeping the above targets but adding the hands and lower arms. Still working at the bind.

Intended result;
Partners are now looking more to guarding themselves and attacking safely. People should be snapping back to guarded positions.

3rd variation.
Strikes are now allowed - but still working just at the bind.

Intended result:
People are now working at the 3 wounders in all windings. Seeking the openings while protecting their own. Hopefully we will start to see identifiable techniques such as the master strikes, mutieren, the sprechfenster, the asp's tongue (from the manuscript formerly known as doebringer) etc.

Common mistakes:
people will start loosing the bind on the strikes. Not a bad thing neccessarily, but that is for later.

4th variation.

Same as 3rd, but partners can now leave the bind to deliver a wounder. The partner getting wounded gets one strike immediately after this as "the dead man's finger" - Idea stolen from STMF and Belgian fencing guild rules.

Intended result.
This should look like bindy, slow sparring. People should be learning to cover themselves when striking. Hopefully, even people with no knowledge of liectenauer should be executing recognizable techniques.

5th variation:

Coming to the bind with a strike, thrust or schnitt.

PostPosted: 18 Jul 2008 00:15
by Corpsie
Paul B wrote:This is the drill that I presented at Fightcamp, and forms one of the cornerstones of training at SG6

One thing that could be clarified a little further is the amount of resistance you should use at any level.

Essentially, is this a reactive or proactive drill?

PostPosted: 18 Jul 2008 09:11
by Paul B
The amount of resistance is up to the people doing the drill. This should normalise through the drill, as people realise that being too hard is bad and being too soft is bad.

Essentially, you can be active or reactive: one active, one reactive, both active.

All down to the partners doing the drill.

Each variant of the drill is usefull in its own way, so you can up the speed/resistance within them as you need to, rather than wanting to get through all the variations quickly.

The single biggest problem I have when leading this in class is that people both want to press on ahead and speed up. Usually, I try to get up to variant 2 and then go back to the basic drill. This way, people see that they have improved and that they can now use the more simple drill to focus their efforts/engineer situations.