SG1: Schola Gladiatoria London

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Re: SG1: Schola Gladiatoria London

Postby admin » 15 Feb 2012 13:33

Cool stuff.
For the record you certainly don't have a shitty standard, you have some of the best form both with longsword and sabre in the club. But being self-critical is often what leads people to improve the most.. so don't stop. :lol:
As you guys know I have been unsatisfied with the way our longsword sparring has been going for a while, with generally far too much distance/tip sniping, hand sniping and running away. I've been trying various things to try and enforce better and more martial form (such as ignoring hand hits and restricting the fighting area) and this banning of tip cuts is the latest attempt. I'm not saying that tip cuts would not sometimes achieve a good result (though I believe with pointy longswords they often would not), but rather I am trying to get people using proper cuts with the centre of percussion more (ie. the cuts mostly shown in the treatises, which would incapacitate for certain), which in turn means you have to get closer with the cut, which in turn means you need to use proper technique to get in safely, hit, and then get out again (or grapple), rather than this horrible swing with the tip and run away tactic we have been seeing too much of (this doesn't only relate to Schola incidentally). I also think it helps to have all bouts judged/adjudicated, and for that person to emphasise that the fighters must not stop unless a valid hit is called. This is because despite allowing the afterblow a lot of people are still either stopping immediately they think they have been hit (even when that hit was rubbish) or they are stopping when they think they have scored a hit on the opponent (even when that hit was rubbish and despite the threat of the afterblow). I am as guilty of these things as anyone else.
So let's play to these rules for a while and see what happens. If nothing else I think it is good martial practice to change the rules of the game from time to time.
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Re: SG1: Schola Gladiatoria London

Postby Motley » 15 Feb 2012 15:26

Hey Matt,

Would you be willing to discuss what you are trying?

From the hints here I get the impression that it would be useful to develop beyond the set plays. I have been trying to think of a way of doing this for quite a while but I don't really have anything that I am that happy with.

Cheers,
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Re: SG1: Schola Gladiatoria London

Postby admin » 15 Feb 2012 16:39

Let me try it for a couple more session first please.
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Re: SG1: Schola Gladiatoria London

Postby Motley » 15 Feb 2012 17:13

admin wrote:Let me try it for a couple more session first please.


yeah sure, thanks :-)
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Re: SG1: Schola Gladiatoria London

Postby Lemonaid » 16 Feb 2012 21:36

admin wrote:As you guys know I have been unsatisfied with the way our longsword sparring has been going for a while, with generally far too much distance/tip sniping, hand sniping and running away. I've been trying various things to try and enforce better and more martial form (such as ignoring hand hits and restricting the fighting area) and this banning of tip cuts is the latest attempt.

Looking back to before having us freeplay with these various restrictions designed to encourage/discourage a particular tendency - it's perhaps fair to say there's a real improvement in at least a couple of things: overfrequent doubles and constant hand sniping.

So fwiw: it's working (slowly though maybe not surely) so please continue with all of this - absolutely key imo, it's good stuff.

The current tip-cut restriction is great.



..
I'm not saying that tip cuts would not sometimes achieve a good result (though I believe with pointy longswords they often would not), but rather I am trying to get people using proper cuts with the centre of percussion more (ie. the cuts mostly shown in the treatises, which would incapacitate for certain), which in turn means you have to get closer with the cut, which in turn means you need to use proper technique to get in safely, hit, and then get out again (or grapple), rather than this horrible swing with the tip and run away tactic we have been seeing too much of
..


That's an awesome goal. I know I tend to work better knowing better what it is to shoot for.


I also think it helps to have all bouts judged/adjudicated, and for that person to emphasise that the fighters must not stop unless a valid hit is called. This is because despite allowing the afterblow a lot of people are still either stopping immediately they think they have been hit (even when that hit was rubbish) or they are stopping when they think they have scored a hit on the opponent (even when that hit was rubbish and despite the threat of the afterblow).


Haha yeah it's a surpringly tough habit to break (perhaps because it some feels brutish and buffalo like?)
Kinda like that other 'duel etiquette'-type habit you've pointed out.. the Agente aborting and returning to centre *just* because Patiente kept backing away right upto barriers/bags/spectators.

But i have to hand it to the judge-folks - I gave it a go for perhaps the second time ever, and I'm dismayed just how challenging it is... :/



If nothing else I think it is good martial practice to change the rules of the game from time to time.


EDIT:

Could even have it asymmetric sometimes: both players follow *different* restrictions, that'd be really interesting too imo.

Additional possibilities of self-nominated restrictions, or even negotiated..

Hrmm... I can see it now:

Me to Martin: How about, you can't score using your speciality leg cuts ;D
Martin: Agreed.. so long as you *only* score using leg cuts >:D
Me: ... ...



admin wrote:For the record you certainly don't have a shitty standard, you have some of the best form both with longsword and sabre in the club. But being self-critical is often what leads people to improve the most.. so don't stop. :lol:

:)
Thanks, I really value this feedback, this in particular will help me resist the constant temptation to give in and score a point at the cost of form.
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Re: SG1: Schola Gladiatoria London

Postby admin » 15 Mar 2012 11:40

Please note that Paul Davis will be running a longsword class in my absence next Tuesday (20th March), with the other Free Scholars assisting.

The following week (27th) will be sabre, with me teaching.
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Re: SG1: Schola Gladiatoria London

Postby admin » 07 May 2012 22:54

I have now returned and will be taking the classes for the forseeable future. Thanks to Paul and Simon for covering in my absence. Class tomorrow will be Fiore dagger.
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Re: SG1: Schola Gladiatoria London

Postby admin » 14 May 2012 21:34

Special congrats to Simon Thurston, Free Scholar of SG1, for winning the Dijon rapier tournament, using sword (rapier) and buckler, and also to Gavin Locke (AKA Galvin Cloche), Free Scholar of SG1, for winning his pool with longsword and qualifying for the final rounds.
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Re: SG1: Schola Gladiatoria London

Postby Cutlery Penguin » 14 May 2012 22:55

admin wrote:Special congrats to Simon Thurston, Free Scholar of SG1, for winning the Dijon rapier tournament,


Is there anything that man can't do???
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Re: SG1: Schola Gladiatoria London

Postby admin » 15 May 2012 11:00

Cutlery Penguin wrote:
admin wrote:Special congrats to Simon Thurston, Free Scholar of SG1, for winning the Dijon rapier tournament,


Is there anything that man can't do???


This is more funny than you know (yet).

I should add a bit of context here, for those who weren’t there.

The ‘medieval’ tournament, held in honour of Philippe Errard, had 74 entrants, I believe, who had to fight in pools of 4 or 5 people. The winners from each pool then went on to fight in the main tournament – Gavin (listed as Galvin Cloche :D ) and I both made it to the final tournament, but both went out in the first round (myself after one of the longest fights of my competition career, against the excellent Dutch swordsman Arto Fama, lasting about 15 minutes and resulting in a double kill from 3 doubles – something I don’t feel too bad about, as the fight lasted so long!). Gavin did very well to win his pool and Simon also came joint first in his pool, but did not get into the final competition because he had lost his fight against the guy he drew with for 1st in his pool.

I was happy therefore that Simon got a second bite of the cherry by entering the rapier tournament, which he did luckily just before the registration ended. The rapier competition was a normal direct-elimination competition with around 27 fencers. What is important to note is that whilst Simon had only ever had one bout with rapiers before (that very morning!), he has become very adept at sabre. Added to this, the way we train in Schola means that essentially any member should be able to quickly adapt their training to the weapons in hand, as we focus on core fencing principles and we change weapons and spar with mis-matched weapons a lot. Our advice to Simon was to just use what he knows, thrust more than normal and use a buckler. For the record, Matt Galas also entered the contest with sword and buckler and in my opinion won one of the most enjoyable bouts using what was essentially i.33 repertoire. As Simon got started he wasn’t really using the buckler to its full potential – not that surprising as he had hardly picked up a buckler previously! – however it was a joy to see him start to use the buckler more and more throughout the competition and take on board advice from Matt Galas and others. The final of the competition was an overwhelming and unquestionable victory for Simon, scoring and awesome 6-0, two points of which were excellent thrusts to the chest.

To conclude, over the years I have noted that some people say that something is wrong when someone wins a competition with an unfamiliar weapon. For example that a longsworder or sabruer should not be able to do well in a rapier competition. I think the complete opposite – I think it shows that someone has a true capability and understanding of fencing principles. I believe that if you have trained correctly then you should be able to pick up an unfamiliar weapon and adapt your system to the particular form of that weapon.
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Re: SG1: Schola Gladiatoria London

Postby admin » 15 May 2012 12:47

Tonight's class is sabre, by the way!
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Re: SG1: Schola Gladiatoria London

Postby Cutlery Penguin » 15 May 2012 14:06

admin wrote:To conclude, over the years I have noted that some people say that something is wrong when someone wins a competition with an unfamiliar weapon. For example that a longsworder or sabruer should not be able to do well in a rapier competition. I think the complete opposite – I think it shows that someone has a true capability and understanding of fencing principles. I believe that if you have trained correctly then you should be able to pick up an unfamiliar weapon and adapt your system to the particular form of that weapon.


Couldn't agree more.

Well done to Simon!
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Re: SG1: Schola Gladiatoria London

Postby Reinier » 16 May 2012 13:41

admin wrote:To conclude, over the years I have noted that some people say that something is wrong when someone wins a competition with an unfamiliar weapon. For example that a longsworder or sabruer should not be able to do well in a rapier competition. I think the complete opposite – I think it shows that someone has a true capability and understanding of fencing principles. I believe that if you have trained correctly then you should be able to pick up an unfamiliar weapon and adapt your system to the particular form of that weapon.


Though I agree that with proper understanding of principles, you should be able to do well with any weapon, I would expect that in due time, people who win in any particular tournament will be those that train the weapon the tournament is on. Of course, the principles don't change, but the way the principles are applied does, and what principles are most important may also change, and people who specialise in a particular weapon should thus be able to better apply the important principles.

If this is not so, all we need to do to get really good is spar lots and lots and lots. This will work (there are some people in the UK that I am now thinking of, that you should also know), but does it lead to HEMA?
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Re: SG1: Schola Gladiatoria London

Postby admin » 16 May 2012 15:17

Well, let's be honest, if a rapier tournament allows sabre techniques then of course a sabruer will stand just as good a chance of winning it as a rapierist. Same for sword and buckler etc etc.
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Re: SG1: Schola Gladiatoria London

Postby Reinier » 17 May 2012 11:39

True - Somebody posted a picture of Matt Galas fighting rapier and buckler on FB as he was doing that, and he seemed to be doing I.33, not R&B.

I think rapier fencing, or most rapier fencers, may be behind on the curve relative to longsword, sabre etc, meaning we don't fight as well as we should.
Then again (not to belittle SImon's great tournament win), the buckler may have mattered some (don't know that for sure as I wasn't there)...
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Re: SG1: Schola Gladiatoria London

Postby admin » 17 May 2012 12:03

Matt Galas did use sword and buckler and to my eyes did a very good impression of I.33. He also did really well and IMO if he hadn't been taken out (just) by Simon then he could have gone a long way in the tournament. And why should he have?

I think you are missing my point here Reinier - there is no reason why I.33 sword and buckler should not be able to beat rapier and dagger of some other system.

The tournament was called 'rapier tournament', but what does this mean? A rapier can cut (in theory) and thrust, a sword can cut and thrust, a sabre can cut and thrust.... So in terms of this tournament, what is the difference between a rapier and a sword or a sabre? None. We're just talking about different length swords being used with different companion weapons, or by themselves, to score points in a tournament which rewards both cuts and thrusts equally.

Given that, I would fully expect someone who is good at fencing with sword and buckler, or sabre, or backsword, to do well. What style they fence in is completely irrelevant to the scoring of points in this case. In these rules all types of sword were given equal powers of thrusting and cutting ability and all that was being tested was overall fencing ability.

Now, if I were running a rapier specific competition (as I will be at FightCamp), then I would not reward equal weighting to cuts and thrusts. This has a historical basis in the Belgian guild rules, where cutting was ignored with rapier bouts. In my eyes a rapier is only a rapier if it is long and relatively narrow, and therefore not as good at cutting as thrusting (otehrwise it is just a sword).

I am fully aware that some rapiers cut cut tolerably well and that cutting features in so-called rapier treatises, but at the end of the day we want to encourage proper rapier form and also a degree of realism - most rapiers in the Wallace Collection, for example, could certainly not cut well with anything but the middle of the blade, and some of them could not cut anything at all. I see no point in rewarding flicky sport-sabre style tip cuts to the limbs or body in a rapier tournament. A flick cut to a forearm with a rapier should certainly not gain the same reward as a thrust to the body or face IMHO.

Therefore, the rapier tournament at fightcamp will only reward thrusts to any part of the body and cuts to only the head, not given with the tip (the end 12 inches being considered useless for cutting). It is an experiment, and one which may fail, but I am interested to see if it leads to more 'rapierish' fencing.
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Re: SG1: Schola Gladiatoria London

Postby Reinier » 17 May 2012 20:27

admin wrote:Matt Galas did use sword and buckler and to my eyes did a very good impression of I.33. He also did really well and IMO if he hadn't been taken out (just) by Simon then he could have gone a long way in the tournament. And why should he have?

I think you are missing my point here Reinier - there is no reason why I.33 sword and buckler should not be able to beat rapier and dagger of some other system.

The tournament was called 'rapier tournament', but what does this mean? A rapier can cut (in theory) and thrust, a sword can cut and thrust, a sabre can cut and thrust.... So in terms of this tournament, what is the difference between a rapier and a sword or a sabre? None. We're just talking about different length swords being used with different companion weapons, or by themselves, to score points in a tournament which rewards both cuts and thrusts equally.

Given that, I would fully expect someone who is good at fencing with sword and buckler, or sabre, or backsword, to do well. What style they fence in is completely irrelevant to the scoring of points in this case. In these rules all types of sword were given equal powers of thrusting and cutting ability and all that was being tested was overall fencing ability.

Now, if I were running a rapier specific competition (as I will be at FightCamp), then I would not reward equal weighting to cuts and thrusts. This has a historical basis in the Belgian guild rules, where cutting was ignored with rapier bouts. In my eyes a rapier is only a rapier if it is long and relatively narrow, and therefore not as good at cutting as thrusting (otehrwise it is just a sword).

I am fully aware that some rapiers cut cut tolerably well and that cutting features in so-called rapier treatises, but at the end of the day we want to encourage proper rapier form and also a degree of realism - most rapiers in the Wallace Collection, for example, could certainly not cut well with anything but the middle of the blade, and some of them could not cut anything at all. I see no point in rewarding flicky sport-sabre style tip cuts to the limbs or body in a rapier tournament. A flick cut to a forearm with a rapier should certainly not gain the same reward as a thrust to the body or face IMHO.

Therefore, the rapier tournament at fightcamp will only reward thrusts to any part of the body and cuts to only the head, not given with the tip (the end 12 inches being considered useless for cutting). It is an experiment, and one which may fail, but I am interested to see if it leads to more 'rapierish' fencing.


I think you were misunderstanding me; I do not disagree that a sword is a sword, is a pointy sharp thing with a handle. I was basically saying/meaning the same thing. But, as different swords (rapiers, sabres, epees) are all used differently in their respective systems - different in the way principles are applied/executed, and not in what those principles are - you would expect that the differences in the swords (length, balance, hand protection etc) would make their respective systems the best way to use those swords. I can't really say how big those differences would be, though, and I am not sure how significant they are.
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Re: SG1: Schola Gladiatoria London

Postby Reinier » 18 May 2012 05:46

If find Meadow's point of view refreshing, though I am not sure of how relevant it is.

Can somebody please ban the spammer?
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Re: SG1: Schola Gladiatoria London

Postby admin » 18 May 2012 10:01

Done :)
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Re: SG1: Schola Gladiatoria London

Postby admin » 21 May 2012 13:40

Programme of classes for the next few weeks:

22nd May - Longsword
29th May - Sword and buckler
5th June - Sabre
12th June - Longsword
19th June - Dagger
26th June - Sabre
3rd July - Longsword
10th July - Sword and buckler
17th July - Sabre
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