Good training day, today. My fencing buddy Paul made it up from Newport News, so a group of us that practice sword fighting of various types got together for some practice. Mostly longsword, but eventually, just about every weapon came out of the bag. Was good fun.
[Ed. Note: “schnitt” is the technique of slicing or a sliding cut, as opposed to the impact chop type of cut…]
I had received a Christian Tobler book (signed by the author!) when I purchased my waster, and reading it and practicing what I’ve read really accelerated my learning in the art. So I broke in my waster, and was able to perform the drills with no problem, whereas before I felt like I was practicing blind, even though I had attended a couple of times before.
I’ve handled enough sticks, swords, and other weapons that this stuff came right to me. Generally a weapon is a weapon–the fun part is finding some of the unique ways that it can solve tactical problems. I’m no master, and I have plenty of areas to improve, but what I do have is an “instinctual” feel for distance and time and an awareness of how things are happening around me. And a really good feel for making any implement an extension of my body. So weapon handling comes relatively naturally to me now.
I put “instinctual” in quotes because I don’t know if it truly is that, or just so much practice over so many years that it feels instinctual.
That and the fact that although I learn names of guards and techniques and such, my emphasis has shifted over the years to the principles behind what’s going on. I mean, I do a lot of research on this stuff, both physical and other (books upon books, videos, etc.), and I consider that training just as important as the actual physical motion of punch, kick, or cut.
After a long afternoon of training, we got some mexican chow, then picked up some videos to watch. Started off with an episode of the Muppet Show (guest star John Cleese), then into a really wild movie, Nightwatch. Maybe a review of that later, maybe not.