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Thread: Are True Times Universal?

  1. #26
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    Arr, I said I wouldn't, but
    Stephen said: Everyone who attacks in a true time does so with a slow hand. This is just a fact of the mechanics of cutting. What you then have to decide is what you will do with the slow hand, whether you will simply tolerate it, or whether you will try to use it.
    This ain't necessarily so. A riposte is not done with the slow hand, nor is an attack with a reach advantage, nor a beat-attack, nor a stop cut, nor a blow on the slip, nor a conventional thrust attack, nor a sabre wrist cut...

    'Trick' was not the best word; I mean it is a motion I find difficult.
    Last edited by Jon Pellett; 08-05-2004 at 08:17 PM.
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  2. #27
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    >>"This ain't necessarily so. A riposte is not done with the slow hand, nor is an attack with a reach advantage, nor a beat-attack, nor a conventional thrust attack, nor a sabre wrist cut..."

    I'm sure Steve meant "everyone doing Silver & attacking from Open ward"! Even so, I often riposte with a slow hand - A attacks, I parry and start to riposte, A recovers quickly to save themselves from the obvious quick riposte, and as they lift thier sword I hit them somewhere else.

    Basically it all comes down to the vexed question of "how do I get through that dangerous distance safely so i can strike my opponent?". Attacking with opposition is one answer, stringering is another, but the "medieval" solution, when you are striking from a charged, offline ward, is the True Times - move the hand first, make your opponent react to the threat, and use the inherent difference between the speed of the hand motion and the speed of the accompanying foot motion to a) keep yourself safe and b) maybe hit your opponent as well.

    >>"Not being a student of Silver can I ask why the foot and body move seperately?"

    Because if the sword is swept back behind you somewhere (open ward, vom tag, tail guard, underarm, or any such charged ward) you must get the sword in front of you before you dare move your body into distance.

    >>"I take it that this means a leaning of the body of some sort."

    Only in so far as the sword will start to pull your body forward as it swings through - this is the time you move your feet! You tend not to "lean" - Silver says stay "bolt upright".

    >>"Is that integral to the concept of true time?"

    Not precisely - if you're silly enough to just shuffle forward into close distance I can hit you with nothing more than the fastest possible hand motion - an attack in "time of the hand" - which is still a True Time.

    >>"This is not a part of the sabre style I use for example where I would see foot and body as together"

    Does it? I don't know much about what you do - Hutton isn't it? - but you certainly get the same kind of effect in backsword. Presumably you're starting from some kind of engagement, and must proceed your attack with a disengagement to an open line - in which case your hand *is* moving first - that's a True Time

    And I'm sure occasionally as you start to disengage your opponent will panic or react poorly and expose an arm or something, which you can just hit, rather than finishing your planned attack, right? That's a "redirection" made possible by the fact your hand is doing something first, and can move and be redirected really fast.

    And I'm also sure you don't step forward upon your engagement into Close Distance and then suddenly lift your sword away to hit your opponent, because they of course could then hit you first. That would be a false time, and is not the done thing!

    These concepts are applicable to all sorts of fencing systems, they just become more pronounced and more important when you start with your sword above or behind you instead of in front.

    >>"However, as I said in the past, there is something I'm missing in your interpretation of Silver, something i need to see probably, because I tend to see, in general, the breaking of distance as a critical moment in which to give a threat, not the beginning of an attack, which may start 2 steps away"

    Possibly one answer to this comes down to how much distance can be covered on a pass, as compared to a step / demi-lunge - from the defender's point of view, once that sword is swinging down at your head, it is really not very far away from hitting you, and the attacker can cover those two steps very fast if they choose. It certainly encourages you to form a defence damn quick! We might describe it as a "slow" hand but really I doubt an attack from Open Ward is really any slower than an Inside or Outside attack that has to be preceeded by a disengagement - it's only "slow" in comparison to the maximum speed of a descending hand.

    The other thing that you should remember is what I said above, that if the sword is swept back behind you somewhere you really want to get the sword in front of you before you dare move your body into distance. How far in front depends on the reaction of your opponent, and if they look like they're reacting correctly you're probably best off not coming in at all.

    Last night at the pub we were musing on the difference between Silver and conventional backsword - it seems when you get hit in backsword, it's because the other chap did something clever and you can say "oh well done!". When you get hit in Silver it's because *you* did something stupid, and you just say "D'oh!"

    Paul

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    Originally posted by Ian Macintyre
    Not being a student of Silver can I ask why the foot and body move seperately? I take it that this means a leaning of the body of some sort.
    Hi, Ian.

    The important point is the foot does not not move before the body. In certain circumstances it may move at the same time. The movement of the body will not usually be a lean, but a shifting of the weight - the upright body moves forward, then the foot is lifted and placed.

    regards,
    Andrew

  4. #29
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    So as I understand it then yes the Sabre cuts I use are true time. (or are if done correctly)

    Certainly the hand moves first, to describe the moulinet. At a point in the moulinet roughly akin to the beginning of the forward motion of the blade one makes a lunge to close the distance. The foot and blade arriving at the same time. As the cut is mainly from the wrist or elbow there is minimal body movement other than that directed by the lunge.

    Moulinets do not as such require a "slow hand" (if I get the concept right) but do require movement of the blade prior to movement of the body. True Time.
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  5. #30
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    In later backsword, provided not engaged blades, which I prefer, cutting starting already on the move is easy, provided you have the proper technique for narrow but strong action. From engaged blades, of course you have to disengage, batter or bear, before you move.
    But silver uses a very long "short sword" this may be a factor, what puzzles me is cutting down from open, since no preparatory action is required.
    I think a short clip, when possible, will be a real help.
    Ciao
    Carlo

  6. #31
    Originally posted by parisi carlo
    what puzzles me is cutting down from open, since no preparatory action is required.
    Carlo if you are cutting from Open ward, the preparatory action which >is< required is to move to a place where you can hit your opponent with your cut (if you don't have to move, then he should have hit you, unless something is preventing him). What is being described as Time of the Hand, Body and Foot is the act of preventing him hitting you as soon as you make that preparatory move; by starting a threat of a moving (sword)hand before moving your body into range (which requires that you start the hand moving whilst your sword is out of range).

    Personally I don't believe Silver's times are 'universal' in the sense of being the only way to safely fight with all systems (they are certainly >a way< to safely fight in some systems). Firstly they don't apply to all unarmed arts (e.g. those that strike with the foot create a threat with the foot, therefore the time FBH is - for them - a true time, whilst time HBF is not; although this is true only at certain ranges). Secondly the hand is not always fast enough to catch the body or foot within distance - otherwise slips would not work ! It is perfectly possible for example to invite an attack to the shoulder/upper arm with the sword in equivalent of I.33's first by leaning forwards; then if the invitation is taken to slip the body back and strike at the incoming arms. Slips of the leg similarly rely on the foot being withdrawn from hand-range quickly enough, usually with a simultaneous strike at whatever is coming within reach.

  7. #32
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    Parisi Carlo wrote "provided you have the proper technique for narrow but strong action"

    Sorry about this I know English is not your first language but what do you mean here?
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  8. #33
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    Hello,

    Alan, i meant that cocking the sword is unnecessary from open guard, just that

    Ian, I mean that you hit hard enough without wide swings of the arm, if you met the LSD guys, you know what I mean, I just prefer a bit more slicing and less "dry" action than they do, but this a matter of which masters you prefer.

    Carlo

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    Yep met the LSD on several occassions.

    "Dry" obviously loses a little in translation but I think I follow you now. I usually cut from the wrist but I do see the logic.
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  12. #37
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    Originally posted by Jon Pellett
    This ain't necessarily so. A riposte is not done with the slow hand, nor is an attack with a reach advantage, nor a beat-attack, nor a stop cut, nor a blow on the slip, nor a conventional thrust attack, nor a sabre wrist cut...

    'Trick' was not the best word; I mean it is a motion I find difficult.
    Dear Jon,

    This is a good example of the sort of misunderstanding that the internet is notorious for. The initial post mentioned attacks involving hand and foot motion. In my last post I referred to the speed of the hand vs the speed of the foot. Therefore I didn't see the need to clarify that the hand must only be slowed in a true time attack if the attack also involves the foot. I also referred specifically to cuts, as this doesn't apply to thrusts.

    Now looking at your list, ripostes are done in time of the hand, and though a pause mid riposte might be a fine thing to do (I don't think this is specifically the slow hand at work Paul, this one is a common or garden false), the hand is typically moved as fast as possible. By a cutting attack with a reach advantage you presumably also mean an attack in which the feet don't move. A beat attack uses two times. A stop cut is done in time of the hand. I'm not intimately familiar with the action of a blow on the slip, so I won't comment on that one. A thrust involves extension before or as you lunge and as such doesn't use the slow hand, but I specifically limited myself to discussing cuts, and finally a sabre wrist cut; well if you move your feet in the attack and use the time of the hand, body and foot, then you must either be able to move your foot faster than your hand (I don't know anyone who can do this) or slow the hand.

    If you move your hand first, then move your foot, and the two arrive together, then unless you are able to move your foot faster than your hand, you must slow your hand. This is just elementary physics. Please note that the term slow, means slow in relation to the maximum possible speed, not necessarily slow in any absolute sense. You should also note that most people who attack using a slow hand are completely unaware that they do this, and consequently make no use of the fact.

    If you say that you find the "motion" difficult then what you are actually saying is that you find cutting on a step or a pass difficult, and I'm betting that this isn't the case.

    Cheers
    Stephen

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    Carlo,

    "I think a short clip, when possible, will be a real help."

    Coming, I promise! I'm starting to put a bunch of clips together, as as soon as we get the vid of the tournament from the conference (hint Scott!) we'll get 'em up.

    Q: Do your pictures indicate LSD cutting with a "push cut" rather than a draw cut?
    Does your picture indicate a snap-cut and withdrawl, or a lift back then cut?

    Ian,

    I think you've got it! The only reason your hand isn't "slow" is because, as Steve said:

    "If you move your hand first, then move your foot, and the two arrive together, then unless you are able to move your foot faster than your hand, you must slow your hand."

    On a lunge or step the foot movement is relatively short and fast, and you don't have to slow the hand down much to make it match. Attacking on a pass, and the difference between the two becomes really significant. Even so, I still reckon if you try, you *can* move your hand fast enough to finish your cut before your foot puts you in distance. Give it a go, and you'll probably find you are slowing your hand down a wee bit, just not aware of it.

    Paul

  14. #39
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    Originally posted by Stephen Hand
    This is a good example of the sort of misunderstanding that the internet is notorious for.
    Yup
    The initial post mentioned attacks involving hand and foot motion. In my last post I referred to the speed of the hand vs the speed of the foot. Therefore I didn't see the need to clarify that the hand must only be slowed in a true time attack if the attack also involves the foot. I also referred specifically to cuts, as this doesn't apply to thrusts.
    Absolutely, I'm afraid I was confusing the issue. The point is only that there are a plethora of ways to hit someone, in true time, without doing the slow hand. (This always comes out sounding like I am somehow against the concept - really truly I'm not! )

    Maybe we have different definitions of T of H vs T of HBF?

    The list (apart from the thrust and lunge-wrist cut) was of attacks that Silver actually tells us to do. That's why I am arguing. There's nothing wrong with slow-handing, it's peachy-keen - but does Silver want us to do it? You and Paul have your interpretation, which seems perfectly sound technically and (to me) slightly iffy though sufficiently plausible textually. It's a nice concept. It makes sense. But it's not the only possibility.
    If you say that you find the "motion" difficult then what you are actually saying is that you find cutting on a step or a pass difficult, and I'm betting that this isn't the case.
    I honestly find it hard to do this without either drifting into false time or else doing a sort of undignified wrist cut. It's far easier with two hands. *shrug*

    One last question... why do you say that Open Ward is Silver's attacking ward? I have looked very closely and been quite unable to find Silver's attacking anything... Why not Guardant? IMHO Open is for counterattacking.

    Aaarrgghh. The problem is that this is a Silver thread. Where are the Messer guys? What do you do with a Messer? Heavy sabre or backsword? Fiore one-handed?

    If I am contributing to thread-jacking I sincerely apologize. I'm going to read any replies and bow out, we've all had enough of Silver now I think.
    Last edited by Jon Pellett; 08-08-2004 at 08:41 PM.
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  15. #40
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    Paul Wagner wrote

    "Even so, I still reckon if you try, you *can* move your hand fast enough to finish your cut before your foot puts you in distance. Give it a go, and you'll probably find you are slowing your hand down a wee bit, just not aware of it. "


    I can sort of see this but I am still struggling because to me the knack is to know at what point in the execution of the cut to begin the foot movement. I suspect I would simply end up moving my foot later than usual in order to land the cut first.

    Might I throw a googly in though? Might one consider the use of a moulinet in and of itself a "slow hand" action?
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  16. #41
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    Originally posted by Paul Wagner

    Q: Do your pictures indicate LSD cutting with a "push cut" rather than a draw cut?
    I would call in neither. If you'd like a label, then how about "axe-cut"? ;-)
    I have tried this with sharps against water filled bottles, and it is effective. We may use a little drawing, but not much.
    Milo.

  17. #42
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    You can never have enough Silver. Too much Silver is barely enough!

    Originally posted by Jon Pellett
    One last question... why do you say that Open Ward is Silver's attacking ward? I have looked very closely and been quite unable to find Silver's attacking anything... Why not Guardant? IMHO Open is for counterattacking.
    Because Silver tells you repeatedly to strike from Open Fight, starting at BI 3(1) where he says to to use the variant of the ward "which you shall find aptest , to strike, thrust, or ward". In his appendix, which summarizes the most common actions and responses, he introduces Open Fight and talks about a range of strikes from it. There are many other examples.

    Cheers
    Stephen

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    Sorry for the delay Paul, I missed your post.
    Milo replied you already, so the matter will be clear now, what I wanted to represent was a spring loaded cut VS a circular one.
    In bouts Milo seems to be snapping nuts on your head, I seem to be brushing your hair vigorously the former technique requires a lot of hand strenght for endurance (my hand cramps when I work on this cut for long) the latter requires more elasticity of the wrist (typically overtraining results in the "rubber wrist" sensation)
    Ciao
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  19. #44
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    Ah heck, there's no escaping the massive gravity well of a Silver thread.
    Stephen sayeth:
    Because Silver tells you repeatedly to strike from Open Fight, starting at BI 3(1) where he says to to use the variant of the ward "which you shall find aptest, to strike, thrust, or ward". In his appendix, which summarizes the most common actions and responses, he introduces Open Fight and talks about a range of strikes from it. There are many other examples.
    Here we go again. Certainly you strike from Open Ward! (Unless it's for fending off drop bears?) My fault for wording so badly - it is easy to assume the person at the other end knows what you mean. By 'attacking' I meant initiating an attack, that is, being the Agent in wide distance.

    Attacks (not Ripostes or Counter-attacks) in Silver:
    BI 2.5 says that if you try to gain the place to do so "upon guard, remembering your governors." 4.13 informs us that we can safely win the half-sword lying true guardant. BI 4.18, 4.20, 4.22 give us opportunities to attack, in all of which you can safely gain the place before striking. BI 4.21, 4.29 are beat attacks - you indirect the opposing blade to make space to come in to the place, from which you can strike. Ditto various places in the other chapters where you make beat or bind attacks.

    Where are the attacks from Open Ward on the pass?

    Paradox 30: "..the man of mean stature has thereby a further course with the feet to pass to the place, wherein he may strike or thrust home, and in winning of that place, is driven by art to come guarded under his wards to defend himself, because in the time of his coming, the the tall man may both naturally or artificially strike or thrust home, in which time, if the man of mean stature should fail in the least iota of his art, he should be in gret danger of death or hurt. But the tall man can naturally and safely come to the true place open, without any artificial wards at all.... "

    BI 4.3, 4.5-6, 4.27 repeatedly say how you really must keep your distance with variable/forehand, as opposed to guardant. 4.7-8 say that coming in to strike at the head from Open will get you stop-cut.

    Oh bugger, I really have to leave now, but I will return to clear up what I am talking about, if the above doesn't make sense.
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  20. #45
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    Originally posted by Jon Pellett
    Where are the attacks from Open Ward on the pass?
    How about BI Cap 4 (1) "Yf your enemye ly a loft, eyther in open or true gardant fight, & then strike at the left syde of your hed or body..."

    Initial attacks from Open Fight are also mentioned at 4(2), 4 (3), 4 (4), 4 (5), 4(6), 4(7), 4 (8), 4 (9) and 4 (10), just to mention a few.

    As to whether these attacks are made on a pass or a step, that depends on whether you hold open fight left or right leg forward. We've experimented with both and found left leg forward to work very well and right leg forward not to (the arm is exposed to counterattack too early in the attack).

    Paradox 30: "..the man of mean stature has thereby a further course with the feet to pass to the place, wherein he may strike or thrust home, and in winning of that place, is driven by art to come guarded under his wards to defend himself, because in the time of his coming, the the tall man may both naturally or artificially strike or thrust home, in which time, if the man of mean stature should fail in the least iota of his art, he should be in gret danger of death or hurt. But the tall man can naturally and safely come to the true place open, without any artificial wards at all.... "
    I don't think this has anything to do with the argument you're making. What this means is that if you're taller than me, then there is a zone where you are in wide distance (what Silver calls the first distance - the distance that you launch attacks from) while I'm still out of distance. It's extremely dangerous for me to move through that zone without being in a ward and ready to defend myself. The taller man, on the other hand, can safely approach to his wide or first distance before he needs to adopt a ward. "The tall man hath the vantage of men of meane stature".

    Cheers
    Stephen

  21. #46
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    Stephen sayeth:
    How about BI Cap 4 (1) "Yf your enemye ly a loft, eyther in open or true gardant fight, & then strike at the left syde of your hed or body..."
    Initial attacks from Open Fight are also mentioned at 4(2), 4 (3), 4 (4), 4 (5), 4(6), 4(7), 4 (8), 4 (9) and 4 (10), just to mention a few.
    But all these instructions tell you how to defend against someone who comes in to attack from Open Ward. Where does Silver tell the reader to attack this way - or even imply it?
    I don't think this has anything to do with the argument you're making. What this means is that if you're taller than me, then there is a zone where you are in wide distance (what Silver calls the first distance - the distance that you launch attacks from) while I'm still out of distance. It's extremely dangerous for me to move through that zone without being in a ward and ready to defend myself. The taller man, on the other hand, can safely approach to his wide or first distance before he needs to adopt a ward. "The tall man hath the vantage of men of meane stature".
    No argument about the edge of wide distance being dangerous - it certainly is. But Paradox 30 explicitly talks about winning the place, and the true place: is there some alternative definition of these I'm unaware of?

    The request for Messer people stills stands!
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  22. #47
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    Hi Paul,
    as you are aware now the HFC2004video is now available for sale and I will have some copies in Canberra this weekend (though it would be good to know how many I need to bring, hint hint ).

    As for video footage, I am surprised that many of these descriptive issues are not sorted out by a digital camera.
    Many of these now have a basic video function (gee some mobiles do as well).
    Small files that should be easy to upload somewhere and post a link should help explaining these conflicts that seem to be a periodic infestation here.
    regards,
    Scott Nimmo
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    Hi Ian,

    "Might I throw a googly in though? Might one consider the use of a moulinet in and of itself a "slow hand" action?"

    Yes I guess you could, or you could at least use it that way. The way I can imagine it working is you start a moulinette, your opponent moves to guard where they think you're going to hit them too early, and you actually hit them somewhere else than where you initially intended, changing your mind in respoce to their defence. If that sort of thing happens, then yes it's the same thing.

    Jon wrote

    "But all these instructions tell you how to defend against someone who comes in to attack from Open Ward. Where does Silver tell the reader to attack this way - or even imply it?"

    You're joking surely? You really think because the Brief Instructions are written in terms of defence you're not supposed to make the attack described????

    Why would Silver descibe Open Fight and tell you to lie in it if he doesn't expect you to use it? Let alone say the "two of the best fights, gardant and open fight" (Paradox 36). Why would he tell you to "strike and fly out" if he doesn't want you to strike occasionlly, adn in fact specifies in Paradox 8:

    "there is no advantage absolutely, nor disadvantage in striker, thruster, or warder: and there is great advantage in the striker thruster & warder: but in this maner, in the perfection of fight the advantage consisteth in fight between partie and partie: that is, whosoever winneth or gaineth the place in true pace, space and time, hath the advantage, whether he be striker, thruster or warder."

    And what about, say, Paradox 35:
    "the Rapier-man is driven of necessitie to lie at the variable fight or low ward, and being there he can neither defend in due time, head, face nor bodie from the blowes or thrustes of him, that shall fight out of the gardant or open fight, but is continually in great danger of the Agent"

    There you are, specific instructions to strike from Open fight.

    Paul

  24. #49
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    Originally posted by Stephen Hand
    You can never have enough Silver. Too much Silver is barely enough!
    Unless one is a werewolf.

    Wacca wacca. Thank you. I'm here all week. Try the veal....

    I will now go hide in a ditch prior to getting smacked in the puss from 18,000 miles away.


    But actually I am more confused than I was. One description of "slow hand" seems to describe making an attack in order to time the hand with the foot, the other sounds as much like a feint as anything else.
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  25. #50
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    Originally posted by Ian Macintyre
    One description of "slow hand" seems to describe making an attack in order to time the hand with the foot, the other sounds as much like a feint as anything else.
    Hi Ian!

    Attacking with a 'slow hand' is what enables you to use feints in the first place!

    Many (I don't dare to say all) fencers use the slow hand without naming it that way, or even without knowing that they do, because it's so easy and logical.

    Imagine you want to strike a generic downward blow on the pass.

    If you move your hand as fast as you possibly can, you will habe completed the strike long before your body is really moving forward, thus is will be a weak strike and it will most likely also fall short.

    If you time the attack properly, your hand will move first, with the body following behind it, bringing the attack to the target protected by the sword, the foot landing at the same time as the blow hits, adding power to the strike.

    If your opponent goes into the parry prematurely, you can still change the line of attack (i.e. execute a feint).

    So, 'slow hand' means slowing the part of the body that can move fastest (the hand) down to the speed of the part of the body that moves slowest (the foot).

    It's just a matter of body coordination.

    Cheers,
    Jörg
    Member of Ochs

    "It is a bad teacher that does not allow his student to become better than himself" (Sixten Ivarsson)

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