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Thread: Practice video

  1. #1

    Practice video

    I put up a small clip on youtube, showing strikes, opening&closing mechanics with an application example and formal exercise by a first year student.

    Keep in mind that this is an everyday practice clip, NOT an instructional.

    Due to the fact I have experienced too often how discussions around video clips run, I will not discuss the content of the video, like "hey, at 0.11 you move in a false time" - as soon as I read something along the lines of that, I will instantly remove the video.

    Of course I will discuss principles and training, should there be any interest.

    http://de.youtube.com/watch?v=d9Mn9zrcB4o

    Regards, Thomas
    Erschrickstu gern /
    Keyn Fechten lern.

  2. #2
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    Hi Thomas thanks for posting that, very ging
    how much do those feders weigh? not that it should affect it that much, do you find it makes much difference?
    LONDON LONGSWORD ACADEMY
    For practice is better than art,
    hit him
    your exercise does well without the art,
    keep hitting,
    but the art is not much good without the exercise
    do not miss.


    author of the DVDs:
    Obsesseo
    Lutegerus Sword and buckler(I.33) "Intention".
    & Lutegerus Sword and buckler(I.33)Part II "Timing and Distance".

  3. #3
    The Fechtfedern weigh about 3.75 lbs (1600g)
    The sword I use in the beginning is 6lbs. (2600g)

    It makes minimal difference.

    Regards, Thomas
    Erschrickstu gern /
    Keyn Fechten lern.

  4. #4
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    Thanks for posting this, Thomas!
    Shay Roberts
    Academy of Arms

    One may not be called perfect in this art, as it is likewise in others, if he does not know how to teach somebody else.
    Antonio Manciolino, 1531

  5. #5
    Hi Thomas,

    I was recently fortunate enough to train a bit with Dan Smith, a gentleman who came to train with you, I understand. He was kind enough to share with me a bit of what you taught him though I must clarify that he was very careful to state that he may not be doing it exactly as you do. I also met you in Texas in '06 where I witnessed you teaching your longpoint variant, a la Kal, twice, once to the Tobster and once in your workshop.

    I'm certainly intriuged by some of your ideas and have begun to explore some of them here a bit. I usually try to apply any new approaches out personally before I comment, agree or disagree. I know it can be very frustrating when other folks immediately present a closed mind to new ideas. This is why I am usually quite supportive of the men and women who 'push the envelope' and explore new ideas, this is also why I try to be sympathetic to their struggles. There is still so much to explore and learn with these arts that if new or innovative thoughts don't get any support we run the risk of becoming stagnant with our practices. Personally, I think this is very dangerous to the cultures both historical and present of the Arts we are pursuing.

    Dan was a very stand up guy who shared a lot of interesting things with me and he was also straight with me that he doesn't fence much at all. Fair enough, I have no problem with that but this does mean that I have seen your 'longpoint variant' several times now but one thing I have not seen is anyone actually fencing with it. Naturally, this means that I am not sure how it is actually supposed to be applied under pressure. I am intriuged by some of the mechanical elements you (and Dan) have discussed regarding your longpoint but I am really a hands-on type of guy and prefer to see things done at speed to get an idea of how they are supposed to properly happen. This also helps me not to misunderstand anyone's true intent.

    I want to applaud you for putting your video up and would like to ask you a few questions about some of your approaches so that I might better understand where you are coming from. First though I would like to ask you a couple of questions about your approaches to training to help me get a better understanding of how you go about your studies.

    In my experience there are two basic camps of modern practitioners; those who fence (freeplay, bout, spar, assault, whatever you prefer to call it) and those who don't. I'm sure you do some fencing but I would like to know how often you fence as this might give me an idea of how far you take your explorations. Do you fence weekly? Monthly? Less? More? Also, are you a 'steel only' guy or do you also fence with modified shinai, nylon, wood, etc.? Do you wear a lot of safety gear or very little? Please, understand that there is no right answer as far as I'm concerned. I'm only trying to get a better understanding.

    One of the things I have observed over the years in martial arts is that the groups who do a lot technique training but little or no sparring is that a lot of artificialities begin to creep into their training. I've seen this a lot in the Chinese systems but to be honest, I've seen it probably every system, Aikido, JSA, Karate-do, FMA, MMA, you name it. I've never thought that they ever meant for this to happen it's probably just that without the freeplay feedback to motivate or guide them they tend to presume that what they are doing 'will' work rather than 'does' work. This happens in a lot o small ways, for example, they tend to train with one guy attacking then posing while the other guy finishes with two or three moves, one guy keeps stepping while another guy stops, or maybe they will train techniques while starting in too close a distance, that sort of thing. I'm sure you are aware of all this and I want to be clear that I am NOT saying that I think you are falling into any of that. This is why I am asking about your training habits first before I comment too much.

    OK, Now onto the video!

    Your video is a great start for those of us so far away from you, it helps begin to get a feel for what you are working on and I want to say that I appreciate you taking the time to post it.

    I have some mechanical inquiries at some point but you posted this video to discuss telegraphing so I feel I should stay on topic a little bit. I won't comment regarding the student's performance because that will accomplish absolutely nothing. I can easily imagine that much of the video is probably related to the lesson that you were giving the student that day so I will try to focus mostly on the parts where you are performing solo.

    The video shows you performing a lot of different attacks so it can be a bit hard to say if this one or that one was 'right' in your eyes. However, I noticed that you are quite explosive in your movements. You have discussed a lot about 'non-telegraphic' movement. My question is do you think being 'fast' or more precisely, 'explosive', is the same as being 'non-telegraphic'? Can 'non-telegraphic' movement be demonstrated in a slow motion? And do you possibly have any video of this?

    If just being faster than the other guy being 'non-telegraphic' in your opinion then OK, I'll think about what that may or may not mean.

    Additionally, if a guy is just plain faster then does it matter if he telegraphs or not?

    Here's another telegraphing question on a slightly different topic:

    Is 'non-telegraphic' behaviour important as the defender at full speed play in your opinion?


    Next topic......training habits!

    In the solo plays you are performing I notice a lot of stopping and starting. You 'burst' or 'explode' to longpoint, stall for a bit then burst/explode to the next point and so on. (One action almost has a Kendo look to it.) You also do this in the drills with the partner.

    All of the maneuvers you demonstrate fall into what the JKD boys would call a "single direct attack". Do you have any footage of you demonstrating your 'non-telegraphic' movement in any "attack by combination" plays? I am interested in how this 'non-telegraphic' element is incorporated into multiple blade actions or attacks. Is it important, to you, to be 'non-telegraphic' after the first initial attack?

    All in all, I liked some of the explosiveness you demonstrated and I can see where it could be useful but I am curious how this would play out if your partner moved out of distance when you attacked and were forced to follow your first attack with another attack. Provided, of course, that he was able to see it coming!

    What if you have reached a bind of some sort? It would seem to me that this sort of stalling would leave a rather large moment in time for your opponent to exploit.

    I'm sure you don't freeplay doing this kind of stall unless you are using it as some sort of a trick to bait him/her somehow, (I hope!) so my question is why do you incorporate this sort of habit into your training? Is this related to reflexology or neurophysiology somehow?

    Training habits 2-

    I noticed that when the Zornhau meets the Zornhau it is done without any off line step, I presume this relates to your personal interpretation of that play but I am wondering why the training drills you are performing are all done in a straight line? Just to be clear, I don't necessarily think this is a bad thing, I'm just wondering about your reasoning's.


    OK, I hope that's enough to generate some useful dialogue and I look forward to your thoughts.

    Scott

  6. #6
    Thomas is definitely onto something important with this "nontelegraphic motion" concept. I put together some composite videos and did some timing analysis and the resulsts were very interesting.

    Thomas is very fast indeed, the fastest I've ever seen, but he's not as fast as he looks. This is not meant as a negative comment in any way, quite the opposite. He's still the fastest I've ever seen, but what's important is that he appears to be even faster. There is something to this nontelegrpahic motion after all...much more so than just not twitching your sword or cocking back or all the other things we tend to associate with telegraphing.

  7. #7
    Hi Scott,

    I will address your questions.. at least try.

    First of all, if you meet Dan again, greet him nicely from me. Heīs a cool and very skilled guy - btw one of the few guys who are almost immune to my level of nontelegraphic motion.

    Then - my training.
    I do freeplay once or twice weekly. We fence with the Federn you see in the video, at light protection set, that is, gloves, jacket, mask and cup.

    I also do a lot of knife sparring, especially as warm-up or with some of the local MMA guys.

    I use different attacks there - the one that does fit the quality of non-telegraphic strike is the "small frame strike".

    I included Tobias, as he is just learning the mechanic.


    The motion

    The explosive motion is a by-product of the body organisation. The non-telegraphic strike can be done slowly too, and in fact must be practiced slowly. I wonīt video these as I donīt like to be called out as a fake or discredited due to video content.

    Of course is being faster than the other guy always good, but you wonīt have that advantage always, for example when going up against someone who is fast too.

    If you see JKD stuff, like Tommy Carruthers - damn fast guy. Some just have it.

    Speaking of, I also train the frequens motus system, where I donīt do bursts. Bursts are just one training tool, especially good when practicing opening and closing. I wonīt put on videos of my frequens motus practice, for the same reasons as above.

    In free fencing I use the accretion principle, next attack is faster and shorter than the previous. Turns out to be effective, there are no stops, except those brief stops you take at times to provoke mistakes.
    How I integrate neurophysiology into the system.. canīt write it down here but I refer to current dissertations in the field when describing some stuff.

    The striking line is usually cutting his motion at a small angle, just enough to not-confront the opponent. You canīt really observe that on the video. Also - I donīt do a Zornhau here, as it is not a technical demo. In that case Tobias would require a mask. I just strike towards him and wait till he binds.

    Regards, Thomas
    Erschrickstu gern /
    Keyn Fechten lern.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by T. Stoeppler View Post
    The Fechtfedern weigh about 3.75 lbs (1600g)
    The sword I use in the beginning is 6lbs. (2600g)

    It makes minimal difference.

    Regards, Thomas
    oooh I like that, I need a six pounder, my heaviest is four at the mo thanks
    LONDON LONGSWORD ACADEMY
    For practice is better than art,
    hit him
    your exercise does well without the art,
    keep hitting,
    but the art is not much good without the exercise
    do not miss.


    author of the DVDs:
    Obsesseo
    Lutegerus Sword and buckler(I.33) "Intention".
    & Lutegerus Sword and buckler(I.33)Part II "Timing and Distance".

  9. #9
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    Hello,

    Thanks for posting the video.

    It appears that the sword essentially bounces back from full extension. I'm not sure if that's an artifact of video, the exercise or an intentional part of it.

    It also appears that you are not forward weighted after the strike. But again the same problem.

    I'd appreciate elaboration on what we're seeing (and what the video is confusing).

    Thanks again,
    Steven
    Athena School of Arms - Longsword & Highland Broadsword
    Fight with All Your Strength
    Swords of Chivalry - Youth Swordsmanship in Acton, MA

  10. #10
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    "I also train the frequens motus system,"

    Thomas, I've been looking for more indepth find material on the concept of frequent motion as it applies to fencing. Up till now what training I'm doing has been mainly along the line of bursts. What advice would you have for someone trying to incorporate this into their training? Aswell what works would you suggest to gain a better understanding of it?

  11. #11
    Okay, come on, someone say it. Thomas is almost inhumanly fast. He's even faster than me.

    Give some credit where credit is due.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Edelson View Post
    Okay, come on, someone say it. Thomas is almost inhumanly fast. He's even faster than me.

    Give some credit where credit is due.
    Well compared to other vids I've seen, he is rather explosive.

  13. Quote Originally Posted by Michael Edelson View Post
    Okay, come on, someone say it. Thomas is almost inhumanly fast. He's even faster than me.

    Michael, almost everyone is faster than me, which is why I train tactics in depth...unfortunately for me, I suspect that Thomas also trains tactics. Be interesting to test it out some day - Thomas?

    Sean
    Sean Hayes, Maestro d'armi
    Northwest Fencing Academy

    Chivalric Fighting Arts Association
    San Jose Fencing Masters Program Examination Board

    One should never confuse the rules of a competition with the rules of an art.

    People talk a lot about speed, but not very much about control, safety, tactics, and trying to get close to the reality of sharps. When simulating sharp fights, how fast one charges in depends on how quickly one would like to die.


  14. #14
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    Note the t-shirt Thomas is wearing... it adds 10% speed, I'm sure ;-)
    Incidentally, the non-telegraphic stuff is way more impressive in person than on video, and Thomas' seminar here in Helsinki last year lead directly to the bicorno breakthrough.
    But here's the thing: he's not fast (sorry Thomas! ). Training with him, he's no quicker than average; the point is he makes you move twice as far as he's moving, and you don't see the action until too late. It's about perception manipulation and efficiency, not speed.
    Yes, he's rear weighted on the strikes, and acting in a very close measure; exactly what you see in Kal...
    Yours
    Guy Windsor

  15. #15
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    Thomas, before you cast a small frame strike, where is your lead foot in relation to your opponent? Is it directly across from his trailing foot or slightly left (your left) of his trailing foot?
    Shay Roberts
    Academy of Arms

    One may not be called perfect in this art, as it is likewise in others, if he does not know how to teach somebody else.
    Antonio Manciolino, 1531

  16. #16
    @Guy
    Yes, thats one of your +1 fencing skill shirts
    And of course your right - My overall speed isnīt especially fast, just my move is sudden without a typical acceleration phase, therefore it delivers directly and appears faster to onlookers than it is.

    @Sean
    Quote Originally Posted by Sean Hayes View Post
    I suspect that Thomas also trains tactics. Be interesting to test it out some day - Thomas?
    Yes and yes, Itīd be a pleasure!

    @Shay
    If I can choose the setup, it is towards my left, slightly past his right outside.

    Regards, Thomas
    Erschrickstu gern /
    Keyn Fechten lern.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Windsor View Post
    But here's the thing: he's not fast (sorry Thomas! ). Training with him, he's no quicker than average; the point is he makes you move twice as far as he's moving, and you don't see the action until too late. It's about perception manipulation and efficiency, not speed.
    I'm a believer in the perception factor...I did a thorough frame by frame analysis and compared it to some of my videos. If I take a light sword (like a 1lb boken) I can actually move a hair faster than he does in that video...but he still looks much faster, maybe even twice as fast. It's fascinating, and very, very impressive.

    He is still very fast, though, deception or not. With steel, he is 25% faster than I am (and his sword is 3/4lb heavier), and of course looks twice as fast. And I ain't average.

    This must change. I'm off to practice.

    How do I get one of these +1 fencing shirts?

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Edelson View Post
    Okay, come on, someone say it. Thomas is almost inhumanly fast. He's even faster than me.

    Give some credit where credit is due.
    You're right Michael. I realized after I'd posted that I forgot to mention that.

    You're damn fast. And train with a 6-pounder. Definitely something to work towards.

    Cheers,
    Steven
    Athena School of Arms - Longsword & Highland Broadsword
    Fight with All Your Strength
    Swords of Chivalry - Youth Swordsmanship in Acton, MA

  19. #19

    speed and movement quality

    Since many people have talked about "speed" Iīll throw in a number of clips by various people that can move quickly, each having their own quality in expressing their quickness. I know that has little to do with WMA, but it might be interesting to watch for everyone who is interested in motion research just as I am:

    Xing Yi by Yang Hai
    http://de.youtube.com/watch?v=iQZ3xn-UmjI

    JKD by Tommy Carruthers
    http://de.youtube.com/watch?v=iBTM6_l-Gdk

    Kenjutsu by Tetsuzan Kuroda
    http://de.youtube.com/watch?v=QLCVBX3iyDk

    Chen Taijiquan by Chen Xiao Wang
    http://de.youtube.com/watch?v=zxxebP0u31g

    Regards, Thomas
    Erschrickstu gern /
    Keyn Fechten lern.

  20. #20
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    Hello Thomas,

    Here is the $10 dollar question of the day...

    With the modern bio-mechanical research you are using with your interpretion do you think you are recreating Kal as Kal taught it or are you creating a new art based off of Kal as a base and made better by the use of modern research in to bio-mechanics & motion?

    Cheers,

    David

    P.S I did get to work one on one with J.B at Racine last fall so I've seen a taste of the way you guys work with the sword.
    David Teague
    Scholar of the Highland Broadsword
    Free Scholar/Instructor -Selohaar Fechtschule
    The Historic Recrudescence Guild

    ""Yea though I walk through the valley of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou's sword art is with me; Thy poleaxe and Thy quarterstaff they comfort me."

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by David A Teague View Post
    With the modern bio-mechanical research you are using with your interpretion do you think you are recreating Kal as Kal taught it or are you creating a new art based off of Kal as a base and made better by the use of modern research in to bio-mechanics & motion?
    Hi David,

    Nobody knows how Kal taught, but I believe to be close to *some* aspects of the mechanics he and other fencers in the tradition are showing.

    So I just try to get as close as possible. I donīt create any new art (except my own expression of it - art is personal), after all, the technical/tactical methods remain unchanged, and fencing still is fencing. Of course, applying my motion research to said technical and tactical methods make it better for me.

    Regards, Thomas
    Erschrickstu gern /
    Keyn Fechten lern.

  22. #22
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    i wounder how fast Tommy Carruthers would be if he were not pulling his shots?

    see if this makes sense to any one

    If he is not pulling his shots as in the demonstration video would he not be faster? He is showing people how to strike fast so he is pulling his blows, does this slow him down? If so the thought of full speed is fantastic and pushing 'inhumanly' fast.

    T. can you post exactly what your speed training regiment is?

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by T. Stoeppler View Post
    Hi David,

    Nobody knows how Kal taught, but I believe to be close to *some* aspects of the mechanics he and other fencers in the tradition are showing.

    So I just try to get as close as possible. I donīt create any new art (except my own expression of it - art is personal), after all, the technical/tactical methods remain unchanged, and fencing still is fencing. Of course, applying my motion research to said technical and tactical methods make it better for me.

    Regards, Thomas
    How much of the motion research you do would Kal have known about?

  24. #24
    @David
    Quote Originally Posted by David Lewis Smith View Post
    i wounder how fast Tommy Carruthers would be if he were not pulling his shots?
    I never met TC, but striking full through does take a little more time, if you want to transfer effect. TC uses a lot of rebounding force, so his chained attack series are so damn fast.

    Quote Originally Posted by David Lewis Smith View Post
    T. can you post exactly what your speed training regiment is?
    I use my heavy blade, usually with leather scabbard on (adds a pound) and do high intensity interval plymometrics.

    @Carl
    I suppose he just knew what he had to know, but probably didnīt have to spend that much time figuring it out like we have to, since he could learn from his teacher (i.e. Meister Stettner)

    Regards, Thomas
    Erschrickstu gern /
    Keyn Fechten lern.

  25. #25
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    I never met TC, but striking full through does take a little more time, if you want to transfer effect. TC uses a lot of rebounding force, so his chained attack series are so damn fast.

    I was thinking more of the first strike that would be much faster

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