Bowling with Fabris   1 comment

So what do Fabris and a Bowling ball have in common?

So think back to physics class… yes for some of us that is further away than others:

If you had a really cool physics teacher you might have gotten to do some neat things like shoot off potato cannons on the football field and drop eggs from the stairs…hurrah high school physics.

Now you might have also had a physics teacher who was confident enough that he could attach a bowling ball to the ceiling with sting, hold the bowling ball to his chest and then simply let go… The bowling ball swings away until the end of the tether and comes swinging back. Now if the teacher truuuullllly trusted physic (which supposedly he would being that he teaches the subject) he will not flinch as the bowling ball comes rushing back at him.

(I wonder if he still flinched the first time?)

This leads to one of Fabris’s major concepts… and while it seems simple it is certainly not as simple as it sounds: Don’t parry!


But that is one of the first things we teach people right??

According to Fabris “If you examine the parry, you will find it to be a form of fear, because if you were not afraid of harm, you would not need to defend. This type of defense can be dubbed obedience….” he suggests instead of a parry you always attack into your opponents attack. Now of course most opponent’s aren’t going to be as kind as the bowling ball and stop just before hitting you, as if you have just put up deflector shields.

Instead of parrying like we generally think about it, an action to keep your opponent from stabbing you in deh head, it should be part of a counter attack. If you take your opponents action as the beginning of a tempo to find their blade while coming in with resolution, they will not have completed their action by the time you have started yours. This lets you begin your attack before they have completed their, instead of just using the time to make a perry. This forces them to parry, form a counter, or break measure… that is of course if they don’t allow you to stab them in the face first. In other words, use the angles of the blade to block while stabbing your opponent instead of making a motion that is just a block

So how is this like the bowling ball on a string.

It is really f*ing hard to stop a reflex. Human instinct says to swat and step away from sharp flying objects coming toward your head. We are used to parries. They are similar in a way to swatting anything away from your face. Yes we use more control then wild swotting to parry (ok some of us use more control), but it is the same concept. So not only do you have to trust that the bowling ball is not going to hit you at the end of the tether you have to move toward it! There is a lot of of instinct to overcome with that motion. But like the physics teacher who knows that the bowling ball will not bang into him, you have to trust yourself and your guard enough to step into the attack….

We are coming up with drills that work this changing of instinct. We have been calling them the bowling ball drills. We have 2 fighters (Our Opponent: OO, and Our Fencer: OF) OO who throws very simple shots to OF. OF is not allowed to simply parry but must form the counter and take a shot at OO as a single forward movement. If there is a third person, that person watches to see if OF tries to form the guard with out moving. We have been not focused at all on if OF actually hits OO with these shots, right now we are focused on the instinct of finding the sword while moving in.

Posted February 15, 2012 by Letia in Musings

One response to Bowling with Fabris

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Pingback: Staffan Arffuidsson

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *