Wistric’s Drill Class, Meridian Fighter’s Collegium, 25 Sept 2016   10 comments

This past Saturday I taught a class on drills (and other ways to improve) on your own and with a partner. My notes are below, and the drills covered are linked here. One day I should get video of these.

First, GOOD DRILL PRACTICE:

  • Don’t try to win the drill (ffs!). If your job is to get hit, you get hit. Practice the action.
  • Start slow and large, train up to small and precise. 80% success rate (4 out of 5). If it’s below that, go slower and larger. If it’s above that, smaller and faster.
  • Targets should be small (hand, not chest)
  • Add footwork when it gets too easy.
  • Drill for 15-30 minutes at practice. If you have a two hour practice, this still leaves an hour and a half for fighting. Fighters will just get bored after 5 minutes or so, so alternate drilling different actions (feel free to cycle back to the first drill). Add time for conditioning on top of the drill time.
  • Execute an action until it can be done consistently before moving on to the next.
  • If you’re the coach, take this time to work on your form. Make sure your en garde stance is solid and your footwork and sword-work are clean.

Solo Drills:

Lunges

  • Go slow to go fast. Train at Tai Chi speed to develop the muscle memory. Don’t train going as fast as you can. Train doing it right.
  • If you’re missing, your hand is going after your foot (point control is a myth).
  • I use a target of four small pieces of duct tape. One for each shoulder, the face, and the torso at “en garde” height. Start with just hitting one, then just hitting the next, and so on. Once consistent, start rotating through the targets or randomizing them.
  • Break it down into separate pieces: Start with the extension to strike. Step back half a step to add in the extension and shoulder rotation. Step back another half step to add in the torso lean. Step back another half step to add in a small lunge step. Step back another half step to go train the full lunge. Again, repeat each step until it can be done consistently before moving onto the next. Start over from the beginning each day.
  • Falling into a rhythm of lunge/recover/lunge/recover is bad. Don’t do it. I recommend using the Random Timer app for your smart phone if you have one. Set the interval to beep between, say, 3 and 6 seconds. Lunge when it beeps. Recover when it beeps again.

Conditioning

  • The next best use of your solo time is working on your conditioning: Develop the fast twitch muscles of your arms and legs (the ones responsible for bursts of energy), work on your core strength so you can stay in guard a long time, and cardio. These can be worked with mostly bodyweight exercises, no gym needed. Look around for examples (or maybe Dominyk can post some links here).
  • Also, Hell Drills. Misery loves company, so try getting your whole practice to do these.

Dead time training:

  • We have a lot of dead time in our lives. Use it to train.
  • Do footwork around the house instead of normal walking. 
  • Practice standing in guard in line, waiting for the shower to warm up, on telecons, whatever
  • Hold your sword extended out to the side at shoulder level while watching TV.

 

Paired Drills:

 

Drill building:

“I want to be able to do a thing.” Drill doing that thing. Literally, “My dagger parries to the high inside line don’t work.” Have somebody lunge at your left eyeball until you can parry it effectively. Then add footwork (you or them leading the footwork). Have them add a setup (feint to the low-line, sword beat, whatever). 

If you can’t find anybody to drill with you, do directed sparring: Drill doing a thing against an opponent who’s actively resisting (because they don’t know what you’re working on). You will eat a lot of sword until you get it right. Ego impedes improvement.

Posted September 25, 2016 by Wistric in Teaching and Training

10 responses to Wistric’s Drill Class, Meridian Fighter’s Collegium, 25 Sept 2016

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