Fencing Journal: 11/23   9 comments

I’ve been trying to keep a journal of my notes on my fencing from practice and events, but haven’t been doing a particularly good job of it (last entry was a month ago, where I wrote “If I do not move my feet I will die” five times.  That actually helped).  So I’m going to start keeping it here to keep me honest, and to permit review and deeper consideration.

Placing Shots Instead of Throwing Shots

Too many of my shots land hard, or drag offline.  Both Connor and Melchior mentioned this and its symptoms at Holiday Faire.  With the whippy 40 I was using, generating shots with a circular motion of the hips, shoulder, and arm, instead of linear motion of the arm, was ruining point control.  Connor suggested working on placing the tip where it needs to be and then moving it forward (interestingly enough, I was reading Talhoffer today and found the same concept described in his two-hander instruction).

Keep Arm Behind Buckler; Buckler Where it Can Do Some Good

My buckler skills used to be decent, but they’ve since atrophied, or lagged behind progress in other skills.  I was fighting buckler on Tuesday and it just threw off my whole defense instead of enhancing it.  Especially since I expect to take buckler in C&T fights more often than not, I’ve got to get that skill caught up.  Looks like I’ll be doing that more and more.

Tighter parrying

Another thing I and others noticed at Holiday Faire was that my parries were over-large.  I tend to “aggressively displace” (okay, “beat the shit out of”) my opponents’ attacks.  The sheer uppitiness of their attempt to stab me offends me and I punish their blade for it.  This has some strategic advantage to it: From my sweeping parry, I usually only have to flick my tip back up online to perform a stop thrust, while they have to stop the inertia I’ve imparted on their blade, re-target, and re-direct.  That breaks down, though, when my tip gets lodged in the ground.  However, I have the ability to fight with tight, controlled parries.  I just could not get my brain to switch in to that mode in the tournament (in the White Scarf hunt after, though, I thought I did a bit better at it).  I don’t know how to practice this other than to just fight, and if I notice my parries getting large step back and reset.  There’s also a correlation to the intensity level of my fight, so I need to fight intense fights while focused on keeping the parries tight.

Starting out of Range

As any good Atlantian fighter, I am horrible about starting in the range of my opponent.  A large part of my style really is based around my slightly higher than average height, and slightly longer than normal arms, combined with the speed with which I can bring my point online from a lazy guard.  But doing so leads to bad habits, or puts me in danger of getting caught flat-footed.

Be Willing to Cause Humiliation

The two previous items stem from the same source: mindset.  Both aren’t so much over-confidence in my game, as holding my game in check (I can play better range control than that; I can parry tighter than that).  I think if I parried precisely and dominated range to my full ability, my percentage of one-shot fights would go up by quite a lot.  And there’s a big mental block to being that much of a rat bastard to my opponents.  Like Fezzik said, “I just hate for people to die embarassed.”  Still, it is time to worry about myself and not my opponent.  Which I’ll need to practice.  Which means being a bastard at practice with my friends when there’s nothing on the line.  Which is unpleasant to consider.

Posted November 25, 2009 by wistric in Journal

9 responses to Fencing Journal: 11/23

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