I've been learning messer, and I.33, both of which I've wanted to do for a while. The sword and buckler work is very interesting, some different concepts in there, while still remaining the same. Messer is rather more directly relevant to my pollaxe studies, being from the german tradition, rather more contemporary, and rather less specialised.
The most interesting thing that has happened was being taught a technique that I recognised from some of my musings about adapting LJH to other weapons. It was rather pleasing to have my wild assed theory on that particular technique validated by seeing it show up in a totally different system.
Bnonn can now stop complaining "you can't keep doing that!" when I take his sword away and hit him on the head. Again. For the third time.
So, what we've been doing so far...
Last night, Marinus covered true times, and stepping on the circle. I cannot emphasise enough how important these are to a true fight. Marinus had us waving our arms and bodies about, seeming to think we would find this embarrassing, but years of dressing up funny and waving (steel/wood/foam) sticks about have pretty much inured me to public displays of movement. It was a good way of demonstrating True Times however, and his reasoning behind stepping on the circle was new to me. Moving to put myself behind/under my sword was probably something I was doing anyways, but it is yet another layer of knowledge and complexity. I'm not so sure about stepping forward and jinking to the right, rather then stepping directly on the circle, but I can see it's utility in hiding your movement until the last minute. I will have to discuss this.
Wards in messer would be familiar to any student of the german longsword, but they have different names, and are actually functionally different in some key ways. The general principles of each hold true though. We've covered some very lovely/nasty moves that invariably end with your point in someones face. I'm finding using my shaped messer simulator more easily visualises the techniques than the arming sword simulators.
They do work quite well for I.33 though, where we've again covered the wards, quite different to other systems, but only so much. There are a limited number of ways to usefully prevent cleaving death from above, or any direction for that matter. What is interesting about I.33 is the other wards that are used to break the "basic" ones. So far we've only looking at half-shield, mainly breaking longpoint or under-arm (first). Last night we looked at under-binds and over-binds, and their different utilities against different variatons of longpoint.
This Sunday, I start teaching pollaxe again. We'll see how many show up, and if they mind being on video and posted on the net.
Oh, and I get to hit people again. I've missed that.