First Le Jeu de la hache session

We kicked off the techniques section of our curriculum yesterday with Bnonn's class on german longsword in the Liechtenauer tradition, though I'm not sure how it went, as I did not go. I can mangage 2 nights a week, but even my martial skills pale in fear against the wifely beatings that would ensue should I try to attend three sessions a week.

So, I started my techniques class today with some pollaxe work from Le Jeu de la hache d'armes, the 15th Century Burgundian text by an unknown author. (Linky to transcription and Linky to my translation). Again, Reiver has been out of the loop for a while, so we started back at the start. We covered the 6 parts of the pollaxe, the two gardes (en garde de la queue and en garde de la croix/dague), the two strikes, (l'estocq and le tour de bras), and the simplest counter to l'estocq, turning aside [video]. We played around with this for a while, getting Reiver used to the idea of getting smacked in the head, before moving on to the first and simplest of the true counters (couvertes), the queue sweep[video].

This works against a right handed tour de bras, if you have the croix forward, and essentially is a slope step to the left, a beat on his axe with your queue, and a passing thrust to the face. I describe this in greater detail here

Quote of the evening: "Mind if I hit you in the face a bit more?". And as far as I know, they're still out there, hitting each other in the face.

First Training of the Year

Last night was the first training of the year.  It was a nice relaxed session with just three of us.
We started with economy of motion, just some simple punching, and trying to step as little as possible, both attacking and defending.  This is a critical area for most of us, as we pretty much all step  far too much, wasting movement and energy

Reiver hadn't been active for several months, so we spent some time covering true time strikes and defences, and the geometric "trick"of a sloping step that allows you to hit them when they can't hit you.  For those of you unfamiliar with this concept, you essentially move towards them at an angle, extending your arm to strike, while rotating the opposite shoulder away from them.  This is really hard to describe, and really easy to demonstrate.

We then went to move on to some kampfringen, combat wrestling in the german tradition, but we quickly diverted into basic breakfalls, since the other two weren't so comfortable with getting thrown about.  After rolling around on the ground a bit, controlling falls with forward rolls, backwards rolls, and rolling from a crouched position, we got back onto the kampfringen for about 10 minutes.  We covered a very basic move from an inside/outside grip clinch, extending one arm across the throat to push the opposite shoulder around, using the knee to lever them backwards.  I also demonstrated the counters, both hard and soft, and we tried it all out a little bit until Bnonn rolled in dog shit, after which we refused to wrestle with him anymore.

I would have some useful video , but I forgot to take the damn camera.  Have some old footage of Patchy and DarkKnite demonstrating True Times: Show media Loading...