by Meg Floyd
Lots to do in the HEMA world today, including getting Krieges-Schule 2014 off the ground for next weekend, so for today we’re bringing you some videos that’ve been going around the HEMAnet lately.
First off, a video in Fiore techniques from Regia Turris in Italy:
“Some our interpretations of Fiore dei Liberi’s techniques (from Ms. Ludwig XV 13 · J. Paul Getty Museum) in particular about “Zogho stretto”. Regia Turris – Historical Fencing School – Pordenone, Italy. Thanks to: Nicola, Alberto, Valerio (fencers) and Regia Turris’ staff.”
And secondly, from Roland Warzecha at Dimicator, a video on advanced freeplay with sword and buckler:
On the video, Dimicator had some extra comments they posted:
“The recent video of our sparring with sword & buckler is now also available on Youtube.
A few explanations might be useful: Like any form of freeplay, this is training which means it is a combat simulation. By its very nature, combat training lacks an important aspect of a true fight and that is facing an opponent who is determined to harm you. Because a high risk of injury is unacceptable in practice, you always have to compromise your original martial art, which was designed to end an encounter by eventually killing your adversary. Safety precautions in training often consist of protective gear and blunt weapons. As long as you are aware which compromise you accept and which aspect you are currently training, you will benefit from your practice.
In the fight simulation mode you see in the video, we use minimal/no protective gear. So the emphasis is on control and avoidance of being hit. When we started out with this kind of sparring, we were going much slower. You can only train this way if there is at least a basic technical skill and according control and – most important – a mutual agreement not to break speed.
Personally I believe that this form of freeplay is actually the only way to create the correct mind set and train precision. And swordplay is all about precision. There are other freeplay modes which focus on different aspects, like determination and swiftness. They are also important but my focus as an instructor will always be with precision and calmness. This is also the only way you can safely incorporate sharp blades into your fencing practice, which you can see with the last two passes in this clip. (Needless to say this is for very advanced practitioners only!)
Some people have pointed out that this looks somewhat soft and that we could move faster. Yes, we could move faster, but we also train economy of movement and if you stop watching bodies and instead look at the speed of blades and points, you will note that the weapons move a lot faster than the body movements suggest at first glance.
As for softness: My old master Axel Wagener, who is one of the toughest fighters I have ever met and who I owe to forever, recently came over for some sparring and was surprised by the efficiency of our fencing. That made me very proud.”