So... someone did this

History and Historical European Martial Arts in the Codex Martialis

Re: So... someone did this

Postby Galloglaich » Sat Oct 14, 2017 3:57 am

It's pretty simple,

I actually use zwerch and shiel quite a bit in normal fencing and tournaments, as well as other 'winding' techniques like absetzen and mutierin.

But those techniques are dangerous against fencers who for whatever reason, are fighting recklessly. This is something you run into in tournaments a lot.

I think the equivalent in a real fight would be dealing with someone half drunk or just young and intexperienced.

I actually fought 3 guys in the video. All three had the same problem in that they attacked every opening safe or not.

The first one was a young kid, he was about 17 I think. He was the best of the three in terms of skill, but attacked recklessly. To defeat him I seized the Vor and intimidated him with a rapid series of strikes. I usually hit him after the third or fourth strike. If I gave him any time he got a double hit (he got 3 double hits which aren't in the video). He was also fast and if I hesitated to wait for an opening he got me with a hand cut.

The second guy was a big strong young fellow about 25 I think. He was trained but was too aggressive, he attacked every opening and our first exchange (not in the video) we got a double-hit. So after that I either provoked a cut, initiated a strong cut to force him to parry, or I did a krumphau against his blade - in all three cases followed by a quick moulinet and then a mittelhau against his left ribs. I think he was sore after the match, I got him 4 or 5 times exactly that way. In one other exchange I cut him with an unterhau after he parried my first cut, then I deflected his counter on my cross. In another one we had two exchanges, he parried my cut but then I thrust into his back, but he got me with the after blow with a good cut - I could have parried it if I hadn't dropped my guard but I was conserving energy.

The third guy had better form but was a bit timid. I got him with mastercuts -zornhau and zorn-ort. He was a 'sword-waver' and touched me a bit with his sword but the judged deemed it insufficient to be a cut (which I agree with)
I got him one particularly good Zorn-ort (at 02:10 in the video) where I bound up his sword on my guard and prevented his counter. He was completely oblivious to defense and attacked every opening. I also did the krumph-moulinet-rub cut thing to him as well, I think twice.

Against less 'twitchy' opponents you can fight a cleaner fight. I usually do, Shielhau in particular is a high percentage attack for me. I have that on video somehwere from other tournaments. It works very well in someone who is hesitating in a pflug guard or some kind of half-assed guard in the middle.
Last edited by Galloglaich on Sat Oct 14, 2017 4:45 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: So... someone did this

Postby Galloglaich » Sat Oct 14, 2017 4:25 am

Oh and you can definitely bind with blunts - I think there is a lot of exaggerated belief in the community about how much sharps stick, but I have heard (and seen) evidence to the contrary. They don't stick necessarily.

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Re: So... someone did this

Postby Galloglaich » Sat Oct 14, 2017 4:35 am

I would also say, in spite of probably donig it 10 or 15 years longer, I am not technically as good or well-rounded of a fencer as Thomas Nyzel, the guy in the first video in the thread. You can see he is doing a great job of winding and binding, absetzens, abnemens, mutierin, zwerchs; although he is also fighting conservatively. He has a better command of the system than I do.

And you have guys like Anton Kuhotovic who are considerably better (IMO) than Thomas, at least in terms of speed and precision of technique.

I don't know his (Thomas's) background but I suspect he was trained in the last 3 or 4 years. Certainly by someone who was already experienced. Guys in my club who I have trained have cleaner technique than i do, because they aren't adapting some other thing to HEMA or learning HEMA unevenly. In the early days 10 or 15 years ago we didn't understand all of the techniques we understand now (still not everything by a long shot)

So for me personally, while I can do several different techniques - maybe 40 or 50 in training and something like 10 or 15 under tournament pressure... my repertoire doesn't flow as smoothly as a lot of the best trained of the younger fencers, the younger competition stars if you will. That's because I learned to do a proper zwerchau maybe in 2007 but didn't really get zornhau down until 2011 and didn't have a proper absetzen until 2012.

Nobody really knew this stuff we head to learn it ourselves, and from each others half-assed interpretations. As a result a lot of the kids we the first generation people trained are better versed in the whole thing than we are. They are taught the whole system, much closer to how it is actually presented in the fechtbucher.

I still can do a few techniques - maybe 5- really fast, due to so many years of fine tuning them, so I can use that to my advantage. But I also have big holes in my game that better trained fencers don't have, and not just due to being old and fat. I think the new generation of fencers being trained today, the kids who are going to study HEMA and are 13 or 14 but already have enough of a mean streak to really apply themselves to it - those kids are going to be unbeatable for someone at my skill level.

And as Arkon alluded, against somebody who was an experienced fencer from 1450 - we'd all be doomed I think.
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Re: So... someone did this

Postby Thaeris » Sun Oct 15, 2017 7:22 pm

Thanks for the speedy response, G.

My main point in making the assessment I did was to log what I thought was working for you versus what wasn't working for the other fellows. Even better was the fact that the sources could be called upon to back up many of those observations. I do have to apologize for my comment about feders not being able to bind - that comment was completely ignorant. I don't own a feder or other sort of practice sword, and probably won't consider doing so either until I find a practice partner.

Fortunately, however, I do have the good company of such as yourself to weigh in on my musings - I am very appreciative of that fact. Again, thank you.
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Re: So... someone did this

Postby Galloglaich » Mon Oct 16, 2017 2:56 pm

Dude, seriously, no worries!

Sorry I wrote so much about it. I have my own opinions of course but I was not trying to shout you down, you know I am just long winded! You are 100% entitled to your opinions, this is just something I think about a lot. It can be very helpful to do analysis of videos.

the TL : DR on this is that in tournaments you have to have different strategies for different types of opponents.

Those three guys were all a bit reckless, which is very typical in tournaments especially in the pools, and it's a big controversy right now in HEMA circles if we should change the rules to deal with reckless fighters or not.

The increasingly heavy safety gear we wear means that you don't get hurt too much if you get hit, so people can get a kind of 'bullet proof' mentality. This means you can easily go through a fight getting double-hit after double-hit, which can affect your score, your record, your ranking, reputation etc..

The controversy is whether we should

1) Modify the rules to penalize reckless fencers - which can work but it leads (arguably) to the slippery slope that Collegiate fencing and Kendo etc. went down, i.e. a very restricted, stylized and formal fencing sport which increasingly diverges from the basics of defending yourself with a sword. Or...

2) Use strategies to deal with reckless fencers. I.e. fence better. We can get a lot of clues on how to deal with this from the manuals.

I chose option 2 and It worked for me, more or less. Not perfect, as I did get hit in the nach several times and was touched by 'waving swords' a few times too. There are more cautious strategies you can use too but they all have their trade-offs. For me it works better to be aggressive. I think I just need to work on my Abzug a little bit more so I don't get hit in the afterblow.

But against other kinds of fencers I actually love using zwerch and shiel. Zwerch is particularly effective against Kendoka or less experienced Fiore fencers. Shiel is very good against anyone hesitating in a defensive guard, especially Pflug or a plug hanger.
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