Games for Sharps

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Games for Sharps

Postby Thaeris » Sun Aug 06, 2017 9:22 pm

I keep trying to write down posts/articles, but seemingly run out of steam before I can complete them. So, after the Nth revision of this particular article, here goes nothing...

GAMES FOR SHARPS

I happen to live in Northwest Indiana, where HEMA groups are generally non-existent. As of this date, I've also failed to find a practice partner.

Training swords are therefore meaningless to me.

That leaves me with my sharps, and what to do with them. Aside from solo drills and static targets, the immediate utility given to a sharp seems rather limited - or is it?

I would contend that the utility of a sharp is in fact broader than the contemporary social martial artist (of which I am not...) is inclined to think. I will attempt to demonstrate this with a series of solo and paired/group games or drills which promote athleticism and hand-eye coordination. Aside from the risks one must consider whenever moving with a potentially lethal edged weapon, the drills are also quite fun.

DISCLAIMER FOR ALL FOLLOWING POSTS: USE OF ANY AND ALL SHARPS BY INDIVIDUALS IS DONE AT THEIR OWN RISK AND DISCRETION. THE ORIGINAL AUTHOR OF THIS MATERIAL DENIES ALL RESPONSIBILITY FOR INJURY INCURRED BY USE OF THIS MATERIAL IN TRAINING, EXERCISE, OR SPORTING PURPOSES. INDIVIDUALS CHOOSING TO USE THIS MATERIAL SHOULD CONSIDER ANY ADDITIONAL PRECAUTIONS AND PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT REQUIREMENTS PRIOR TO ENGAGING IN SUGGESTED ACTIVITIES. YOUR LIFE AND THE LIVES OF OTHERS ARE IN YOUR HANDS ANY TIME ARMS ARE EMPLOYED - SAFETY IS NEVER GUARANTEED. IF YOU FEEL ANY INDIVIDUAL ACTIVITY IS UNSAFE, DO NOT ENGAGE IN THAT ACTIVITY. PLEASE BE RESPONSIBLE WITH THIS INFORMATION.
Thaeris
 
Posts: 45
Joined: Wed Jun 01, 2016 2:20 am

Re: Games for Sharps

Postby Thaeris » Sun Aug 06, 2017 9:26 pm

1. THE JUG-AND-POINT: a Play on the Cup-and-Ball

INTRODUCTION:

The cup-and-ball is a traditional game of hand-eye coordination for children across the world. The target (the ball) starts at rest, is launched, and then is (ideally) caught by the cup. A similar game can be made for a target which (unlike the child's toy) is not affixed to a cord, and a sharp weapon which can then be used to launch and catch that target. The game is easily played individually, and aside from basic hand-eye coordination, can also be used to promote and develop a number of other qualities which are certainly advantageous for the martial artist. The basic parameters for the game are given below:

A. Basic Equipment Requirements:

This game utilizes any sharp which has thrusting capacity. Virtually any flavor of sword, knife, or polearm can therefore be employed. A soft, plastic container, such as a 1-gallon milk jug, is used as a target. Ensure that this container is not needed for any future use except recycling, as that's all it will be good for in short order! If the container still has a cap, it is recommended that the vessel be filled with a small amount of water at the start the session. This will make the target slightly heavier and therefore more susceptible to puncture.

B. Player Requirements & Ground Conditions:

This game is best played solo for safety reasons, although an observer should be nearby for help in the advent of an accident. Team play is not advised as launched targets can be somewhat unpredictable, and the nature of the game requires pursuit of those targets with a dangerous weapon. Due to the need to pursue a target (and looking up at said target in the process), the ground the game is played on should be fairly wide in area with no tripping hazards in place.

C. Additional Notes for Play:

Because some running/rapid movement in a small area may be required, it will be far safer to use a long weapon rather than a short weapon. In the advent of an accident, a long weapon may still cut the user, but such a weapon is less likely to cause a puncture wound than a short arm such as a knife, dagger, or short sword.

GAMEPLAY:

At start, the target rests on the ground in the center of the play area or is held in the off-hand of the player at that location. When play starts, it is the objective of the player to thrust into and then launch the target into the air; if the player holds the target, it will simply be thrown upwards. The player will then attempt to thrust into the target again on its return downwards. If the player is successful, the target will again be launched upwards again from the weapon and the process will be repeated. If unsuccessful, the player starts the game again from where the target landed or from the center of the play area, which ever is more appropriate.

OPTIONAL RULES AND SCORING:

This game is effective for exercise and coordination alone. Poor throws can result in the need to charge after a target in order to achieve a hit. However, imposing some rules can result in better safety and weapon control skills. To discourage wild throws (and reduce the amount of running if safety is found to be lacking), a play area of limited size can be established. Time limits can be established to better contain gameplay and discourage players from making long throws if such is a concern. Scoring can be compiled as a total number of successes or restricted to a number of consecutive successes only. The only limiting factor is the imagination.

ADDITIONAL OBJECTIVES:

Games can become disciplines unto themselves. As those who are or aspire to be martial artists, this fact can be unsettling when designing a game. To dissuade the development of game-centric behavior while promoting aspects such as weapons control and the afore-mentioned hand-eye coordination, use of footwork and practical body/weapon position should be imparted upon those engaging in the game. The player should take time to remind himself/herself that the target is representative of a fleeting opportunity/opening in combat which furthermore is present at angles and elevations in which combat will not normally occur. With this in mind, the game can act as an effective element in a training regimen.

OPTIONS FOR CUTTING AND BLUNT WEAPONS:

Slashes from a sword or pole arm can be made against a target, though this will usually result in the target quickly flying out of reach of the player and rendering a consecutive strike impossible. Such strikes can also be delivered with a mace or hammer if the player has such arms available. If the game uses rules or scoring, those rules should be appropriately altered if slashing strikes are desired. Extra care should be taken for distance control if slashing strikes are used as well. Also keep in mind that a lightly loaded or empty jug/bottle is unlikely to be cut unless a weapon is very sharp and precisely aligned with the target - this fact may be useful for those with a limited number of containers available.
Thaeris
 
Posts: 45
Joined: Wed Jun 01, 2016 2:20 am


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