Friday, 14 November 2008

Training update

I enjoyed training last night. I still haven't quite got the hang of simultaneously leading training of the beginners and advanced students, while getting in some training of my own. I also need to remember to get the other students to help me with the beginners and more advanced and to delegate so that everyone is being supervised and I get to train a bit as well. Mira wasn't feeling 100% last night and sat out the pressure drills but I completely forgot to ask her if she could take over the beginners whicle I was with the advanced lot. Doh! Sorry Mira!

Last night, I managed to keep an eye mainly to the beginners and give the advanced students tasks and exercises to do, which they could do happily by themselves. For example, I got them to pair off and go through the five sword drills as stepped exercises. One would attack, one defend. They would go through the drill, 1, 1-2, 1-2-3, etc. Once through, they switch roles, repeat the exercise, then go on to the second drill. I gave them ten minutes. This was followed by a variant of the diagnostic pressure drill, with the exception that rather than being in pairs, I got them to go in threes, thus the defender has even more pressure to perform the drills. The person in the middle defends. The other two attack. The first attacks in first drill, the second in second drill, and so on. The attacks must come in fast enough so the middle person has no time to think, just react. If they didn't know the drill well enough, all they had to do was as much as they could remember, back up, turn around and immediately go to the next drill. No resets, no second chances. Once all five drills have been gone through, the positions are switched. The exercise keeps going until each one has defended twice.

As expected, there was some "slippage" in each drill, some people had problems with drill two, some drill four. So we had a look at drill two, tried to "fix" any obvious problems and then everyone paired off and went back to stepping drill 2. There was some discussion as to how to do the remedy. I showed one version which I could make work, but on hindsight, it wasn't 100% correct as I was covering in posta frontale and beating the incoming sword down with the result that I was lowering my sword tip too low (to horizontal or a little lower), similar to but not quite as low as in the rompere di punta. We have the instructions from the syllabus so I checked it out after training, including the youtube video of second drill.
Here's a link to the drills in the SES syllabus:
and the youtube link:

In the video, the defender clearly covers in posta frontale, with the point high and hands low. Looking at the video critically, I reckon the defender might have stepped more alla traversa and met the attacker's sword closer to mezza spada. Be that as it may, it's basic form is invaluable and cleared the issue up for me immediately. It's an interesting thought that even though the class had finished and I was surfing the net at home, the lesson still continues, as i still have to go through this in the next class to close the loop and stay consistent.

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