Martial Arts Monday: Continuing To Train The Basics

Probably the most frustrating thing I see in people who train in HEMA are the misplaced priorities when it comes to learning and training. Everyone wants to spend all their limited time bouncing around between techniques while spending minimal time working their fundamentals, not realizing those basic strikes and movements are the foundation upon which all the "cool flashy" techniques are built upon. And it shows.
Continuing to Train The Basics

I understand it must be boring practicing a single movement or cut a thousand times, but that's how proficiency works. You do it enough so that it becomes second nature. Most people's time would be better spent drilling one skill/concept/ technique for a few days than if they bounced around to something different every practice or heaven forbid multiple times in a single practice.

If time is limited then make sure you have a clear idea of the things you are working on every time you go to fence and stick with them until a desirable level of proficiency has been reached before moving on.

HEMA at large is really lacking in foundational drills that teach core principles. I'll come out with a video demonstrating what I have worked out, but for now I'll leave these:

Winding (if you are ready, it is crucial you do these without jackets)

Level 1: Maintain blade contact, and fight for centerline control. This is a continuous flow drill. Don't stop trying to gain control over the center. The goal is not to land a hit, but simply to acquire and maintain positional advantage. Be sure to restrict your self to the four hangars. Don't rely on kron to defend against winds to the upper openings. You need to be keeping your point on your opponent at all times, so that means making use of those Upper Hangers when they threaten you up high. This is a critical weakness I see in most people.

Also be mindful of always being too hard or too soft in the bind. You need smooth transitions into both depending on what the other person is doing. Posture and structure are key secondary skills that will make or break you in this.

Level 2.5:
Now try landing hits with only the point starting each engagement from the bind.
Level 2.5 variation:
Keep you and your partner honest by allowing cuts and slices from the bind. A lot of silly stuff can be done while winding if you don't fear the edge of their blade. (I'm referring specifically to those who rely on kron in this case).
Level 3: 
Sparring where only thrusts count
These drills are an excellent way to learn feeling, point control, body structure, while keeping the body limber and extended. Of course you now have a base with which to practice all the techniques that are performed from the bind (pulling, changing through, doubling, etc).
Strive for Excellence in all things, The Dread Knight
Level 2.5: 
Now try landing hits with only the point starting each engagement from the bind.
Level 2.5 variation:
Keep you and your partner honest by allowing cuts and slices from the bind. A lot of silly stuff can be done while winding if you don't fear the edge of their blade. (I'm referring specifically to those who rely on kron in this case).
Level 3: 
Sparring where only thrusts count

These drills are an excellent way to learn feeling, point control, body structure, while keeping the body limber and extended. Of course you now have a base with which to practice all the techniques that are performed from the bind (pulling, changing through, doubling, etc).

Strive for Excellence in all things, The Dread Knight

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