Saturday, August 10, 2013

Things I Learned in KDF Today Part 1

As hoped for, my second sparring class was indeed an improvement over the first.  Things I learned in longsword today:

  1. When I stand in vom tag, I still have a tendency to keep my forward elbow extended towards the enemy.  This invites a strike to the elbow or forearm.
  2. If I draw my ochs back, rather than keeping my hands and weapon extended forward, my outside elbow naturally juts out to the side.  This invites a strike to the elbow.
  3. My weapon is not magically immune to attack.  When in langen ort, my weapon is vulnerable to being controlled.
  4. It is harder than I think to scheilhau the head or shoulder of an enemy in lange ort or pflug.  As an alternative, I can use the scheilhau to control their weapon, and stab.
  5. A zwerchau struck from vom tag is still punched forward and then rotated, with a push-pull motion of the hands.  It is not a horizontal baseball-type swing with the arms, out and to the side before striking.
  6. When I parry an oberhau of any sort, my weapon must actually offset theirs to the side.  It is not enough to move my weapon into the path of theirs, thus demonstrating that I know what to do.  I must actually do it.
  7. When I make any strike that ends in ochs, I must keep my hands high to defend my head.  I must keep my hands high, I must keep my hands high, I must keep my hands high.
  8. At least at this level of "play," in the beginning of a fight (there's a German term for this I should know but cannot seem to recall/Google), switching guards really does have the potential to create openings, as my opponent processes what I can do from that guard (opening #1, while he's thinking) and transitions to prepare for it (opening #2, while he's moving).
  9. "Guard breaking" with a mastercut is not some sort of magical martial arts formula.  I begin to suspect that this concept is more a description of what a mastercut does than a prescription of when we should instinctively use it, but time will tell.
  10. When in striking distance, both I and my weapon are vulnerable.  The point is not to never be vulnerable, but to be able to react appropriately when somebody takes advantage of that vulnerability.
I'm sure there was more, but this is all I can definitely shake out of my head at the moment.

Despite my battered left forearm (see #1), sparring was a lot more fun today than last week.  In part this is because I was more evenly matched with my opponent, and even if he still got the better of me, it was pleasant to score some legitimate kills.  The learning process continues.

It was also pleasant to feel part of the club.  After class I went out for a beer with three other students, and it turns out they're ... well, geeks like me.  This should probably not surprise me (I imagine there are a disproportionate number of geeks in KDF; even Raab today was wearing a House Stark shirt), but it is hard to see a senior student as anything other than, well, a senior student if you only interact with them via sword.

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