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Page history last edited by PBworks 16 years, 1 month ago

Questions and Answers about the Arts of Combat (aka Ask Max)




An open forum for newcomers and oldtimers to provide queries and dialog about the Scholum, fighting, armor, the SCA, Chivalry, or other pressing issues


A question about stance.

Max wrote in Lesson One that to be in a good fighting stance, we should "Advance [...] left foot a Half-Pass step (approximately the size of your foot) and turn both [...] feet to the 2:00pm clockwise position so that they are both parallel and not facing straight forward or in a fencers-T position. "  I want to know, what is the disadvantage of the T-position? My feet just seem to go there for some reason.    -Kat


An Answer about stance.

T-position is fine for fencing and a number of things that will be taught later, but is poor as a basic SCA stance in that it makes a less stable platform and makes it easier for an opponent to knock you over and that it significantly minimizes the degrees of rotation that you will have around your hips -- from whence all force is generated.  If you took a more stable stance with both feet parallel at 2pm, you would find that you could rotate your hips around a much wider arc in both directions than you would be able to with your fight in a T-position.  This wider arc allows for a much stronger force generation.  Thus, the parallel 2pm stance makes you more stable and more capable of throwing killing blows.  If you bring a stick, block, or something else solid that is the approximate distance between your two feet when they are apart in the parallel 2pm stance (or even a piece of rope a few feet long), we will work on a drill to train you to stay in the parallel stance and avoid the T-position. -- Max


What the @#%& is "telegraphing"  (and why am I doing it) ?

I have heard several of the more experienced fighters talking about telegraphing.  Last Sunday, the same criticism was directed towards me.  I want to make sure I understand what that means, so I can quit doing it.  Please help!  -Kat  :)


An Answer about telegraphing, and patterning.

A lot of people send subtle signals that they are about to attack, or indicate where they are going to attack by looking at the target. If you watch, you can predict what's about to happen by observing these clues. Telegraphs are consistent preperatory motions before you actual perform a commited motion. You can telegraph attacks, defenses, and movement. I telegraph my shots a lot. I give big nice visual hints telling you where to defend, or where I'm about to move. In general, uncontrolled telegraphing (like mine) is bad, as your opponent gets extra time to counteract whatever you are trying to do. You want to be able to do everything without telegraphing. If you can control your body signals, you can begin false telegraphing, which is sometimes refered to as "Patterning". You repeat the same body signals and sequences 2 or more times. You teach your opponent that you are going to look at their leg, and then shoot the leg. Then, you break the pattern by looking at the leg, and shooting to the head. Hopefully, your opponent keeps to the pattern, and guards the wrong spot. -Jurgen


Telegraphing is a signal sent.  It is the equivalent of the "tell" in poker, where you are giving away information to your opponent that you don't want them to know.  When you cock-back to add force (unnecessarily) to a blow, you are signalling a shot to your opponent.  When you move your eyes to where you plan to swing your blow, you are telegraphing your blow.  When you swing your arm wide, instead of levering a shot in, you are telegraphing the blow.  Of course, you can use "false" telegraphs to trick your opponent into thinking you are telegraphing some information about a shot when you are not -- this is the fundamental concept behind the "fake", where you intentionally signal (or telegraph) false information about a blow to your opponent.


Question about breathing.

So I'm in class, and we use the breathing to center. It's a great little technique. It put's me on the balls of my feet, get's me bending my knees, and does all these great things. But my sword and shield don't let me close my hands at the center. So when I'm centering with arms, where should my sword and shield go? -Jurgen


An Answer about breathing.

Three possible answers.  First, you could drop your sword and shield and completely concentrate on the breathing and centering exercise.  Second, you keep your sword and shield in your hands/arms and do limited arm rotations/crescents to the limits of movement possible given that you are holding them.  The particular degrees of motion are not the point of this exercise, but it is getting the arms raising so that you raise your chest and thus open your lungs and it is lowering out the arms towards bottom of the stomach to emphasize the breathing out of the diaphragm.  Which leads to the third option -- you don't really need the arms at all.  Breathing, focus, and centering attention are the goals.  The arms are simply vehicles that help ensure some proper technique in breathing.  If you pay attention to your breathing (which you should be doing anyway, as that is the main point of the exercise), then you should be breathing into the chest and out through the diaphragm anyway, and the arms should thus be superfluous.  More importantly, you should be trying to center your thoughts and empty your mind so that you can become focused.

Comments (2)

Anonymous said

at 7:59 pm on Feb 13, 2008

FYI, the picture you have on this page loads really slowly.

Anonymous said

at 8:04 pm on Feb 13, 2008

But it's worth the wait :P

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