Monday, May 18, 2009


Sunday saw us evaluating a number of juniors. In particular, Chris had his work cut out for him. I couldn't quite believe it myself - he was put through the paces of an evaluation that would possibly have tested a Scholar, and he acquited himself reasonably well. Well done.

I'm also quite astounded that Greg is relying more and more on the seniors to evaluate and teach. I suppose that is a natural evolution of things but it's heartening to see that there are -enough- seniors in attendance to teach things (and teach them somewhat correctly I might add).

There is one thing I do want to say to the juniors in the class though.

If I could go back and do everything again, I wouldn't go back to practice my guards, cutting and positioning. I would go back and re-master my footwork.

Abrazare may be the foundation of swordsmanship, but footwork is the foundation of everything. Footwork is responsible for stability, measure, timing and power generation - just about everything important for swordsmanship.

Too often these days, I notice an acressare that comes just a little bit late robbing a cover of its stability and power, or a stance that's insufficiently deep, robbing an intial attack of inches, or a turn not executed from the hips.

Work on the feet. The feet are important. Everything starts from the contact with the ground.

1 comment:

The Disappearing Man said...

Great to hear that things are going well, and that people are stepping up to take more responsibility. That's the best way for the society to go forward, really.

As for footwork - yes, yes and yes again. Its importance can't be overemphasised. Think a couple of cm don't matter? Think again. Now that I'm training 2-3 hours three or four times a week, I find that the real improvements come in subtle details like this. They really make up the difference between a martial artist and somebody playing at a martial art.

Aside from footwork, all the little details of body structure, posture, spinal alignment come into play.

I heartily recommend the crane breathing exercise. Three good reps is a nice little workout and does so much good in so many ways.