5 Random Thoughts about HEMA 03/12/2022

Hi Folks,

The other provosts at Stoccata have been nagging me about producing content pretty much since I joined their ranks.
I don’t think though that I’ll ever be much for producing videos.

So, I’ve decided to start using the Stoccata Blog to make some content every now and again.
First up, a fairly random “listicle”.

Pic credit – Alex Munro.
Depicted: Left – Stuart McDermid (me!), Right – Alex Munro.

  1. Right of Way vs Afterblow.
    I think Right of Way is a better teaching tool because it punishes the earliest error in a fencing phrase.

    Rather than trying to gauge the ‘mortality rate’ of any given blow, I think it’s best to try and push for the cleanest fencing. First mistake loses. Full stop.

    If one fencer develops an attack via pass, lunge, or from a bind on an advance into a close distance, and the defender chooses to ignore it, or to make an ill-advised counterattack that doesn’t render them safe, then the attacker has won the exchange.

    The skill I want to build from that exchange is the ability to see when the initiative is lost and a parry or counterattack with opposition should be employed.

  2. Gloves. The best gloves on the market for Longsword in my opinion are the Gabriel’s out of China. I don’t understand why they aren’t more popular. They are expensive at $290USD, but they ship in a time easily measured in days rather than weeks or months and have fully protective yet mobile fingers like certain other ‘wunder-gloves’ that are far more expensive and which aren’t as good. The only downside really is that they still aren’t the do-everything glove that I really want.
    Facebook Link


    Image taken from their FB post. I don’t think they will mind.
  3. Resource/Book recommendation. Rob Gray’s Page.
    Rob’s book, How We Learn to Move: A Revolution in the Way We Coach & Practice Sports Skills, will teach you something you likely didn’t know before about coaching.

    If you currently believe in ‘perfect technique’, then this book is for you. You won’t after you read it.
    If you are unfamiliar with constraints led approach to coaching, then stop being one of the 5 people that are actually going to read this post, go and buy it on kindle for 15 bucks, and get stuck in.

  4. Another book recommendation.
    The Inner Game of Tennis by W. Timothy Gallwey (Google it as it’s available just about everywhere I think)
    https://theinnergame.com/inner-game-books/the-inner-game-of-tennis/

    This one is a bit of a HEMA staple these days so I may be telling you something you already know.
    This will seem like an odd recommendation for HEMA, but trust me, it’s very relevant.
    Just understanding how the conscious and unconscious mind work and how trying to engage the conscious mind can cause issues with sports performance was huge for me. Also, people not having a good mental map of their own movement can make coaching really difficult.

  5. More gloves. It’s early days, but I think the gloves from Shoukat manufacturing (which aren’t copies of Supfen or SPES or Sparring Gloves, or the old Egg Armoury Gauntlets, or the historical solutions that have inspired all designs btw) might be the best entry-level longsword glove on the market right now. They are more comfortable out of the box than most mittens I have put on. I still want to play some more to check durability (I’ve only had a dozen or so bouts in them), but at $120USD (less for bulk orders), durability is going to have to be exceptionally bad for it to matter. They are about as bulky as SPES Heavies.

    Image shared with me by Shoukat. I don’t think he’ll mind me using it.

    Until next time, enjoy your fencing and stay safe doing it. These are all that actually matter.
    Stu.

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