Category Archives: Principles

Training (TUE) 2013.05.28


Welcoming a new student, and working the basics of the English System, starting with cudgels and most common guards. Good solid work and excellent power blocks.

Warmup:  Stretching ; back stretching ; shoulder loosening ; waist loosening ; walk/jog round the hall with wide swings to stretch out arms and establish range of movement



  • Quick overview of English Martial Arts
  • Demo and overview of the Sword Guards
  • Practice of the Outside & Inside Guard – high & low
  • Explaining the ‘True Cross’ & guard testing
  • Attack vs. Block and counter – using the Inside and Outside guard vs. attacks to the left and right neck
  • Brief intro to Judgement, Distance, True & False Times
  • Intro to Focus & Intent – with demo of the differences in effectiveness when used/not used appropriately
  • Moving blocks and attacks – as above, plus incorporating Low Outside & Inside Guards
  • Attack/Blocking drill vs. steadily increasing power attacks using the guards practiced

Key Points:

  • The importance the appropriate focus – Watch the weapon
  • Importance of aiming to get the ‘True Cross’ when blocking, regardless of the angle of attack coming in ; rather than learning ‘attack specific’ blocks and counters
  • Make sure you’re safe even when a drill seems ended – stay in guard and aware until you’re safely out of distance
  • Remember to practice the Guards and transitioning between them – Many skills are built on the foundations of the basic guards and attacks


Training (TUE) 2013.04.16 – Outdoors

Getting into more advanced ideas and introducing deeper thinking about the Principles, Movement and overlaps between techniques. And working in fading light, the dark safely, together with how to maximise your safety when sight isn’t good.

Good solid work, good thinking and adapting to an unstable environment.

Warmup:  loosening & stretching – shoulders, arms, back, waist, legs ; large swinging movements with cudgel to stretch out shoulders & arms – walking blocks ;  moving round area & through obstacles with different blocks ; going through the guards


  • Moving around the outdoor area through the trees/bushes and noting which guards are best for protecting the heabill_single_blurd/face in close vs.branches, etc
  • English Bill intro & getting used to moving the weapon
  • Bill technique 01 – needing to wide-space the opponents bill & breaking down the pull after hooking the St.George guard
  • Mechanics of thrusting and hooking with the bill
  • Body mechanics of the hooks & particularly the pull afterwards, and the difference between ‘physical/strength’ pulling and ‘MDM & grounding’
    [with practice vs.trees and vertical held bill shaft supported by person, etc]
  • Introducing looking at the techs/movement & principles with a analysing eye – ‘core’ principles
  • engaging targets & understanding the environment – pushing, pulling, re-angling to feel any obstacles, and understanding what this means, physically and mentally
  • using the tree/branch with the Bills – delving further into the idea of  physical awareness, particularly in the dark and with obstacles, using the extended guard to engage an obstacle and Hanging Guard to protect, and move under safely


Key Points:

  • Thinking about what a movement involves, how it affects your balance, power generation, etc
  • Moving back when throwing an attack robs the attack of power
  • Learning tools to understand techniques and movement and getting used self-checking in relation to the above