Tag Archives: sparring

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) 2013.05.07


Flexibility, waist and core strengthening, focus on back & core, pivot points & Sparring

Warmup:  loosening & stretching – shoulders, arms, back, waist, legs ; large swinging movements arm movements to loosen shoulders & incorporating waist swinging and adding in arms ; cudgel swinging to stretch out shoulders & arms ; leg raises incl. sweeping leg across waist (with explanation of using to block, hit, fast raise, etc vs kick) ;  leg raises ; press-ups against wall, changing positions of fists and angles ;  back stretching ; squats ; one leg squat ; sitting back and leg stretches & holding the stretch ; sword swinging drill to use waist & loosening the legs to step where needed


  • Flexibility & Core strengthening
  • Opening the back up
  • Getting up and down fluidly and without strain – incl. keeping weight over leg and pushing up rather than pulling and straining
  • Prolonged bouts of Light sparring – free for all attack or defend as desired ; emphasis at looking where you are safe to attack, fast recovery into guard, effective use of distance to stay where needed to attack, checking form to make sure not leaving yourself open and offering attacks when needed to indicate ; including dealing with grabs of weapon, committing to driving in close when needed, and using a MDM pivot around the appropriate leg (weighted usually) to off-balance opponent and throw them when needed ; or engage in close to and disrupt their balance via MDM movements at two points (e.g. head/neck & lower back) to take them down
  • Including using Grip #2 (counter-grip) & MDM-pivot when grabbed in close


Key Points:

  • Strengthening and flexibility takes work – target work and do it repeatedly and regularly and you will gain more strength and/or flexibility, which helps everything else
  • Pivot around the weighted leg where possible
  • Use contact with the opponent as a pivot point where needed
  • Focus often comes quicker when there is more at stake – so sparring is often a good way early on, after warm-up, of getting people focused