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Author Topic: Drills for reinforcing control?  (Read 639 times)
Musashi Padawan
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« on: February 12, 2019, 09:20:50 AM »

I am interested to learn about any drills or practice methods other schools/clubs are using to reinforce control of the saber as a weapon. We take safety very seriously as no one wants to get hurt, feel intimated or not have fun. Men and women come to us to train with all different skill levels, martial backgrounds, body types and mindsets. From collegiate sport fencers to adults that have never exercised.
If you have seen our videos, you know we use heavy grade blades, train hard, spar heavy, love to compete but at the same time always have fun. However, I worry as the intensity of a duel increases, that people do not realize their strength, revert to more instinctive (unsafe) methods or loose their cool. This is not a problem for every student, but it can be for some.
There are the obvious basics and I think we have those covered;
-control environment where safety and respect are always reinforced by instructors and mentors
-new students can not spar until demonstrating respect, basic weapon control and the ability to defend oneself
-approved safety equipment for all contact drills or sparring
-no two handed thrusts or shots directed to the back of the head
-preaching the mantra “slow is smooth; smooth is fast”
We have a few drills that try and reinforce control.
-“winding - weaving” pressure on blades back and forth with a partner in a simulated lock-up
-“offense - defense” partner drill where one practices striking an agreed upon zone and the other parries
-working solo with the “bob” practice dummy and transitioning from full power swings to controlling the momentum just prior to impact and being mindful of the difference between these swings and how weapon control fits in.
-“trench run” see “kendo kirikaeshi”

Does anyone else have specific drills, training methods or tips to train saber control and make it literally muscle memory or second nature? Looking forward to the discussion.
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Master Resolute
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« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2019, 02:31:07 AM »

good stuff.

We run a tight ship both at the Academy and the J.o.E. LSC for sparring.

I teach FMA for weaponry. Lacoste-Inosanto Kali is a personal favorite of mine for neuroplasticity/Muscle memory. the " Open - Chamber " and " Closed Chamber " Drills with double stick is a great way to start beginners. Once they get it, we typically move on to 3pt Sumbrada and then 5pt sumbrada.

On a side note, check this vid out if you get some time. While it is more about health, it will give you an idea of what Kali does to your brain. These guys are students/Instrcutors under my Grandmaster, Dan Inosanto.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wf8xbFo0MpM" target="_blank" class="aeva_link bbc_link new_win">Sorry...</a>
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Musashi Padawan
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« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2019, 07:39:05 PM »

Great points Master R.  I was just working similar Kali drills on Sunday with 2 shotos- I was really feeling how those drills develop spacial awareness around with the weapon(s).  I LOVE the concept of neuroplasticity; as a therapist by trade, as someone in recovery AND as a martial artist.  I have been spending much thought and reflection on that concept applied to various aspects on my life over the past year.  So the video was a perfect and enjoyable complement to the topic.  Many thanks. 
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Infinit01
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« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2019, 05:35:58 AM »

Great video, Master Resolute.  Lots of good points in it
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Cang Snow
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« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2019, 04:21:28 PM »

Use a Lightspeed blade. It'll make your life a lot easier. Smiley

But other than that, I do modified sparring with limited target areas. Fencers are penalized for hitting off-target-- usually with pushups, burpees, or similar. Teaches them quickly to slow down and focus carefully on what they are hitting.

And while we're not doing any promotions right now, we do have an accuracy test required to rank up.
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Infinit01
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« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2019, 11:47:11 PM »

Use a Lightspeed blade. It'll make your life a lot easier. Smiley

But other than that, I do modified sparring with limited target areas. Fencers are penalized for hitting off-target-- usually with pushups, burpees, or similar. Teaches them quickly to slow down and focus carefully on what they are hitting.

And while we're not doing any promotions right now, we do have an accuracy test required to rank up.

Didn't realized you guys have a Dallas location.... Now, I'm intrigued.
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Cang Snow
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« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2019, 12:45:13 PM »

Didn't realized you guys have a Dallas location.... Now, I'm intrigued.

They are fierce fighters! Let me know if you need an introduction.
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janx
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« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2019, 08:39:56 AM »

Coming from a few different karate styles, I've noticed some schools forbid head shots or spinning punches/kicks as they increase risk/lack of control.  Particularly below a certain rank of skill.

It seems to me, beginners should avoid headshots or overhead strikes as a failed block means a knocked noggin.

For light contact, practicing to stop/pullback on contact with blade/body (rather than trying to cut through) would be good.  Perhaps some kind of target practice (2 liter bottle on top of a kicking stand). Hit the stand, don't knock the bottle over.

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