You might read the title and be a little confused... After all isn't movement a key Principle.... everyone is moving in training, aren't they?
Well yes they are however what I often see in training or clips of demonstration is people is that they stop moving when they make their attack or when they are in place for the technique to applied. A Point of Contact is reach and the action stops.
Of course at the early stages of learning and developing a new action or techniques you need to allow people to understand how their body produces the action and that can be harder if you are moving so to do it "stopped" makes sense or is necessary. However as soon as they have laid down the action a few times, it must be done with and against movement. There are also those actions that can only be done with movement.... You can not learn to do a yielding response to a forced action in a static way, though you don't have to give full pressure.
What I see and have realised I have done is that even as the skill increases the stop, the micro pause, is still there and people are not aware they are doing, as I say, I wasn't aware that I was doing it, it is a subconscious thing that gets ingrained in training.
One sees it when people free play, they often stop or crash in to each other, get locked up and don't seem to have any solutions.
They do have solutions however they have conditioned the subconscious stop, the movement has stopped in training, while they work the technique. However in free play, especially against some one from another group, who has stops, but not in the same places, there is a disconnect. As they now they feel movement, where they have been accustomed to there being none, their body has no response. Because of the change and the adrenaline, they lock up and freeze or crash.
This is not always the case, those who make a more vigorous training toward free play or competition often have dealt with the situation, consciously or not. However what I often see there is something that is being done in the context, the free play bout, the competition round, not something that would "work" in reality.
I know, I can't know, no one can what will work in reality, no one fights with swords for real any more. Competition etc. is held to be the highest pressure testing we have. All that is true, however context dictates and allows things, change the context and things change.
Look at how you are training, look for the pause or the stop that may be there. If you aren't aware of it and it is happening, you are conditioning it and conditioning has a far stronger on how you perform under pressure than what you have been training does..
The perennial discussion of whether one should free-play or spar is doing the rounds again on some of the HEMA fora.
Obviously there are a number of ways can approach developing the degrees of aliveness and spontaneity in how one trains. However in this case I am referring to free-play and sparing as the model of people wearing some kind of mask, generally following an unscripted format.
The usual arguments, mainly in favour of this kind of training have surfaced.
However there have been a few more people arguing for other ways to achieve the same goals without following this particular route. It has also been refreshing in the acknowledgement that not only that this may not be the only way, or even the best, but that not everyone wants to engage in this type of activity and that teachers job is to maximize the process and enjoyment of the students rather than enforce training models upon students.
However I am still, surprised and a little disappointed by the fact that many people view free play as the only or often, the best way to pressure test techniques or ones skills. Also that any kind of scripted or prearranged training sequence is at best, a way to aquire familiarity with the basic movements or is a form of moving meditation. This is generally because from my observations is that people have not explored the true depths of that kind of training. It is also because, people mistake the excitement and intensity of free-play/sparring for the truth of a real fight and can not wrap their heads around how something that is pre-set can reflect or prepare one for the multiple options and chaos of a real encounter.
I attended the official opening of this new exhibition at The Wallace Collection in London.
It is well worth a visit if you are in London between now and the 16th of September. Follow the link below to get more information.
Bad attacks/actions, lead to a false sense of security, the idea of getting something and "knowing" that it works. This is something I have written about before, but I have seen a number of videos posted in various places recently where this happens.
Poorly delivered attacks, where the body moves into distance before the weapon, allows many actions to carried out, which simply would not be able to happen if the attack was delivered properly.
Now part of teaching is to work with the scholar and deliver actions in such a way to provoke a certain response. However this is not what we generally see.
So a false attack is made and sense that the response works, is sustained, however false knowledge is being built on top of another layer of falsehood.