The European Historical Combat Guild

Investigating Europe's Historical combative methods and behaviours

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Introducing Intention of Movement in to your training

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..



  1. Jonathan, as you are of course aware we share the same observations. I could put my thoughts on "fluidity in movement"but you have already stated our thoughts already.
    What I will say after all my years of involvement in recreating ancient combat, the lack of fluidity is the hardest technique to master, because one
    does not always know that you do not have it .
    Best to all seekers,
    Guild Master

  2. Hello John / Jonathan, I do not always comment but I do read!! As a big guy, movement is key to everything, to my mind it is not just about the combat per se but about surviving and winning, therefore to move and move well, one must see or at least be able to perceive ones own death in combat... That for me is the greatest driver for fluidity and 'appropriate' movement.



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