If you're in the NE Illinois/Wisconsin area, you're close to one of the two largest WMA conferences around - http://www.wmaw.us/2009/ . If you can be more specific about your location, I can probably recommend a decent school.
Originally Posted by Little Lamb
Now, as an ARMA member, I doubt that my opinion is nonbiased, but I'll put it forward anyway, in the true spirit of Bullshido.
Now, I don't know about other organizations, since the only other WMA 'group' here is actually a total douchelarp thingie, but I have faith in them. I commend on their efforts to be as close to the sources as possible, however I have come to realise that in the true spirit of those masters back then, you must truly go past the representations and depictions. Compliant drills and no-pressure exercises can do you little good after a while, and if you don't constantly test your skills with alive drilling and incessant freeplay/sparring, then you won't really advance your skills after a certain level.
A lot of folks have commented on other groups that in their effort to be close to the manuals, they assume awkward stances and place emphasis on wrong aspects of a technique. That is an issue indeed, one that we rarely encounter in ARMA due to the constant screening of non-effective techniques. It's not that we have a "it doesn't work, so it shows it's wrong", but more of a "it doesn't work, so I have to figure out what exactly I'm doing wrong".
It's a different sort of mentality and martial outlook, to be frank. It's not better or worse.
I agree with most of the above, but after having worked with many of the "other groups" over the years, I suggest that alive drilling, realistic freeplay, screening of non-effective techniques, etc. are taken for granted as basic practice in those groups. Offhand I can only think of one WMA group that doesn't spar, and they have met with considerable skepticism from the wider community because of that.
no, I don't really know.
ARMA was the first WMA group I ever heard of that was remotely alive.
I don't really know a hell of a lot of german, seems to be one problem.
maybe there's a FAQ or list being born?
There are dozens of WMA/HEMA forums and email lists; the German site I linked to seems to have one of the most comprehensive international lists of HEMA societies. If you look down the list you'll find a bunch of English-language links to groups in the USA, Canada, the UK and Australia.
The Wikipedia entry for Historical European Martial Arts offers a decent overview and plenty of links.
Anyway, as I said above, "alive" training is typical of the entire field of WMA/HEMA; it isn't a special feature of ARMA.
I'd like to clarify that a bit, being a member of the school in question (probably).
Originally Posted by DdlR
In Die Schlachtschule, you are correct, we don't to freeplay for Blossfechten (unarmored combat). Our instructor's position is that it breeds inauthentic habits. However, what we do is only a slight step below that at its highest level. I attack, you counter, I counter the conter and reattack, you counter and give me the coup de grace. All of these are unscripted. No, it's not freeplay, but it's very close to the sequences you see in the Fechtbucher- see Lignitzer's plays of the sword and buckler for an example.
We _do_, however, do Harnisfechten (armored) freeplay. We have a few safety rules in place so nobody breaks their neck.
Yes, there has been some skepticism- although I will say, each time I have seen outright criticism of our methods, it's almost univerally been from ARMA. Why that is, I don't know. Other groups may disagree, but tend to do so politely. FWIW, I was not exactly a novice martial artist coming into WMA. So far, the Schlachstschule principles have proved pretty sound. That being said, unless you're in LA or the Inland Empire, there aren't any classes, so it may not be useful information.
You will learn three things in the ARMA.
1: How to smell BS.
3: How to crush those who spread it.
2: How to fight realistically, with intensity and proper intent.
You will also be subjected to a lot of double-talk, politics, mindgames, and groupthink. My advice: join, stay in for a year or two, train your arse off, and the drop out. Ride it for what you can get and bolt.
---------- Post added at 11:32 PM ---------- Previous post was at 11:30 PM ----------
Your instuctor is an idiot.
Originally Posted by kg6cig
You wanna know why he doesn't like Blossfechten freeplay? Because they don't do it in the SCA. That's where he started, and that's where he still belongs. The evidence is overwhelming for freeplay in the HEMA. I don't know how many records of martial contests I've refeenced - from England to Germany, to Italy and even Greece - to not practice freeplay is ridiculous. Hugh Knight is the Tai Chi master of HEMA. Pathetic. Join a real group...or, better, shut up.
Last edited by ManYtWol; 3/19/2009 12:36am at .
The politics I can see (every group does that, more or less). Mindgames? What for?
Originally Posted by ManYtWol
I see no problem in groupthink (unless it develops in an us vs them mentality). And what do you mean by "double-talk"?
As for your advice, lots of people have already thought this smartass approach. And then go over and create their own groups using what they're taught from ARMA, as if they developed it themselves.
Keep it technical bitches- If you think there's a problem with doing only armored freeplay, post the reasons why you think unarmored is historically accurate and technically worthwhile. This is one of the most technical subforums so far and we need to keep it that way.
How is this helpful in a discussion?
Originally Posted by ManYtWol
To respond, however:
No, he's not an idiot. He may be wrong- only time will tell- but he is intelligent and well-educated on the subject. Neither of which precludes him from being wrong. But, suffice it to say, I don't think he is. But, only time will tell.
That's not why he doesn't believe in unarmored freeplay. In point of fact, they do have unamored freeplay in the SCA. He doesn't believe in it because he believes- and I agree with him- that it can create bad habits. One has only to look at kendo to see how far one can devaite from the actual combative form when you turn it into a sport
You wanna know why he doesn't like Blossfechten freeplay? Because they don't do it in the SCA. That's where he started, and that's where he still belongs.
Perhaps you could explain where Lichtenauer says that freeplay is necessary? Or Talhoffer? Von Danzig? Kal? Lignitzer? The only Lichtenauer-line person I know of who endorses freeplay is Mayer- and IIRC, he describes Schulefechten, which is not the same as fighting. It's still a sport, not actual combat. Be that as it may, whether you agree with it or not, we have reasons for the way we do it- and as I said, only time will tell if we're right.
The evidence is overwhelming for freeplay in the HEMA. I don't know how many records of martial contests I've refeenced - from England to Germany, to Italy and even Greece - to not practice freeplay is ridiculous.
I'm used to being ridiculed. I've been in martial arts for a long time- almost 30 yearss now. The styles I've studied have not always been the popular ones. But I'm pretty good at smelling BS- and so far, Hugh has backed up everything he says. So I'm going to stick with him, thanks- because frankly, comments like the following aren't indicative of a well-reasoned argument.
With all due respect, no. I will not do either. Nor, BTW, will I respond to anything further you have to say. I have no interest in trading insults. I've got a wife who's much better at it than you are- and more creative.
Hugh Knight is the Tai Chi master of HEMA. Pathetic. Join a real
group...or, better, shut up.
You're free to disagree with my position. But, when you call my instructor an idiot and tell me to shut up, clearly we've moved beyond the realm of a rational conversation. It's ok, I'm used to that- but I don't choose to participate in it.
To all others here- I apologize for the digression. IMy intent was to clarify our school's positino and why it exists, not to engage in meaningless diatribe. It won't reoccur on my part.
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