I agree with you, although it is as you say a big generalization. It does vary a lot. In my club we try to increase strength, agility, control and speed using various excercises. A normal two hour training session for the longsworders, once you have completed the beginners course, looks like this:
Originally Posted by DdlR
15 min warm up
20-30 min of fairly hard workout
20-30 min technique training
20-30 min sparring
15 min of fairly hard workout
Here are a couple of old videos from the workout part. The excercises change somewhat between sessions though.
YouTube - GHFS Workout stations
YouTube - HEMA workout at the GHFS
What is not shown in the videos, are things like excercises for improving footwork, sense of blade control, distance and timing.
And regarding the questions, I agree that it depends on the weapon of choice, but overall fitness is of course great. However, I think that emphasizing the legs might be good, since that will help improve your footwork, which is crucial. Arm strength does not win over technique by itself. Strong arms and good technique do, however.
It also depends on how you regard steel blunts/sharps and sword simulators. Blunts are often a bit too heavy and clumsy, but if you spar with them, you probably do need to increase your arm strength, especially the forearms, wrists and shoulders, to be able to control your force. If you practice with lighter weapons, like nylons or shinai, then it is not as necessary.
Explosiveness (is that even a word?) or speed relates to many things. Practicing the right muscles, finding proper stance and balance to attack from, building a relaxed and focused mindset, and very much also handling your weapon properly. For a longsword it is strongly connected to how you handle the pommel to increase the point speed.
Stamina is incredibly important to be able to cope with sparring with focus, so running, or wrestling or whatever keeps your pulse up will probably be good for you as a swordsman too.
Historically, there are fewer examples. However, I do recall seeing a reference to a fight master who wrote a manual on essentially, "OK, so you have to fight a duel in 1 month..." and gave a lot of physical fitness, diet, and even sleep advice, including a set routine to follow. I think one of the participants on HES-SFI did a video montage of it.
Originally Posted by DdraigGoch
I'm more 19th C. WMA but I've used a lot of the old fitness manuals and some of the routines from old Boxing and Wrestling manuals. I liked the Strongfort (and by extension Prof. Atilla) material. I've done the Karl Gotch Bible, worked the Farmer Burns exercises, and am seriously considering the Charles Atlas workout (OK, that's mid 20th C. but it looks comparable to a lot of the late 19th/Early 20th C. stuff). I'm also considering the Hackenschmidt and Doran material. The Doran stuff looks like a good way to sample Indian Clubs without going into a full IC manual. I've also done a bit of Allen Reed's "Dancing with Swords" exercises which is based on the concept of Farmer Burns exercises while holding your waster.
As a general question, what sort of routines do you guys use?
Peace favor your sword,
I'm guessing this is the clip you were thinking of: YouTube - prepare for judicial duel
I remember 1 period text that described the basic exercise routine for a fighter/soldier/knight.
The text said practice swordsmanship, wrestling & tumbling. Obviously doing an activity is a good way to get in shape for that activity & it makes sense to list the primary combative activites before suplimental exersices. Tumbling was (to my mind) a primary combative skill. It was practiced, not just to build strength, but also to teach fighters how to fall safely.
The text then listed running, swimming & the lifting & throwing of stones as good exercises.
So, I wrestle & fence & am trying to learn some basic tumbling along with my breakfalls. I run wind-sprints & (when the season permits) I swim laps in a pool. I'm using a medicine ball & will soon be purchasing a kettlebell to simulate the lifting & throwing of stones. Of course, you could always just use stones if you wanted.
Yeah, that's the one.
Originally Posted by Grimnir69
Peace favor your sword,
well i think fitness and generic body conditioning should be part of any martial art or self defense for that matter.
personally i think that core strength and body conditioning, is more important than stamina.
so I advise running twice a week once jogging and once doing a cooper test IE running as far as you can in 12 minutes, ideally we should have a frationed work
you know 4 times sprint 100 walk 100, 3*sprint 200 walk 100 and finish with a 400
so we are doing warm up stretching (10 minutes)
obviously the number of reps depend on how long you have been trainning.
20 rolling press up, enlarging the hand stance after the 10 first
20 Bulgarian split squats with tip toes end
20 rolling press up narrowing the hand stance after 10
20 Bulgarian split squats with tip toes end, wide stance
20 press up when you bend knee and elbow the last 10 jumped
20 Bulgarian split squats with a jump at the end
20 pushed crushes
20 lateral pushed crunches
20 jab-cross at the hands of someone sitting one you tights
3* 30 sec planks with head looking forward. (or we replace it by 3 length of what the English call Indian craw, basically a plank moving forward.
on dojo length of extended frog jumps
one dojo length of iron horse jumps
I should relay get a rope to do rope climbing
that takes about 20-25 minutes
after that we have break falls (forward, back ward reversed, and long range with hips throws we usually finish with Humpfred armoured take down
the rest of the first hour is either minutes of either punching and kick combinationon each other or a heavy bag.
or some basic ground work that I nicked from a polish JJ instructor (and one of my guy that is doing JJ) in the dojo and the video from Brandon Kaiser and Brian Yamasaki, Jason Jeanette & Daniel Klapheke and the guy from www.TrainFightWin.com
or some ringen throws
the idea is to do that with some resistance so it is more a work out than JJ/boxing/kicking proper but it made it clear that Humpfred does nor really work if you do not have plate on you and it give a reasonable notion of when and how to kick and be at the receiving end.
The sword lesson always start with the 5 strikes.
Great! Thanks for the input. It seems like there are a lot of good ideas around.
I did notice a bit of a difference between the average fitness levels of the people at my HEMA compared to the MMA schools I have checked out. It will be really interesting to watch as the fitness component of HEMA gets better developed.
The school I go to actually has a "sword fit" program that seems to incorporate grappling, longsword, and quarterstaff with circuit fitness training. I am, personally, more inclined to do fitness on my own time but it seems like a cool program.
Does anyone have any experience using club/macebells? I haven't used them but it seems like they would be effective tools.
Originally Posted by DdraigGoch
Well yes that would be. The least lethal the weapon and the more competitive duelling orientated you training is, the more physical attributes (fitness, core strength, explosive power, flexibility, body conditioning etc etc) will be a potential differentiator. So in MMA for example you can not afford to let that side down because if you do you leave an avenue for your opponent to exploit, so it is just as important as being technically good. Because the game is quite broad, you do need a bread range of physical attribute to support it.
If you take Olympic fencing, the physical is important however there much less potential physical differentiator as you have in MMA. The game being much more “lethal” there are physical aspect that are worth the time you will spend working on them because it does not really help in making a difference in you game.
I think that sometimes in the Hema world we suffer of the SD syndrome, i.e. the weapon/technique we use, is so lethal that we do not need to be fit and in shape.
And to an extend that is true however you still need to survive the first attack.
And if it is true that our potential opponent will be poorly martially trained and in an average physical condition.
Just as it make sense that MA/CS practice gives you an edge on the technical front, it does make sense to have the same edge in your physical attributes.
You do not need to train like a pro or semi pro MMA fighter unless you want to be a pro or a semi pro MMA fighter but I think there is a minimum to be done.
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