Category: Concepts

  • The Kendo Kote Dilemma – Why Single Choice Cooperative Drills Don’t Work

    Originally published on Fechtlehre . When I trained kendo, the two main attacks that we drilled were kote (right forearm strike) and men (head strike). The way we practiced our basic strikes with partners was through single choice cooperative drills, IE one side provides a chosen stimulus, and the other must react to the stimulus…

  • Aliveness – Stepping Stone or Red Herring?

    In the Information Processing Approach (IPA) format of teaching an action, the coach first isolates the action from its context, sometimes breaking it down into its constituent movements, and then has the athlete repeat the simplified action. The hypothesis is that the athlete will gain “muscle memory” through repetition of the action, which they can…

  • Breaking the feedback loop to make bad games

    The following are the results of a game design challenge to design games which have the biggest discrepency between their apparent usefulness and their actual ability to teach sills. Sean FranklinGame List: 6 Games for a Complete FencerExplanation (and introduction to the challenge): 6 Bad Games – Lessons From The Rondo Tea KewGame List: 6…

  • Reaction Times in HEMA

    Over the last year or so, a Ukrainian HEMA Youtube channel called Bent Blades has uploaded several videos showing various experiments and tests they have done to determine the time it takes to execute various attacks. I found this very interesting, because I also have done tests to attempt to measure the speed of attacks…

  • Flow State in the Ecological Approach

    Since I have started digging into the rabbit hole that is the ecological approach, it is interesting to revisit topics and concepts that I had previously learned and known about, and see how they fit into the ecological approach. It’s kind of like when you drink alcohol the first time, and then you want to…

  • Exploring Differential Learning (Part 1)

    Class at Bucks Historical Longsword follows a fairly regular format, we usually do about one “simple” game and one or two “complex” games (simple game being a game with fewer viable paths to success than a complex game, IE direct attack is simple, sabre march is complex), usually based on a passage from the Lew…

  • Pressure Testing in Sports and Martial Arts

    There is an idea primarily in martial arts, that moves need to be “pressure tested” in sparring or competition in order to be effective. This is of course correct, it has been shown time and time again that an action needs to be used in its context in order for it to be effective. The…

  • Cues and Kinematics: Brief analogy of animation and motor skills

    In Computer Animation and Robotics (but we won’t discuss the latter since I honestly don’t know much about it), there are two ways of controlling kinetic and motor actions in actors, usually referred to as Forward and Inverse Kinematics. The purpose of both of them is to get joints/bones in characters to achieve a certain…

  • The Direct Attack Drill is Special: Self-Scaling Games

    The direct attack drill is a drill that I was first introduced to by Adrien Pommellet, who learned it from a Giovanni Rapisardi video. I later read about it in the book Make the Cut by John Chow, in reference to modern Sabre fencing. Over the last couple of years, we have used this game…

  • Buy-in: Implicit Rules in Games and Drills

    The idea of “buy-in” is something that I think a lot about when designing drills and games, so in this article I’d like to give a clear definition and breakdown of what I mean when I talk about buy-in. I don’t want to create a definition that everyone has to use, but this will be…