Category: Case studies

  • Ice Climber Syndrome – When does one move dominate a game?

    I. Ice Climber Syndrome I am a follower and occasionally (terrible) player of the game Super Smash Brothers Melee, which is a very old game that still has an active competitive scene. As such, it has gone through a lot of changes over the years and many new strategies and exploits have been discovered. There…

  • HEMA Ratings Part 1: Tiered Tournaments and Unrated Fencers

    I have worked on this article on and off over the past half year or so. I started it right after my club’s tournament Revolution Rumble, because I was fascinated by the variance of skill in the tier of almost all unrated fencers, and also how that shook out in terms of HEMA rating. This…

  • Guards Revisited

    Prologue: I wrote this with my conclusions, but I will write it here as well in case you don’t read that far: Please replicate this experiment. If you are in a position in your club where you can decide what activities your fencers do, please take some time to do this. It is fun, helpful…

  • Causing Attraction: Non-Dominant Foot Forward in Longsword Fencing

    In ecological dynamics, the term Attractor or Movement Attractor shows up every now and then. Attractors can be seen as preferred motor pattern solutions in the current activity context. When an action is seen as intuitive or habitual, it might be the attractor at work. Habit and intuition can be nebulous concepts however, so to…

  • How I Learned To Stop Trying And Finally Fixed Knee Collapse

    I spent a lot of time trying to fix people’s knee collapse. But the solution ended up being to stop trying to fix it, and just give them more realistic training activities.

  • CLA Class Example – Body Language and Deception

    This is a writeup of a class I ran recently which I think makes a good case study in using the Constraints Led Approach to teaching.

  • AG Open 2023 Stats – Point Values vs Targets Hit

    I haven’t posted my usual Friday article for the past 2 weeks. Two Fridays ago it was because I was at the AG Open event in Plymouth Michigan to compete, ref, and lecture. Last week I just forgot. But now we’re back, and I’m going to post something related to the event. Something that I…

  • On External Triggers

    A core tenet of the ecological approach states that fencing is mostly defined by a constant interaction loop between the two fencers: the decisions I make are based on my opponent’s behaviour, and these will in turn influence their next action. This obvious claim should not be news to most HEMA fencers (or at least,…

  • Action Capacities and Footwork

    Recently the longsword classes at Athena School of Arms have been focusing on footwork, with really good results. Most of our beginner and intermediate students (roughly 6 months-2 years experience) have shown significant improvements. This is a lot better than our past attempts to teach footwork, so I wanted to take a look at what…

  • 6 Games to Shit Up Your Fencing

    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…