Tag: ecological approach

  • Beginning to use Games

    So if you’ve been reading this blog for a while now, or participating in discussions about ecological coaching on venues like Facebook or Discord, you might be curious about how to incorporate some of these approaches into your own coaching. However, if you’re currently running a “traditional” class, you might also be hesitant to radically…

  • Invariants as Diagnostics

    In traditional coaching, each movement is normally considered to have an ideal or platonic form, which represents the optimal way it should be executed. Deviation from this form is then an error to be corrected, or at best a variation in response to a specific context. Obviously the ecological approach entirely rejects this framing, but…

  • 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.

  • Types of Training Games

    All models are wrong, but some are useful George Box To say that you can easily classify training games would be a lie. You can probably come up with multiple different taxonomies that are all mostly accurate, and all have different strengths and flaws. The usefulness of such a model isn’t in the fact that it…

  • Monday Musings: Sparring Habits

    In discussions of how to structure a curriculum, it’s common to see statements like “allowing students to spar early means they’ll build bad habits”. I don’t think this is true – but even if it is, it’s worth pondering this question: If sparring at the end of a class builds habits that are ‘stickier’ than…

  • 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 Bad Games – Lessons From The Rondo

    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…