Guides 1

While waiting for the snow to melt so that I can finally get around to shooting photos for the Jeu de la Hache book, I thought I’d get around to finally finishing up the curriculum guides for the /br /There are three basic guides for the Apprentices, the iabrazare, daga /iand ispada longa/inbsp;guides, respectively. nbsp;Each one is focused on the respective portions of Fiore’s art that (and this part is important) iI/inbsp;think are fundamental knowledge. nbsp;Following in Fiore’s method, I build on each successive guide. nbsp;Therefore the grappling guide comes first, followed by the dagger and sword guides. nbsp;iSpada una mano/i, ilanza /iand iazza /iguides are also in the works, and possibly a ispada en arme/i guide if ever there is enough interest by the student body (which seems unlikely, given the prohibitive cost of armour). nbsp;I think maybe a istretto /iguide would be a good addition as well. nbsp;Damn. nbsp;More projects. nbsp;There is a Companion rank guide in the works, but it’s such a huge undertaking, it won’t be done in my /br /This brings me to an interesting set of observations. nbsp;These guides have been in the works for literally iyears/i. nbsp;I’m sick of seeing the files on my hard drive! nbsp;But that’s not really what I observed. nbsp;What I observed is the evolution of the school and its curriculum through the various iterations of the guides. nbsp;It began as one huge guide, then got splintered. nbsp;I went from trying to put all relevant information into it to simply putting what was necessary as a memory aid, with the rest being fleshed out in class. nbsp;I went from trying to replicate an entire grappling system from Fiore’s principles to simply including a few techniques and principles. nbsp;I went from a bunch of techniques to simply using set play and flow drills that build on each other. nbsp;4 or 5 set play drills should showcase the entire core of the /br /So am I watering down my teaching? nbsp;Perhaps, but I don’t think so. nbsp;Am I simplifying it? nbsp;Hell yes. nbsp;The Companion rank is supposed to act as two things: a formal admittance into the ranks of the school members as well as an acknowledgement of having met certain basic requirements. nbsp;For me, it means I know that people know what an iacressere/inbsp;is and what a igambarola/inbsp;is. nbsp;It means that they can adopt iposta di donna/inbsp;when I ask them to. nbsp;Does it make them fearsome warriors? nbsp;Not in the least. nbsp;Does it mean they can even fight? nbsp;Not really. nbsp;Ultimately, of course, the goal is the capability of fighting, but that’s not the be-all and end all of what we do. nbsp;We train for the art’s sake in itself. nbsp;The very practice of the Art is a physical, mental and spiritual exercise in which we should revel. nbsp;Kicking butt just adds to the /br /Returning to the question at hand, which was basically: did I devalue the curriculum and/or the ranks? nbsp;Definitely not. nbsp;Many different groups have many different methods of training, and I simply evolved from one to another. nbsp;Instead of having students perform “play one” then “play two” etc., now we can string them together in series of plays, building up the drill. nbsp;Different methodologies, not better nor worse. nbsp;As an example, I had a student not long ago tell me we used to do much more footwork than we do now. nbsp;I thought it was an interesting comment, since I disagreed, but decided to ponder it some. nbsp;The answer isn’t that we do less footwork, we arguably do more, it’s just that it takes a different form. nbsp;Rather than do dedicated footwork drills (as in put one foot in front of the other for fifteen minutes), I integrated footwork into other drills. nbsp;Poste dances, dagger drills, etc. nbsp;The footwork is implicit, rather than explicit. nbsp;Sometimes the weapon serves as a distraction, other times a reinforcement. nbsp;Different, not better nor /br /In fact, I could systematically replace every drill in the curriculum with new ones that respect the mechanics of the system, but embracing a new training paradigm and the results would be largely /br /So as I sit here, grasping my head in pain from the massive undertaking of once again going through the curriculum guides to update them and hopefully finally get them out, I can console myself in the fact that I continue to progress and change, rather than stagnate. nbsp;The day I stop thinking about what we’re doing and the best ways to achieve those goals is the day I should put down my sword and go home. nbsp;So while yes, we are in a constant state of flux, the core material hasn’t changed, only the manner in which we train it. nbsp;That diversity is our strength, and should be /br /Now that I’ve put up this blatantly self-congratulatory post, I’ll go back to stroking my ego over the keyboard as I comb the guides for the umpteenth /br /Oh, and by the way, more dedicated footwork drills will be forthcoming, dear students. Patterns of footwork. You asked, I answered…

One thought on “Guides

  • Alex

    quot;The day I stop thinking about what we#39;re doing and the best ways to achieve those goals is the day I should put down my sword and go home.quot;br /br /A-freakin-men.

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