Distance problems

Distance problems

Post by Lawrence Allen Pard » Fri, 05 Apr 1996 04:00:00


Hi!  A lot of people have troble keeping distance and detrimining what their
own distance should be (ie moving in too close before attacking).  Does
anyone have any good drills that teach distance?  Please let me know.
Thanks in advance!
Allen Pardee
 
 
 

Distance problems

Post by Christophe Guetti » Sat, 06 Apr 1996 04:00:00


|> Hi!  A lot of people have troble keeping distance and detrimining what their
|> own distance should be (ie moving in too close before attacking).  Does
|> anyone have any good drills that teach distance?  Please let me know.
|> Thanks in advance!
|> Allen Pardee
|>

Allen,

Do a lot of lunges !

A basic trick is, at lesson, let A engage B,
A is guiding B - moving forward & backward -
while A is trying to keep the engagement
(at half blade - if you read my previous post on "prise de fer")

When A et B are okay, indicates A to change the rythm :
slow-slow-fast ect... If A stop B attack by "degagement"

You can put more and more constraints on both fencers:

- B change of engagement whenever he walks backward

- A try "derobement" while B changes

....

Christophe Guettier

Disclaimer : "Any opinion expressed above are only mine"

 
 
 

Distance problems

Post by David W Neev » Sat, 06 Apr 1996 04:00:00


Quote:
> Hi!  A lot of people have troble keeping distance and detrimining what their
> own distance should be (ie moving in too close before attacking).  Does
> anyone have any good drills that teach distance?  Please let me know.
> Thanks in advance!

You've asked the million dollar question. Being able to put yourself at the
proper distance is one of the fundamental keys to becoming a good fencer, and
is a very complex thing. There is no one "correct distance". Rather, the
correct distance to be at depends on what you need to do and what your
opponent is doing. The proper distance for a direct attack is different
from the proper distance is different from the proper distance for a riposte
(and so on). How do you learn what they are? Lots of experience and lessons.

Since you seem to be interested in what the right distance for an attack
is, here's a drill to learn the right distance for a direct feint- or
feint-disengage attack. It's called the "wall drill".

        Get a partner to assume the role of the defender. Have him/her come on
guard with the back foot against a wall, so that no retreat is possible.
The rules of the game are that you (the attacker) are free to move, and you
are going to make a direct feint attack. If you score a touch, you win. If
your partner can make contact with your blade, he/she wins. You can make
as many attempts as you need to until you either make a touch or get parried.
        In order to succeed, you need to make your feint so that your point
ends up at the "critical distance" for this action. This is about 1" to 2"
inches in front of your partner's guard. Once you have made the feint, there
are two possible ways you can finish: you can either continue on to make a
straight attack in the same line, or else disengage to the opposite line
and finish. Your parnter is now faced with the dilemma of whether you're
going to finish direct (i.e, parry now) or disengage (i.e., wait until you
switch lines to parry).
        Now, the reason why the place where you've just stuck your point
is called "critical" is because it is far enough away so that you can avoid
an attempt to parry with a disengagement, but close enough so that once your
opponent commits to either parrying or waiting for you to switch line,
there's not enough time to make another action when you finish to the line
that's not being defended.
        So if your opponent tries to parry, you disengage and finish your
attack with a good, accelerating lunge. If your opponent doesn't parry, you
finish in the same line with a good, accelerating lunge. And if your opponent
reponds by changing the distance (retreating or advancing), you change
distance with them and make a feint again. It will take practice to get this
down, but if you can get the distance right, and do a good lunge, you'll
succeed 8 to 9 times out of ten, and have a very effective feint attack to
use in bouting. I've learned to do it well, and the direct feint attack is by
far my best offensive action (indirect attacks tend to be another story for
me-- still haven't got the distance and hand position for those down reliably
yet--sigh).  

        As I've alluded to above, this is only one action. The proper
distance for another attack will be different. And even for this action,
a change in your opponents position can alter the distance; if your oppnent
has a "loose" on-guard, with the arm well extended, you need to make the
feint a little farther out; if they have a tight, close in guard, the
distance will be a little bit closer. And being off by just an inch can
be the difference between success and failure.

Anyway, that's what I know about the subject.

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David Neevel        | "This is no place for an entymologist."

                    |                         --Dana Sculley
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 
 
 

Distance problems

Post by Stephan Khin » Mon, 08 Apr 1996 05:00:00

The wall drill is an incredibly powerful exercise, and I want to know as
many variations as possible. Not to pick nits, but there are aspects of
this version which I don't understand. Read on.

On Apr 05, 1996 23:04:56 in article <Re: Distance problems>,

Quote:
>    Get a partner to assume the role of the defender. Have him/her come on
guard  
>with the back foot against a wall, so that no retreat is possible.

Got it. NO, WAIT . . . where am *I* standing?

Quote:
> The rules of  
>the game are that you (the attacker) are free to move, and you are going
to  
>make a direct feint attack.  

Do you mean "either a direct attack or a feint attack?" I don't understand
this terminology. I *know* it's annoying, but . . .  

If you score a touch, you win. If your partner can  

Quote:
>make contact with your blade, he/she wins. You can make as many attempts
as you  
>need to until you either make a touch or get parried.

"Make contact" or "parry"?

Quote:
>    In order to succeed, you need to make your feint so that your point ends
up at  
>the "critical distance" for this action. This is about 1" to 2" inches in
front  
>of your partner's guard. Once you have made the feint, there are two
possible  
>ways you can finish: you can either continue on to make a straight attack
in  
>the same line, or else disengage to the opposite line and finish.

<snip>

Quote:
>    So if your opponent tries to parry, you disengage and finish your attack
with  
>a good, accelerating lunge. If your opponent doesn't parry, you finish in
the  
>same line with a good, accelerating lunge. And if your opponent reponds by
>changing the distance (retreating or advancing), you change distance with
them  
>and make a feint again.

Isn't she against the wall? And if she advances, doesn't she run onto my
feint?

Please straighten me out. Thanks in advance.
__  
Stephan Khinoy

 
 
 

Distance problems

Post by David W Neev » Tue, 09 Apr 1996 04:00:00


Quote:

> The wall drill is an incredibly powerful exercise, and I want to know as
> many variations as possible. Not to pick nits, but there are aspects of
> this version which I don't understand. Read on.

> On Apr 05, 1996 23:04:56 in article <Re: Distance problems>,

>>        Get a partner to assume the role of the defender. Have him/her come on
> guard  
>>with the back foot against a wall, so that no retreat is possible.

> Got it. NO, WAIT . . . where am *I* standing?

As the attacker, you'll be starting out at feint-attack distance-- that is,
so that when you make a feint, your point ends up at the critical distance
of 1"-2" in front of your opponent's guard.

Quote:
>> The rules of  
>>the game are that you (the attacker) are free to move, and you are going
> to  
>>make a direct feint attack.  

> Do you mean "either a direct attack or a feint attack?" I don't understand
> this terminology. I *know* it's annoying, but . . .  

I mean direct feint attack: an attack that starts with a feint and concludes
with a straight attack to 6 or 4.
(direct = straight attack, indirect= angulated attack; there's also
such a thing as an indirect feint attack).

Quote:

> If you score a touch, you win. If your partner can  
>>make contact with your blade, he/she wins. You can make as many attempts
> as you  
>>need to until you either make a touch or get parried.

> "Make contact" or "parry"?

Depends on how tough you want to make it. My coach often stipulates that
even incidental contact is bad, since it means that you had put your blade
where it was possible for your opponent to take it, if they'd been alert.
If your just starting people off with the drill for the first time, you
can specify "parry" instead of contact.

Quote:
>> And if your opponent reponds by

>>changing the distance (retreating or advancing), you change distance with
> them  
>>and make a feint again.

> Isn't she against the wall? And if she advances, doesn't she run onto my
> feint?

Whoops. Forgot to mention that I'd shifted from descrbing the drill to
describing how to use the action during a bout in that last statement.
The defender in the drill keeps the back foot planted to the ground.

And the opponent doesn't have to advance so far that they run on to your
point-- just enough so that they can make a prise de fer or a closeout
counterattack before you can avoid their blade. Basically, by moving
forward by about 2", they've changed the relative distance so that
your feint is no longer at critical distance, but can be picked up with
a small, quick blade motion which you won't have time to avoid unless you
back up.

Quote:
> Please straighten me out. Thanks in advance.

Hope this clears things up for you.

                        -Dave N.

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------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 
 
 

Distance problems

Post by gary hayeng » Tue, 09 Apr 1996 04:00:00

Quote:

> The wall drill is an incredibly powerful exercise, and I want to know as
> many variations as possible. Not to pick nits, but there are aspects of
> this version which I don't understand. Read on.

> On Apr 05, 1996 23:04:56 in article <Re: Distance problems>,

> >       Get a partner to assume the role of the defender. Have him/her come on
> guard  
> >with the back foot against a wall, so that no retreat is possible.

> Got it. NO, WAIT . . . where am *I* standing?

Anywhere in front of them you choose.  Choosing
the proper distance is part of the drill.

Quote:
> > The rules of  
> >the game are that you (the attacker) are free to move, and you are going
> to  
> >make a direct feint attack.  

> Do you mean "either a direct attack or a feint attack?" I don't understand
> this terminology. I *know* it's annoying, but . . .  

You make a feint, and then either lunge or disengage and then lunge,
The target is the chest in either 4 or 6.

Quote:
> If you score a touch, you win. If your partner can  
> >make contact with your blade, he/she wins. You can make as many attempts
> as you  
> >need to until you either make a touch or get parried.

> "Make contact" or "parry"?

any blade contact counts as a parry for this drill, the
attacker is not allowed to beat.

Quote:

> >       In order to succeed, you need to make your feint so that your point ends
> up at  
> >the "critical distance" for this action. This is about 1" to 2" inches in
> front  
> >of your partner's guard. Once you have made the feint, there are two
> possible  
> >ways you can finish: you can either continue on to make a straight attack
> in  
> >the same line, or else disengage to the opposite line and finish.

> <snip>

Here Dave is speaking of a different drill,
still a feint-attack drill,
where the defender is allowed to retreat.

Quote:

> >       So if your opponent tries to parry, you disengage and finish your attack
> with  
> >a good, accelerating lunge. If your opponent doesn't parry, you finish in
> the  
> >same line with a good, accelerating lunge. And if your opponent reponds by

> >changing the distance (retreating or advancing), you change distance with
> them  
> >and make a feint again.

> Isn't she against the wall? And if she advances, doesn't she run onto my
> feint?

Yes if she advances without parrying she runs on to your
feint, however closing the distance may make it
easier to find the attackers blade.

There are many, many variations of the wall drill.
Almost all are designed to start simply and make
it increasingly difficult to score with a feint attack
to 4 or 6.

 Please straighten me out. Thanks in advance.

Quote:
> __  
> Stephan Khinoy

I hope this helps,

gary hayenga

 
 
 

Distance problems

Post by Theodore Norve » Tue, 09 Apr 1996 04:00:00



Quote:
>Does anyone have any good drills that teach distance?  Please let me know.

Distance is as much a matter of understanding where your opponent will be
in the future as measuring where they are now.  As Julius Palffry-Alpar
puts it ``An attack should be aimed at the distance where the opponent
will be when he realizes he will be attacked and not at the distance
prior to the attack.''

Some exercises:

-- Play the following game. You and your opponent fence a bout with
the following restriction: Neither may parry.  The only defense is distance.
It is a good idea to ban fleches and chasing.

-- In practice bouts, again try to defend only by distance.

--In practice bouts, try to hit with direct attacks alone (no deception of
the blade, no preparation).  Eliminating or restricting yourself to
step-lunges makes it yet more challenging.

--Try both the previous exercises at once.

The last three exercises may make the bout a bit more boring for your
opponent, but they will do a world of good for you.

Theo Norvell

 
 
 

Distance problems

Post by Stephan Khin » Wed, 10 Apr 1996 04:00:00


Quote:

>As the attacker, you'll be starting out at feint-attack distance-- that
is, so  
>that when you make a feint, your point ends up at the critical distance of
>1"-2" in front of your opponent's guard.

Are you specifying one distance, or saying that the drill can be done from
*any* of the following:  

Starting at lunge distance, so that my feint with extension reaches the
critical distance;
or starting at advance-lunge distance, so that my advance-extend (or vice
versa) reaches the critical distance and my thrust or disengage hits;  
or starting at a distance such that that my extension-beginning-of-lunge
(floating feint) reaches critical distance (with or without advance)
or (except for the wall) starting at fleche distance . . . etc.

Quote:
>>> The rules of  
>>>the game are that you (the attacker) are free to move, and you are going
>> to  
>>>make a direct feint attack.  
>(direct = straight attack, indirect= angulated attack; there's also such a
>thing as an indirect feint attack).

Does the i.f.a. mean that the feint is angulated, like a flick or a
low-line dig or a flanconnade, or that the attack is, or either? Also,
where do you derive this terminology? Excuse my persistence, but I'm a
terminal terminology collector <g>. Published source, if at all possible,
please.  

                     <snip>

You follow with a really good point <whoops!> which people should study and
take to heart:  

Quote:
>And the opponent doesn't have to advance so far that they run on to your  
>point-- just enough so that they can make a prise de fer or a closeout  
>counterattack before you can avoid their blade. Basically, by moving
forward by  
>about 2", they've changed the relative distance so that your feint is no
longer  
>at critical distance, but can be picked up with a small, quick blade
motion  
>which you won't have time to avoid unless you back up.

>Hope this clears things up for you.

We're getting there. Thanks again.  
-
Stephan Khinoy
 
 
 

Distance problems

Post by David W Neev » Wed, 10 Apr 1996 04:00:00


Quote:
> Are you specifying one distance, or saying that the drill can be done from
> *any* of the following:  

> Starting at lunge distance, so that my feint with extension reaches the
> critical distance;
> or starting at advance-lunge distance, so that my advance-extend (or vice
> versa) reaches the critical distance and my thrust or disengage hits;  
> or starting at a distance such that that my extension-beginning-of-lunge
> (floating feint) reaches critical distance (with or without advance)
> or (except for the wall) starting at fleche distance . . . etc.

Any starting position can work; the action just has to end up with
the feint being made at the critical distance. Gary Hayenga, who's my
teacher, made a couple of posts about wall drills yesterday. Part of the
drill is to figure out what starting distances will work.

Quote:
>>(direct = straight attack, indirect= angulated attack; there's also such a

>>thing as an indirect feint attack).

> Does the i.f.a. mean that the feint is angulated, like a flick or a
> low-line dig or a flanconnade, or that the attack is, or either?

It can mean either. In fact, if your opponent is fond of closing disance
when you attack, making an indirect feint and then finishing with a
direct attack when they start to close in can work nicely.

Quote:
> Also,
> where do you derive this terminology? Excuse my persistence, but I'm a
> terminal terminology collector <g>. Published source, if at all possible,
> please.  

        Well, those are the terminologies that Gary Hayenga uses. Beyond
that, I have no idea as to their sources. I can ask him about the etymology
tonight. Harlan Harris asked me the same question, and I told him that I
think the logic behind the nomenclature is that a straight, unangulated
attack follows the most direct path to the target (i.e., a straight line),
whereas with an angulated attack, the point is describing an arcing (and
thus less direct) path towards the target. Since it's generally a good
idea to use the same terminology as the person who's teaching you, that's
the meaning I give the terms.

I suggested to Harlan that we get some EC bureaucrat in Brussels to come
up with a standardised fencing glossary-- it seems to be the sort of thing
those folks are into :-).

                        -Dave N.

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Distance problems

Post by Peter Gustafss » Thu, 11 Apr 1996 04:00:00

Hi!



<big snip>

Quote:
>I suggested to Harlan that we get some EC bureaucrat in Brussels to come
>up with a standardised fencing glossary-- it seems to be the sort of thing
>those folks are into :-).

Actually, there *IS* a fencing club for the EU bureaucrats in Brussels, so why
not. ;-) This may be a good thing. It never hurts to have friends in high
positions, maybe they could do something about keeping fencing safely in the
Olympics.

Quote:
>                    -Dave N.

Have a nice time!

Peter Gustafsson

 
 
 

Distance problems

Post by Matt Skerri » Fri, 19 Apr 1996 04:00:00


: |> Hi!  A lot of people have troble keeping distance and detrimining what their
: |> own distance should be (ie moving in too close before attacking).  Does
: |> anyone have any good drills that teach distance?  Please let me know.
: |> Thanks in advance!
: |> Allen Pardee
: |>

Liked the wall drill mentioned before ... I'll tell the club about that one
next week!

We've got a couple of our own that we use. Basically, the quote which our top
fencer keeps drumming into us is "the best parry in the world is a step back"
and having used it successfully a number of times .. I've got to agree
wholeheartedly. If you can keep good distance with your opponent, they should
never hit you. (Without suckering you anyway).

So we do these drills.

1)

Pair off, (ie pick a partner). One partner should have a weapon, and the other
should put on a mask. Now the idea of the drill is for the person with the
weapon to score a touch against their partner. THe person without the blade
must keep distance with the partner with the blade (but keep only JUST out of
hitting range, to stop them running down to the other end of the strip). So
when the fencer with the blade lunges, the partner should step back, thus
avoiding the attack (though in a bout, you'd have to step back and parry, to
keep with the right of way rules, but that's a side issue).

Anyway, this teaches two things: the person with no weapon learns to keep
distance, and how to step back to avoid attacks (because it's a lot easier
to parry an attack that you know has missed, than one that's still in action).
Also .. it teaches the person with the weapon to sucker opponents into moving
forward into an attack. BEcause if the drill is done properly, unless you can
make the opponent with no weapon think that you're not moving forward, you'll
never hit them because they'll just keep stepping back when you attack.

We've found this to be a really good drill. Of course, after a designated
period of time (or hits, or whatever), the partners swap roles.

Oh, if any of you want to know more about the "suckering" of an oponent as I
mentioned .. (we call them "sucker moves" here) .. just say so, and I'll post
what I know (everything I've posted here is actually the brainchild of our
resident A-Grader, who teaches us, and I don't know where he gets it from,
but they're good drills I find).

2)

Each partner get's a glove, but does not wear it, and come en guard facing each
other, holding the glove in theyr primary hand. One of the partners takes a
step forward lunge, and tries to hit the other with his/her glove. The other
partner then takes a step forward lunge, in the same fashion. There is no pause
to let the person in lunge go back either .. the idea is for them to learn to
lunge and recover (and retreat) quickly, and for the attacker to learn to
attack in that split second between when their opponent finishes a lunge, and
recovers. (I hope this is making sence). It also teaches "stealing" of distance
(so, instead of lunging with all your strength in your first attack, you just
do a smaller lunge, and retreat quickly, just stealing that little bit of
distance, becuase your partner things that's your lunge distance, and then hit
them with a full lunge when they're close enough). THough this is more of a
footwork/balance drill, it does incorporate some good distance work.

Hope you find this useful.

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