Fechtschule America 2011

Finally feeling rested and willing to do a quick review of the Fechtschule America 2011 event in Houston Texas.

When I left my house on Thursday morning to head to Pittsburgh International Airport, I had to chip the ice off the windshield and brush the snow off the van. We had a little going down the road sideways incident with the van as well. Winter was not letting go of her grip of Ohio yet(And it snowed last night, just two inches, but really, I have had enough already this year). Texas on the other hand was hot, by day for I longed for the ice and snow. I could go on about this but I did enough of that last weekend.

This event was very well organized and run, both the classes and the tournaments. The only hiccup was the tournament on Sunday running over but there was enough wiggle room that this did not make much of an impact. This event was also very sword/historical fencing centric…which is not a bad thing, the people it drew were for the most part there for the HEMA. This meant my two classes, pugilism and Parkyn’s close hugg were a bit underattended but honestly, I get to go over more material in a smaller class and the fact is, you have to start somewhere.

As per how I normally do these big multiclass events. I only took a few classes in the hope of retaining what I learned. Too easy to get brain burn.

Brian Stokes Fiore’s Abrazare – A bit different than what I normally do but it is always good to get some insight how others are going about grappling.

Luis Preto JdP against multiple attackers – This was the class I was looking forward tot he most and i am glad I go the chance to take it. I have done some JdP int he past but a different style so it was great to see this one in action.

Chris Amendola Cane as a weapon – A fun class with a few new things to learn thrown in as a bonus.

Stephen Fick Swetnam’s Rapier – I only got to take about a third of this class before having to get ready to catch my flight…still what I did get to do gave me a taste of the system. It seems like a good system for a guy like me who doesn’t particularly like rapier:)

Three tournaments this year, a Dussack, Nylon Longsword and steel invitational. Again very well run and towards the end you could really see some great technique being shown as the cream rose to the top.

Definitely a great time…my hosts, the Amendola’s did a great job at making me feel at home, I cannot thank them enough.

So assuming there is a next year’s event, it should be on your things to do list.

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Session 3-30-11

Yesterday Matt and I got together and trained for a few hours.

We started by going over some of the material I took in at Fechtschule America 2-11 in Houston TX this past week end…I’ll get to that in another email.

So a quick review of a few new JdP drills and some work on using the cane as a weapon then right into sambo.
2 rounds of grip/off balance work
2 rounds freestyle sambo
1 round par terre
1 round combat sambo

Session 3-20-11

Chris, Matt and I today…

2 rounds shadow boxing
4 rounds three count cadence drill
2 rounds partnered footwork drill
1 round freestyle footwork

We then spent some time working on a few old boxing gems…the Miske Twist and the Mike Donovan combo.

On with the kurtka…

We started our sambo session with two rounds of grip work followed by some work on:
Podvhat the Russian uchi mata
Ski lift throw
Failed ski lift into melnitsa(firemans) finishing with a hip lock

We then worked a for a short while on the figure eight movements prevalent in Russian weapon work using the club and the e-tool as examples into empty hands.

We ended the session with some savate versus knife, plying our various kicks against a knife wielding assailant.

The Miske Twist

Session 3-13-11

Just Matt and I today, and Matt was getting over a bad head cold but was a good sport and played along.

2 rounds shadow boxing

4 rounds boxing

1 round savate

Even under the weather it is clear that Matt has turned the corner a bit and is gaining ground. Good to see.

On with the kurtka for some sambo…

1 round grip work

2 rounds freestyle sambo

1 rounds par terre

At this point I took pity on Matt and we called it day…a short but fairly intense workout this time around.

Session 3-7-11

Justin and I today…
2 rounds shadow boxing
2 rounds boxing
1 round partnered footwork drill
1 round freestyle footwork
I took a nice hard bareknuckle punch about a half inch northwest from the point right in between my eyes. It had a real ballpeen hammer-like feel to it. Two days later and I am still tender.

On with the kurtka for sambo…
2 rounds of balance/grip work
Then we worked on getting up to speed with some of the sambo concepts we have been working on lately.
Falling armbar from forward pressure
pop off to Georgian grip to back trip
Georgian grip from lapel grip to back trip
heel hook from mount escape

We then went over the 11 messer plays from the Glasgow fechtbuch. Trying to get the lessons and movement ingrained, so far so good.

We ended the session making a mace from a huge heavy bushing I bought at Tractor Supply. If you have a local store, do check out their tractor parts, some very interesting shaped chunks of metal there.

Session 2-27-11

Must be something in the air because on Sunday, everyone canceled on me too!

So, like the others, I did a solo workout, first some going over messer material then 10 rounds of boxing training followed by mountain axe and navaja.

This brings us to Monday when Chris came out. This was an all boxing workout. Since Chris actively fights, I usually try to behave myself in sparring and emulate other fighters he may face but I was not having a very good day and getting the crap beat outta me so I went into a Mendoza style guard. He had seen this before but it put a halt on a lot of the things he was able to do and gave me a much needed break from getting punched in the head:) This lead to a basic reintroduction to Mendoza for him, a nice refresher for me as well.

Today Matt came out…
We started the session with the material for messer from the Glasgow fechtbuch. We went through all 11 plays therein. I actually almost ate one of our training messers. I will have a fat, fat lip for a while I think but will play safer next time.

3 rounds boxing
2 rounds savate

On with our jackets for sambo…today we worked the firemans or in Russian, the melnitsa. We did the firemans right into a hiplock.

We also worked a throw to an armbar combo from a Georgian belt grab. Also a mount escape into a heel hook.