Notes from working with Duke Marc d’Arundel
Strength – weight training
Power – plyometrics; bands; efficient movement
Speed – patterns
Balance – static, movement patterns, footwork integration
Mobility – static vs. dynamic; active vs. passive
Flexibility – range of motion
Reaction time – ball, drills, hot hands
Good weight shifts – balls of feet
‘cut around” concept
“wedge” concept – defensive concept; the further range you have, the bigger defensive wedge you have and the less you need to move your tools to intercept bad guys’ attack
Tool exchange – if you go low with sword, go high with shield – area blocks
Maximizing solo training – pell, movement
Partner drills – ghost and blind man
Scenario Training & problem solving
• Drag Race – pell work with a partner – one is the driver and the other is the follower – follower pays attention to driver’s cues and mirror what driver throws. Looking for tells. You want to hit the pell at the same time w/ the same shot. No tell flat snap; offside; leg – 1. Know; 2. Guess; 3. All three
• What’s Next? – have 2 shots, set up with first shot the opening for where your next shot will be.
• What Guard? -- Pretend the pell is set up in a guard and try to hit the openings in the guard – makes a more three dimensional fight (1-6 drill, the numbers would change locations depending on what your opponent is presenting)
• Now – anticipating what your opponent will throw, make the block and then moving to where you need to be to hit the opening
• 1-6 drill – should practice the footwork, gather, pass, pivot, offline between blows – always moving
• 1-6 drill/ thrust – add a thrust between each number 1 – thrust -1; 1 thrust 2, etc.
• Undercut lead – lead in with point threat, leave sword out in front, use wrist circles and feet/ core to drive power and direct sword; footwork weight shifts are in ankles, not quads or body
• Double thrust snap – pump, pump, snap, hand in front
• Double thrust leg – pump, pump, leg – hand in front
• Sword Redirection/ Floats – work redirection of sword w/ sword “float” points – feel them w/ two fingers on sword and then work on redirecting the sword in the opposite direction at the “float”. Example – backhand head – float over to snap, don’t complete the snap blow, but when you feel the float, redirect the blow into a backhand
• Squat throws – as you step in, squat down with sword tip forward into opponent, feel the float and then throw an offside leg shot or stand up into a short stick face shot (footwork/pell)
Work on hitting the pell with the sweet spot of the sword always, all about timing, line and position. Staying in the range to hit with the sweet spot will help keep a better defensive wedge as well.
• Blind Man – partner throws blow, defender uses sword and shield to block where the blow is going, partner keeps pressure on sword/shield, as pressure is released, defender closes eyes and moves into position to block what the defender thinks the bad guy will likely throw next; catch the next blow and repeat. If you miss the block, open eyes, set to where you catch the blow and then close eyes and keep moving. Use defensive wedge concept and tool exchange.
• Ghost – partner throws a slow blow and you use footwork to dodge the blow/ move out of your partner’s range (no ducking or leaning – pivots to move into where the sword in coming from and off the “bubble” of the sword arc), into a position where you still have range on your partner – as they miss blow, you show you are still in range by “tapping” your opponent at the opening that is accessible to you.Work the footwork and stack your sword/ shield with your head body so you are defensively offensive.
Gather step – illusion of being further out of range than you are
Pass through step – changes lead leg
Pivot step – pivots are important not only for power generation but also to keep stacked, maintain the defensive wedge and stay protected defensively while executing offense.
Offline step – use to manipulate centerline
Stay on ball of feet, when you step, do not commit weight to front foot right away – check yourself (tapping) and moving back to original position, so that you can change direction at any point to react to what is open or what the bad guy does. Practice the steps forward and backward. Practice steps together – gather/pass, pass/gather, pass/ pivot/ offline – etc.
Notes to self:
• initial thrust too hard, too committed, too often, use more secondary attacks; try to work the thrust off the backhand more
• get my feet under my body; my shoulders are getting ahead of my hips
• work on sword blocking – this will help me lose my leg less if I can use my shield to cover my leg and sword block my head