[Ansteorra-rapier] Drills

James Crouchet jtc at io.com
Sun Oct 28 20:43:12 PST 2001

The problem with drills is that they only work if they teach what you
want the student to learn.

One aspect of this is that most drills need to be done perfectly, not
fast. If you allow your students to do drills that are kinda or mostly
right, then when they go to use their new skills they will only kinda
work. Slow down the motion until your student can get it right at
least 4 time out of 5. This may mean you ga at a crawl at first.

Second, don't do drills that don't apply. It seems obvious, but I have
seen lots of people who really want to learn period sword play, had no
particular interest in modern technique but they did modern footwork
drills because they could find them written up. The result is just
that the student now has something he must unlearn or, at least,
"learn around".

Finally, remember that your drills teach everything that is required
for the move you are teaching, not just the part you want to
emphasize. For example, if you teach someone to lunge with an attack,
you are also teaching point control during a lunge, foot position
before, during and after a lunge, recovery, grip, balance, posture and
sword position. I may allow some of those other factors to be fuzzy
the first time or two but then I start having the student correct
those other areas while doing the drill. If they cannot, then they
were not ready for that drill and needed more work on the more basic
components. This is one of the reasons I think the ball on a rope
drill is BAD. It teaches point control, but at the expense of teaching
false range and incorrect "how hard to hit" values.


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