Great idea for a thread! Mind if I join in?
Note: I am going to spend a while defining my notation here, as this is a really simple, but really valuable way to breakdown and describe exercises and drills.
Once a reader understands the following notation schema, a huge variety of complex drills and variations can be described with a just few keystrokes.Bladework:
In all my drills I will use Joachim Meyer’s cutting angle notations to describe bladework, as follows (see also the ‘signo’ or ‘sign’ of the sword diagram included here):
A- direct vertical descending attack.
B- right to left diagonal descending attack.
C- right to left horizontal attack.
D- right to left diagonal rising attack.
E- direct vertical rising attack.
F- left to right diagonal rising attack.
G- left to right horizontal attack.
H- left to right diagonal descending attack.Edges:
The addition of “-s” following one of the letters above, indicates the short edge (or opposite edge to the preceding strike) of the sword is used (e.g. “C-s” indicates a short edge strike). If no “-s” is present, assume the long edge of the sword is used.Half hews:
A single letter as above (e.g. “B”) indicates what I call a ‘half hew’ to the centre (e.g. longpoint).Full hews:
A ‘full hew’ through the centre can be described by the use of two letters, the first the beginning and the last the ending point. So “BF” is a full right to left diagonal descending strike through the centre down to a low position (e.g. vom Tag > Langort > Wechsel). “FB” is a full left to right rising diagonal strike passing through the centre and finishing on the right side (e.g. Nebenhut or Wechsel > Langort > Ochs or Einhorn). Etc…Footwork:
These are the 3 primary forms of longword footwork, as described by Joachim Meyer and interpreted by moi.
P- “Passing” or simple steps forward, backward or both forward and backward with each attack, ensuring agreement of hand and foot. This is the easiest and default type of footwork.
T- “Triangle” steps to the side, varying the angle and depth i.e. from a left foot forward stance, step with the right foot out to the right side, then remove the left foot back behind the right foot to restore the line of defence.
S- “Stolen” (or “broken”) steps. From left foot forward stance, bring the right foot up as in a normal passing step, but don’t complete the step: instead, place the right foot down close by the left foot, and then pass the left foot back behind the right foot, changing the lead foot more or less in place (there are other ways to use the broken steps, but this one suffices for this series of drills).Sides:
R: Right (from the perspective of the person performing it)
L: Left (from the perspective of the person performing it)Footwork direction
Fwd: obviously denotes a step with forward motion (where applicable)
Back: denotes a step with backward motion (where applicable).
Thus, the basic steps on each side are described as follows:
R:P* = passing step with the right foot (either fwd or back)
L:P* = passing step with the left foot
R:T* = triangle step directly out to right starting with right foot
L:T* = triangle step directly out to left starting with left foot
R:S = stolen step with right foot moving up near the left
L:S = stolen step with left foot moving up near the right
*fwd or back can be added to any step if forward or backward motion needs to be added, e.g. R:P fwd = passing step forward, with the right foot moving first, L:P back = passing step backward, with the left foot moving first etc.The ‘>’ separator:
Each action (bladework or footwork) is separated by the use of “>” symbol.
With all that out of the way, and if you are still with me (it really does get simpler now) let's look at an exhaustive list of four openings drills, all inspired by Meyer’s four openings segno and drills…