The tips that Lopes gave me were very specific both to my own mechanics and to the details of that particular flouish/drill, so I don't know how much they'd help.
However, there are some generic, fundamental-type tips (some of which apply to Lopes's help to me) which I probably can contribute.
- Keep your eyes on the target. In fact, it's easier to do this if you actually have a target or point of reference instead of staring out blankly "into a field" or, worse yet, at the floor. Use the target to make sure your edge alignment and angle are correct and that you're hitting the same (intended) target every time.
- Pay careful attention to getting it "right" at a slow, "Stop-stop-stop" speed. Get the correct mechanics fully ingrained before picking up speed or eliminating between-step stops. Slowly build up speed and fluidity so that you never get sloppy. Part of why Lopes's flourishes looked so good is because they were clearly dilligently practiced with an eye to getting it right, not just getting it fast.
- Pick or create a flourish that actually teaches or reinforces something. Matt Galas's drills/flourishes are great this way. So are the techniques in the 12 Rules of Dom Figereydo (or however that's spelled…its on the WMAC forum...), the stuff in the English manuscripts, Meyer's drills, Dobringer's flourish, and a thousand others. If you're inventing your own, try to pick a "theme" for it…transitioning from cuts to thrusts, cutting to the four openings, cutting all to one side, alternating edges, all long edge, all short edge, with footwork, without footwork, all in a single plane, etc. etc.
- Get a spotter. Having someone (like Lopes in my case) to keep you honest is a really helpful. Especially once you start getting quicker and, possibly, sloppier.
- Repetition repetition repetition. One of Dom F.'s Montante flourishes that Matt taught last weekend came with the advice to do only this every day "for eight days." And it's a really simple set of movements…
Hope that helps.
Jake NorwoodMarylandKDFHEMA Alliance
YouTube Channel: DerAltenFechterDISCLAIMER: The comments in the above post are not the official position of the HEMA Alliance unless signed "President" or otherwise noted.