Hitting People with Sticks
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Control at the base

I know that sounds a bit like a line from a video game, but hang in with me for a bit.

We worked on siniwallis one-for-one on Tuesday, and as usual, I feel like I’m both working on problems I found before, but also finding new ones.  At least I can fix them once they’re pointed out to me, but –  😛

Anyway, the revelation of the evening was how to make the block-redirect-hit technique work.  The basic building block is moving into your opponent’s space and controlling his perception of his swing, and also physically controlling his stick at the base, right down near where the crossguard would be.

As with most things, it’s a simple matter of physics.  At a distance, I can only block with the tip of my stick.  It’s playing with speed, and it’s dangerous as a tactic.  I can miss easily, and I don’t have a lot of strength in that position.  On the other hand, if I dive in closer, I can get him tight (corps a corps is the fencing term I’m thinking of, though it’s far less of a butting heads feel) and have the leverage and control I need to redirect his weapon and come around with my own, either as a cut, a strike, or even a tight tap with the butt of the weapon.

This is not just a defensive technique.  Your opponent’s action is giving you an opportunity to strike.  Say thank you, and take it.


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