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'O' Sultan of Savagery'
Crackpot Mailbox: 'The Flourish, The Recovery'—The Atom Bomb Needs to Know

Jun 18, 2019, 5:09 PM (15 hours ago)

O' Sultan of Savagery, I invoke your wisdom once again.

I was instructing a class this past Saturday at a local HEMA group, and I found that when it came time to teach the move where you twist your wrist and recover your stick/sword/one-handed weapon while returning your hand back to guard, I found that some of the students (all of whom were women) had absolutely no idea what I was doing. I tried slowing down the movement as much I could and let them watch it and try to mimic their way through it, but I found that there was a gulf of understanding between what I was showing them and what they were seeing. How could I better teach the flourish/recovery to those who are struggling with it?

Kindest Regards,

The Atom Bomb

The Khan Says

Have them hold the stick in their hand and slide the hand up and down, explaining to them that if their hand slips off they need to re-grasp the scepter at the base...

...Yes, speaking off gulfs of understanding...

Demonstrating the Redondo

Step 1: Demonstrate the diagonal forehand in slow motion, stopping at the point where the wrist is opening up, and in swordsmanship terms, is about to "break." At this point walk them through turning the palm over to face the floor and the weapon hand coming to rest on the far hip.

Step 2: Demonstrate a slow shearing cut, where the wrist is kept un broken the entire stroke and the pummel comes to wrest before the hip. Explain that this is for the maintaining of guard with a heavy blade which has a point.

Step 3: Alternately demonstrate the broken and unbroken versions of this same stroke, explaining that blunt weapons, especially clubs and axes call for the broken wrist roll—palm dump to prevent wrist strain and to bring the business end of the weapon back into the wielder's power arc and away from the greedy hands of the apish enemy and also increases power as no brake needs to be applied other than the opposite hip.

Step 4: Have them practice bouncing the weapon hand off the hip and back up to the shoulder so that they feel comfortable with the change from palm up to palm down to palm up again.

Step 5: Have them stroke nearly vertical downward from the shoulder in slow motion and show that when the hand passes the hip that the palm begins facing up again. Make this a full circle motion where they slowly and then picking up speed describe a circle over and over again.

Step 6: Demonstrate the use of this circular stroking pattern to beat the weapon and then hit the weapon hand or to hit the hand and then head, with fluidity, as well as to beat the weapon and then return to guard while stepping back.

You are now at tactical expression.

Step 7: Introduce the nunchuka and only do the figure-8 forward and backward to precondition the wrist.

Step 8: Now reintroduce the stick and do the figure-8 exercises.

Step 9: Introduce the Chinese broadsword as an example of a blade that employs this type of motion.

Step 10: For those frails who still do not get it, dress them in light silks, package them in a well-ventilated crate and mail to 666 Caucasian Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21214 for personal instruction.

Twerps, Goons and Meatshields: The Basics of Full Contact Stick-Fighting

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The Atom BombJune 19, 2019 12:04 PM UTC

Thank you for the quick, detailed, and completely misogyinistic response. I will have the crates built in preparation for their inevitable failure. =)