The New York Historical Fencing Association is a school of Historical European Martial Arts (HEMA). Our studies are based on the teachings of the 14th century German fencing master Johannes Liechtenauer. Although we focus primarily on the longsword, our curriculum includes wrestling, dagger, sword and buckler, spear and poleaxe. NYHFA is a member of the HEMA Alliance.

New Location!

NYHFA Longsword Curriculum is now being offered in Manhattan, through Sword Class NYC, taught by NYHFA Instructor Tristan Zukowski. Please visit for all information pertaining to class schedule, class fees, etc.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Unnecessary pauses

After all the free-play we did on our first day back, Mike mentioned to me (among other things) that one of my weaknesses in bouting is that I tend to pause after I score a hit (or after I assume that I should've just scored a hit..). I realized that this had been a problem back in my epée fencing days as well, particularly after lunges. It occurred to me that this is due to two main reasons, one psychological and one physical.

Psychologically, it's connected to my desire to not only hit, but hit cleanly. Pausing is me going "Look at what I just did. This was intentional, not incidental." I'm sure that this'll be beaten out of me quickly enough - consider a certain post-kill thwap to the head that I received..

Physically, it's about balance: A] I'm overextending myself in lunging, making a recovery very slow (still doesn't excuse me from taking a defensive ward like Ochs, I know..); B] My weight distribution in passing steps is less than optimal, making movement generally slow. For example, Zwerchau combinations could be faster, because I'm wasting time shifting my weight in between.

Course of action:
I need to do more "improv" pell-work. A gambeson-pell like Mike's would help, but I can make it work with a fixed pell. The point is, I need to get my feet more connected with my sword - and fluidly - so I can deliver multiple attacks in succession, as well as being ready to get the hell out of the way if necessary.