How good is this Cold Steel basic saber instructional?

Discussion in 'The European Art of Fencing' started by Chrisoro, Sep 21, 2015.

  1. Chrisoro

    Chrisoro Blue Belt

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    This is actually not an option. The only remotely relevant training related to this nearby, is regular sports fencing, and since my wife did that for several years, I have already established that it is not what I want to learn here. Besides that, I am already committed to BJJ and Hapkido, and cannot fit another regular activity into my schedule. Which is why I'm looking for instructional material in video format, to tickle my interest without a huge commitment, and something I can do when I have available time.
     
  2. lklawson

    lklawson Senior Master

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    Then don't do it.

    You don't have enough time or interest in Classical Fencing and historic sword arts to get even mediocre, never mind "decent." It's a waste of your time.

    I'm not trying to be a jerk, but skills, any skills in general but physical skills in particular, take time, effort, and (correct) training. You're already committed to BJJ and HKD and don't even have enough time to go to a weekend seminar or wrangle up some partners to practice with. If you can only put in minimal effort, you're only going to get minimal results, at the very best. No results and bad habits (techniques and strategy learned improperly) are the more likely result. You don't have to make it your life's work, but it takes some amount of commitment.

    Would you advise anyone to learn BJJ or HKD from 20 minutes worth of video? Same thing here. As Yoda says, "Do. Or do not."

    Peace favor your sword,
    Kirk
     
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  3. Chrisoro

    Chrisoro Blue Belt

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    I think it all depends on what ones goal with ones training is. Yes, I spend a lot of time training BJJ and HKD, and yes, I know that one need to train a lot to be good. My goal when it comes to finding and viewing instructional videos regarding classical fencing is not to get "good", or to engage in any kind of swordfight, sparring or otherwise, but to get a kind of basic understanding and overview about what kind of techniques was present in those systems, and maybe try them out a bit and compare their principles with other things I know.

    Sometimes there is no need to invest a lot of time or become really good in order to enjoy an activity.
     
  4. lklawson

    lklawson Senior Master

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    Doing what you're suggesting won't achieve the goals you've just outlined. "Viewing" a few videos simply will not give you even a basic understanding of the underlying principles, nor will it prepare you in the slightest to "maybe try them out a bit," never mind sufficiently for comparison of basic principles to any other system.

    Look, I'm not talking about "getting good." There are some things you can do to get to a point of being "OK" but the process you've outlined above won't do even that.

    To be blunt, the process you've outlined above will likely do nothing more than develop in your mind misunderstandings or, best case scenario, lack of understanding. It would be analogous to someone with experience in TKD watching 30 min. of BJJ video and thinking that this will give them a kind of basic understanding of the core principles of the system and prepare them to make an informed comparison against TKD. Just won't happen.

    I'm sorry to burst your bubble. But if you want to understand core principles and be well informed enough to compare against the skills you are familiar with then you need to at least take a few lessons somewhere and spend a little time attempting to apply those core principles and skills against a non-compliant opponent. If you don't it's no different from those bozos who come into BJJ class thinking they're experts because they used to watch The Big Sexy on WWF.

    Peace favor your sword,
    Kirk
     
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  5. Chrisoro

    Chrisoro Blue Belt

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    You are making a lot of assumptions about what I do and how I do things based on the few sentences I wrote, and it is also clear that you are operating with a different understanding of what I want to achieve than what I myself do. I have trained several different martial arts for a period of 25 years, and I do also have an advanced degree in psychology and work daily within the field of psychometry and training, so I am quite aware of both my limitations and my abilities when it comes to understanding various forms of material, and ways to get there.

    The bottom line is that I am pretty sure that I am not deluding myself when I belive I will be able to achieve a basic understanding of the fundamental principles of an art by studying quality instructional videos related to it, and then experimenting with the material with other people with similar experience as my own, as I have followed a similar approach earlier, and had success with it (Yes, measurable success, as in that I have won tournaments at the beginning level in arts I have never trained formally).

    If you see this as impossible, then so be it. We'll have to agree to disagree. You may have a longer time in the martial arts than me, and I have nothing but respect for your experience, but I can guarrantee that you do not have anywhere near a complete understanding or overview of all possible ways people can and do approach various subjects in order build skills and understanding, including within combat sports and martial arts. And neither do I or anyone else I know.

    Stating that you have just "burst my bubble", on the basis of presenting a bunch of assumptions based on a very limited amount of information about me, about what I actually plan to do here, about any previous experience I may have had following a similar approach, etc., just comes accross as arrogant.
     
  6. lklawson

    lklawson Senior Master

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    Believe what you want, friend. But I'm telling you now that you can't get a good understanding of the principles of a physical skills without actually doing the "physical" part.

    So, yes, if anyone believes they can get a good understanding of the of the core principles of Classical Fencing by watching a few videos, then they are indeed deluding themselves.

    And that's about as polite as it can be said.
     
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  7. Brian R. VanCise

    Brian R. VanCise MT Moderator Staff Member

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    lklawson, is being really honest here. If you want skills in this area learn from a competent instructor!
     
  8. Tony Dismukes

    Tony Dismukes Senior Master

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    I think Chrisoro did indicate his intention to spend time "experimenting with friends who have a similar background." Presumably that experimentation would be physical and would hopefully involve time attempting to apply those core principles and skills against a non-compliant opponent.

    Obviously, progress is much easier when you can work with people who have already devoted significant time to that sort of practice. Still, the first people to work on recreating historical arts had to start the same way, using primary source material without an instructor.

    (Or to use your BJJ analogy, Pat Miletich started his BJJ training originally by watching Renzo Gracie instructional tapes and working on the material with friends.)

    The question is whether Chrisoro (and whichever friends he finds to work with) is likely to devote the kind of time and effort required to acquire even fundamental skills. It really does take a lot more work to get anywhere under those circumstances. I think we all agree that just watching videos won't help anyone to acquire skills.
     
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  9. Chrisoro

    Chrisoro Blue Belt

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    This is an excellent example of what I mean when I say that you are making hasty assumptions based on a limited understanding of what I intend to do, and limited information on how I intend to do it.

    FYI: I have no intention of trying to "get a good understanding of the principles of a physical skills without actually doing the physical part", and neither do I believe that I "can get a good understanding of the of the core principles of Classical Fencing by watching a few videos", and I am pretty sure I have never stated otherwise in this thread or any other. I suggest you reread what I wrote above, instead of throwing strawmen in my direction.
     
  10. lklawson

    lklawson Senior Master

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    Good Lord, now your down to arguing about Logical Fallacies?

    You asked for advice and I gave it: Go take some lessons or seminar classes (at a minimum) somewhere. You don't like the advice you got, and want to argue against it. Everything after that follows a predictable pattern for online arguing. I don't feel like participating in that process right now.

    You have my advice, take it or leave it.
     
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  11. Chrisoro

    Chrisoro Blue Belt

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    Not arguing at all. Just pointing out what I see.

    In fact, what I asked for was recommendations on good instructional material on historical fencing. What you decided to give me was unasked for "advice" on what you believe I should do with my time instead, in a rather patronizing way if I may say so. Thanks, but no thanks.
     
  12. pgsmith

    pgsmith Master Black Belt

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    I don't do European sword myself, but many people are enamored of the teachings of Johannes Liechtenauer, as captured by Hanko Döbringer. I've also heard a number of people swear by the books of Hans Talhoffer (there are a number of them). Fiore dei Liberi is also quite popular in the historical fencing community.

    Good luck!
     
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  13. Brian R. VanCise

    Brian R. VanCise MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Why not find a seminar near you or a school and go and try it out?
     
  14. lklawson

    lklawson Senior Master

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    Close but no cigar. What I told you was don't try to learn from a video (or book) because taking a class or two is easier and more effective than watching a few videos.

    As far as patronizing goes, you're reading into it what you want. Again, take the advice or don't. All I can do is be honest and try to steer you the right direction. I can't make you do anything.
     
  15. Chrisoro

    Chrisoro Blue Belt

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    Yes, sir. You are absolutely right, and I totally understand now. It is not you who is giving me an answer to something else than what I asked, in a patronizing way. It is me who obiously asked the wrong question, and naively expected to receive answer to only the (horribly wrong) question I asked, and not something else. I'll make sure to ask only the right questions in the future, so that we don't end up in this kind of mess again. Thanks again, sir.
     
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  16. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    I think what was actually said boils down to "You can learn ten times as much in a tenth the time if you find a real instructor" which sounds to me like sound advice to someone who wants to learn but has limited time to invest.
     
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  17. Chrisoro

    Chrisoro Blue Belt

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    Wow. Seriously people, this is starting to get comical.

    What I do with my time, however ineffective or ill-adviced, is my business. I have never disagreed with the notion that I would learn far more if I sought out a good instructor, but that is not what I want to do here. I'm not anywhere near that level of interest, and I just want to watch an instructional video, get a (very) brief overview, and perhaps play around a bit with it with some training buddies. If that makes me more interested, I might seek out some live instruction, but at the moment I'm not there, which is why I asked for recommendations for good instructional material to take a quick look at. I am curious about a great deal of things, and that is all this is - curiosity. If I should seek out live instruction whenever I felt a bit curious about some art, I would not have time at all for BJJ and Hapkido training.

    This continuing insistence on "guiding" or "advicing" me to do something else, despite me stressing that I'm not interested, borders on the absurd and reminds me of how it was interacting with people with autism, back when I worked as a milieu therapist. Let me make it clear once again: I have no ambitions of getting good in fencing whatsoever, and I have never stated anything else in this thread! Seriously, I'm not sure why that is so hard to accept that what I want to do here is just to watch an instructional video and perhaps play around a bit with the material!

    Please forget that I ever mentioned anything about european fencing arts or instructional videos.
     
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