fbpx

Why Practice Figure 8s?

Many struggle with seeing the applications of drills and how they can be used in a fight.  Drills are designed to practice specific movements and develop the muscle control needed for those techniques.  Figure 8s are one of those drills that is hard to understand how they are helpful.  These two separate drills, downward and upward figure 8s, seem unnecessarily fancy for a real fight.  However, if you combine them then magic happens.

 

The drill is meant to practice these strikes from both sides.  The practical application is to combine them doing an upward figure 8 from the right and a downward figure 8 from the left or reverse.  This combination allows you to target your opponent’s hand in the first strike and land a hard strike to the shoulder or collarbone.  Here is an example of how these strike patterns work with a knife, the concept being the same no matter the length of the blade.

Or the sword version of this combination is:

Figure 8 Combo.

This drill is combining the Upper Figure 8 Strike with the Downward Figure 8 Strike along with the footwork from Circle Drill #2. In the video I am doing this drill with a longsword, however, this exact combo works well with sword and shield as well. Start with your sword leg forward, this gives you the maximum reach to start your attack at the far edge of your range. The sword strike is coming up to go for your opponent’s forearm. Step forward with your non-dominate leg. Make sure your foot is outside your opponent’s feet. That will place you on an off-angle that will give you more of a defensive advantage. Once you have stepped forward throw the downward figure 8 strike. When done right this is an extremely powerful combination.

Be Sure to Support us on Social Media! #ironsidemedievalcombat

With all the exciting things happening this year, we would love to share this amazing training with our community to help inspire a love for martial arts.  You can help support these programs by following and sharing our various social media pages.  There is a Facebook Page, Instagram Account, and YouTube Channel dedicated to Ironside Medieval Combat.  Check out these pages, share them, talk about them, and together we can make Martial Arts an inspiration for generations yet to come.

 

We also have new FREE  Online Courses. Enroll now and begin learning the art of knighthood.

 

Escrima Training Videos

Ironside Medieval Combat teaches both armored sword fighting and unarmored sword fighting.  We cover multiple different styles from Historical European Martial Arts (HEMA), to fully armored steel fighting, to escrima (a form of Filipino sword and stick fighting).  We teach all these styles to give the full experience and range of skills a medieval knight would have.  A knight might not always have time to get into his armor when the enemy is at the gate.

On our Ironside YouTube channelwe have created a couple of playlists dedicated to escrima training.  As you watch these videos picture how effective and devastating these techniques would be if they had swords in their hands instead of training sticks.

Stockton Multi Style Escrima Training Videos

Our first playlist are training videos all dedicated to Stockton Multi Style Escrima.  These videos were filmed and organized by Ironside Instructor Master Nelson Pinto.  There are 9 videos in this playlist.  If you would like to learn more about Stockton Multi Style Escrim please visit their webpage – https://www.stocktonmultistyle.com/

 

Escrima to Sword and Shield

Our second featured playlist are videos translating Filipino sword fighting to medieval sword and shield techniques.  There are a lot of resources for Longsword with well developed curriculums and teaching methods. There isn’t nearly as much resources for learning and mastering sword and shield. Escrima has a unique history. It is a living fighting style that evolved from medieval sword fighting. We are taking the modern style and reverse engineering it to find new and better ways to fight with a sword and shield. Our goal was to address two issues. The first what do these techniques look like when a right handed fighter faces a left handed fighter. This problem occurs often in medieval sword fighting communities. The second how will these techniques work with longer sword and shield. There are 5 videos in this playlist.

 

Online Training Opportunities

Online ClassesI love sharing all of my tips and training philosophies with the world.  If you love watching them and learning from them consider sharing that love.  I have created several Patreon Tiers dedicated to the different fighting styles taught at Ironside Medieval Combat. These classes are broken down by topic to give you the most savings possible allowing you to focus only on the skills you are most interested in.  It also helps support Ironside Medieval Combat so we can continue to get more training equipment, further our curriculum, and get a better location. Click on the link below and become a subscriber!

https://www.patreon.com/ironsidemc

 

Be Sure to Support us on Social Media! #ironsidemedievalcombat

With all the exciting things happening this year, we would love to share this amazing training with our community to help inspire a love for martial arts.  You can help support these programs by following and sharing our various social media pages.  There is a Facebook Page, Instagram Account, and YouTube Channel dedicated to Ironside Medieval Combat.  Check out these pages, share them, talk about them, and together we can make Martial Arts an inspiration for generations yet to come.

Dancing: Martial Arts Secret Weapon Part 3

Here is the third video for my mini-series “Dancing: Martial arts secret weapon.” In the first post, “Dancing: Martial Arts Secret weapon.,” I covered warrior cultures who teach dancing as part of their warrior training.  In the second post, “Dancing: Martial Arts Secret Weapon Part 2,” I focused on body movement and transitions. This video covers the 5 basic attack angles most bladed weapons styles use. In this video pay close attention to how the length and weight of the weapon change the body movement. There are subtle shifts in the wrist, shoulder, and hips. Those subtle shifts can easily double your power and effectiveness. I have a playlist on my YouTube channel with all the videos I have and will create for this mini-series.  The YouTube channel is called Ironside Medieval Combat and the playlist is called “Dancing vs Martial Arts.”

Part 3

https://youtu.be/Z9w-_h86F8I

The type of weapon greatly changes how and why you should move.  A knife is a small and short weapon.  The trick is to keep your arms close to your body.  Small efficient movements that are quick.  The more you move your arm away from your body the more wasted energy you have, and the slower you will be.  A machete is longer and heavier, which means you also have a high risk to your hand.  Machetes don’t have handguards.  To protect your hands try cutting with the tip of the weapon.  You still need to keep your elbow tucked to protect your arm from getting cut.  That means you have to use your shoulder and hip movements to move a longer weapon and generate power.  Last is a dancing sword or saber.  Due to the curve of the blade, length, and extra weight it cuts with the blade more than the tip.  Again there isn’t a handguard, and sadly no armor, so keep your elbows safe and tucked close to the body.  Shoulders and hips are used for the same reasons as the machete.  With the dancing sword, I used my wrist to keep the blade in constant movement.  Small movements of the wrist translate to big movements of the blade.  When it comes to dancing and play that is pretty and fun.  When it comes to fighting that can be sloppy.  Start with big movements then develop the muscle control to generate power without showing off with the blade.

Help Support this page!

Online ClassesI love sharing my training videos, and martial art secret tricks, however, keeping the business and page running takes money.  If you like the posts and work please consider subscribing to my Patreon account.  I have several different online classes and more soon to come.  All at incredibly affordable prices.  Click on the link below to see all the options and enhance your training!

https://www.patreon.com/ironsidemc

Be Sure to Support us on Social Media! #ironsidemedievalcombat

With all the exciting things happening this year, we would love to share this amazing training with our community to help inspire a love for martial arts.  You can help support these programs by following and sharing our various social media pages.  There is a Facebook Page, Instagram Account, and YouTube Channel dedicated to Ironside Medieval Combat.  Check out these pages, share them, talk about them, and together we can make Martial Arts an inspiration for generations yet to come.

Dancing: Martial Arts Secret Weapon Part 2

In the previous post on this topic, “Dancing: Martial Arts Secret weapon,” I examined a few warrior cultures that required their fighters to learn dance as part of their training.  It’s fascinating to look at all the cultures throughout history that have dance as a core to their martial arts training.  However, In this post I would like to examine why dancing is so important.  In response to this quest I have created a mini series of videos addressing how dance can benefit martial arts training.  I have a playlist on my YouTube channel with all the videos I have and will create for this mini series.  The YouTube channel is called Ironside Medieval Combat and the playlist is called “Dancing vs Martial Arts.”

Part 2

In this video I explain the basic differences between a knife, machete, and dancing sword.  I am doing the same block and counter with all three weapons.  The purpose is to demonstrate how cross training can give you extra benefits in your movement, timing, and transitions.  Pay attention to the subtle differences the different weapons styles call for.  Those subtleties are where true mastery and artistry comes from.  A few of the subtleties in this video that were not explained.  First the size and weight of the weapon determines how much of the body you will need to put into your block and counter.  Knives are small and fast, likewise the movements are tight and quick.  Machetes are bigger and can have a fair bit of power behind them.  That means you have to use your legs to get under the block using your skeletal structure to maximize your strength in reinforcing your block.  The dancing sword is longer it requires shoulder, hips, and legs to move it around gracefully.  Incidentally the shoulder, hip, and leg motion is the exact same motion I use to maximize my strength in full steel fighting. When you generate power from your core your stamina increases, you can hit power shots over and over again, and your accuracy stays consistent.

Stay tuned for the next installment of this mini series.  Until then:

Be Sure to Support us on Social Media! #ironsidemedievalcombat

With all the exciting things happening this year, we would love to share this amazing training with our community to help inspire a love for martial arts.  You can help support these programs by following and sharing our various social media pages.  There is a Facebook Page, Instagram Account, and YouTube Channel dedicated to Ironside Medieval Combat.  Check out these pages, share them, talk about them , and together we can make Martial Arts an inspiration for generations yet to come.

 

Dancing: Martial Arts Secret weapon

I was training the other day with my instructor and he gave me an amazing complement.  He told me my movement and how quickly I learn martial arts is one of the best he has ever worked with.  WOW! lets take a moment to absorb this. My instructor Nelson Pinto (his website is http://www.farang-alliance.org/ ) is a multiple world champion, has multiple black belts and super high degrees with them, has taught and trained with people around the world.  Seriously, he is an incredible person that I am super privileged to train with.  To get a complement from him like that is amazing.  It did get me thinking what part of my experience and training helped me develop my “natural” flow and movement.  Also, because I am a giant history nerd I researched martial arts training across cultures to find how other martial artists develop their grace and movement.  The commonality I discovered between them was dancing.

If you look at warrior cultures that start their indoctrination into the military arts at a very young age, dance is included as part of the over all training.  To live the life of a warrior required balance, they weren’t simple brawlers.  Take Sparta as an example.  Spartan boys were removed from their families at the age of 7 to begin their military training.  Their training, even by the measure of their own times, was incredibly brutal.  As the boys aged and proved their physical toughness they were educated in debate, poetry, dance, and sometimes in music (Mackie & Fotostock 2016).  Fast forward in time and travel around the world to Medieval Europe; and you will see a common pattern.  Boys begin their page training between the ages of 7-10.  By the time they were teenagers their education in art, dance, literacy, and edict began (Cartwright 2018).  There are a ton of similarities and even more cultures to use (definitely need future blog posts to address it all); however, why dance for these warrior cultures?

Dancing is about balance and control.  It is a display of deadly grace and beauty.  Dancing helps you harness your inner rhythm and smooth out your movements into absolute efficiency.  I started learning dancing around the same age as I started training in martial arts.  Martial arts was always my focus, but my dancing gave me freedom.  Often times as an adult I will take a martial arts combination, form, or kata and convert it to dancing routines. It helps me learn the movements without the rigidity of traditional martial arts.  It gives me freedom to enjoy the art.  Then I take that pure joy and add it back to the original forms.  It gives me grace, efficiency and an ability to learn very quickly.

Martial Arts and Dancing Video Example

Here are a few video examples to show what I mean.  I took a simple strike, block, strike movement with three different weapon styles.  First with a knife.  A knife is a fast aggressive form.  The movements are small and choppy to maximize speed.  The second was with an Escrima stick, which recreates a machete. With the machete I have to change the block to adapt to the extra reach.  If you watch carefully the body movement also changes.  I have to add more hips and power to this movement compared to using a knife.  Last is with a dancing sword.  The basic movements of the sword look the same as the movements for a machete, however, my shoulders and hips are used a lot more.  When I dance I can over exaggerated the movements and play around with timing.  This play develops muscle control and memory.  Then when I have to use these combinations in a sparing match my movement is trained and I can generate a lot of speed and power without thinking about it.

 

Be Sure to Support us on Social Media! #ironsidemedievalcombat

With all the exciting things happening this year, we would love to share this amazing training with our community to help inspire a love for martial arts.  You can help support these programs by following and sharing our various social media pages.  There is a Facebook Page, Instagram Account, and YouTube Channel dedicated to Ironside Medieval Combat.  Check out these pages, share them, talk about them , and together we can make Martial Arts an inspiration for generations yet to come.

Works Cited

Cartwright, Mark. “How to Become a Medieval Knight.” Ancient History Encyclopedia, Ancient History Encyclopedia, 8 June 2018, http://www.ancient.eu/article/1240/how-to-become-a-medieval-knight/. Accessed 17 Feb. 2020.

Mackie, Tom, and Sorokin/Age Fotostock. “Bred for Battle-Understanding Ancient Sparta’s Military Machine.” National Geographic. N.p., Nov 2016. Web. 17 Feb. 2020.