The Linacre School of Defence in München

01.08.2004

Seminar review by Jörg Bellinghausen: Linacre School of Defense, Munich 31.7./01.08.2004 ( Source : www.swordforum.com )

Last weekend, Ochs hosted a seminar about English Martial Arts with the Linacre School of Defence, and what a jolly good weekend it was!

I arrived in Munich on Friday afternoon, together with fellow forumite (and hopefully soon-to-be Jungochs) Thomas Stoeppler, where we were picked up by my good friend Hans Heim and his wife.

After hauling our baggage into Hans‘ appartment, we headed to one of Munich’s most beautiful Biergarten, were, during the course of the evening, some of the other Ochs members arrived, not forgetting the three Linacre’s, Rachel, Jonathan and Ralph.

A few Maß of Bier were emptied and we had to call it a day all too soon.

The seminar started on Saturday with an introduction into Hope’s ‚New, Short and Easy Method‘ of fencing with the small-sword.

Having primarily fenced sabre under a Hungarian Maestro, Hope’s preference for the hanging guard in seconde was quite something to get used to, the position is *very* awkward at the beginning and can certainly lead to all kinds of funny aches in the shoulders.

But the defensive capabilities of this guard came apparent quickly, and it’s no joke that Sir William called his Method ‚Short and Easy‘, because learning it is just that.

After the lunch break we took up the backsword, respectively the singlestick. Based on the teachings of Wylde and Silver, and also influenced by what Maister Terry Brown teaches, we went through a series of exercises that illustrated the concept philosophy of the English Martial Arts very nicely. The day ended with a series of grips, that set the tone for the next day, which would be dedicated to unarmed practice, and rounded off the impression of the first day very well.

After training, a lot of the participants gathered in our ‚favourite pub‘ near the gym for another evening of good food, drink and laughter.
Sunday started with an introduction to Mendoza’s boxing lessons.

Working through the lesson’s, it became apparent why boxing was called ‚fencing with the fists‘ in Germany. The old English system of boxing is firmly grounded in the curriculum of the armed arts, the same principles do apply, and it’s truly a devastating and efficient Martial Art if you know how to use it. After boxing, we went to trips, sweeps and throws of the English system, which yould also be integrated into armed practice.

Since we at Ochs are quite fond of all things rough-and-tumble, this was one of the funniest parts of the weekend, especially the ‚techniques for throwing someone out of a pub‘ were the cause of lot’s of pushin‘ and shovin‘.

The day ended all too soon, and before I really wanted to, Thomas and I had to board the train home.

So, that’s in a nutshell what happened on this weekend, a few personal commentaries of mine follow:

How was the instruction and the presentation?

In a word: Excellent!

Rachel, Jonathan and Ralph know their stuff in and out, they took great pains to explain the ‚how’s‘ and ‚why’s‘ properly and always were receptive to questions. They are really good teachers and excellent martial artists and I give them an unqualified ‚thumbs up‘ for their work. Plus, they are great people to hang around with, and stylish in a way that only Briton’s can be. (Sun-helmets rock! )

The atmosphere of the seminar was great as always. Besides the usual suspects we had a few people from Hans‘ Pekiti Tirsia group and a few sportfencers in attendance, who all agreed that, although some parts of the English system need a bit of time to get used to, there’s no doubt that’s a sound and solid system and that any of us fighting one of the Linacre’s at their own game would really have a hard time.

How was the training?

Intense, sweaty and hard, but lots of fun and most important, no injuries.
Personal things.

I made a few ’notes to self‘ during this weekend

  1. I have to work on the accuracy of my throws.
  2. It’s really hard to throw a low hook properly if you are a former karateka.
  3. Chinese Internal Arts are fascinating and sometimes downright scary.Hopefully Thomas can take the time to show me some things.
  4. Never, ever box Hans again ! (Bruises will be payed back, though )
  5. I brought *way* too much gear with me again.

and most important

If I ever have the chance to train with the Linacre School of Defence again, I’ll do so.

Cheers,
Jörg,
battered and bruised but thoroughly happy

Autor: Jörg Bellinghausen

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