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Solo Training in March 2024


This is month three of three for our Squat solo training. If you're still working on things from January and February, keep going. This is meant to build you up step by step, so it will be challenging to move on if you haven't finished step one.


I treat the Squat portion as one training block, and Broadsword as another. If I can get a third training block in each week I will repeat the one that needs the most work, or train with a different weapon to break the repetitiveness.


 

Squats


We've all done squats, and we're all in different places with our squats. So here's a reminder why we're working on squats:


Squats require flexibility in the spine and feet, mobility of the ankle and hip, stability in the trunk and legs, and of course strength and motor control throughout to coordinate it all.

Specifically, we're working on deep bodyweight squats with our tailbone between our ankles, our feet flat on the floor, while maintaining our balance without assistance. The pistol squat image is just a taste of what you can work on once you have this part down.


So how is your squat progressing? Have you seen a noticeable change in your squat over the past two months? Take a photo of your squat from the front, side, and back at the beginning and end of each month to see progress that you might not be noticing week to week.


Spend your training block on Flexibility and on Mobility if you need to. If you have the Flexibility/Mobility, focus on the Body Position and getting reps in.


Flexibility/Mobility/Posture


You're going to have to be honest with yourself here. Working on the 'weakest link' means focusing more of your energy on the part of your body holding you back the most. It might be one part, it might be all of them. That's okay, it just tells you where you need to start working from.


I want to reiterate, if you still need to work on the flexibility exercises from January or February, go do that! You won't be able to progress much if your body physically can't move into the deep squat position.



Putting It All Together




Spend a full block working through exercises until they become easy. The steps to improve your squat posture will build your strength and endurance quite nicely if you take it slow. And don't be afraid to throw in some of these exercises into your warmups on other training days.


Once it all starts to come together you can put in the reps to focus on strength and power.


 

Broadsword Fundamentals


Remember, 80% of our training time should be spent on Fundamentals. Are you seeing progress?


Try recording video of yourself training at least once a week for you to review. Reviewing after training can help you see problems that you can't feel while doing the movements. Reviewing videos weeks later can help you see just how far you've come!


We're still working on older Highland techniques, rather than the Regimental techniques we learn first.



I call them 'Fundamentals' because it sounds less boring than 'Basics'. Doesn't change the fact we're talking about the first movements you probably learned with a broadsword. And it doesn't matter how long ago you learned them, expert fencers still work on their fundamentals.



The Form, Cuts, & Thrusts should be ingrained at this point. Always keep practicing and tweaking them, watching footage of yourself, seeking feedback in person or online (from people who's opinions you value).


The Parry & Riposte

  • Can I perform all of the basic parries smoothly and intuitively?

  • Am I pausing after my parry to assess my next course of action?

  • Is my Riposte performed accurately and smoothly, while keeping me safe?


The Footwork & Lunges


  • Can I change up my footwork when needed?

  • Can I randomize my footwork to avoid being predictable?

  • Can I lunge well from any type of footwork, including non-linear footwork?

  • Can I recover as swiftly as I lunge without a lengthy pause in between?

  • Can I start from variable distances to the target, use randomized footwork, and lunge with enough accuracy to land a blow without overextending or underextending?



Work on your fundamentals for a full training block.


 



Feedback is always welcome and appreciated. Don't forget to keep track of your training in the Accountability Group!



References:

The Art of Defence on Foot, Third Edition (1804) by Charles Roworth

Storica Defensa - Broadsword Curriculum

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