Weapon Selection and CareEdit
The student will learn the different weapons available for their use in the Armory. He or she will select up to three weapons from the Armory in which to train. He or she will then learn proper care and maintenance of said weapon(s) and how to grip it/them properly.
The student will be taught and put through a rigorous training regimen designed to increase his or her overall fitness. The trainees will be taught the proper way to stretch without harming themselves, and too keep their muscles from cramping later. Then they will be put through their first assessment to test endurance. From there they will be tested on their existing strength. One the determinations have been made on their current fitness level they will be shown the proper techniques for increasing strength and stamina.
The student will learn some of the basic movements necessary for combat. These will include the following:
Advance- The advance is made by moving the leading foot forward and following it with the trailing foot. Only move your trailing foot the distance that your leading foot went forward. Do not bring your trailing foot right up against the heel of the leading foot. Also, be careful not to take too big of a step. In so doing you may be caught off-guard by a sudden attack by your adversary and you will not be able to retreat in time. It is also important to keep your weight centered between the legs. Do not lean forward or back. You must also keep from bouncing, hopping, or dipping when you move. Any odd quirks that you develop can and most assuredly will alert your opponent to your actions.
Retreat - The retreat is made by stepping back with the trailing foot and following it with the forward foot. Be careful to only move the forward foot back the distance that the trailing foot moved. The same is true for the advance. When moving the trailing foot care must be taken to not drag the foot or step too high; barely skim the ground. Also, make sure that the trailing foot comes off the ground and is placed back down flat. When moving the front foot precipitate the move with a raising of the toes. All movement is from the heel of the foot. Do not fight from the balls of the feet for it will drastically alter your balance.
Crossover- The cross-over is used to cover ground quickly and is also used in circling. When executing a forward cross-over you move the trailing foot ahead of the forward foot. You will immediately follow with moving the forward foot to the front again. In a retreat the forward foot is moved in a circular motion behind the trailing foot and the trailing foot is immediately moved back into its normal position. Depending upon which direction you wish to move, you may alter where you place your feet. This type of movement in a retreat may also be used to displace your body out of the way of a cut or thrust from your opponent.
Slash - A slash uses the sharp edges of the blade, and is typically a circular motion with your hand as the center of the circle. It is a fact that the end of the blade moves more quickly and forcibly than does your hand because it is at the outer edge of the circle. This makes a slash a rather powerful blow. A slash is used to cut, rather than impale. These cuts may come from one of three places, the shoulder, the elbow, or the wrist. Those slashes emanating from the shoulder or the elbow require much force, whereas those coming from the wrist do not, assuming that you use a blade light enough to move with your wrist alone. The more movement involved decreases the accuracy of the slash, but increases the power. Therefore a slash from the shoulder is the least accurate but most powerful, whereas a wrist slash would the most accurate and least powerful. You may make contact with your target with different parts of your blade. The first type is called an Edge Cut. Landing a slash with the edge of your blade can cause severe damage to your opponent, perhaps even loss of limb or head. The blade is simply swung in an arc, allowing the edge of the blade to come in contact with your target. However this requires you to move close to your opponent in order to land the slash with any effectiveness. Variations on this include the Draw Cut and Push Cut. The draw cut is executed by laying your blade near its midpoint on the target and forcefully drawing the blade across the target. The push cut is executed by pushing instead of drawing. If your blade has a sharp tip you may use what is called a Tip Cut. The tip cut is executed by extending towards your opponent with the tip away from the body instead of towards it. As you draw nearer you execute a wrist flip that will quickly drag the tip across the target. Tip cuts were traditionally used to cut the opponent's wrist, arm, face or stomach. These types of cuts could cause serious injury.
Thrust - In some opinions a thrust is preferable to an edge-blow, primarily because it strikes in less time, and also is more likely to be a killing blow than a slash. A thrust that enters the body only to a depth the width of three fingers is still likely to kill. Thrusting attacks may be made above or below the opponent's sword arm and may be made to their right or left side. Attacks to your opponent's right side above their blade will offer you more protection and will make it harder for them to counter attack in time to wound you or perform a double-kill. There are a couple different ways to perform a thrust. The first would be to simply extend your arm forward towards the spot you wish to hit while simultaneously moving in towards the target. This method will give you much momentum and power but is not always entirely accurate due to all the movement involved. A more accurate, albeit less powerful, method of making a thrust is to extend your arm towards your opponent while pointing at the spot that you wish to thrust, then following up by moving in to hit the target. And remember, you will always cover distance by making a series of simple advances or a cross-over.
Parry - The body may be divided up into a number of different areas, including the head, upper body, stomach, arms, lower body and legs. The placement of the blade will guard these primary areas. No matter how you parry, it is of utmost importance for you to keep the point of your weapon trained as close at your opponent as possible. The further you must move your point the slower your counter-attack. The simplest parries are performed against thrusts to the inside, which is the left side of the body for right-handers. If the thrust comes in towards your face or extreme upper body, using your off-hand you will push the blade out and away to the left. If the thrust comes in below your off-hand you will sweep the blade down and out to the left. Never sweep the blade across your body. There is a chance that you will be struck in the process. If the thrust comes to your outside, which is the right side of the body for right-handers, and above your guard simply circle your blade under the opponents blade and push them gently out away from your body. If the thrust comes in low, circle over their blade and push their blade out and down. During your parries you will typically want to give ground. This assures that your opponent will not be able to draw or tip cut you after your parry. Cuts were typically delivered to the head, neck, flank and chest. Flank, chest and neck cuts are parried in a similar fashion. No matter which type of cut you are parrying you should always push the knuckle guard towards the direction that the cut is coming from. To parry a cut to the head bring your sword up over your head and hold it with the knuckle guard held up and slightly forward. The blade of your sword should be parallel to the ground. Do not lock your arm out. Hold it with the elbow bent and the blade about six inches above and just forward of your head. In a real fight if you took a full cut on a locked/straight arm you would probably end up with a broken wrist. The bent arm acts like the spring shocks on a carriage. To parry a cut to your flank you will move your hand out to the right of your body and a little forward. You should raise your point, aiming at your opponent's head. Catch the cut in the half of your blade nearest the hilt, known as the forte. To parry a chest cut you will bring your hand across your body catching the opponent's blade in your forte as in parrying a flank cut. Another tactic that may be employed in your defense is called voiding. This is where you dodge your opponent's blade as they attack. You may use steps to the side to dodge thrusts or cuts. A fast retreat may also be employed. When performed properly your opponent will not be in a position to strike you while you may be in reach of them. No matter what, your sword is your deterrent. Always "hide" your body behind your blade and keep your point towards your opponent as best as you are able.
The Flame and Void - Discipline, strength, and emotionless movements. The body is forged into a weapon through the will of your mind. By shunning emotion and detaching from the world, one becomes powerful through precision of forms, discipline of the body, and absence of intruding thoughts and emotion. The warrior becomes true to the blade and cold to the surrounding environment.
The Spring - Relaxed spring, passion, and creative mental outlook. By embracing the emotions you live life to its fullest. You become passionate and fight with emotional content. Not fears, hate, rage, love, or anger, but rather with the strength we as a race get from the emotions we are born with. Creativity springs from the instincts of survival, energy is derived from both the plus and negative. For the body to be strong the mind must be in tune with the spirit and body, harmony is achieved through a passion for life.
A student may only learn one Philosophy. An overview/explanation of the two philosophies should be given to the student in order that they CAN choose which of the two they want to learn - and that decision should be based on the character's personality.
A Mentor can teach only what their character knows him/herself. If the student wants to learn the other philosophy, a different teacher must be found to teach it to them.