Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Henry's Rules - The Essentials


Sometime ago I mentioned that I would post something of my own rules of fencing and I have had a long think about this particular subject. Much like the Jethro Gibbs (NCIS) list mine is a work in progress and tends to grow and change somewhat as I find new things to add. In order to reduce this I have decided that I will talk about my most essential rules in this blog.

1. Don't get hit - defence is most important.
2. Hit the opponent - only real way to victory.

All the other rules that I have come up with are supplementary to these two and assist in some way to achieve them. As I have mentioned above I have a much longer list of rules also about 20 in number which I have assembled from various experiences in my fencing career to date. I use them here and there in training my students and obviously during fencing. Rather than listing all the ones that I have to date, there is a more useful purpose that can be gained from this discussion.

My personal piece of advice is that each fencer should develop their own list of rules to follow. In this at least one thing is most important, they will not be set in stone, they will change. You need to be flexible in your approach and understand that things in your fencing world will change and that will result in a change in some of your rules. The core rules will stay the same and it is these ones which you should hold most closely to.

Most of the rules which are developed for fencing are focused on the technical aspects, but you should also take into account those more social aspects which are of importance. These will reflect your attitude both on and off the arena of combat. This is in order to give a broader perspective on what you are doing in your fencing and your interactions with other fencers. The social aspect of fencing is often glossed over in favour of the more technical aspects, but it is of importance for the longevity of your fencing career.

Two rules. Pretty simple really they summarise what fencing is all about, striking without being struck. It is important that we consider the other rules which are presented as they assist us in achieving the goal which is presented by the two rules. Consider your own list. Expect it to grow and change. They are a useful way for organising your fencing thoughts.



Monday, February 6, 2012

Latest Project - Mod to Early Mod - Update 2


Some time ago I mentioned a project that I was working on focusing on Early Modern English (EModE), essentially writing a manual and then transforming it into the English language of the sixteenth century. The approach to this project and so forth can be found on my previous blog about this particular project ( This is one is to update the proceedings to this point in time.

Well, I have gone through Saviolo (1595) His Practice in Two Bookes looking for the spellings of words in their EModE forms and placed this all in one place. Now I am alphabetising and putting all the words into a more usable format. I am hoping that some rules may form from the collection of these words. I will be moving on to other texts in order to add some breadth to the lexicon which is being collected.

In the studying of EModE I have come to the conclusion that more focus is required in order to make the final project more fitting to what the aim is. I have decided that I will be focusing on Early Modern English of the London dialect from the reign of Elizabeth I (1558 - 1603). As such I will be only using period sources from this period from which to extract words and phrases. The studying of the language is proceeding and some interesting things have been found in the process. This is a project which I am expecting will be taking quite some time in order to do it properly.

I will make further updates as to my progress on this project in order to keep people informed. I am expecting that these updates will be relatively short as real progress at this point in time is rather slow. The speed of the progress does not actually concern me, in fact it would concern me more if it was going easily and much more quickly.