Fencing Concepts

Class 1 – Fencing Concepts While there are many perspectives on the use of a long staff or short staff in fighting, like most other aspects of Martial Arts, in terms of combat, simpler is often better. There are a great many ways in which to wield a staff. Some cultures and traditions use an end grip, with a majority of the staff used to strike with, others use a thirds grip, effectively dividing the staff in three pieces, which tends to focus on using both ends of the staff. While in certain circumstances each of these maybe appropriate and necessary, it is often true that a simple direct line of attack, that being a thrust, is the best tactic, as this type of attack is both immediate and direct, and as such can take the initiative away from your opponent with a stop-hit. In this sense, the concepts we’ll discuss below are identical to fencing theory, and also JKD trapping and Centerline theory. While considering these principles, ask yourself when other methods of using the staff as a weapon would be appropriate.   Fencing Concepts Starting from a Right-hand Dominant Position (gripping the staff with the right hand forward, left hand at the hip, both thumbs pointed towards the offensive end of the staff), we place our staff against that of our opponent from a distance at which we would need to enter in order to strike. Let’s refer to this as Largo Mano with an engagement. Our opponent has adopted an identical stance, both people with their right hand and right foot forward, identical grips. The staves cross at the last 1/4 of the shaft. This represents a fairly neutral position, and we are presented with a conundrum. If I attempt to...