Had a fascinating weekend cross training with some very high level folks from different genres and backgrounds.
Ostensibly I was in town to work on a design project with a custom knife maker (more info to follow), and whilst there, took the opportunity to get some training time in with some hugely talented people. Kasey Keckeisen (http://practicalbudo.blogspot.com) and Dillon Beyer both come from a perspective of the traditional Japanese Arts, Kasey is also a veteran police officer and SWAT sniper and trainer. And if this was not enough, I also got to get a day in training tactical shooting with one of the best firearms teachers in the area, Cabot Welchlin. Cabot taught Kasey and still trains the SWAT guys in the area.
These guys are all gentlemen and scholars alongside being highly efficient and effective fighters, and it was a true pleasure to get taken out of my comfort zone into some new worlds.
What was most fascinating to me, and the huge benefit of spending time with smart people, is seeing the connections and principles consistent between skill sets … and also how transferring them does not necessarily come naturally!! An enormous amount of the stuff I know about alignment and movement principles with sword can transfer directly to moving and shooting, as was pointed out to me by my betters as I apparently forgot all I knew on the range.
The center line/aiming connection is there, as are the 'cusps' of movement in the pendulum, when moving in and out of cover.
Switching the weapon from right to left hand, grip, and positive feel - same ideas.
Draw and aim, and most of all the idea that movement and cadence are the keys to 'Don't get hit'.
Movement really is the key. To everything. Movement means change, and all power, positioning, opportunity, evasion, alongside areas of danger and safety depend on the relative movement between you and your opponent. This is of course why the pendulum is such a powerful training tool as it sets up all the options of closing, opening, turning, stepping, and weight shift..
This whole experience has made me want to set up a 'Skills through Movement' clinic …. Shooting, Swordplay, Striking, Throwing, to see how they combine ...