I was talking with a former World Cup competitor yesterday at the National Championships. Great guy.
I was telling him I tried combining music with fencing training. I told him about an unusual bagpipe piece that had two rhythms, one with 3 beats per measure, one with 4 beats per measure, running simultaneously through the piece. I would get my opponent to dance with me to one of the rhythms and then on one of the instances when the rhythms synced (every 3 X 4 = 12th note) I could switch to the other rhythm.
Then I told this coach the story of how Bill Velders, who plays in a symphony orchestra, could never stop my attack until one time during rehearsal of the Overture of Symphonie Fantastique the conductor yelled at the musicians, “No! Come in on the AND of Four.”
I explained that for Bill this was his epiphany. Bill heard my attack in that piece of music. Turns out my attack has a distinct 4 beats per measure rhythm but my hand is moves in that time/space between the beats. I feint on the third beat. I hit between the fourth beat and the first beat of the next measure. In order to parry me, the fencer must parry on the AND of four. That is, BETWEEN the fourth and first beats.
Bill discovered that if he watched my attack, I deceived him and he could not stop it. But if he listened to my attack, he could.
As I was explaining that I was fascinated by the idea of natural rhythms and that I was pretty sure this rhythm idea was something but didn’t quite understand what to do with it, the coach’s eyes kept getting bigger. Finally he looked at me like I had just pulled out a pirate treasure map and told him, “I found this thing and I’m pretty sure it is important but I don’t quite know what to do with it.”
When he was fencing on the World Cup Circuit he got to know a French Olympian whose coach had trained numerous Olympians and World Class fencers out of a little club in France. Half a century ago, this French coach had developed a saber training system based on sound and feel. They would even train with the lights off. When the saber timings changed and devalued defense in saber this system was dropped.
This world class fencer/coach went on to explain that the training system was a 10 step system of increasing complexity with programmed attack, parry/riposte, counter-parry/riposte actions. This coach described the training system as on one level, genius in its simplicity. On the next level a feedback loop of interconnecting multidimensional infinite complexity.
The foil system we are developing is based on saber fencing style of half a century ago. What we are developing uses a system of interconnecting loops of complexities.
Are you thinking what I’m thinking?
The entire system fits hand written on a half sheet of notebook paper. I have a copy of it.