Wednesday, 26 January 2011

I thought we might need more of this

All we need is a suitable version and we could be training with this.
Dusack 1
Dusack 2
Messer 1
Messer 2 (a bit of lighthearted fun)

A simple tutorial...part 1

Creating your own padded "Masters jacket"

You will need:
A suitable fencing jacket (I used a front opening version available from Absolute Fencing.)
A few yards of closed cell foam (I used 5mm thick foam purchased from Langans)
A few yards of suitable cloth (I used cotton broadcloth)
A few yards of Velcro
Needles and thread, scissors, etc.
Card stock

First get yourself a suitable jacket (ensuring that it is at least a size larger than you normally wear for minimal padding). I used an Absolute brand jacket solely as a cost cutting exercise...use what ever works and is affordable for you.

Once you have your obtained your component parts, you are ready to start. Begin by creating a pattern for your padding out of card stock. As every jacket (and individual) is different I will not provide a pattern here...start by laying out your jacket over the card stock and trace the outline. Then simply remove the portions of card that are not required to form your pattern. Don't forget to try on your jacket with the card stock pattern inside...this will help you decide what areas still need to be trimmed. You will want to avoid bunching/wrinkles wherever possible to ensure a decent fit. Make sure that your padding covers those areas that you would like to protect. I would humbly suggest that the clavicle, sternum, cervical vertebra, and kidneys are the minimum locations on the torso that I would protect.

Next, sew covers for your foam inserts using the patterns you made earlier...don't forget to make them slightly larger to allow for the thickness of the foam and the stitching.

Now you are nearly finished...just fit the foam inside the covers and sew up the openings...this is the last chance to ensure that everything fits, so have a fitting.

Last you aren't finished quite yet. These pads aren't going to stay in place on their own are they?

No, no they aren't slacker.

Get the Velcro you purchased earlier and sew it along the "high stress" areas of the pad and it's matching location on the jacket (remember to sew the "soft" side in the jacket)...this way the pads will stay in place and can be removed to allow for laundering of the jacket.

Now you're go fight.

Maybe next time we will cover the arms.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Well...not too bad last night, although I did (or allowed to happen) a few things I regret.

You see I had a plan...and I got side tracked. Bother.

Still, Odin did a great job on the fly...although I shouldn't have asked him to do that without more warning.

All of this being predicated on the arrival of "new folks"...I like them. Their just so damn eager...but I shouldn't allow them to distract my focus.

Next time the new folks are all yours, if you are ok with that Odin.

A few other points to come later...

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Hello again...

been a spell, hasn't it?

To be clear Mike's blogs got me thinking...and that can only be trouble. Two things that are going to appear here (when I finish them that is) are tutorials on creating your own padded master's jacket, and crafting a pollaxe simulator.

How have classes been? To be honest...a bit rubbish really. I'm fine teaching the very new, but now that so many of us are moving beyond that stage I find that I'm a little out of my element. I've been focused on bringing new techniques to the group, yet feeling that that wasn't truly what was needed.

I think the format of the classes needs to change in a series of radical ways.

1. We have many of the skills we need at this point, and while there needs to be a "drip-feed" of new ideas/techniques I can see that what we truly need is a set of drills and activities that will focus on improving certain areas: fitness, reactions, offense, defense, etc. Ultimately, what I think needs to happen is that our classes need to spend more time improving our core skills.

2. Another area that ought to change is how we structure the costs/tuition issue. I don't know about you, but I hate standing up at the end of class and collecting the rent. If I could I would do this for free. There is one among you that has on occasion paid in advance for the month...I like this guy and I like his style. Now, I have a couple of choices here...I can:
A. "keep things as they are."
B. "encourage the membership to opt into this new policy out of kindness"
C. "encourage the membership to opt into this new policy by raising the cost of individual lesson, and offering a discount for prepayment."

As always, your thoughts are valued and appreciated on any of these points.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011


sorry that there hasn't been much content here of late...hopefully there will be more soonish