26 September 2016

This is what you're aiming for

Cool intro video to give you a taste of where you're headed. Notice the simplicity.


So what the hell is the Schrankhut?

The word I know - "der Schrank" - means "cupboard".

Looking it up on Wiktionary, it turns out that the original meaning meant "barrier" or "limit" - not sure which one came first, and hence "entanglement". From this came "enclosed space" and hence "cupboard".
von spätmittelhochdeutsch schrank (= abgeschlossener Raum oder (vergittertes) Gestell), von mittelhochdeutsch schranc, das von althochdeutsch scranc (= Verschränkung, Verflechtung); zu schränken“[1] Das Wort ist seit dem 9. Jahrhundert belegt 
Google translation:
schranc of late Middle High German cabinet (= enclosed space or (barred) frame), from Middle High German, which of [Old High German - PH] scranc (= entanglement, entanglement); to limit "[1] The word is occupied [attested - PH] since the 9th century
So a Schrankhut would be a barrier guard or limiting guard or restraining guard.

Or I could just watch the video.


I am concerned at the level of firearm illiteracy. Consider this article: The ignorance of journalists has become a commonplace, but of a Court of Appeal?
There could be no conceivable explanation for the possession of a silencer other than as part of a particularly sinister criminal enterprise," the Court of Appeal said in a judgement handed down in April this year. 
Of this particular silencer, I have no real doubt. But of a silencer - I speculate that is simply incorrect. It seems logical to me that - and I have yet to test this empirically, given that silencers are banned - silencers would be most useful in vermin control.

Indeed, I think consideration should be given to the idea that silencers be legalised for the purpose of vermin control.

24 September 2016

The assassination of Ali Jammas

A few thoughts on what I assume was one in a series of a gangland shootings in SW Sydney over the last few years.

1. Interesting the amount of CCTV footageAbbotsbury, which I had never heard of, is apparently the posh 'part' of Fairfield (really it's miles away on the other side of Cowpasture Road). Fairfield along with its neighbour Cabramatta is one of the most welfare-dependent suburbs in Australia.

2. Why would you borrow your mate's car to conduct an assassination instead of e.g. stealing one? He must be rather upset. And why would you use a Subaru WRX in a murder?

...Mr Barakat was captured on CCTV footage collecting a Subaru WRX from his friend David Younes' house on Wednesday, July 10 – two days before Mr Jammas' murder. 
...Mr Barakat was captured on CCTV footage returning the car to Wycombe Road, Yagoona, about half an hour after the murder.
What a coincidence!

3. Assassinating someone on bin night is a great idea.

4. Given especially that the victim was presumably oblivious (maybe not after the 1st shot!), why did 2 of the 6 shots miss? Pathetic.

What security footage did not capture was the moment six bullets were fired at Mr Jammas. 

The NSW Supreme Court has heard four of the bullets struck him and he dropped his phone on the morning of July 12, 2013.

5. The assassins were lucky - he died of his wounds shortly afterwards. Why not put in a coup de grace and make sure of it?

He crawled back into his house but died a short time later.

21 September 2016

Basic Longsword Guards

I think this is the best beginner's intro to the fundamental underlying concept I have seen. There are better videos for learning the actual guards themselves, but to understand the system and what it is trying to achieve, this is a great first video.

How to hold a sword.

Which (non-steel) practice swords I recommend for historical martial arts

19 September 2016

Basic longsword

Great video series on the basics of longsword. They are short and sharp, which I like. The key one is the third video, with the basic 'guards' or postures, but the whole thing is worth watching.

16 September 2016

Importance of sword design

This is an important review because it dramatically reveals the importance of design, driven of course by purpose. While we are told it is designed for thrusting, this sword looks to me (and presumably to you) like any other mediaeval sword. When however you see the testing, unlike every other fun cutting video you have ever seen, it has difficulty cutting (not that I'd like someone to attempt a cut on me with it) but it absolutely slaughters thrusts.

A larger point one could make by the way is the skill of ancient swordsmiths - they were able to make really good swords with specific characteristics. Indeed, I consistently hear that while modern swords are made of better materials, originals often seem to behave much better - being more lively or quick or nimble etc.

A final point - to me it seems test cutting is the most fun part of HEMA - so while this is a great sword, if you only ever get one sword, don't make it this one.

13 September 2016

First impression: Renaissance longsword from Michael Tinker Pearce

HEMA intro

This is an hour-long documentary(/propaganda piece) but it's an excellent overall intro to HEMA (Historical European Martial Arts).