Abstract Ringen II

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‘… then I am his Master.’

I call Ringen abstract, as it is constantly developing inside of my head. The form of it, as a distinct fighting art. Form is always tied to the end result. Were is the martial arts technique taking you. To what path of dominance and what kind. When we view early Ringen we are obviously viewing one attempting to kill the other opponent. Victory is often done in a maiming way. The path of bringing one to the head and throat of the opponent. This is the heart of Ringen. Trailing further on, one must look at the work of Fabain Von Auerswald. The “sportification” of Ringen in an abstract way. Yet it still shows so much, with base principles of movements, or “if this happens, if you find yourself here, etc.”

The object whether sports or combatives, lies in obtaining the opponents throat, while they are unable to properly defend themselves anymore, or taking them to a situation that swiftly leads to mortal exposing of self… The contest, one another obstructing the opponents body from taking hold of face/throat, while seeking dominance. This position can often lead to their falling to the ground if dominant one wishes. This is also the time of maiming, whether casting the opponent down or not. When reading Von Auerswald book, it is easy to be overwhelmed at times. Yet as understanding continues, mine constantly, you see it reads as a narrative, with a few back and forths. The entire essence is claiming the throat, or the opponent bending in such as way is to be extremely weakened and exposed. While there are also techniques to lock joints, leading to dislocation. One must always seek the throat and face in combatives. The movements must be experienced in an explosive striking sense. The martial art to be mastered.

All techniques are more successful upon a stunned opponent, as is written. Since maiming is involved, this will already lend itself to open palm striking and grabbing. Grabbing must be a strike. One may often close with both hands extended, yet still allow the palms to snap forward a couple inches with ones hips, as one begins a grapple. Never simply “pull” into the grapple. No matter what part of your body is contacting. Use a sword pell, with limbs perhaps to strike. Especially forearms, upper arms, shoulders, hips, shins (in a vertical sweeping way), upper legs in same way. And always the heel strike/stomp and open palm/ hammer fist/ finger tips. Combatively speaking, you also want a very strong neck and skull… Your other joints harden as you wish, as in be intelligent. A powerful elbow is always important and natural in Ringen, especially when it does not appear as an elbow strike…

Step into a strong Ringen stance, with your arms ready to engage. Begin to snap your forearms against one another, rotating. Snap and push, snap and push Using your shoulders and hips as you push. This should begin to hurt. If your forearms is to wrap your opponents, it is to snap over the opponents. If the hip wedges into your opponents, snap into his hips, your hips are a mace. You do not step into your opponents knee, you strike into, aiming to dislocate it. When your opponent loses balance, you do not grab his throat, you open palm strike into his throat, sending his chin upwards, taking hold, not to strangle but to dislocate throat. Doing whatever you wish to his face, etc. This is the goal of Ringen. Finding dominance with your hips and hands, ultimately to control the neck in a mortal way. This is also the goal upon the ground. Yet the opportunity for maiming blows becomes so obvious, that it becomes a desperate animalistic struggle of who lashes out at each others face, and most maimfully. Like all ground combatives. Think in terms of a knife fight on the ground. Our faces are simply to vulnerable. There are techniques to deal with this, but this is not the desire of the form. Knife fightes standing are different because one is able to pulsate in and out, so not as desperate. While the purpuse of any engagement is a pulsation, bladed combat will take this to a further extreme. If quarters become forced, the Ringen becomes your best friend, as you must obstruct limbs somehow, while stabbing in a frenzy. Just like unarmed Ringen in winning the opponents throat in a dominant way, them no longer able to properly struggle.

Von Auerswald shows insight in how to maneuver around your opponents body in a very powerful and sound way. While many techniques are excluded, especially dislocation of the small joints, it offers an overall insight of form. A few techniques are the things human eyes are very familiar with as to take an opponent to the ground, many things are very unfamiliar… You just must see the movie properly. The consequence of end result burnt into your eyes… The core of any death art exposes the neck and face to breakage and damage, in a way the one opponent is dominate over the other, no longer contesting. This is the core of combatives without sharp objects. The most important teachers to this study are Ringeck, Meyer, Auerswald, and The Flower of Battle.

Shield Bearer

An essential supplement of martial arts is running. This is extremely essential, or you simply do not have a “moving” body. While lifting weights is a great benefit. A “rooting” benefit. One does not want to become overly “rooted”. Or one becomes a target. Running causes one to become an arrow. While too much running will cause too much “flight” causing one to become a target. These are supplemental workouts. While training in martial arts, one will move both rooted and as an arrow. All martial arts that have any worth are of this.
Before training I will run a couple miles. I have little desire to make this distance longer. Simply faster. To never look as if I am dragging weight, that I am constant weight in movement. The progression varies. In my mind the act of running becomes somewhat boring. In weight lifting I will often add martial twists. Such as heavy repetitions of a dane axe bound in heavy chains, in addition to still performing “traditional” workouts. Push ups, pull ups and dips, fall into the “weight” training category. My seperation is three branches. Martial arts first and foremost, explosive/ running and weight/ bodyweight workouts. Every thing should be performed in a “cardio way”. As in stop sitting around between sets. Unless you are practicing true “Art”. Practicing in a “zen” way of extremely deep beautiful movements. This should be done in addition to combative’s form, which should feel as cardio.
Back to running. To add a martial twist, running with a shield has become very empowering. I created a norse shield several years ago for training. I call it a “shield wall” shield as it is heavy for one. It is half an inch thick and has multiple supports. Made of pine, oaken handle, covered in canvas, rimmed in leather, all steps are very important to strength of tool. Weighs around fifteen pounds. Many shields of the age were a quarter inch thick and often thinner, something far alive in the fight, weighing far less. I often will train with the shield as a solo weapon, it is an amazing tool. If one is to use an additional weapon, keep the hand hidden. Such as a sword, the entire blade and guard can be exposed, yet hide the hand, slide the perimeter. If hand is exposed, it will be sliced off. That is the “throat” of this form of combat. On and on. Regardless, fifteen “awkward” pounds switched often between hands becomes extremely heavy. Especially when attempting to hold it at a combative height. Drag and drag. Yet it is empowering. If only from a fitness level.
Of combative height. Something you will often see in Hema and many martial arts in “sparr” form, combative height is constantly falling. Be careful of this in the longsword. Meyer’s first image of the sword, the one with the double cross, shows proper combative height. How rare a thing you see practitioners do. Strong wrists. This is tiring and takes painful training. A judgement easily viewed.
I am building what I call my “Harii” shield. And older formed body shield of germanic origin. This one is of pine a quarter inch thick, covered in leather. Both the weight and style lends it self better to running and guerrilla warfare. As it was intended. My running is along power lines in the forest. With this perhaps one should veer off path.10584071_509559692522868_6261968339865666634_n.jpg