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We have a notation method developed by Maître Crown that we use to notate drills and tactical exercises.
Do any of you have your own notation system? Do any of you use ours?
I'm interested in seeing what other people use to write these things down in order either to remember what you've done, or to communicate it to someone else.
No, we do not use an official (or unofficial) notation system. Alexis works with Maestro Martinez so he may have incorporated something there. I'll let him chime in on that.
What we do is context based. So the excercise or drill is always driven by what it is we are looking at. For this reason it is fluid and can change - depending on what we care to examine, and have therefore never had much of a need to write it down. Sometimes we use the conventional excercises in Maestro Gaugler's or Maestro Barbasetti's books, following their notation; a simple matter because the notation is helping to create the context.
For communication? I try not to communicate with people, much too difficult for me. But if I have to I have always found it best for us both to understand the context, e.g., I have just lunged and you have made parry tierce. From there I think we can go anyplace we want.
How do your notations work? abbreviation of context? or shorthand for multiple actions, like a macro?
To remember what I've done!? There's a pickle. Ha...
> How do your notations work? abbreviation of context? or shorthand for multiple actions, like a macro?
It's very much like music notation. On a staff, so you can see what all is happening at the same time. Sort of shorthand abbreviations for each action. Each staff has a line for the feet and for the blade- two, if you're using two.
If you read music, picture each action as a chord.
The method is very easy to learn and use- if you already read music. It appears to be fairly easy to learn for those who don't read music, but I can't speak from personal experience on that one.
Linda, you system sounds similar to a system I used to choreograph fights for a student film I got roped into helping with. I also included a system for distance, which I guess you could equate (graphically, but not physically) to length of musical notes in music notation. While this was fine for a choreographed routine, I think it is not so good for more extensive drills, as each action is expressed completed. Multiple intentions and the possibility for expressing dynamism in this notation is limited.
For example, in a more advanced drill I may set up the students to execute a phrase 3 or 4 exchanges deep. However, at any point in the drill, someone may make a mistake. For instance, an attackers feint may be parried in which case the defender would riposte. If the feint had worked and they derobe the successfully, the attacker would of course continue the compound attack to the new line. The second tempo of the compound attack, may or may not be parried... and so forth...
I could see how the musical staff would be a nice way to address this by adding another layer for intention. Have you played with this at all? Do you have notations for distance and cadence?
Regarding what I have learned from M. Martinez, the Rohdes system uses a vocal short hand system. It can be written down. Different sounds and even different intonations of the same sounds designate different engagements, intentions, attacks, and even footwork. The sounds are uttered as the fencer performs the action and actually helps fencers learn to breath properly while fencing (instead of holding one's breath or getting winded as many do).