Haitian Machete Fencing

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Haitian Machete Fencing

Postby Mr_Wood on Tue May 20, 2014 3:15 pm

I think this is nice from a cultural and tradition point of view, but watching the videos it seems very lifeless with a lot of machete clinking going on rather than anything practical for SD. There is a little info on the style and reasons behind there training methods (tuning the back) but training with one arm behind your back doesn't make much sense to me other than to stop it from being lobbed off but this can be achieved by keeping it close to your chest. I don't see much skill here.

Thoughts :-\

http://haitianfencing.org/#about-haitian-fencing

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IpA-DgCxy4E

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Re: Haitian Machete Fencing

Postby Finny on Tue May 20, 2014 5:02 pm

Oh dear. I don't know what that is, but it ain't good blade training
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Re: Haitian Machete Fencing

Postby klonk on Tue May 20, 2014 5:43 pm

Tucking the off hand behind the back is from Western saber. As for the rest of it I don't know. No idea. However, viewtopic.php?f=7&t=21533




https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zZv_jpyQ24k

Last edited by klonk on Tue May 20, 2014 6:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Haitian Machete Fencing

Postby fuga on Tue May 20, 2014 8:09 pm

It looks less like a sparring situation and more like a feeding situation (teacher providing angles to student).

Some of the student's body movements and stepping appear extraneous. Maybe there is more going on than is presented in the clip.
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Re: Haitian Machete Fencing

Postby Josealb on Tue May 20, 2014 8:54 pm

The machete is a very common weapon in the dominican countryside, and well, all of haiti. They do know how to use it. It looks more like this (attacking high and low):



There has to be a context to the video posted on the OP, that somehow explains why they are doing it like that.
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Re: Haitian Machete Fencing

Postby Fubo on Tue May 20, 2014 10:16 pm

The first clip reminds me of the "pow, p, pow, pow" guy that taught Kali. Context or no context, it's a far cry from the reality of Josealb's clip… I understand that you're going to find yourself in some less than ideal positions in such situations, but who in their right mind would advocate consistently turning their backs to a blade as a training method. Could this training be the influence of the bottle the dude put down prior to training?
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Re: Haitian Machete Fencing

Postby dspyrido on Wed May 21, 2014 1:10 am

I'm going to take a punt here that this is actually derived from old school cutlas training on a frigate ship. The two are not fighting (so ignore the title) but the instructor is feeding & testing. The guy who is hoping around is looks like he is constantly trying to lean out for balance which is something you would do on a rocking surface like a ship at sea.

The back turning/twisting? Multiple opponents.

Hand behind the back? For fencing it is to counter balance but for the larger weapons the hand in the back is normally to avoid it getting snicked & also to create a thinner front as you are side on. Also swatting machetes is not very sensible. The other thing for the hand behind the back in a clenched fist might be to represent a hidden weapon.

But just a theory though.
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Re: Haitian Machete Fencing

Postby Steve James on Wed May 21, 2014 5:19 am

Um, well, I think people are comparing what happens in the first video to traditional blade training. I.e., as if it's supposed to be teaching technique, as opposed to being more like a dance. But, either way, in Haiti, the DR, anywhere there are sugar cane fields, and in Africa, more people are hacked to death with some form of machete (and there are loads) than being shot with AK47s. So, skill level or not, the fact is that people are actually killing with those weapons. Often, these are not duels between individuals.
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Re: Haitian Machete Fencing

Postby Deadmonki on Wed May 21, 2014 5:35 am

Last edited by Deadmonki on Wed May 21, 2014 5:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Haitian Machete Fencing

Postby Mr_Wood on Wed May 21, 2014 1:08 pm

The two are not fighting (so ignore the title) but the instructor is feeding & testing.


Yes your correct, they have given a little info of their method of training on the website -

Instead, training consists of working to stay protected and aggressively directed while the teacher or another student throws strikes. When we take a turn doing the striking, we get minimal instruction from the Professor, though the receiving student will often slip in a counterstrike if they feel that the feeding student is leaving himself flagrantly open. The real work is the blocking, and the goal is not just to deflect the blows but to learn to parry, pivot and advance toward a strategically superior position. The functional payoff of this method is that it ingrains the instinct to fluidly block an attacker's blows while moving to a position from which – momentarily – you are able to strike without receiving a counterstrike.


we are literally "fencing" ourselves off from the attack. The game consists in trying to get past the opponent's "fence" while keeping them outside your own. These concepts of "inside" and "outside" are really the key to Professor Avril's method.


With this in mind I can see the usefulness of the practice and like Steve pointed out, people are actually killing with these weapons so you would imagine they have some idea of what works and what doesn't. Learning to keep safe and not getting chopped up into little bits being the primary goal then the obvious place to start is blocking and footwork which is what they are doing. Perhaps the nastier stuff comes later and I guess you don't need to be a martial arts genius to figure out how to land a lethal blow with a machete. Often the more simple a method is, the more functional and effective it will be in reality.
Last edited by Mr_Wood on Wed May 21, 2014 1:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Haitian Machete Fencing

Postby yeniseri on Wed May 21, 2014 3:02 pm

In he Caribbean, the machete (we call it cutlass ;D ) is the tool of agriculture as it was used to cut the cane field of yore.
It is the preferred method to inflict punishment and easily available. Usually, the raw training isn't called fencing but it appears to be a 'modernist' take on individual training required.
5-10 minutes of cane cutting (actions against the sugar cane) make your forearm, wrist, etc seem like eternity!
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Re: Haitian Machete Fencing

Postby klonk on Wed May 21, 2014 5:22 pm

In 1892, fencing master Louis Rondelle wrote:It is incontestably true that in the case of the sabre a good parrier always wins. Strong in parries, he never fears the adverse attack. He waits for it and even provokes it that he may have the advantage of a Time Thrust or a good Riposte, which, made within distance, will invariably count.

http://books.google.com/books?id=nmrPAA ... &lpg=PA213

Very interesting. Here someone from the European tradition is saying something that would likely make Professor Avril smile and nod.
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