For the modern practitioner of Vigny’s stick fighting system hitting various objects with full power is an essential part of one’s overall training. Such training provides an appreciation of grip integrity, builds power along with correct mind set, provides instant feed back in relation to impact shock transference and last but not least facilitates combat fitness.
Impact training is documented in the Vigny system primarily through H.G. Lang’s book on the walking stick method. Three types of striking targets are covered by Lang.
1- Post board target: was constructed of a board nailed to a post or tree, or even an old outhouse door. This piece of equipment is designed primarily to exercise full power ‘flick’ and ‘flip’ strikes. Many of Lang’s trainees were able to split a piece of wood a quarter of an inch thick with a single strike. pic-1
2-Post board sack: consisted of a post as the main frame to which a sack was attached to the centre and a board nailed at head height, the configuration roughly representing a man. pic-2
Lang writes that once student reaches a level in which all the cuts can be blended together in a “grand combination” then active practise could be carried out on a single post board sack using the following methods-
“Advance on the sack employing CIRCULING GUARDS, and when within striking distance of the sack , run through all cuts with a lunge. Cuts to be of a glancing or whipping nature, and back into ON GUARD, position after every cut. From CIRCLING GUARD also practise FLICKS and FLIPS on board.
“After cuts on sack are properly executed, combine cuts with the CROSS GUARD, CUT LEFT at sack, finish up in CROSS GUARD, and reply again to sack from this position body swinging round with cut”.
Riot Enclosure : was simply a circular arrangement of post board sacks and post board targets irregularly placed to represent a mob pic-3 . Lang recommends that active stick play be used in the following manner when utilizing the riot enclosure-
“Practise a combination of cuts by the CLEARING PRACTISE method with FLICKS and FLIPS, in the “Riot Enclosure”. This enclosure is merely a circular arrangement of post with sacks and boards irregularly placed to represent a mob, first row near, the second row looking over the front rows shoulder as it were . This makes for very active play with the stick. Commence practise by getting down into CLEARING PRACTISE cuts, FLICK in front , jump round to face about , deliver FLICK or FLIP, down again into CLEARING PRACTISE cuts, and carry on as above.
3- Hanging sack: basically an ordinary sack filled with straw chaff or old cloths. It was secured with rope so the remaining section could be packed to resemble a man’s head. Suspended from a tree the sack’s configuration allowed a variety of stick blows including the upper cut. pic-4
Lang explains the particular strikes that can be executed against multiple hanging sacks-
“Practise CLEARING PRACTISE in circle of sacks. Let shoulder be the motive power, jerking it around with cuts, and do not allow any flicking round of stick with the wrist.
The cuts must have a pull behind them. In this position practise the double JABS with stick grasped in both hands and JABS delivered with upward tendency, left and right, employing both ends of the stick in combination with shoulder”.
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