Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Things you cannot do with a centergrip kite

I'm told by one of my trainees who went to the knight's school last weekend, and who uses a kite, that his majesty told him to switch to a heater. His majesty tells everyone that. Everybody should use a 24"x36" heater in his majesty's book. That's what he fights, that's what he teaches. Not only that, but he teaches a particular way to use it and is very up front about his opinion that it is the way people should fight. I believe what he said was "you won't go anywhere with that shield." At least that's what my guy got out of it. He said something similar to other kite fighters as well.

Which leads to the question what are those problems? There are lots of great things about the center grip kite, but there are a lot of problems with it as well. Sure, you can hook, punch, and use the boss offensively, and a center grip is the best style against lefties. It has a great leg defense. But what are the drawbacks?

Well, first of all, there is the lack of corners. Of course it is a big deal. I still get killed because there is no back side corner to protect my head. Then there is the fact that the center grip can be moved around a lot more than the strapped shield can. It's only got one point of contact, meaning it is easy to rotate in any direction. Oh, and it is usually a bit narrower. There are some other things. You can't do that rotation defense I like to use against Florentine fighters. For that you need corners and it really has to be strapped. I also can't do those "magic button" presses that Gemini uses so effectively. You need a smaller shield for that, and I find that a corner helps a lot.

But other than that it is a good shield, and the advantages do counter balance that. Now, I will one day go back to a heater, because I've always liked them, but I'm enjoying the kite right now and I think it's a better shield than his majesty gives it credit for.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Voice of America

Check out this really good Pennsic video from Voice of America News.

Monday, September 14, 2009

BAT Practice

I almost didn't get into armor because there were only two other guys planning to fight. Normally I don't get into gear unless there will be four of us.

The other two were Daniel and Gui. Daniel is new so there was a lot of training involved in that, but part of the training was on aggression, so we both got to press a little bit. He is advanced for the amount of time he's been in armor but has a lot of rough edges to work out.

Gui, of course, is a bundle of rough edges. Not in the "he's not polished" way, but in the "bag full of broken glass" way. He is just plain dangerous--one of the toughest fighters I've ever fought. I had never fought him with the center grip before. It completely cut off his favorite tactic, which is to duck behind his shield and relentlessly attack your legs (he's a really strong lefty). I got him with some really good techniques--a shield press and off-side head cut, and then a thrust that came in from behind my flattened shield (it's hard to describe--it felt weird at the time but it worked). He adjusted pretty well an did much better agaisnt me the second set of passes. He said my aggression was great and that he had more trouble with me than ever before, which feels pretty good.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

In writing about fighting

I have noticed something.

When I am speaking, and I say something about my "best" fights, I am usually talking abut fights I enjoyed a lot. These are fights that were intense, where I and my opponent were throwing lots of shots and barely blocking them, which probably went on for awhile, and quite often they are fights which I lost. When I write about fights in this blog and I say "my best fight", it is usually a fight in which I executed a particular technique well. Quite often it didn't last more than one or two blows. Rarely was it intense. My perspective is different when writing about fighting than when talking about fighting, and I find that very interesting.