Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Blood Guard University

Saturday was a great practice. Gui and I went down to Ice Falcon’s for Blood Guard University. Ice lives in kind of an out of the way place. You can triangulate on it right in between Bum F*ck and Nowhere. It is in Jersey and—I’m not kidding here, and hour south of Philly. It’s maybe a half hour South East of Wilmington Delaware. It is so rurual we were off the freeway an hour without seeing a stoplight by the time we got to his house. Nothing but grain silos and tractors. He lives on one of those cul-de-sacs with new houses on them carved out of someone’s small farm. Their place is fantastic—a big colonial decorated in medieval, science fiction and Marine Corps chic. Unfortunately, most people bagged on it because of the weather. It ended up as Me, Gui, Ice, and two guys who had driven all the way down from Canada for the practice. However, that meant that we ended up doing lots of intense training. Bascially, Gui and I trained the guys from Canada and Ice trained all of us. The guys from Canada didn’t fight each other and neither did me and Gui.

Ice is an excellent trainer, and since I’ve gone to a 36” heater he was a good person for me to train with. Although it looks like he fights a fairly static, he is a very active fighter, punch blocking with his heater, striving to “win the place” as Fiore would say, and using strong technique—Elbow back, hip cocked, rotation, follow through.

Gui he was training out of that short off-side punch shot he uses. He was training him to cock and throw it with more travel and hiting on the end of the sword. It is a tough one, because Gui has always been successful with that shot but—as Bellatrix often points out, that shot comes in pretty soft and would *never* be effective in a real fight. He had Gui start his fights with his sword cocked to his left, ready to throw the shot. It worked pretty well, but it is taking away Gui’s main set-up.
My fights with him were more general. Our first set I didn’t win any fights. Our second set of fights I picked up late and won a couple toward the end. Our third set I was winning one out of every three fights. I had been trying to use some Gendy technique and Ice, bluntly, said the same thing to me that I tell everyone else—that that technique won’t fly anymore. He told me to move my elbow back and tighten up across the core, ala Bellatrix. One thing I worked through was that using goofy foot automatically forced me to pull my elbow back and tighten the shoulder, which is why I don’t have a lot of problems with power from that stance. Ice insists that my fighting picked up when I got off my heels and up on my toes. That’s interesting, because Bellatrix style digs the heels in and says you should keep them firmly on the ground when throwing a shot. But Ice was right. Gui says that I’ve been fighting my shield, and that fits. A big part of my fighting is always lateral movement, and that is what has been missing since I went to the heater. I’ve been sitting back too much.

Good fights!

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