Monday, September 5, 2011

BAT 9/4/2011


I spent some time training with Paul of Bellatrix. His training method revolves around unarmored work: classes, slow work, drills, pell work.  He encouraged new fighters to train for a year before they ever put in armor.

I employ some of that. I try to lead unarmored classes at BAT and I do a lot of pell work and slow work. Along with Ronald, also a Bellatrix product, I am trying to hold unarmored classes every time I go to practice. We have instituted a policy at BAT that the new fighters need to do drills before they get into armor. Myself, GUI, and Cian will lead the classes (at least one of us is always there).

The form of our class is simple. First we do a set of blocking and striking drills. Then we review some of the stuff we learned before. Then there is a lesson, usually a new drill or a new concept. After that is slow work and perhaps some pell work.

Today we used the blocking striking drills. They are essentially the same as thaw in the Asgard system. We reviewed the salute, the various engarde positions, and the sabre parrys that are uses in sword blocks. The lessons was striking and walking. Then I did some slow work with each of them.

All of the fighters seemed to get something out of it, depending on their skill level. With myself, Gui, and Sir Edward there to teach, they got some quality instruction. The format of the class works well. If it were an armored class I would run it differently.

An interesting point: I was talking with a historian of fencing recently, wwho teaches both modern fencing and HEMA. He told me that the "class in a line, where the students are taught together in a group, comes out of 18th Century military training, and that before that all instruction was private. Students would take individual lessons with the master of a salon and then would spar with one another. I found this fascinating. It is, in a way, the way most SCA teaching is done, though it is even less formal.


Oscad had my armor in his truck, and he was in Philly celebrating his aniversary. Oops. Luckilly we had a lot of loaner gear. I wore my old gambesson, a weight-lifter's kidney belt, some black plastic legs, Eddie's helm, gui's right arm harness, a Torvaldr bauzband (he's left handed), a demi of John's, a loaner gorget and what ever pads were lying around. We have a 32" loaner heater and some spare swords. I actually felt great. I lost my leg more than normal, but I also was pretty light on my feet. It would not have flowan at nutley, but it was fun. I fought, in order, Lou, Gui, Alexander, and Tormundr, which is a broad range of fighters and pretty good for a practice on Labor Day Weekend.

Used a larger variety of techniques than I usually do. It's kind of like I forget them while I'm fighting, but not yesterday

I worked on some old-school techniques, including a lot of Western high open form. With the shield I was using it made sense. Lost my leg a lot.

I tried the hook/thrust against Alexander and he killed me. He is the first person I've found who has a truly good counter to it. It comes from his fencing skills. He saw it as a thust to his torso. He passed forward offline, twisting out of the way of the thrust while cutting at the same time. Killed me good. There goes my money shot!

Still working on the punching head shot from a closed form (a la Ice). Found that against the kite, if I time it right to throw as he is thorwing, it cuts through where that corner on a heater would be very nicely. That's likely why Ice throws it. Have to try it against Rolf or Omega.

On my legs against Alexander I swithced from looking over the top of my shield to looking past the leading edge of my shiled. I looked twice at hie leg then threw a wavy rising snap. He was going for a body thrust, which missed, and I killed him. That trick is set up as soon as you change the shield position. It gets him thinking about the leg shot.

I did not use a thrusting tip against Lou and still managed to kill him, he was fighting sword and long madu, so the thrust was missed.

Jade's standard opening combo; sword foot forward, shield held low inviting the head shot, sword held high. When he throws the head shot bring your feet together and your shield up. Your left arm and your sword should form a line. As he recovers, your sword follows his back and you hit him in the arm pit.

Rolf's figure 8 attack. Strike on-side head, folw through so your sword is in front of your shield, strike off side body, follow through with a tear-drop return, strike onside head. Works with opponents on their knees or standing (look at the video of the last Western Crown finals).

Gemini's variation of that, when the opponent is on his knees, which ends by punching the corner of your shield into the lower-leading edge of your opponent's and thrusting to the neck or face.

Radnor's butterfly and upsilon leg shot, which are both locked-wrist techniques. In the first you start an onside leg shot, bring the basket hilt toward your face so the sword passes upwards in front of his shhield, then turn that into an off-side body shot. The second is just a wavy-rising snap that turns back into a leg shot.

A couple of those techniques were used on Lou and Alexander, a couple on Tormundr, who is newer. I just kept going to the well to see what might feel good at full speed and what wouldn't.

My shortcoming stemed mainly from getting lazy with my shield arm, and squaring up too much, which I was doing on purpose but it wasn't working. Gui pasted me a couple of times.


Did a great 13 mile bike ride on Saturday. Haven't lifted since Monday last. On weeks when I fight at Nutley, like this week, my regimen will be recovery on Monday, bike or gym for aerobics on Tuesday, fight on Wednesday, recover Thursday, bike Friday, fight on the weekend. On weeks when I don't got to Nutley (unless I'm going to a thursday practice) I will lift on Tuesday and Thursday, bike Wednesday and friday, recover Saturday and Monday. Or that is the plan.

This weekend is the Feast of John Barleycorn, which will be Gui's investiture as Viceroy of Ostgardr and a rose tournament. I'm hoping to get some fighting done on Sunday as well.

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