Thursday, September 22, 2011

Nutley 9/21/11

Nutley last night. I traveled over with Oscad. Neither Gregor nor Omega were there, nor even John the Breeder, but it was a top heavy practice nonetheless. I only fought four sets, but they were all against knights, and I worked hard for everything I got.

My elbow had stopped hurting by Wednesday, but started again before I even got in the car. I need to take a month off, but it absolutely cannot be the next month. I will go in and have it x-rayed, though. I’m sure it is tendinitis, but just in case there is a bone chip in there I’d like to know. It affected everything I did. I wore the brace this time (and it didn’t hurt as badly a it did Saturday night), but the combination of the brace and the stiffness slowed me down. I had real problems generating power (though my sword was starting to broom as well, which could be part of it).

I took Omega’s advice and worked on my stance by switching my lead foot only between opponents. I concentrated on my shield alignment, setting up with my shield between my opponent’s sword and my head at all times. Because of the stiffness in my elbow I was mixing in some Bellatrix technique, which doesn’t require as much arm in your shots, but I was trying to minimize that. It’s not going to win me a lot of fights by itself.

I fought four opponents: Jan Janovitch, Max, Stephen, and Tzeitchel. I fought Jan and Stephen with a shield foot lead, Max and Tzeitchel with a sword foot lead.

Against Jan I was effective in my defense and many of my blows were landing on target but with very little power. This was when I started using the Bellatrix technique and my power went up. Jan fights an almost western style, and the Bellatrix technique worked well enough against him. I killed him a few times. He was hard to track down. Both of us are trying to play at extreme range, and a lot of the time we were just not close enough.

Against Max I felt more comfortable. When I fight goofy foot I bring my sword farther forward in defense but keep my elbow back to generate power through my core. I worked fine. I didn’t have many power issues against Max (except with an off-side leg blow I really didn’t expect to land). I think we fought three fights. The first one he blew right through my block. The second one I think I hit him with an on-side head shot. In the third fight I took his leg and he became a turtle. I used every technique I have for someone on his knees but couldn’t hit him. I used a standard butterfly and Ed’s butterfly. I used a hook/thrust. I used a top-edge hook. I used Rolf’s Head/body/head combo, and Gemini’s “magic button” press with the face thrust. I even went behind the back (which was flat anyway). I didn’t lay sword on him. Like Stephan and Jabril, he looks past the front corner of his shield intead of over the top, and when he does that on his knees it makes him really hard to hit. The hook thrust he twisted out of. The top edge hook couldn’t push his shield down far enough. Same with the press and face thrust. His shield was too high for the press to be effective. When he took my leg I went all rock and roll on him, trying to change up the tempo, and we had a good exchange but he hit me.

When I fight Stephen I count it as a success if I hit him once. I use those fights to find the most glaring holes in my defense. He is so fast and strong and precise that it is all you can do. I did kill him once, with the hook/thrust, which is much better than I usually do. But fighting Stephen is as much fun as fighting gets. Once again, I was fighting strong side (shield leg forward). Next time I will fight him weak side. The first thing I learned, or that he reinforced, is that the heater leaves me open for a quick off-side face blow. This is how Thorsen used to kill me all the time. As soon as I threw a leg shot, or started an off-side, or a fake, or (bad form) telegraphed a blow by cocking, Stephen would fire at my off-side face and usually kill me. The second thing I learned is that I can’t go to my right against Stephen. Every time I did he tent-pegged me—by far the hardest I was hit all night. He did it three times. Once I bit my tongue. It is a blow I use a lot in the same situation, but he had me timed perfectly. When we talked afterward, he said that straight on my defense was tight and he didn’t have many openings, but that when I moved to my right I opened up every time.

Fighting Tzeitchel I switched back to goofy foot and I was winning a lot of my fights. We were both tired. It was the end of the night. I found that I had a good gap on her on-side head when she was throwing a blow. The best kill she got on me was when I was aggressive and pushed her. She backpeddled and got me with a very high, over the shield off-side head blow.

All in all it was a good night. I was probably more comfortable fighting goofy foot, but my offense wasn’t as good. I had a pretty tight defense however. After my early fights with Jan my power problems went away. I had a lot of fun.

This was my eighth time in armor since Pennsic. I may fight tonight at BAT. If not I will fight this weekend.

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