Monday, January 30, 2012

BAT 1/29/12

Hey, we held a practice and somebody showed up!!

Practice on Sunday was good. Considering that this was Birka weekend I expected nobody to show up. I certainly didn't expect anyone to fight.


Rehab feels like it has been set back a bit, but probably that's nothing. I did my rehab every day last week except Tuesday, when I went hunting. My elbow still feels fine most days, and I continue to do pt on it. But it has been a bit stiffer than two weeks ago. Yesterday at bat I picked up a waster in order to demonstrate, in slow motion, a technique. My elbow felt tight right away. Then I went to a sword, same thing. So I used a dagger for the rest of the day, or just open hand (the way fighters always talk). At one point I threw a light snap at the pell with the dagger and my elbow actually hurt--not bad, just a bit tender. So I'm glad I decided to skip Birka and give it another month.

Workouts, on the other hand, have been great. Not only have I been walking a lot, and running a bit, but I've been doing other things too. Beginning of the week it was walking. Last Sunday I took a two mile walk. Monday I went deer hunting, traipsing all through the snow. I was out for seven hours and probably walked a total of about three miles. Wednesday I took a mile walk. Thursday was my birthday and I even had a cupcake. No working out (other than climbing those stairs up to the balcony at the BAM Harvey Theatre, which equals about six floors. We saw Kevin Spacey in Richard III--I guess thunderous applause counts as a workout too). Friday I had a great workout! I did 25 minutes on the recumbent bike at the gym and then a 20 minute medicine ball workout (loves me that medicine ball). Saturday I did kettle bells and Indian clubs, which is my favorite workout. (Sunday, were I to count it, was 20 minutes of yoga and then two hours of slow work training people at BAT--much of that left handed, since one of my trainees is a lefty).

As noted I didn't fight again this week. However there was a really good practice. We had a newbie, Ashanti, Deklin and Duncan (who have now been around a year and are no longer newbies), Dugal, who is a really good unbelt, and Oscad who is a crown contender. It was a good mix of folk and good skill level.

Dougal fought mostly two sword. He used to fight with two long heavy swords, but has cut them down to short swords, maybe 24" long. That worked great against the new guys, not so much against Oscad.

I have changed a major portion of my fighting and it is reflected in my training style. Taking after the Bellatrix model, I had always drilled offense, offense, offense. Paul's axiom is that you train your offense endlessly so that you will have perfect technique in terms of targeting and power, and so that you don't have to think about your offense during a fight and can devote most of your time to your defense. In period what we do was always referred to as the "Art of Defense", and all the fechtbucher describe mostly counter or reactionary techniques as opposed to offensive techniques. I have started becoming more of a defensive fighter than an offensive fighter, and a bit of a counter puncher (not exclusively). Now I have started training my students in this manner. I want them to defend. This worked fairly well with Duncan when he fought Oscad. I gave him Paul's defense drill (the defending fighter gets three and only three blows, and the offensive fighter gets as many as he wants, kills are just called out). With his last blow he threw a perfect offside coutner and killed Oscad, the only time he did so.

I also gave him the first part of my new kata, which seemed to help him a bit with power generation.

Good week.

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