Monday, April 23, 2012
Iron Bog Practice!
I don't like the "New Look Blogger." They are trying to turn it into a social networking site. I don't need another of those. I have pretty much dropped off of Live Journal because I didn't have time for it, and I've stopped writing on my other three blogs here. Oh well. They never ask me what I think about these things. On to more important stuff. WORKOUT: My workouts were good last week. Travel got in my way (and jet lag a bit). I slept instead of working out on Monday, and just did my normal walking around the city on Tuesday. However, according to Map My Fitness, I ended up logging 13 miles and burning about 1500 extra calories. This week has already started out on a positive note. REHAB: Because I do most of my elbow rehab with my Indian clubs (not normal Indian Club exercise, but they make good weights for the exercises my doctor gave me), and because the Indian Clubs are great for rehabbing my shoulder, I have started working my elbow rehab into my Indian Club workout and doing it all together. This is giving me a bit more of an arm workout every day. (I log it under "pt" on mapmyfitness). It is working pretty well. My elbow is in very good shape this morning, considering that it was a mess yesterday afternoon, because.... FIGHTING: I went to fighter practice in Iron Bog yesterday. The day was actually a frustration. Gui and I were planning to go to practice at the Moose Lodge in Edison, NJ, right across the Outer Bridge, but it was raining horribly and the practice was canceled. we found this out right before we left. We decided to go to Iron Bog practice in Southern Jersey. I looked the address up on the fighter practice YahooGroup and we drove down there. It was about two hours. Turns out, Iron Bog hasn't held practice at that church in years. We looked up an email announcing practice, and it gave us an address about a half hour away. We drove there. When we finally found it it was a house, and the people there had never heard of the SCA. It was just a touch Deliverance. We were about to pack it in when we called Teric. He looked up the baronial website, and it gave the address we were at, but said "across from Harvard Ave." Well there was no cross street near where we were, so we plugged that intersection into the GPS and found it was about a half mile up the road. That took us past a building I recognized from having been there once with Oscad, and there we were. On the front of the building was the same address we had ended up at a half mile away. It was now about three o'clock. Practice was starting to wind down. One reasonw e had gone down was because Tanaka was teaching that day, but he was getting out of armor. However, Sterling and two other fighters stayed in for us. I got in about an hour of helmet time, fighting six sets of fights, including Sterling twice. I was using mostly new armor, except fo the helm, which was made for somebody taller than I. It fit, but the vambraces and cuises were both on the edge of too long. The leg harness is lighter than my old one but, because the cuises are that thick textured kydex (which thankfully looks like leather) they are more protective. I was worried, but the first leg shot I got hit with stung, so I was just keeping aware of the leg blows after that. The arms, the reason I bought the suit, are Torvaldr bauzbands. (!!!) My first set was with Sterling. He was using two sword and I was using my heater and light arming sword without a thrusting tip. I had his leg pretty good a few times, and managed to kill him with body shots and wraps, even wraps to the back (because he takes some really deep steps). Our first fight he creamed me, taking my leg and then hitting me in the off-side body with his left hand, but after that I was fighting well. My second fight was with a fairly new fighter. She was game but I was in training mode. I mostly defended and then hit her when she was wide open. I didn't learn much. My third set of fights was with Gui. He killed me. I was still using the sword without a thrusting tip, which I had not done in a long time against him. His shield-side ribs, where are always open to a thrust, were un-hittable with the broadsword. I did not beat him one and was humbled. He said he hadn't had to move his shield much at all to defend against my blows, which makes sense, since I was playing the edges and having real trouble finding the angles I needed. My best attacks were to his shield-side helmet, but his defense over there is way tight. I learned a lot but felt like shit. My third set of fights was with lady fighter who had a strong defense but a basic offense. She killed me once, which was good for both of us. I rotated between teaching mode, defensive mode, and crown mode. I pressed her hard once and she defended well till I threw a high wrap. I found that my targeting was really good against her. Early on I managed to get her with Pappa Houghton's "Sit Down" shot--when you're both on your knees, press hard with off-side head shots and wraps from up high on your knees, then throw a slot shot and sit down as you do so, changing the angle of the shot and bringing it, usually, inside your opponent's shield and below his or her sword. When I started getting tired I tried a couple of one-shots, both of which worked. They would not have worked against a better fighter (I tried them later against Sterling), but they are important to have in your bag of tricks. In most of the tournaments I have won, I had at least one fight that was a one-shot kill. It not only means I am on but it conserves energy. I was pleased I got them in because, as I said, she had a good tight defense. The first one was the best. I did a Radnor thing, changing my body timing and accelerating out of a high guard, throwing a very high snap as I coiled through my core, came off my left foot, and threw a very high snap. The second one was a classic butterfly that got her in the body. My last set of fights was the one I considered my most important, both because by then I was a bit tired and because it was the best training set for crown. I fought Sterling while we were both using sword and shield. He has a very tight defense and a good offense. I was able to read him and break him down pretty well: he relies on deep shots, both on side and off side--his off sides are a lot like Omega's or Lucan's. But I picked up a tell in his shoulder and hip as he loaded up on them, and I was able to defend them after that. My targeting with him was close to perfect a few times. I got him with an inside slot-shot right inside the leading edge of his shield that he was sure would not land. After a few passes I switched to my longer, heavier thrusting sword. I noticed immediately that I was relying too much on the thrust, leading with it, and dialed that back. I got him only once with a thrust, by taking his leg, hiding it, and then thrusting in his belly. I won more than I lost. I had a once in a lifetime blow that I couldn't believe. In our second-to-last fight we were rocking and rolling, and he threw an off0side shot to my shoulder. I stepped wide, blocked in, and lightning fast, turned my sword over and hit him in the eye-slot. I felt like a God. He hit me in my upper arm in our second pass of the day, and my elbow slowly stiffened over the course of the day. Ibuprofen and ice got it back into shape. Now there is just a bruise. There are ten days till Crown Tourney. I may get in armor once more. I haven't trained the way I had planned to for this crown, but I feel good with what I am doing.