Friday, October 5, 2012

Slipping a bit

What with being sick, getting a concussion, and going to Bermuda, my training has slacked off a bit. This week so far I have only small workouts to go with my bike rides, and I did not take the long ride up to City College. I'm on track for 50 miles. I did calisthenics today. Best of all I fought. I needed to fight desperately so I rented a zip car and drove to Nutley. (this turned out to be a comedy of errors: first I got off late, then I found out it was at a different location than I thought, then I got locked in the wrong parking lot. I finally got over there by about 8:30 very frustrated, but it didn't matter, because I had time to get in all that I could handle!

I have been a slug. I have barely done my rehab at all this week, but since I'm now at one year since my injury, it doesn't seem to make too much difference. My Achilles I am still rehabbing, but mostly through stretching.

On Monday i skipped my yoga class because I was bushed, but I had already gone to the gym and done 25 minutes of yoga on my own. I also biked 16 miles that day. Today, I biked to work and did 50 push ups and 50 sit ups, which isn't too bad. If the weather holds I will make my 50 miles this week and maybe go to the gym tomorrow. I have not hit the pell at all. I knew that goal was ambitious.

I was not trying any particular technique. I did mix u my defenses and use two offenses, a Bellatrix offense and a sword-forward Eastern style offense, but that was to try and gain an advantage not to practice anything in particular.

This has been the best practice week so far, because I went to Nutley and got my ass kicked. I mean seriously. I fought every knight who was there. That included two dukes, Timothy and Gregor--both of whom are training for crowns (Tim for Aethelmarc's tomorrow)--plus Douglas and Stephan von Dresden, which makes it four dukes in terms of skill. (Von Dresden is still the best fighter in the kingdom if not the SCA, and Douglas is pretty close, but neither of them will fight in crown). The other knight there was Tzeitchel, who fought me a lot better than last time.

I jumped into the deep end of the pool by fighting Gregor first. Gregor is great for breaking down my fights. I started out fighting in a standard closed form, mostly with my shield foot forward, and my defense was pretty tight. He managed to trigger off my shots and hit me with a snap a couple of times. Afterward he said that this was my best fighting. I discovered a couple of things. One was that, when fighting sword back a la Bellatrix, I am rocking forward slightly as I begin to move. Gregor triggers off of this and just hits me in the face. I need to analyze my swing and see what exactly I am doing here. As sometimes happens, my current shield strapping got in my way. I had him dead to rights at one point, with his defense off to his left and his sword engaged and really close in, but my thrust hit the back of my shield, which is taller than it used to be (because I moved my hand down). I also fought him a bit of classic A frame, a la Stephan, looking past the side of my shield instead of over the top of it, but I have very little offense from there. We double killed once. That was the best I did.

Fighting Stephan was. of course, humbling. I did not lay stick on him at all. With him what I discovered, or had reaffirmed, was that my reflexes just do not pick up his snap. From the shoulder to my head, even if I am looking right at it when he throws it, is too fast for me to get my shield in the way, which is why I have to zone block with people like him and Gregor. He said "you always fight me well" which is quite a compliment. I used every type of defense I had, and closed form was probably the best, though the A frame prevented that fast snap from killing me.

Next I fought Douglas. He is a two sword fighter and one of the best. He got me a couple of times with thrusts and with back wraps from either hand. He has a bad habit, in close, of blocking his head with his arm while doing a window parry. I managed to kill him three times. The first time was a fluke. I was throwing a just out of range wrap to engage his sword, planning to thrust off of his block, but instead of blocking he stepped in and I hit him in the neck.  The second time I killed him  was my favorite, because I just turned it on and mugged him, which is hard to do with Doug. I threw my shield flat against his swords, ducked behind it, pounded on his legs till he went down, kept the pressure up, threw a few chops toward his body then, unable to connect that way, thrust him in the gut. The third time I killed him we got in close and I threw for his head, taking his arm with the first shot and then killing him with the second.

Then I fought Tzeitchel. I started out fighting Bellatrix, threw a snap, a teardrop into a second snap, and she timed it right and killed me as I advanced. I tried to use Paul's single hip, never landed it, but didn't get killed in the process. Then I tightened up my defense and started winning more. I killed her by taking her leg and landing a hook/thrust, the later with a wrap. 

I was totally exhausted, a bit wobbly, and dehydrated, but Tim and I had wanted to fight one another so, exhausted like it was the end of crown, we went at it. I took his leg and then killed him with a thrust. He got me with a great flat snap at a weird angle, then we just started to rock and roll. Honestly, I don't know who won what. We each killed the other a couple of times. I tried to use my old range control techniques, moving back and forth at the edge of range, circling, and attacking on tangents. After a few more fights I was so exhausted I started backing down into old school Bellatrix stuff because that takes the least arm strength and it was all I could throw. It was tiring, but it was the best fighting I did all night. It was good prep for that last, long fight in finals.

A good week. The next time I will be in armor is next Thursday, unless I can wrangle a ride to Nutley next week. It is 22 days until Crown. 

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