Thursday, February 21, 2013

Into the deep end of the pool

Nutley was deep this week--so deep that I did not get to fight Gregor or Douglas and still feel it was the best practice I've had in six months.

REHAB:
My left elbow continues to bother me and I am still trying to find exercises that work for it. It is on the inside, not the outside of the elbow, and my usual tennis elbow PT doesn't seem to help. The only exercise that works is the "wiper blade" exercise with the Indian clubs. Maybe the mixer works also. Still trying to get a handle on it. Everything else is fine.

WORKOUTS
Are great. I am not getting my pell work in but everything else is good. Last week I took Lizette's kick boxing class, I did lots of walking, pell work, kettle bells, and indian clubs. I did not, however, fight at Iron Bog as I had planned.

TECHNIQUE
After Sunday's Beau Geste, I decided to settle into a few basic techniques for Nutley:

Closed Form Heater with sword blocks.
Walking around the thrust.
Off side head shots from the forward guard.

That was pretty much it. I wasn't interested in thrusting attacks, footwork, or counter punching. I did all those things, but off of thees things I was setting up.

FIGHTING
I fought seven fighters at Nutley.

My first bouts were against Vasilli. The last few times I've fought him he has tried to muscle me around. This time it really didn't work. I won all but one of our fights by attacking his off side. I took his leg twice and then just worked him. When he took my leg I covered up. He came in with a really wide stance making it impossible for him to guard his legs. After I took his leg I hit him with an off side head.

Next I fought Gunvar, Omega's squire. That was mostly a training session. I let her swing and worked on defense, then threw some wavy-rising snaps and the quick over the shield face shot, both of which were effective. She was using a sword back style, which I have been training in for thirty-two years, so I was able to give her some lessons.

Next I fought Breeder and did better than I have against him since he was brand new. Much of that was because he was working on standing his ground--an advantage for me since his foot work is so excellent. Our first bout I closed behind the thrust while he was going for a downward cut, apparently expecting me to move left instead of right. We ended up with his back to me and I hit him in the kidneys. I also killed him with a body thrust as he was moving forward.

Then I fought Omega. I killed him twice, took his arm once, and we double killed once, which is probably the best I've done against him in years. This was also because he was working on new footwork. He was mixing up sword leg lead and shield leg lead, and it was causing him to put his shield a bit out of position. I was killing him exactly the way I was killing Vasilli--with off side head shots setting up the cross shot. When I stepped it up and started attacking he just killed me. When I had patience and just worked him steadily I was threatening him and I was hard to kill. He said my defense was especially tight. I also through Edric's foots stomp thrust. My targeting was a bit off, hitting him on the brow ridge, but he bit on the fake beautifully.  Patterning the molinee just got me killed.

I fought Tiberius next. He has Omega's off side cut-thrust down, and he killed me with a high snap because he's taller than I. I won the rest of our fights. My best move was probably taking his leg and killing him with Ed's version of the butterfly.

Then my sins caught up with me and I fought Stephan. He hit me so hard at one point I bit my tongue,, a short stick right above the basket hilt (he has killed me with this a lot recently, including in the sword and buckler tournament at 4 tourneys and an investiture. This time, however, I actually killed him. It is the first time I have killed stephen in several years. I am not sure how it happend. He stepped to his right and through a high wrap that did not reach. I stepped to my right, slipping his blow, and just sent out a flat snap that hit him in the neck. We had some great exchanges, and my defense was very tight. When I adopted his A-frame defense he could not hit me. Unfortunately, I have almost no offense out of that (what offense I do have, the off side face shot, was what I was working on that night, but I have trouble getting power into it from that guard.

After that I had some great sword fights with Avran. I think I won all of our bouts. I took his arm twice by putting my hands together to extend the range. Once he got a thrust tied up in my sleeve and, instead of withdrawing the blade kept pushing on it and coming forward, so I let go with that hand and took his leg with a one handed nodachi shot. The best thing he did was foil my best attack for an opponent on their knees. I tried it three times and just could not get it. I used four techniques in these sets: Gui's horse stance, which I need to stay away from, especially with a sword that has a tsuba instead of quillions; Paul's trusting guard; my standard long point/kendo guard, which was pretty effective; and Gregor's high-form chopping guard, which was once again most effective.  I got him several times just cutting over the top of his blade with that technique.

My next time in armor will be Sunday at the St. Adrian Mellee practice. It is 65 days until crown tourney.

1 comment:

Samuel McBroom said...

I fought Sir Douglas Henry a bunch of times at Birks, and loved it. Watching him as he got tired, and seeing him fall into pure technique was beautiful.