Thursday, March 21, 2013

Nutley! :-)

Zipcar can be expensive and a real pain. You have to get it back on time. It's not cheap. but it does have some advantages. It comes with an EzPass. Insurance and fuel are included in your rental. They are close. It cost me $46 to rent a Mazda 3 from 7:00 PM to 11:30 PM, and I almost got it in late and could not extend it (because somebody had it reserved right after me). It was worth it. Man! Was it worth it!

My elbow is killing me after my workouts this week. Fighting still doesn't seem to bother it, but push ups and lifting does. Need to go back to the Flex Rod.

I've been kicking it pretty good. Very intense workout with dumbbells and bar bells plus abs on Sunday (new personal record for a one-handed dumbbell press, 50 lbs). Monday was Yoga and Tuesday I took Lizette's kick ass 90 minute class (30 minutes of abs, 1 hour of body sculpt aerobics. OMG!) Then tonight I fought.

There were 22 people at Nutley (at least--that's what I counted). As we arrived, nearly all of Arundel was pouring out of a big pass van, having driven in from Aethelmarc. Lots of great fighters. I only fought four guys, but they were the four I wanted to fight.

Jumped right into the deep end with Gregor. I was not trying to limit my technique to two or three things. I was just fighting like it was Crown. I took his arm once and killed him twice. He killed me at least five times, but hitting him more than once was awesome. My worst moment was the time I got his leg while I was still standing and couldn't close the deal. He got a really nice shot on my right leg then killed me.

Next I fought Stephan. Like I said, deep end of the pool. He always kills me. I had the dry heaves by the time we were finished. I started out trying a Janos style offence and he naild me right down the center. Then I went into an A Frame defense and was lasting ok, but as soon as I started my offense he would kill me. Then I went into my normal closed high form, and it was working better. I hit him in the arm once and in the shoulder, which he took as a kill. That's twice in one night. I also laid two thrusts on him, one off a hook, but they were both on his cammail and I didn't drive them home. I was too worried about getting hit. Still, getting them in was great.

Next I fought Douglas with his form, two sword. As usual, I used my arming sword and short sword in a modified George Silver style. I killed him at least four times and took his arm once. What I do is presnet both tips evenly with a left leg lead. I retreat and then advance, out and in, out and in, following him when he moves back, always trying to keep right at the edge of distance so I can close with a thrust and kill him. I keep my short sword forward so, like Silver, I can pass my arming sword behind it. I never got the classic Silver move--pin the right arm with my short sword and then stab in the belly, but I got a lot of other stuff. Twice I killed him, and twice I just caught his gambesson, with inside thrusts, plus one more time when he was on his knees. My best thrust was when I just did a downward cut and then brought the tip up into his belly. My best blow of all was a three fake direction change that was brilliant. I started out with a fake thrust with the right hand. This was intended to be seen as a fake. It was followed by a blow toward the left leg with the same sword, so it looked like a fake thrust leg shot, kind of standard. But as I did that I leaned in with the left hand and threatened his face with the short sword. This (a) brought his left hand down to block the leg shot and (b) brought the right hand in to parry the face thrust. But neither of those was real. In order to threaten the face I roll my right shoulder back and my left shoulder in, and in typical Bellatrix fashion, this sets up an off side head shot, which kills him. I was very proud of this set of fights.

But pride goeth before the fall. My next task was to fight Duke Timothy. Last time I fought Tim I did great. This time it was like child's play--for him. He had me from the word go. Everything seemed a touch slower than it had earlier, and he seemed a lot faster than anybody else in the room. I knew what he was doing. He was guarding with a hanging parry and throwing a straight saber shot for a kill. He did it off an upward fade, off a downward fade, and off a block, but mostly he did it while I was moving in or out, and he was killing me easily--not every time, but one of three. It was practically all he was throwing. I did manage to take his arm twice, once with a spinning back hand. I also got him with a thrust and (I think) once with a cut. He must have killed me ten times and all but one with the same shot (when I finally started guarding that and going belly to belly with him, he got a great short on the unarmored part of my rib cage with a deep wrap. A real deep wrap. I mean, they were my RIGHT RIBS. What a set of fights.

 Sagan always said you measure yourself against who you want to beat, and to be the best you measure yourself against the best. By that measure I did pretty good. I laid stick on Gregor and Stephan multiple times. I adjusted against Tim and had a couple good moments. I may have had the better of Doug. At worst we traded evenly. It was a great practice!

(even if I did have to dash out quickly to get the car back on time)

It is 37 days until Crown (I mis-counted last time). My next time in armor will be Saturday at Mudthaw.

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