Saturday, April 5, 2014
Nutley and other things.
One problem with the way we train and practice is that there is no standard. For years the only two knights teaching in Ostgardr were me and Edward. Ed and I love each other, but we are opposites. Ed tells people that they should never do the things I teach. I'm a Bellatrix fighter. I generate power by moving my hips into a blow. Ed tells people that they should never move their hips, that if they work out their forearms with the exercises he gives them and use hilt heavy swords they can increase speed and ergo power. He and I can work with the same advanced fighters, but we cannot teach the same beginners, because we are telling them opposite things. This is very medieval. Training in the Middle Ages was not standardized in any way. There were no schools. As far as we can tell the fight masters of the 14th and 15th centuries gave people individual training as they needed it--usually when preparing for a formal duel (probably judicial). For the most part, the so-called masters had one or two tricks that they taught their students just to prepare them for one fight (see "the coup de Jarnac.") in the same way, Bellatrix, Gendy, Von Drachenklau, Baldar, Branos, etc all have different styles that they teach, and which are sometimes incompatible. It's not a bad thing. I like that variety: but it does sometimes make teaching hard.
I had a bit of that at Nutley.
Again I feel I slacked off thus week. I did push ups every day, ran 4 miles, took a yoga class, and fought at Nutley, but both Tuesday and Thursday I wanted to get out to an aerobics class and did not make it.
Sometimes, it's a good idea to limit yourself--to take something away. I was determined to fight in an A frame defense exclusively this week, but also to work strictly on blade work. My best kill shot is a thrust, and my current leg shot is off a fake thrust. By refusing to thrust I had to develop other things. I ended up throwing maybe three thrusts all night, and none against Gregor (and I think none against Brenan).
I only fought five opponents: Hartman, a young fighter from Bloodguard with a lot of speed and power; Jan Janovitch; Prince Brenan; Arn (the current champion of Rusted Woodlands and a guy who did much better than I at Mudthaw); and Duke Gregor.
When I fight in the A frame, which is a counter-punching, defensive style, my fights are long--one reason why I am so concerned with Aerobics. This was no exception. I had some long fights with Hartman. I was fighting well. The best thing I can say is that although young and in fair shape, he tired before I did.
Against Jan I just had one really long fight. I kept fighting the urge to slip into a high closed form. Eventually I took his leg and killed him.
I've killed Brenan the two times I fought him in tourneys recently, both times with a hook/thrust. This time their was no way I was going to throw that. I killed him a couple of times with wraps and once with a slit shot. He killed me at least three times as well.
I had noticed watching Arn against Jan that he cocks his heater shield up, exposing his leg. This is a problem I had for years. I worked his leg and got it in almost every one of our fights. I even took it with Martin the Temperate's hider leg shot. I explained what I did and I know it won't be there next time (that kid is a spunge).
I was going to stop but Gregor was suddenly available so I went one more set. That was great fun. Right off he took my arm, which I really though I'd had protected. He tried the whole time for my leg and didn't get it. I killed him twice, once with a slot.
I was using a sword that was a bit heavy and was totally groomed by the end of the evening. I landed several shots over the course of the night that wrent good, buyi was very happy because my timing on them had been great.
Now here's that thing: Brenan said to me "you fight much better when you are patient and counterpunch." Gregor said "you fight much better when you attack and press." Obviously that has a bit to do with their individual styles. Gregor can sit out at medium and long range and throw really fast shots that come in at weird angles and snipe you to death. He's a great offensive fighter, but like all offensive fighters (me) you can break his timing by attacking into his attack Brenan doesn't have that kind of offense. He is a patient, defensive fighter who either beats you on well timed counterpunches our waits for you to make a mistake. Essentially, they were both advising me to fight like they do.
I filed my letter of intent today. Used the new form. I lost my auth card (it might be ready to expire, I don't know), so I need to fix that ASAP.
It is exactly six weeks till Crown. My next time in armor will be tomorrow at Iron Bog.