Thursday, May 8, 2014

Nutley Practice, May 7, 2014

You really need to keep your equipment up—especially your swords. This is an issue for me, as I’ve been fighting a new style, one that works best with a lighter, hand heavy sword. The sword I’d been using was perfect about 50 layers of tape ago. Last night I fought like ass, in part because the sword would not move the way I needed it to. I did, however, get some new rattan, so that won’t be an issue at crown.

Since the last practice I went to, I’ve done two yoga classes, biked, walked, and done push ups every day. My workouts have not been what I’d planned three months ago. I have not been lifting weights very much, not been to many intense aerobics classes, just push ups and yoga, walking and biking, occasional running and using the Indian clubs. I’ve barely even touched the kettle bells.

All I wanted to work on last night was my A-Frame defense, my straight inside thrust and my off side head shot.

I only fought four opponents last night—Arn, Tycho, Gregor and Stephan. I fought long sets with each of them. My wind was good but my arms did tire a bit.

Against Arn I had more steam than he did at the end of our set. I felt really good about that. I took his leg and killed him. I think he slipped past my defense once, and that was after I’d started attacking more and going on offense.

Against Tycho I was trying a variation of the A frame, in which I cock my shield over, the point toward my off side, and hold my sword to the right and up to guard my head. He broke it down pretty handily. The times I killed him I took his leg. My main thing was a need to see is offense more—I was blinding myself.

I didn’t touch Gregor this time. He still couldn’t take my leg, and remarked on it, but he had my number otherwise. I was being just a bit more aggressive, and he was taking me to town. Our first bout I had planned to go for a stutter wrap, but he knew where I was going before I did, and when I got there his sword was waiting for me. It was perfect timing. He got me moving in a couple of times. He exposed my two biggest flaws. The first is that, when I bring my hands in to close off the center line in the A Frame I leave my sword arm exposed. The second is that when I get in tight I’m flattening my sword out. This was because with that tip heavy sword I needed the rotation to get any speed or power on my shots. But by flattening it out—holding it more or less parallel to the ground—I was taking it out of the equation, because he would just shoot above or below it and get me. I need to hold it at an upward angle like I do in the A frame, just a bit higher when I’m in close.

I didn’t touch Stephan either, but that is rare. He was the only person who was able to take my leg all night, and he got it twice. He said my defense is really improved. He can’t get me with his right cross any more, which is his payoff shot.  He ahs to work hard to open anything up. Making Stephan work is one of my life’s goal.

Afterward, my shoulder felt tense and a bit achy. I stopped after four fights in order not to strain it. I iced it after ward and it felt fine by the time I went to bed. He problem was the sword: I just can’t push a tip heavy sword into those shots from the A Frame defense. It is slow, probably light, and puts way too much work on the shoulder.

Crown is in nine days. This was my last practice till then.

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