Friday, November 20, 2015

Iron Bog 11/14/15

Ok: so I'm actually writing this post before starting my post on last week's Crown Tourney. I was pretty busy last week and there was a lot to write about. But I'm going to write this first because it's fresh in my mind. And it was a good practice. I'll publish it second.

I'm only getting to the gym once a week now. They've cancelled classes at my neighborhood gym and, after seventeen years and three locations, I'm thinking of dropping my membership. Have not missed a day of push-ups (50), and still getting 10,000 steps most days. 

I ended up working a couple of things: controlling range, especially in the A Frame, and trying to develop my trigger fighting better. I used a variety of shots and defenses, but I think I only threw one thrust and that did not land. It is all about edge work right now. 

It was Southern Region Sunday, so while it was a big practice most people were out there working on melee fighting. I was interested in training for singles. Ron had wanted to just do some singles training off to the side so I hung out there. We worked with a new trainee of Bill's and a few unbelteds. I fought one set each with Sir Mord, Jonathan, and .... (I'm not sure--I think there was another set...), two sets with Ron and three sets with Critter. I used three--actually four--different defenses: an A frame, a high open Western guard, a high closed guard (looking over the top of my shield), and a sword foot forward guard. I was flowing between them easily. 

Critiques: when in the high closed guard I am still vulnerable to a slot shot. Ron noted that my lateral movement is too broad and is opening me up too much, especially to off side leg shots. I pulled a couple of off side hip shots, a common problem for me. I thought I was getting tunnel vision, especially against Mord. 

Positive take  aways: Ron said I'm fighting as well as he's seen me fight in the past few years. I killed him a couple of times. The best one was when I took his leg with a dropping leg wrap, a la Collin de Bray, and then killed him with a top edge hook. 

Against Critter my counters were working. I found a great one that worked every time I threw it (he was using a center grip kite, which helped). I used to employ a small shield technique from Hauoc. Fighting in a weak (sword foot forward) high closed form, leaving the on-side leg open, when the leg is attacked, defend the leg with a rotation block while defending the arm, shoulder, and head with a hanging sword guard. On contact, you throw a shot straight down at the shoulder. Sometimes you will hit the head. I've killed dukes with big kite shields while I was using sword and buckler with this technique. I've used it with a bunny round and with a center grip kite, but it's never worked with heater shield. I hit Critter with it five times by starting in a standard strong (shield side foot forward) high guard and, as he threw at the leg, passing back on the left and doing the block/counter as above. 

I found, no surprise, that my defense was best in the A frame, but Ron had little trouble taking it apart. I won most of my fights but was indecisive. 

On the whole I felt slow. 

There are 70 days until Birka. I don't know when my next time in armor will be (I will be missing 100 minutes this weekend for opening day of deer season). 

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