Friday, April 22, 2016

Training and teaching

Crown tournament is just over a week away, both my main and a back up transportation options have fallen apart. Thankfully, next week is spring break, and I know I can get up to Canada if I have a week to get there. I am also not at all where I want to be. My ribs have not fully healed from Mudthaw, The inflammation in my wrist has flared up, and I have about 6 pounds heavier than I would like to be. I feel very broken. Worst of all, I have not fought as much as I wanted to at this point. After MudThaw I took two weeks off to rest my ribs, fought in a great practice in Hawthorne, but my rib pain flared up, so I have not fought this week, and unless I fight at daffodils on Sunday, I won't have fought this week. But nothing I do at this point can make me any better. Training for crown has to happen eight weeks out, not one week out.

I did walk 88,000 steps last week and fight, and I've walked 75,000 steps so far this week, and lifted, and done yoga, and some kata with the Indian clubs, so I havenot been a complete slug.

Plus, Monday night was our first outdoor practice of the season. I ran the practice with two new fighters and one experienced fighter. It was a really good practice. 

Nobody was going to get a lot out of just fighting. And, as is well known, I like to train with slow work and drills and out of armor as much as I do fighting. So, that's what we did. 

Start with some fighting, because everybody wants to fight.

Three minutes of slow work for each pairing. Rest.

Several minutes of blocking and striking drills. Tripple taps blocked with the shield, combinations blocking shield side with shield and sword side with sword. 

Specific work on an A-frame Defense. 

More open fighting. 

Work out of armor on things that need to be corrected (in this case hip mechanics and footwork). 

That's how to run a practice. 

It's nine days (barely) to Crown. My next time in armor will be there. 

Friday, April 15, 2016

Hawthorne 4/14

Hawthorne 4/14


That's really all I have to say. I've bee resting since Mudthaw and healing my ribs. Probably should have rested more. 

I did shave down the handle of MYS sword, which helped A LOT! My knuckle still hurt from Mudthaw. However, I'm still having power generation problems with this light stick, to legs but also to off-side face shots. Must drive those home.

My ribs are still injured. It's inhibiting my movement, especially shield work, and it's tiring me out. Didn't think it would still be this bad. 

I did a good dumbbell and clubs workout last week, but the ribs really hurt, so it's just been push ups and walking. 

Honestly, I just want to work on my defense and saber cuts, but that's easier said than done. 


He's fighting goofy foot and it's working for him.  Still blocking deep with the leg. He won three and took my arm. I won three. I got him with a classic hook snap, a hook thrust on our knees. And a simple sabre cut when I go position on him. The big thing was, in my a frame, he was taking my arm. Knuckles up! 

Worked slow on him. Got him all but one time. Everything working. 

Guy Le Strange
Destroyed me! I knew what I was getting, a Bellatrix two-sword style but left handed. He killed me with left handed wraps every time. I did get his leg once. My ribs are really giving me trouble. I may need to stop. 

Sir Tash from Atlantia
He was using an 18" buckler. Great style--weak side forward, sabre cuts, nice fake. I won 5 of 6. My leg shots were on. Got him once with a thrust and the rat with cuts. My best moment was our last fight when I went all Horic on him: took his leg, threw a shot to engage his sword, jumped (actually slid) in and flurried, both front edge and back edge. Got him in the ribs. 

He won our first with a thunderous wrap. His right hand thrust is incredible and got me at least twice. I got him at range twice, but I did best when closed hard and started throwing wraps. He can't fight in that well. 

He was fighting with Tanaka's center grip. As usual, if I squared he'd take my leg. Great fights! I got him with a hook thrust, wraps, and a butterfly. (!!) best of all I got him with the push button technique. I took his leg, through and off side head that I pulled through instead of rebounding, then with the leading corner of my shield, I punched the lower leading edge of his shield, a point near the end of a diagonal line drawn from the back corner of his shield through the boss. (It works on strapped shields too). Then I thrust on side yo his face. 

It is 15 days until crown. With these ribs, I may not be in armor until then. 

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Mudthaw AS 50

Ok, so I've not posted in this blog for awhile, and I've been fighting a lot. In the two weeks ending yesterday I've been in armor five times, which is pretty good. My bum wrist was feeling better, I wanted to get some helmet time in, and I wanted to prep for Mudthaw, which is a nice test to see where you sit going into Crown in a month.

I'm sitting at the kiddie's table, but more on that later.

I attended the Southern Army Sunday practice and Nutley the week before last, then Midland Vale and Wantagh the nest week, then I fought in Mudthaw. Normally I'd discuss every set of fights I had, but that's too many, so I will just discuss the issues.

WORKOUTS: I did 50 pushups and walked 10,000 steps every day (or, at least, I averaged more than 10,000 steps a day: I'm doing the "walk to Pennsic challenge," wherein we track how long it takes to walk the distance between Crown Prince and Princess Kenrick and Avenlina's to Pennsic. In other words, I'm keeping close track of my steps). My pushups are back to being just a work out, and not impossible, as they were when I came back from my surgery. The first week I also went to the gym one day and lifted weights, did some yoga, and hit the heavy bag. Another day that week I used the dumbells, kettle bells, and Indian clubs I have at home for a very awesome workout.  Last week, since I was fighting so much, I just stuck with that and the walking and the pushups.

See below.

Ok, at Southern Army Sundays it was mostly about mellee. I did a couple of pick ups, but I was fighting with sword and shield or with spear in mellee. I had fun. I got to call the best move of the day--a column charge in the gate battle.

At Nutley I fought Arn, Duke Gregor, Princess Thora of Atlantia, Gavlin, Temple 404, Luther, and King Brenan. I fought all of them well. I bested all the unbelted fighters and killed each of the Dukes at least twice. At some point the thrusting tip came off my sword, and I left it off, just doing edge work. That was great! I even got two good kills on Brenan with the edge. I usually have to rely on the thrust against him. Here's what I wrote about my fights with Arm in my journal: "The simpler I kept it the easier it was to get him. Hen I went for the inside thrust he voided and hit me in the ribs. Or my arm." 

Remember that.

Midland Vale and Wantagh are basically teaching practices for me. I was the only knight in armor at either place. I relied on very simple stuff against everyone except Hassan at Midland Vale and Auzer at Wantagh. Mostly, I was using straight saber cuts to the head. This requires me being in a high closed guard, not an a-frame, which is my best defense. The thing that seemed to be working in all four practices was the hook/wrap. I'd never rally thrown that before--I'd always thrown a hook/snap or a hook/thrust, but this just kind of jumped into a fight on the fly at AEdult Swim, and I've been winning with it.

I went six rounds at Mudthaw. I fought no knights. My first five rounds were very semetrical--I fought two guys from VDK and three from Bloodguard in that time. I planned to keep the fights very simple--just four basic shots---head, leg, off-side head, wrap, a few hooks, no fancy molinees, very few fakes.

Yeah, right. A lack of patience is still my biggest problem.

My first loss was in the first round. I got destroyed, I fought Turig (sp), a giant from VDK. He's clobbered me a few times before. I think I've beaten him once in Mudthaw. He was not going to let me get set. At the lay on he jumped me. He charged, threw an on-side head, an off-side head, and an on-side wrap to the body. I was laughing as I fell to the ground. I did not throw a blow.

In the fights I won I won one with a thrust, one with a hidden shot, one with a great slot (what "d planned for) and one was a pole arm guy I wrapped to the body.

Then I fought Arn. I was cautious, almost tentative. I was not aggressive as I needed to be. I noticed that he was throwing the off-side body a lot as a counter. I tried to set him up by throwing an on-side leg, rotating over to catch the off-side body, and  then throwing the off-side head (or arm) the way Sagan teaches it. The set up worked but the blow didn't land well. It skipped and caught both his head and his shoulder as he was ducking. Then, because he does a window-block to guard his leg, I decided to try something fancier. I used Duke Edric's foot stomp/face thrust.

What do you think happened. Here's a link to the video:

Ionnes killed Doug in an incredible on fight final.

It was a fun day none the less. Even though I lost my first round fight I went to sixth round. While I should have beaten both Turig and Arn, they were both having banner days. Arn went to quarter or semi-finals and lost to Doug (who was able to pull off that left-handed off side face shot that I couldn't connect with). I had some great pick-ups, especially with Ron. But a few questions remain. (1) Should I have put the thrusting tip back on my sword? I had real trouble with people not taking my shots--especially leg shots, and I'm sure that was the balance/weight of the sword and how it had changed with the thrusting tip. On the one hand I won a fight with the thrust. On the other, a thrust lost me a fight. (2) Had I fought too much the previous two weeks? I don't fight the week before crown in fear of over training. I did great in last crown having fought only six times since the previous one. It's possible to over train. (3) My wrist was not as healed as it seemed. I started out with tape wrapping both my hand and my wrist, but found this distracting and restricting. I took it off after my second fight, and taped just my wrist (the way I normally do) after that. But the inflammation in my wrist and elbow did resurface (I'm wearing my wrist brace as I type, since it was typing and mousing that caused the injury in the first place).  Turig's body wrap really effected me. I don't think it broke anything (other than my pride) but my back was spasming the rest of the day. I felt an ache every time I did certain moves, and it made it hard to lift my shield quickly. That was particularly bothersome in my fight with Arm.

It is 26 days until Crown Tournament. I probably will not fight at all this week.