Sunday, April 7, 2013

First weekend outdoor practice of the season.

Had our first outdoor weekend practice of the season yesterday. For fairly short notice we had a decent turnout... myself, Arnbjorn, Sir Rhys, and Ian from here in Outpost, with Peter and Gwyndolyn joining us from Ealdormere. There would have been a couple more, but life happens.

It was a bit chilly at first, but as we went on, it warmed up (or at least we did). I fought with Arnbjorn. He has been out a bit, with hand problems (and life taking over a bit). Went well... he made me eat a rifled thrust a few times... I'm opening up my shield just right for him to slide it in.

Fought Rhys... went about as well as ever. He has a tendency to throw strong onside shots to move my shield out of the way, and capitalize on it. I need to either do better about using more of an edge block to keep my shield from hinging, or use better footwork/body mobility to not be there. All goes back to not letting an opponent control the fight. I can get some decent shots in, but need to work on angles and timing.
I also found myself avoiding throwing leg shots a bit. I struggle against legged opponents a lot... I need to work on that.

I worked with CennĂ©dig a bit, mainly focusing on him finishing shots and cutting through. We also discussed that he has a tendency to flinch at leg shots... odd since his leg armour is very good. I had no real explanation, but he's going to work on it. I'd like to take more time with him next practice.

Me and Gwyn at Fall Frolic last year.
I also worked with Gwyndolyn. She has been fighting with a strapped round, and is making the switch to a center grip, and wanted to work with me as I do as well. Her new shield is lightweight, which I expected to be more of a problem than it was... she doesn't allow it to be powered out of the was as easy as I would expect, and she is very active with it.
She does have a few things to work on, and I talked with her a bit about them. One is a problem that many fighters have... too many things going on in the brain at once. Thinking about throwing shots, thinking about defending  thinking about moving... and none of them come out right. I basically told her to think about what she CAN do... and do it, and let everything else flow from that. Don't try and get past her years of experience in martial arts... but use them.

As for me... I have a few things to work on. I have to get better about training... stamina and foot work especially. Coming in to War season they will be paramount, and will benefit me year round. I'm going to work in some agility drills with gear, and see how that goes. I also need to work on throwing shots left handed if I'm going to do two sword at all seriously. I have been working on grip strength and it has helped, but I am still clumsy. Ian suggested fighting lefty with a shield, and I did a bit. It's awkward, but I definitely think it will help.

Time to get off my ass and get a pell in the back yard! We are travelling to Balfar's Challenge next weekend, but hopefully we'll have a practice the Saturday after. I want to make this as regular as possible... I know we all benefited from it last summer. Anybody who wants to come out for a Saturday from out of Shire, let me know and we can probably put you up overnight.

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