|Preparing to run with the Toy Chest (Photo courtesy of Onora/Rowan)|
|Blood thirsty Children of the East (Photo courtesy of Brendan Crane|
Slow motion fighting.
At first it felt ridiculous. What's stopping us from speeding up to make the parry? Or to make sure the attack sticks? Or for any other reason for that matter? What stops us is the curiosity and willingness to learn. It was actual fighting at maybe 10% the speed of normal fighting. He set the speed and I matched it. As things went, you could see the mistakes you were making and figure out how to fix them right then and there, rather than thinking back on what you did and try to remember. It was great. It started teaching me good things. He then decided he wanted to try something. "Match my speed" he says. "At some point, I'm going to say 'full speed', and then we go full speed." So we started. He started off slow and I matched his speed. I noticed he was speeding up a little every 10 seconds or so until we were moving at about half speed. Then he said "full speed" and we went. It suddenly felt like I was Sonic the friggin' Hedgehog. Everything was so fast! But correct. Drilling in slow motion for nearly a half hour go my body used to what it should be doing. It was great! And Aiden made me lunge correctly! Twice!
I was then challenged by Xavier to a fight. I wanted to give him a good fight, so I chose to bring my cloak out. I wasn't trying to do the right things, but I wanted to mix some of those things into my game. Give different guards and the like. It worked. I had been warned he wants to go forward all the time. Tough to get him to retreat. Luckily, that's where I excel. He seemed afraid to push towards the cloak. A defensive item used offensively will do that to people. He was definitely fast. It was a lot of fun. I want to fight him again.
Monday I drove up to Millbury practice with Dave. The total miles driven for the weekend - including Monday - ended up coming out to about 475 miles. I set Dave up doing some footwork drills while I went to fight. Ended up continually checking up on him. I did counter-disengage drill with someone who occasionally attends practice. It was with my dagger, which I haven't touched since starting to learn new things. My brain was having a hard time picking this drill up, but that's what working on things is for.
I then had Dave hit a wall for a little bit with some lunge drills while I went to fight Lupold. Fighting Lupold ended up him drilling me, which was probably for the best anyways. I got some good stuff out of it, even if it was a sloppy, drill - Lupold's words, not mine.
Not long after that, the tournament started, and I decided it was time I actually start doing some of it. I did horribly. I pulled 3 or 4 wins out of 15 or so fights. 20% is far from ideal. I was playing cloak again, and things just didn't seem to be clicking. I think I've been learning so much that I was over-thinking things. Over-thinking has always been my worst enemy. My last two fights were nice. I pulled a win out, and then Lupold stepped into my list. I knew he hadn't been in the tournament at all up to then, but I didn't take time to think about it. I ended up winning - not much to brag about when he's fighting single and keeping his off-hand on his hip the entire fight. I went to report, though during our fight they closed the list. That was when I found out Lupold hadn't entered the tournament at all, and the fight was purely for fun. I turned to him, and he was cackling. It was a great time.
Something that was pointed out to me this week: I'm a sniper who tries to void back and then riposte. Logistically, that doesn't work. Especially when my range is shorter with that short blade. Voiding backwards just gives me more distance to make up. If I want to void, I need to void to the side and use passing steps and the like. More thoughts. Yay.
So yeah, learned things, and had a tremendous few days. I don't think I'm ready for mixing the cloak into things yet. I have a lot to learn still. But when I fight seriously, I want to have the cloak in hand as it's my best form. So yeah, thoughts. Lots of thoughts that are thoughting the thought out of my thoughting head. I need to get out of my head. And seriously start doing some drills at home. I'll be working with Dave a bit this week, and possibly his fiance Carolyn as well. That should help me get the basics down as well.
As always, I welcome any thoughts or feedback. I love feedback. It helps me learn things and fix myself. And that's what I want right now. Also, I am more than happy to work any of these things with people at practice if you can make it. And it's not "dick-ish" (Lupold's words) to critique me. I want to be critiqued. Picking out what I'm doing wrong makes me better.
See you all soon!
P.S. - I leave you with this video of the blood thirsty Children of the East chasing me down for that coveted Toy Chest.