Sunday, October 21, 2012

The final stretch.

I wanted to fight one more time this week. I fought on Wednesday and Thursday and I wanted to fight on Saturday. I tried to get people together but everyone was busy. I did not want to rent a Zipcar because renting and driving to Crown is going to be expensive. I ended up not fighting yesterday at all. As the last full week of training for Crown, however, it was pretty good. I did worked every day. I fought twice. I am finally down below 215 pounds. I am not at all satisfied with the results or where I am in my fighting.

The only things I have been doing is soup-can exercises for my elbow and stretching for my Achilles. The Achilles has been a bit sore with workouts every day.

This was a great week according to my workout tracker on I biked 49.5 miles (actually more because I didn't track my whole ride on Tuesday). I did yoga on Monday, I fought Wednesday and Thursday, I did the WODs plus some yoga on Friday and Saturday. The biggest result of all of this is that, while today is supposed to be a rest day, I really want to bike down to Coney and workout on the par course!

The last fighting before the tourney should be about focus and endurance, but I was working on greatsword technique, with varying success. I am moving away from the Bellatrix techniques I used to use and employing a long-point technique that comes from Count Marc, but is related to the Japanese based bastard sword techniques I learned from Elrik. But I am also employing the standard high-center technique favored in the East Kingdom these days, and Gui's horse stance technique.

I fought at Nutley on Wednesday. I fought like ass. I started out with a greatsword set against Lou. I was doing pretty good. I used mostly the high center technique and won four or five of our fights. Wavy fakes were
Working best, however.

Next I fought Stephan. I did not lay stick on him once. Tim said I looked really good, and Stephan is the best fighter in the kingdom, but I did want to hit him once. I am certainly not where I need to be to win crown if my offense can't break the best fighters at least a few times. As Sagan says, you measure yourself against the best and by that measure I am still lacking.

After that I fought Vasilli, and that was where I thought I was not doing well at all. He took my leg and then pounded me in our first fight. He uses a short heavy stick and bull rushes, and he is really strong, but he is wild with a sloppy defense. He was taking my leg and hitting me with short stick slot shots. I should be able to defend that. In our last three fights I made some adjustments, I killed him with a hook thrust once, with a cut, and then by standing his rush up and attacking him on the of side helm, which beat him.

Then I fought John the Breeder, a true recipe for pain. I fought him really well. John is the new kingdom phenom, probably the best natural we have had since Stephan: fast, strong, great instincts, but also with a huge kite shield and fighting left handed. He has won ten tournaments in he last year. I fought him really well. I honk we only actually had three fights but they were all long. I beat him once, by triggering off his leg shot. I took his arm, which was not my plan but it worked. Three times i had him dead to rights but could not execute. Twice i missed open thrusts and once a cut. In our last fight it cost me. My thrust was off line, my follow through opened up my right side and he creamed my ribs, which is why i rarely thrust against lefties. The amusing thing about John, not only has he started to break down and analyze fights like a knight, but I learned
This week that his footwork, which is excellent, is based on a cha-cha step. I love dance based footwork. That warmed my heart.

I discovered, as I had before, that I probably need to rehang my shield again. The problem with this theory is that one reason it is hung as it is none is specifically for John and Gui, to give me a defense against lefties that approaches that of my old center grip kite, which was the best shield for lefties I have had. But I do need to raise my arm a bit. I am also squaring up too much. These combined make it harder to defend my leg. I should not be losing my leg so much with a 36 inch shield. But the other reason I was dissatisfied is that I am just not seeing he fights well right now. It is a mater of focus and reaction. I literally do not know what to do from one pass to the next. I am not targeting openings as fast as I should be, and I am not reacting to what I see. Hopefully, that is a product of seeing more stuff than I was six months ago, but if so then my computer needs to pick it up and process it.

Thursday night was all about the greatsword. I left my shield at home. I fought against Landon first, him using sword and shield. I won our first fight then lost the others. I found that if I closed with him a la Bellatrix I was doomed. Later I fought Damion, our new guy. That was probably not a good idea just because I was not in a training other people mood. I was in a training me for Crown mood. However, he is a beast, in the best shape of any of us there, and gets off on the contact, so they were still pretty good fights and he enjoyed them. I fought Landon again, this time with greatsword, then Gui, then Tormundr. In between Gui was teaching Tormundr greatsword techniques, mostly using long point in he way Marc uses it, thrusting, controlling strong to weak, winding, cutting along the blade. Then he went out and fought me and did all thy incredible Yoda shot he does and wiped me out. In those fights, when I closed with him and he could use his superior blade control, I was doomed. When I fought at the edge I was winning our fights. Gui says I need to put a pommel on my sword to weight it better. Funny, because I used to love counter weighted bastard swords, but I am really proud of my old school stick o rattan these days. Anyway, if you want to train for greatsword, Gui, is probably the best person after Gregor to train against. It was a great night.

It is one week until Crown, which will be my next time in armor.


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