Thursday, June 28, 2007

Kit trouble, solved

I finally paid for the sword I've been using since last autumn, when Finnair lost my old one. (Don't ask why it took this long.) So that's one problem solved. I wish I could afford to buy some more swords. I need a sharp longsword, a new rapier, a single-handed sword and a buckler, a backsword... A smallsword would be acceptable, too. In fact, any bladed weapon would.

I replaced the four training t-shirts that our cat peed all over with three brand new shiny white ones from the School Kit Shoppe. So that's another problem solved. While I was at it, I got me a black sweatshirt and black trousers, too; the troursers are in the male cut, though, and tend to fall right off of me.

I even found my left glove, which had been missing for weeks.

Training and learning

Wednesday was the last class that our German visitor Katrin attended, so Guy ran not a class but a training session: rather than teaching us new stuff, he focused on the methods and the mindset needed to train one's skills effectively. It was a lot of fun and exactly what I needed to recover some of my lost training motivation.

Here are two good ways to come up with stuff to train (from an intermediate's perspective):
  • Start with a simple exercise, a dagger/unarmed/sword drill that even a beginner can do, such as the dagger disarm flow drill, any regular pair drill with sword etc. Expand into breaking the flow with a break, a lock or a takedown. Further expand into counters for said techniques.
  • Start with a single attack and a single counter, such as a mandritto dagger attack followed by the first counter, or the first two steps of any sword drill. Expand by adding attacks along other lines and appropriate counters. Further expand by randomising attacks. Further expand by adding methods of countering (distance, type etc.) Further expand by adding counters to the counters.
In the past, my brain has always fried before the beginning counter-to-the-counter phase, but yesterday (perhaps because training with an intermediate junior to myself whose brain was really, really frying? :) I felt relaxed and entertained. Besides learning a great deal.

(The other focus of the class was on giving Katrin hell and exhausting her completely in a friendly way - successfully, I might add.)

Rapier fun

Monday's class was, contrary to expectations, fun. The longsword portion was unremarkable, but the rapier class was a good experience; noticing that, in spite of thinking oneself completely lost with a weapon and not having trained in it for ages, one is still able to grasp certain techniques better than more intensively training junior students is always gratifying ;)

It was also good to rediscover my Capo Ferro (-ish?) guard position. (Not too sure if it was correct though, as according to Guy, if it doesn't hurt in ten minutes' time, it's not the right position...)

Excuses for not blogging

There's been nothing to blog about for a while so I haven't bothered. Here's why:
  • Our whole family was sick for a while, which meant no training for mommy.
  • When I got back into training, it was just your basic go-to-salle-swing-sword-around-leave-salle stuff. Very little learning accomplished, very little pleasure derived.
  • Next phase was whiny mode (as in, go-to-salle-feel-annoyed-swing-sword-around-leave-salle-even-
    more-annoyed), and nobody wants to read about that.
So now on to the next actual post.