Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Sticks and needlework

In life, you generally tend to get what you ask for. Especially when you're at the salle and indicate that you need either to get beaten up or to beat someone up. I did that today in free training, because my brain was in a coma and needed a wake-up call - or not so much my brain but my motivation - and Guy just picked up his new stick (coated with plastic so that the blood is easy to wipe off) and told me to get out of the way and then to take it away from him and hit him. Man, it was fun! But then, hitting Guy very hard always is.

After the beating I was well enough to tackle cutting exercises and the Syllabus Form, the latter with applications. I got two wrong, being on the wrong side for both breakings of the thrust (or is that breakings of the thrusts? Thrust-breakings?). I'm an absolute duff at the applications but it's coming along.

And while we're on the topic: Finns, please note that "applications to the form" does NOT translate "applikaatiot formiin". Applikaatio is a sewing thing. ;)

Thursday, March 12, 2009


I've figured out how it's done and weeks of empirical testing (of which weeks two were spent mostly not training due to flu, but never mind) attests to the efficacy of the method. So here it is: to keep your rear foot active after stepping and get your weight to travel to your front foot properly, treat each step as a one-two combo where both feet move. You don't actually have to pick up and move the rear leg; for me, at least, it's enough to think about it moving, to treat the back leg as the natural second part of the step.

It's also worth remembering when standing still. Then the key is to behave like you're always intending to step with both feet.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Wrestling kicks ass!

A group of eight students from the school attended a wrestling free training session on Saturday. We did some of Fiore's abrazare stuff (and for the first time I saw a context for the whole thing that actually works - instead of starting out standing opposite each other with feet and hands placed just there and just so, it was all about the other guy coming in to grab and your reacting to it. No doubt this is some new-fangled way of setting up abrazare exercises that I've just managed to miss at the salle :) The padded floor made it possible to throw and squash partners, allowing us to practise a wider range of techniques than the hard concrete of the salle floor.

What with the seven other participants being men, some of them pretty big, you might expect yours truly to have her ass kicked. Well, I did, by Topi, but he apologised for his foot accidentally making sharpish contact with my behind while we were both engaging other training partners. And one exercise where the point was to make your partner suffer maximum discomfort and prevent their breathing by lying on top of them and digging your ribcage or hip into their ribcage or belly and then preventing them from getting up... well, I was partnered with Otto. I could not shift him. In that exercise, I hasten to add, because it became abundantly clear that wrestling is not about strength or weight ratios, it's all in the mind. It's easier to access that knowledge when lying on the ground, though, than when a 65 kg female is trying to throw a 90 kg male with the, um, nth play of the first master of dagger. (Can't find my Fiore to check, right now. sorry.)

I did discover my Inner Female, however, as for the first time ever was I heard to utter the words "but I don't want to hurt you!" in training. Don't worry, she was banished within seconds and I properly strangled Topi until he tapped out.