Rusted Woodlands Fight Practice 10/3/13
I recently discovered that the Rusted Woodlands fight practice is less than two hours away from me, so I went there to check it out. I got there at 8:00 when it started, but many people came later. Since so few people were armoring up at first, I set about making some of the changes to my armor that Ivan had suggested. I had found my old volleyball knees and I put those on under my knee armor. Then I created some new holes in the knee straps to make them buckle around. I also shaved down my vambrace where Ivan had marked it. Both changes worked wonderfully!
My first fight was named Arn (sp?). I tried to go in with a good attitude and did well defending against him! Our fights lasted a long time because it took him a long time to kill me. He was good at defending too.
My next fight was Sir Jan. He looked familiar. I think I may have fought him at Spring Crown. My good attitude was forgotten and I just hoped I didn’t get piss-pounded. I didn’t need to worry. We danced around each other for awhile (probably his method of taking it easy on me) and I attempted to throw some shots that he easily blocked. Once he started throwing shots, I didn’t last long. He hit me in the cup one time. That happens to me so rarely I had to ask if it was considered a kill or a leg! Our fight ended when he took my arm in the small area where I had no armor. I took a little time to get some air and let the pain subside.
When I came back inside, Sir Tanaka had set up a pell and was working on wrap shots with some of the fighters. Since I was newer to lefty, I tried also. He seemed disappointed at how bad my form was. He said I was controlling the shot too much with my arm muscles. That was likely a result of doing slow work with my pipe at home. With the pipe, I HAD to control the motion with my arm muscles to prevent myself from getting injured. He also said I wasn’t doing the proper footwork. He showed me to stomp to the side immediately before throwing the shot. He also said that where my shoulder was pointing my shot would land. At first, I didn’t understand why I needed to stomp. I thought that would make it obvious to my opponent what I was doing. Then my music training came to mind. When first learning to rest on the beat then play on the off-beat, musicians are often taught to stomp on the beat to ensure they will rest and play at the correct time. They don’t do it in the performance, just during practice. I wondered if this stomp was similar. After I practiced wrap shots with my left hand for a little while, Sir Tanaka complimented me on my improvement.
I fought Luis next. He was fighting with sword and axe, so I got out my pole arm. I didn’t do nearly as well as I thought I would. Sir Tanaka took me aside and showed me to choke up on the shaft of the pole arm when my opponent got close. I could see how further spreading my hands apart would stabilizing the pole arm and shortening my reach to better strike at a shorter range. It was a small room and we were taking up most of it. It looked like other fighters wanted to fight, so I put down the pole arm and grabbed my sword and shield. Luis was excellent at defending with his sword and axe. I really couldn’t get a shot in on him. Their was one point where he had leaned far over and I aimed for his body. He was still moving, so I missed my shot and grazed him lightly in the armpit. I argued that it wasn’t good. He argued that he left it open. After the fight he said I’ll be dangerous soon as a lefty. He added my offside shot doesn’t have a “tell”, making it impossible to see it coming. I didn’t think of it as an offside shot, more of a flick to the face grill. That made me feel pretty good about myself and my fighting!
My last fight was Eric, who had to remind me of his scadian name. I feel bad that I’m so horrible with names, but writing them down helps! Eric seemed to know EXACTLY where the weaknesses in my defense were, because he aimed for them often. I managed to dodge the first few offside head shots, but something happened after the first few. Maybe he stepped up his game, but I could no longer avoid them. He hit me in the legs a number of times. At first, I could barely feel the shots. I wondered aloud whether they had gotten caught in my dress. I very rarely call leg shots light since I have only thin, unhardened leather and thin padding on my legs. After talking to him about it, there was no mistaking his leg shots for being too light. One of his leg shots yielded the prettiest bruise I had received all week!
There were many people still fighting when I left at 10:15, but I had to get going so I didn’t fall asleep at the wheel on my way home. I will definitely be returning to this practice again!