Thoughts on Improving My Game

I have been doing a lot of thinking on how to improve my game.  I had gone to a lot of practices before this past Crown Tournament.  I HAD improved, but mostly my defense improved.  My master-at-arms has also told me that it’s time to work on my offense.  To be fair, I had skimped on pell-work beforehand and that needs to change.  I don’t have a pell since I moved from a house to an apartment and have come to the conclusion that I need to get one.  Sir Tanaka has a pell that I really like, but if I don’t get his directions for making it soon, I will make do with a bucket full of cement with a 4×4 in it.  I do have one area in my small apartment that is large enough to swing a sword, so I will keep it there.

I need to do pell-work more often and I need to mix it up so I don’t get bored with it. I have been given many pieces of advice about pell-work over the years. I wish I could credit all the advice to where it’s due, but I can’t remember who told me what advice when it comes to pell-work. Anyway, I think it’s time to put that advice into practice.   I am thinking about focusing on different things on different days of the week.  My biggest motivational issue with doing pell-work is that I get bored easily. The biggest advantage of doing different things on different days is that if I don’t do pell-work on any given day, it will be a whole week before I can work on that specific facet of sword-work again, so that should help to motivate me as well!  While I have not yet finalized my training goals, here is an example of a schedule I could do:

Monday: Do nothing but slow work, repeating 1-2 specific shots to perfect the technique and improve my arm strength.
Tuesday: Work on combos.
Wednesday: Work on movement by following a wait-step-throw pattern in 3/4 time.  Sorry for the music reference, but it was really the only way I could think of to describe it.
Thursday: Do three slow shots followed by one fast one, like Omega recommended.
Friday:  Practice changing up the speed of my shots, like starting a shot slow and ending it fast, or vise versa.

I also need to re-think how I look at fight practices.  I recently remembered a conversation I had with Fionn about practicing at Pennsic and how many practices are mostly instruction and fights, but little time spent practicing what was instructed before using new techniques in a real fight. Well, too little for me, but maybe enough for fighters that pick up new techniques quickly.  I also had a conversation with Rory about making sure to get in armor and stay in armor, including my helmet.  He was right.  I take my helmet off after every fight and I often procrastinate putting it back on. That doesn’t mean not taking breaks, just taking fewer breaks.  In addition, I liked Sterling’s idea of making a list of 5 things to work on at practices and have my opponent pick a number from 1-5.  I need to start practicing smarter at practices.

Now to think about conditioning.  Strength training is easier to figure out.  After Crown, the following muscle groups were sore: quads, forearms, triceps, and trapezius. I need to find exercises that work those muscle groups with simple weights (I only have hand weights, a medicine ball, and a large yoga ball) so I can strengthen them.  I will also add core strengthening to help with my back issues. A simple search should come up with the exercises that I need.   Cardio, however, is another story.  What cardio exercises can really prepare someone for heavy armored combat? I ran for a few years.  That didn’t help all that much. Again, I have little access to gym equipment, so it will have to be something that I can do without machinery.

My diet (meaning the foods I eat) could stand some improvement, as well.  Food fuels your body.  If I put crap into my body, my body will work like crap.  I am on a limited food budget, but I have recently been able to reintroduce meat back into my diet, so I am hoping this will make it cheaper and easier to get more protein.  My biggest issue is getting enough vegetables into my diet.  I have been really bad about not eating enough of them lately. That needs to change.

Soon I will come up with specific parameters and goals for myself. I am bound and determined to win at least one fight during the next Crown Tournament and at the tournament at Mudthaw.  I also hope to keep the same standing I had at Birka last year.  While keeping the same standing at Birka doesn’t sound like a big goal, I fought as a righty there last year, so it will be challenging to have the same score this year as a lefty.

vince-lombardi-coach-practice-does-not-make-perfect-only-perfect

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~ by Gunnvor on November 4, 2013.

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