Bergental Regional Practice 11/17/13

I was still sick so I debated whether or not to attend this practice. I decided to go. I was still very out of it, but my lungs no longer hurt, so I figured I’d give it a shot.

I showed up about a half hour late. I amored up slowly. When I had finished, Ivan pointed out that Stefan, who I had fought at Crown, was free to fight. Intellectually, I remembered that he was a lefty. I was so out of it, that I forgot to get in the correct guard until he had already killed me once. I did try. I sucked worse than I had in a long time. I kept getting killed. I kept inadvertently drifting into the stance I used to fight rightys. I started getting pretty frustrated and I had very little wind. As I walked away, I started coughing. I kept coughing for a few minutes. I went outside to breathe fresh air and that seemed to help.

I took a longer break than I normally would. I put my helmet back on and stood there waiting for someone to fight. It felt like a long time, but the reality was probably that I only stood there for a minute or two.  My chest started feeling constricted, so I went outside to get some fresh air, without fighting a second fight.  A few other people came out and mentioned that they were getting ready to do melees. I knew I didn’t have the air for melee. I was about ready to armor down and drive home when someone told me that there would be singles again after the melees. So I stayed and watched the melees and waited.

After the melees were over, Shiro came over to work with me.  The first thing she had me do were several movements to show how my armor allowed me to move.  Over the years I have altered my armor using trial and error, so my armor did pretty well with her tests.  First she had me twist and I had good movement there.  Then she had me hold my bent arms in front of me and try to touch my elbows together.  They almost touched.  She suggested that I remove a plate or two from around my armpit area to give myself more freedom of movement.

We discussed what I needed to work on as we walked towards the pell.  I told her my footwork needed work, but that Omega stated that I really needed to work on offense.  She said that footwork is almost everything when it comes to offense.  She could be right.  While I have a good starting stance, I feel like there is a lot to be improved upon with my footwork.  When we got to the pell, other than discussing a starting stance (which looked a lot like the one Omega taught me), we mostly worked on the mechanics of throwing a snap.  She did a lot of talking and a lot of explaining.  I wish I could remember everything she said, but my focus was even worse than usual, being sick.  She said something about my shoulders being wrong.  Prince Brennan was nearby and she asked him to throw a series of shots and asked me to watch his shoulders as he did it.  I noticed that when he threw a shot his one shoulder would go forward with the shot while the other shoulder went back.  She said that for whatever reason, it’s an issue women have with fighting that guys do not.  Brennan said that it was because boys spar a lot as children and threw a few punches at the air.  As he did it, I noticed that his shoulders again rotated.  There may be some truth to that.  The one time I punched my sister as a kid, I was punished so badly, I never fought again.  Anyways, both Shiro and Prince Brennan worked on it with me.  Then I had a question.  “How do I block if I’m bringing my opposite shoulder back while I’m throwing a shot?”  Brennan had a great exercise for that one.  When I’m throwing that shot, at the point of impact, he told me to take my shield hand and tap my sword elbow.  He was right!  It worked really well!

Next they looked at my sword which has been called quite long a number of times.  I always joked that I was compensating for something, but enough people had said something to me recently that I had started to wonder if maybe it was.  My basket hilt is quite light and I had shaved down the rattan so far that I had to add extra tape just to make it legal.  Brennan handed me his sword and I noticed that it was a lot faster when I swung it, even though it was just a few inches shorter.  He highly recommended a slightly shorter  sword.  He said that I should make a new sword shorter and give it a try.  I told him that I didn’t have any rattan so I’d just take a few inches off of my back-up sword and see how it goes.  He asked me if I was going to be at 100 Minutes War.  I said I would.  He said he’d bring a extra piece of rattan of the right length to 100 Minutes to give to me to try!  How awesome is that!?

Things started winding down so I walked back to armor down.  Shiro wanted to see what I had for leg armor because she had heard me mention my back problems earlier.  We had briefly talked about the tendency to lean forward when throwing a shot and I had said I don’t really have that problem because it hurts for me to do that in armor.  When she saw my weight belt, she suggested her belt.  I had read about C-belts in the Armored Rose, but I never quite got the concept or why it was so important. She explained that it sat on your hips without digging in (which was the problem I had when I tried a belt sitting on my hips in the past).  She continued to say that where it sits it takes the pressure off of the lower back.  She took hers off and placed it on the ground.  Looking at it from that angle,  I finally figured out why it’s called a C-belt (I can  be a bit slow on the uptake sometimes).  Ivan was nearby and she charged him to make sure that I’d make the changes she suggested to my lamellar (not like I need it, but it was nice anyway).  I also asked him if he would help me to make a C-belt.  With my back issues, it sounded like a good idea!
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I haven’t really done much in the way of fighting since Crown. My back had to recover. Then I got sick. Some practice had to be my first practice back. I still didn’t do much in the way of fighting, but I’m glad I came! I learned a lot!

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~ by Gunnvor on November 20, 2013.

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