- I got authorized as a fighter (heavy and fiberglass spear)
- I got authorized as a youth marshal in chivalric combat
- I've fought in three tourneys (Coastal Grand Baronial, Commander's Crucible and War of Ages)
- I've been fairly consistent in attending fighter practice (averaging 1-2 fighter practices a week)
- I've been fairly consistent in increasing my cardio ability. (Except for Spring Break, but that doesn't count, right???)
But I find myself, while having fun, not advancing as fast as I'd like in my fighting skills.
Some things I could do to advance my skills are simply out of reach because of mundane reasons. I can't travel much, for instance. (This weekend is the coronation of HRH Sven and Antigone and I could get LOADS of helmet time if I could go, but I can't).
I know that I can get better if I do the work, but I am frustrated by the same issues coming up over and over again:
- Not relaxing
- Chopping my blows and not extending
- Using my arms for power, instead of my hips
- Lousy footwork
But enough of the 'pity party' thing - there are things I can do and I know what they are. They are just so HARD to get motivated to do alone!
It is time to get back to basics. I know this not only from my rattan fencing, but from my earlier, traditional martial arts training in Tae Kwon Do. In the words of Master Lee Jun-Fan, "I fear not the man who has practiced 10000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10000 times."
And so I will now attempt to get back to the basics. In my case, footwork, hip rotation and good biomechanics. This means slow work to get the muscle memory where it needs to be and (hopefully) drills with other fighters to build the reflexes to allow 'mind of no mind' in combat.
Some of my ideas I'm pulling from the following sources:
Cornelius von Becke - Following the Path of the Sword
Leif's YouTube Playlist
And, of course, this one, from Duke Paul:
The Bellatrix Fighting School
Wish me luck!