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Friday, May 6, 2016

Practice Rundown and Spanish Lessons learned

Hello again,

I know it looks like I haven't posted a blog entry in quite some time, but that isn't really accurate.  I actually spent the past 2 months making MANY edits and improvements to the Destreza resource list (which exploded in hits thanks to AGEA Editora sharing it on their facebook page recently, yay!).  I will continue to keep that up to date and I already have several items in the wings to add for my next round of edits.  I have also been posting practice updates on my G+ page. Still that is no excuse and I am going to use this post as a jumping off point to get back into writing regularly about all of the reading, research, and fencing plans I have been making.

On with last night's practice summary....

First: I started fencing right out of the gate.  I have noticed and mentioned in my practice updates that this is not good for me and I should drill first.  I honestly think I didn't understand why this was the case though and as a sort of mental protest I have continued to ignore the evidence I have gathered on this topic.  Well my first bout this week was with Donovan who to no surprise royally stabbed me in some very educational ways.  The cool thing though was the conversation afterwards where his advice and insights on my fighting made the pieces fall into place and helped me understand not just why I need to drill first, but also where I am in my overall fencing progress.  It was a cool mental thing for me that I am still processing in a very positive way.  

To completely over simplify this epiphany:  
  1. Drilling before bouting is my on button and gets me in the right head-space 
  2. I am where I should be with all of the study and practice I have been doing

Second:  I got to drilling with Xavier who is my regular Spanish drilling partner.  My goal this week was to slow my drills down because I was getting sloppy in my eagerness to keep developing. To paraphrase a favorite pretentious quote I like: "you can not pull on the stalks in the field to make them grow", lol.  I did slow down in our drills and combined with my recent research and prep into footwork for my Pennsic class, I felt very strong in our "4 generals" drills.  What was also cool is that Xavier has been studying Thibault's material and specifically the circle dimension.  He blocked out circle points on the ground relative to his dimensions and we used that to help us with our drills.  I needed to move into reading more of Thibault's material soon anyway for my research project, so this was a perfect way to get me moving on that.  My homework for next week is to get Thibault's first chapter on dimensions read so we can talk about it more next week.  I also hope, in the next month, to make myself a circle on a tarp for practice purposes.  I am not sure which circle I am going to make, but I am currently favoring Ettenahard's.  No matter which one I pick I think I might end up using Thibault's measurement technique.

Third:, I got a chance to bout with my friend Mac who has been studying Italian fencing and has come real far in the past year with it.  We were purposefully bouting at a slower speed in order to let things from the drilling soak in.  Let me just say it was not pretty in any way lol, but it was a whole lot of fun and exactly what I needed.

The last part of practice I went back to drilling some of the generals as well as running through the Puck drills we got a few weeks back.

Bonus: As a great finish to the evening I went out to dinner with everyone afterwards and had some awesome conversations about the dimensions of Spanish circles as well as the techniques and strategy used.  I am starting to pick up more of the language of Italian fencing which is great to help me understand the similarities and differences between the styles.

Next time: Overall, a great and educational practice.  I will continue along this path next week, but will instead DRILL FIRST, heh.  I will be talking more about circles and dimensions with Xavier and others and there are several folks I really need to get around to fencing.  I also know that one of these days Donovan and I will get back to working through his sickle research... because seriously they are SICKLES, lol.

I will end with a teaser and a kick in the butt to myself.  Expect future topics to include:
  • Information on lessons learned from my SCA Arts and Sciences Destreza work
  • The footwork and Spanish cirlce class I am teaching at Pennsic in August
  • More about the research paper I am working on which deals with how the various historical Destreza masters utilized the circle in their manuals

Thanks for reading,

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