Monday, June 23, 2014

Stuff I am working on

I have been doing all my pell work with my shield and my left side lat, shoulder and tricep are screaming at me. But I think I am doing a little better at blocking the centerline, so the shield work will continue. My last couple of practices have been focused on blocking the center line, controlling the fight, and working the on side. Sometime I am getting too fixated on a target and my shield work is coming up slow. So I need to work on that. I also need to work on following the sword more and not buying body fakes so much. I was told by both Dave and Brendan that my power is really good, so working proper technique on the pell is really paying off. Even shots I did not feel I quite finished and told them not to take, they told me were hard, so I need to keep that drilling up so that that is what I am consistently doing all the time. My head has been in a really weird place the last couple of weeks. I am not sure what it is. I would like to talk to one of my mentors about it, but part of me is shying away from that because I feel like I rely on them too much and I don't want to be so needy. But I am feeling needy. Not sure what to do about that. I am not real excited about going down to AWW, but I am excited to spend time with Mari and fight pickups. I find AWW does not give me a lot of bang for my buck. It is a long drive and I am not a war fighter. I think also because we have not made plans for the dogs or the kid yet, I am feeling unprepared. I want Dave to take care of this stuff, but I honestly don't think he will. I should probably get on the phone today and see whether we can get Hayes to dog and house sit, or whether we need to schedule a kennel. Also need to either get Dave to call his mom re taking Lilly, or we need to just plan to take her with us and figure out the logistics of that. Usually, we would have dropped Lilly off at my mom's on the way down, but that is no longer an option.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Stupid brain stuff

I have been mulling a bunch of stuff in my brain for the last little while. I am trying to decide what is the right way to approach training. Where should I focus my time and resources seeing that they are limited? How am I going to feel accomplished at the end of the day? What can I do to instill and maintain my confidence level? What things do I need to excise from my life in order to make time for me and my fulfillment of my goals? How do I refocus my efforts on me when I have for so long been focusing on others? What do I really want? What am I willing to do? Who do I need, besides myself, for support? I think I have been overthinky because I have been feeling under the weather since fight practice last sunday. sigh.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Fight Practice 6/8

Did not get in as much fighting as I would have liked -- Dave and I switched off on the filming and it was hot, so people got gassed. Still too open on the centerline, so I think I may need to start doing my pell work with my shield again and making sure "I close the door" when I throw. Also, way too many backhands. I must break the habit where I throw 3+ backhands in a row and use my target selection skills. I am doing well with shield manipulation and attacking the centerline from my knees, but I am on my knees way too much -- usually getting chopped in the legs when I am chopping their legs, so I need to be more cognizant of my shield position when I am throwing the on side leg. Also my deep backhand is hitting people in the shoulder/body and is getting called as an arm too much. I need to tighten up the targeting on that if I am going to throw it. I had one really good fight against Davin where I stayed aggressive with my body and shield, but waited to throw until the timing was perfect. I need to do more of that, and of course it did not get filmed. I felt better about the smoothness of my footwork, I looked and felt less tentative. I think I was manipulating range better as well, but I still need to make more subtle misdirection body movements. I need to stop throwing a blow to block -- the shield is for blocking and the sword is for killing.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Fight Practice 6/4/2014

Went out to timm's to fight last night and everyone bailed except me and Timm. Which is okay since Timm is usually my toughest fight at practice anyway. We did 5 sets, maybe six. Both of us working on stuff and we had some intense fights. Timm let me know I need to block my centerline better, so that will go on the actively work on list for the next month or so. Things that were working well for me included the snap (yay!!!!), my thrusts, off side body and leg shots. I was also doing a pretty good job of blocking my head both on side and offside and really shutting that down. Timm helped me figure out what was going wrong with my offside leg shot and I was able to adapt his advice and fix it in the next set, so that was a success. Also, thinking about angles and mis-direction and working that more into the fight. Had some success at controlled aggression as well. Really need to think about keeping my hand close to my body when I am in tight, so that my shots hit on the sweet part of the stick. Also need to think about throwing the thrust palm to the side to better set up the transition to the offside. All in all a very productive practice. Hopefully I will get another fight practice in this weekend. This week has been very good for getting the pell work and cardio in every day as well. Training is going good.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

I can do this

I have been having trouble actually getting this blog to take an entry. But I made some setting changes and here goes nothing. I don't know what has shifted, but in the last couple of months I have found my confidence. I am holding my own with my kingdom's elite fighters. I am laying stick consistently on the guys I consider the crown contenders. I am feeling less and less like a fraud. I still watch video of myself and cringe at times when i don't execute something as well as I had hoped or thought. But it is not paralyzing anymore. I note it, make a plan to train it better, and set to work. And I am prepared to work. I have drawn up a plan for the next three months, and Sir Mari has agreed to coach me from afar to make sure I am setting and meeting my goals and that I am focused on stuff that will bring gains. This effort will take time and I will probably have to resign myself to the fact that my ability to be creative in the arts will suffer and I will not be as prolific in that arena. And that is okay. I have also come to the conclusion that the goal is not really about winning a particular tournament, but being the best fighter I am capable of, which in turn will facilitate the winning part. In what we do, as Duke Sean says, body count is the quantifier for success, but it should not be the end all be all qualifier of success. Part of my path is embracing that I am a physical fighter. And not being so critical that I am not an elegant gun fighter. I will never be an elegant gun fighter, and I don't need to be an elegant gunfighter to be successful or to be a great fighter. I need to hone and present my best fight -- not someone else's. And that means being mentally confident in what I am presenting. It also means taking all the stuff I have learned from so many of the greats and really turning it into my own style and owning that style. It also means perhaps being a little more selfish with my time. Picking the issues to care about and knowing which ones are a time suck and are not going to help me get to where I want to go and/or are going to distract me from my goals and be willing to drop those. Mentally and emotionally I also need to let go of all concern for my opponents' calibration and blow calling in a fight. My focus needs to be entirely on my execution and I have not executed until my opponent tells me he is satisfied. I have to trust in that even with people I do not trust. Being able to let that go completely and honestly, might be the singularly most important step mentally and emotionally for me toward achieving success. Physically, I need to commit to eating clean and training. Losing body weight is going to help me move better. There is no escaping that. Getting stronger and having longer endurance can only enhance my physicality in the fight. Practicing my technique daily will be imperative to achieving good timing and consistent power generation. And I need to travel to fight the best. If my local practices are not offering enough challenge, it is up to me to go find the guys that are going to hand me my ass so that I will be pushed to get better and evolve. This is all achievable while still being a good mom. It is all about making better use of the hours in the day. I can do this.