Practice in a Nutshell
Type of Practice: Melee
Our Debate for the Horrors Uncategorized will feature the Hell Hound v. ROUS’s. One can drag your soul from your body and the other may not exist! After which we will play the final two rounds of Myths and Legends. The Giant King will wrestle the Basilisk and the Griffin will face off against Asterion the Minotaur of Crete! The victors will go on to battle for the title in a Storm the Castle melee. It’s going to be a great night!
- Newcomers: As Needed
- Initiates: Line Fighting
- Novices: Kill Pocket
- Swordsmen: Open Workshop
Hey it’s July, please pay your fees if you’re not a shire member. Thank you!
Bring a Dollar or Two
Hey we are voting for Cryptids so bring a dollar or two to buy your ribbons.
Tag mentioned on Friday night using our off-hand to create an opening. I really appreciated his comment. As I was studying under Evanlyn that was a pretty good chunk of what we worked on. Those of you that fight Evanlyn frequently know that when she gets her hand on your blade you are in super trouble. It feels like your sword is stuck in glue, and she never even closes her hand! Once she gets her hand on your blade she is going to control that fight, and she just takes her time in this terrifying and elegant way to open up a multitude of opportunities for her self which she delicately selects from at her leisure, and then you die. I love it!
Tag had such a good point on Friday, our off hands are amazing tools in our fencing tool kits and it’s always good to make use of all our tools when we can. I already mentioned the C position of our off-hand, and making sure that it is facing away from us otherwise, we will stab ourselves. But here are a couple more things I could have mentioned Friday night that factor in while making a really good “sticky” off-hand. They are range and staying with your opponent.
Now, I have a tendency to charge in and stay close to my opponent, because I am short, and that’s the only way I can strike. I can’t really strike from far away because most of my opponents will just hit me first. But by using my off hand effectively I no longer have to do that very risky, most likely double kill, maneuver. When my opponent strikes if I can catch their blade in a strong C hand, and then move in, but not too close, I can basically put their sword past range and control the whole inside line of a fight for as long as I maintain pressure on their sword. The trick is to be close, but not too close.
Staying with your opponent is the next crucial component. It’s all well and good to use your off-hand to bat blades away. Even move it for a second or two, but it really kicks it up a notch on the effectiveness if you can combo that with footwork and staying right with your opponent in whatever direction they decide to move. Again Evanlyn is a master of this! My tendency is to move in too close and try to break a person’s stance. But that means my blade has very little draw room and next to no tip room to strike. This other way is more like a dance. Once your hand is on the blade your opponent wants to move away but if you step just as much as they do in whatever direction they move, think the Waltz, they can’t get away from you, and you just control the whole inside line until you can get the kill you want. Be patient. It’s hard but essential. Just stay with your opponent and the opportunity to strike will come.
This kind of off-hand takes real control. Physically and Mentally. There are few times in fencing when I feel more ‘in the zone’ than when I am working on this technique. It requires super mental focus, and peak observation, and agility. After you work on it for a while you can be totally exhausted. But it is SO fun! I learned so much from Evanlyn, but this is one of the lessons that I geeked out over. And I keep coming back to it. Offhand is Awesome!
Try it and see what you think. Let me know. I love to learn! Love ya, Be SHASy!
2 thoughts on “Fencing Practice: July 2, 2021”
I dont know how I had never completely noticed the shape of Evanlyns off hand during fights, and I found it pretty interesting when it was brought up! I want to pay more attention to my offhand this week and see what I do with it, as well as add Evanlyns style a little as well. My one weakness, lately, is accidentally grabbing my opponent’s sword. I’ll call myself out on it, but I want to figure out a way to help myself not do that as much. Maybe the C shape will help.
I’m not big on using my off-hand, at least compared to some, but when I do use my offhand I tend to go down one of two routes. The first is using my whole forearm rather than my hand. Sure, I’ll catch a blade with my hand, but I’d much prefer to treat my forearm almost like a mini death stick and just stop the blade outright. The second route is going really low with my offhand. I like to have my offhand all the way down on my opponent’s forte and have a lot of control at the hilt. This usually happens when someone has gotten in close. My primary goal is to prevent their sword from coming in and trying to create a way out.
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