The Order Garrison
Winter Warrior Challenge 2019
Day 3: What was my best fight? Why?
I had a lot of good fights this year, but one session in particular stands out. A few of us were studying the Runner/Blocker/Charger theory in my backyard and each of us were trying to be 100% a Blocker, Runner, or Charger. Those fights were incredibly illuminating and exciting because each of us perceived what the styles meant and how they were implemented. Additionally, I had a really cool moment against Sylas (a Charger), where he rushed me as I was circling him. The moment he began his charge, I dropped to one knee and sniped him in the neck. It was so sudden that I made it through his guard as he came in. It was a really cool moment because it really proved to me that there are opportunities all throughout a fight. We just have to be able to see them for the split second they are available and take advantage of them.
Challenge: What was my best fight? Why?
There were so many good ones this year. A few weeks ago I was fighting with @edward and I was practicing blocking. There were a few people on the side keeping tally of losses and wins and I was watching the running total out of the side of my eye. It got to a point where we were pretty even, so I decided to mix it up and try charging. And I totally started loosing! I could barely believe it, I've been a charger for so long I thought I had that down really well,but then it turned out it isn't my best skill. I loved seeing that in a fight with such contrast. It was a super awesome learning moment for me.
I also had one fight where Kane and I were well within range and both coiled for a strike. We were both waiting for the other to move and it was kind of in a twitchy state. So I started counting down to the moment when I would move. Totally out loud. And I moved just a fraction before the count down and got the shot in. I was excessively pleased with myself. @kane Sorry if I was a jerk about it! And just for the record in that situation Kane was destroying me in all the other bouts. 😀
Day 4: What did you improve? How?
There comes a point where you just can't keep up a certain level of speed and intensity anymore. Whether it's getting old or you just push yourself too far too often, it doesn't really matter. Last year – meaning 2017 – I came to the realization that my fencing style was pushing me too hard. It felt like I was burning the candle at both ends and I'd walk away from fights utterly exhausted or damaged. I knew that I couldn't keep it up forever.
So this past season, I really focused on slowing down and trying to develop a more methodical pace. I asked myself often, “How can I slow down, but still be more effective?” Even though I was a Runner, I tried not to run. If anybody were to watch me fight, you might notice that I walk a lot. I tried to develop a Runner's style, but take out the “running” aspect and I think I succeeded.
I found that effective movement doesn't always translate into speed. Sure. There were times when I would up the speed, especially to keep up with people like @Veron or @Jaika, but that wasn't necessarily to point. I found myself able to be more methodical with my fights and choose my actions more deliberately. It may seem counter-intuitive, but the skill I improved the most this season was my Runner's style minus the running.
Challenge: What will you practice next year?
I have two things that I want to work on for next year. The first being combining blocking and charging. I want to be able to move in with out people getting around my guard. The second is really hammering out what my style is, so I can better share what it is that I do. I have it in my head but I'm considering writing a bunch of it down. I'd love company in this process if any one want to try to write their style down too. We can bounce ideas off each other. It could be fun.
I think the way that this is going to translate from week to week is going to require more reflection in the moment of fencing and after as well. I need to record, better than I do now, exactly what I'm doing that works and what doesn't work and why. I need to make time while I'm at fencing to do it and then throughout the week to review and plan my next steps. I want to ask myself more questions.
What do you all ask yourselves while you're fencing or after? What are you all seeing when you fight?
Day 5: What will you practice next season?
After thinking about it, what I've decided is that I would really like to work on my bag of tricks next season. I've worked on the core aspects of my style for the last couple of years, but there are a lot of little things that are in my head that I haven't really written down or tried to explain. Hopefully next year I'll be able to record a lot of my little tricks and philosophies that I use within any given fight.
I think it'll take a lot of analyzing and poor attempts to explain them, but I think it'll be worth it in the end.