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Where should I put my focus and how do I get better?  

  

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Where should I put my focus in getting better and pushing myself to get better? I’ve been trying to figure out where I need to put my effort, time and money. Do I want to get protection first or should I focus on a sword so that I can practice during the week or should I hold off entirely? I have this drive in me that just wants to learn and I didn’t know what to think of doing. How should I practice? There is so much to learn and reading over the lessons are compleatly different then going and practicing. What are your thoughts and opinions? How should I learn more with my lack of patience and this burning drive within me? 

2 Answers
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This is an interesting question to me, because I feel like I went through the same thing last season (and still going through now, to some extent). I want to learn faster than anyone is willing to teach me! Although, as you've clearly realized, much of your learning will come from you. That's the big focus when you become a Swordsman.

As far as gear goes, I would suggest getting a sword before anything else. It's the most useful tool to practice with during the week, and the more you get used to the weight, range, and feel of your own sword, the better your fighting will become.

For practice, I would suggest both physical and mental exercises. Repetition is extremely useful when it comes to the physical part. I spent many hours last season just going through footwork and striking a target from different ranges over and over again. The more you do that, the more it will become second nature and the less you'll have to think during a fight. When I wasn't in a position to do physical work, I did things such as watching fencing videos on YouTube or writing down what I learned recently in order to solidify ideas in my head. With great thoughts and the physical capability to execute them, you'll progress very quickly. Make the most out of Friday practice and fight as much as you can!

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@selkie, I think @Edward hit the nail on the head. You're asking the right questions and there are so many answers. Now that you're an Initiate, your Fencing Journal will probably be your biggest resource. Take time to write down what you learn in your lessons. Write down tips you get from others. Write down thoughts you personally have about the things you learn, especially. Your perspective is unique and worthwhile! Once you start getting stuff written down, you can ask for help to translate those notes into specific goals and practice routines.  

If you haven't already gone through the blog, you should. Last year, we tried to write helpful articles every week on a variety of subjects.

Here's a few suggestions that might get you started:

Why I Keep a Fencing Journal and How It Can Help You Too

The Woodland Watch: Setting Goals

Everyone Has Their Strengths

What Will You Accomplish This Week?

Creating a Mind Map

Remember: great is just good, but repeatable.

There are many paths…

Miles and miles of paths stretch throughout Woodland. Some are well documented, while others are only used by the creatures of the forest.

You stumble upon one such path that you don’t recognize…

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You see many things…

The recesses of Woodland hide many wondrous things and places. As you follow this newly discovered path, you come across such places that remind you of the inherent magic of this forest realm…

The sun begins to set…

Hours have passed and your journey has taken you deep into the wilderness of Woodland. The light slowly dips behind the mountains and the trees, leaving you with the stars above and the gentle calm of a forest falling to sleep.

You leave the forest behind…

The morning brings you to the mountains that neighbor the Woodland Realm. The trees thin and the landscape climbs away from the forest floor. Clouds and mist form and swirl with the wind.

You find the Wyvern’s Roost

Near the peak of the mountain, you unexpectedly come across a cavern. It feels warm and safe. Your heart tells you that you’ve come across Sylvanus’ roost.

Use the form below to cast your voice into the cave and see if Sylvanus will hear you. Do not be discouraged if he does not respond. Sylvanus will answer when the need is great…

After speaking into the cave, you feel that it is time to return home. This isn’t a place to linger.

Your trek is slow, but as you return to the forest and look back towards the mountains, you look up to see a shadow slide across the sky.

Maybe it was a trick of the eye, but you can’t quite convince yourself that it wasn’t in the shape of a wyvern.