Hitting People with Sticks
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On eyeballs and earholes – eskrima

whack!

Yes, I actually do have reasons for that silly title.  We got a bit slap-happy last night, not least of whom me, because Eric managed to clock me pretty hard with the tip of his stick just above one eye.  (First black eye ever!)  Anyway, we all got into a goofy conversation about the ear protection on our sparring helmets, and how it was odd they had holes directly over the ear that tend to funnel air into the wearer’s ear with a big whoosh if hit.

It was funny at the time, I swear.

At any rate.  Instructor McWethy led the warm-ups last night for our little class of five.  Balance and leg work made up a good part of it, so I was happy.

After breaking up into pairs, Eric and I worked on 1-for-1 games, using as many techniques as we could fit in.  We eventually decided to focus more closely – him on a specific redirect and counter (from which I got my clock in the head, oops) and me on popping under a 1 or 2 to counter from behind.  It’s hard to get under his strikes; Eric is extremely good at keeping his strikes and counters tight, which is part of what makes him so fast.  It was a good challenge for me.

We also noticed we both were favoring our right side strikes and keeping our right sides forward most of the time, so we took turns trying to force ourselves into keeping the left side forward for a round.  It was interesting, and also seemed to reduce our anxiety when presented with an attack on our left sides.  Definitely something I’ll be focusing on in the future.

After The Incident With Eric’s Stick (I know I’m being extravagantly dramatic here, but I just can’t stop myself), I decided I needed a bit of a slow down, so I turned Eric over to Ryan and took on Todd.  He’s quite a bit taller than me, so it was educational to see how much I could sneak under his guard.  He caught on pretty fast and started blocking the lower strikes, and we had a good time.

At sparring, I got to sit out with ice and the timer while the rest of the group went to it.  First, Ryan and Eric went at it, which is always a fun time.  They’re both fast and aggressive, and we’re beginning to see those little habits we point out fade away.

Instructor McWethy geared up to spar Todd (his first round ever), and Todd has a lot of power going for him.  Once he gets more comfortable, he’s going to do really well.

The final round of the night was Instructor McWethy versus Eric.  Wow, was that fun to watch!  They both pushed each other for the entire two minutes, and we got to see a lot of the off-beat hits and combos we’re always striving for.

The only thing that would have made it better would have been if I could have sparred myself.  MUST FIX HELMET THIS WEEKEND.

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