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Wear A Cup When Stick Fighting!
Charles & James Fight it Out For Gabriel's Legacy Black Sash
These highlights from Charles' progressive match up against James demonstrates our typical sparring and agon format, in which we begin with small daggers [usually Sharkee dagas], move up to 14-16 inch sticks that are used to represent big knives and machetes [and are a good training tool for things like flashlights and hand umbrellas], and then on to stick work. Gabriel coached Charles from the front left seat.
At 2:16 in to the video, I hit Charles in the cup with a forehand that rattled his balls so badly it put him down. In dong this the end of my ring finger, which he had just smashed seconds before, exploded, and is still deformed, disabling us both with one stroke. Hitting hard with a broken finger is agonizing as the vibrations from the stick stroke rattle the cracked bone. The injury to that finger caused me to sit out the meet that was a month out. I tried fighting left handed, and ingeniously protected my fencing mask with my injured hand at 2:36. We moved to stick and shield and Charles dropped me for the finish.
Notice that Charles' footwork is not as varied with me as it is with the less experienced guys in the Weaponry Footwork Study. Likewise, where I will often use triangles against the less experienced fellows, against a guy that can move I stick with basics, boxing footwork with shifts and lunges.
This is 'functional nullification,' which non-fighters just don't get. The higher forms of the art are just too dicey to pull off against a guy who can also do these things. So evenly matched fighters will tend to pare down their arsenal and rely on the tools they have used the most, that require no thought, that are their most instinctive assets in combat. What gets the win for Charles here is that he has more stroke variation and is lighter on his feet.
If you stop the video at every scoring stroke, and then check out the footwork, you will see that striking effectively with a weapon is very dependent on footwork. Note, in particular, that when I stand still, Charles murders me. The guy with the quicker eye and hand can afford to stalk slowly and react. But the old and the slow need to use perpetual movement against a guy who is able to dominate the combat space with motion.
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