Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Practice Report: They can't all be winners.

So practice Monday night felt overall kind of crap. That said, I'm going to ramble on about it for a bit because, well, gotta talk about the bad ones, too.

Mostly, my head was just not in a good place. It had been a weird day, I was late, I forgot some armor and had to improvise. So not a super great start, y'know?

My Fabris single game is giving me a whole lot of trouble. I think I keep engaging from too close, which generally means that my debole is sitting right in my opponent's forte. This is, as you might expect, sub-optimal. From there, I can't really cavazione, try to control their blade, or do much of anything. I wasn't paying attention, so it happened, and then I was just cranky at myself so it kept happening, and there we go.

I think I can fix it - I'm going to spend some time reading key parts of Fabris' manual, and work on engaging from farther out and being willing to commit hard to close distance. I'll also try a couple more non-extended guards just to try and counter with an angle as well, because I think that might let me find their blade more readily. I'll end up sorting these out with both practice and drills, I'm sure. It's just irritating.

I've been working on cloak in Fabris' system lately, and while it's too early to say that I've had success with it, I'm very hopeful. It's also very educational as to seeing how more of his core principles show up with a different off-hand item. His section on cloak is short, but very to the point and understandable. I feel more than a little clumsy, and I think I need to make a wider and somewhat longer cloak (which would be nice to wear when it's cool, so there's also that!) but it's a really interesting process. My fights with it Monday went well-ish, but I get that this is absolutely a work in progress.

Finally, it was interesting to see how much more mobile I was fighting rapier and dagger, as compared to single, cloak, or buckler. I'm sure that with all of these I was too busy concentrating on many other things, and let's face it - with some of them I was fighting Will Deth and if I'm already uncomfortable with what I'm doing, diving in on him doesn't seem great, and moving around a bit doesn't let me focus as much on the big heavy cloak. Still, it's something to make note of and work on.

On the other hand, I've got the entirety of Fabris' rapier and dagger guards in my head in the form of a kata, which is an amazing amount of fun as well as being helpful. Now I just need to perfect them, and then really dial in my understanding of how he wants them to be used. (Also breathing, but isn't that always the way with kata?) I think I'll always be able to turn to that to at least give me something to focus on if practice is going off the rails for me, too. I'll try to have an entry about this up in the near future, as soon as I formulate more thoughts on it.

In other much better news, it's warm out so I can jog again, and I got my lucet in the mail so I can learn a skill that I can do in places like Court where I need to keep my hands busy and where I don't want to fall into reading a rapier manual and miss something. Sweet!


  1. I'mma give some un-asked-for-advice, because I've had some of the same problems.

    So, I've found that using a shorter blade has helped with my Fabris game, especially with single rapier. I think it's because a shorter blade makes it easier to do more of the "Fabris-y" stuff, whereas with a longer blade a lot of what one ends up doing is just standard "I outrange you lol" bullshit. And that stuff feels less Fabris™-y. Whereas with a shorter blade, you're forced into a lot of situations wherein the correct choice is a signature Fabris Move™, rather than something that he advocates for but doesn't feel uniquely Fabris-ish.

    Does that make sense?

    1. I see what you're saying but (and be super shocked here!) I don't think that methodology will work for me.

      The blade I'm using should be Fine For Fabris (tm), and modifying the blade as opposed to modifying my understanding, comprehension, and practice doesn't work for me in this instance? (I've done it before, but in different situations.)

      That said, do you feel that you run into less "lols range" sorts of situations when you're trying to Do Fabris against someone with comparable range to you?

  2. It's hard to do Fabris correctly if you start too close. Next time we have a chance. let's discuss Book 2. While I rarely use the specific plays - although when I do, they usually work - the principles provide critical keys to his system that have helped me immensely.

    1. I'll make sure to do that the next time we're in the same place!

      I've gone through Book 2, but I can absolutely stand to go through it again; I admit that I find it weirdly intimidating to dig into, which I should really just get over.

    2. To clarify since I can't edit my comment, I've gone through Book 2, but not in a great amount of depth as yet.