Sunday, November 29, 2015

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Had another fantastic HEMA club meeting today.  After the past few days we had a heat wave and hit about 30 degrees Fahrenheit.  The patio had been cleared of snow and was mostly dry.  As the sun was out and the patio was in full sun it was actually quite nice.  Moving and being focused helped too.

He has put together a drill or Kata of offensive and defensive moves that flow from one to another.   He designed it for us for practicing solo.    Covers all twelve of the guards with a nice mix of cuts and thrusts in it.  He had us film him with his camera.  The goal being for him to post a private video for us to use so we can get it all down along with the names of the moves.

I am really enjoying this.  I love the sword and the art.  I think his enthusiasm for the sport really shows in his teaching it to us.  I am so lucky to be able to learn this!

I had a great Thanksgiving despite the awful road conditions that kept my aunt and cousins from being able to attend my dinner.  So I invited my neighbor & friend.  I also got to visit with a long time friend of mine who came in off the ranch for Thanksgiving with his mom.  He still has one!  He usually stays next door.  I spent several lovely, laughter filled nights just hanging out with my friends.  We drank whiskey, shared lots of laughter, reminisced about the good times and bullshitted the nights away.  It has been a very long time since I've let loose like that and had such a great time.

The stretching and exercise are really helping.  I tried fixing my leggings on the way down the stairs.  As a result of not paying attention I lost my footing, landed on my hiney and slid down several steps.  I am NOT aching from head to toe like I would of been three or four months ago!!!  

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Warrior Princess

"Willow the Warrior Princess" To feel her rising up within me and to acknowledge her presence is a very powerful thing.    To honor the blood of ancient royalty that flows through my veins and to accept my strong, fiery, powerful side.  "P'Richard"  is Welsh for son of a chief or king.   "O'Hagen" is Celtic and traces its roots clear back to King Nuada of the Silver Hand.   I come from an ancient heritage of warriors and I choose to honor my ancestors and myself.

I have found an amazing passion for the warrior nature within me. Whether by accident or design this is where my path has led.  I feel destiny has led me to this life.  I know there are many other ways for a women to honor her inner warrior in a more traditional feminine manner. That path does not appeal to me.  I have deliberately chosen to fully embrace the masculinity of this path.  There is something about it that calls to me so sweetly.   I know I have an inordinately strong inner core.  It cries out for me to teach it more, to hone it and make it sharp.  The more I learn the more I crave to learn.

Another thing I believe is that we women have been taught for centuries to suppress that side of ourselves.  We are taught to put our safety and trust into the keeping of men.  That our place is in the home and on the sidelines in a support role.  We are finally starting to reclaim that.  Despite what our cultural media pushes at us.  They are doing us all a great disservice.  I am also stating to learn about all the women that did fight.  We have always fought.  Modern history does not wish for us to know these things.

I think all roles should be considered gender neutral.   Our roles should not be defined by our reproductive organs, but by what we are passionate and good at.  Many of us are not suited for the life of a warrior-whether male or female and those that are should be encouraged regardless of being male or female.

*I am starting to learn more about women in history and how if one looks they can find women that fought despite the world trying to tell us otherwise.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Another great, fun and learning filled class.  First part of class we went over the grappling from last week.  Today learned the twelve guards and a new defensive move.  I did well with constructive criticism today.  He worked hard to teach us stuff that we can definitely practice on our own.  Love that.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Until recently I have never thought of myself as someone who is into being physically active.  I have little interest for sports.  Not watching them nor playing them.  Then I realized that I love how one's body can move and flow.  That is a love of being physically active and I saw myself in a new light.

I find I am addicted to how the body and sword flows together in one smooth movement into the next.   There is something deep inside me that loves this feeling.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015  First Snow

So far I am doing well today.  Up early.  I've started my day with a set of stretches, on into a round of sword practice followed up with a meditation session.  It started snowing as I started sword practice.  Today I have added another push-up into the reps.

Today's real exercise workout will be strength straining and body conditioning.  This will be achieved by the wielding of various cleaning agents, sponges, broom and mop.   Lots of scrubbing and elbow grease will also be required

I now have a clean stove and oven and the corner counter behind the sink and stove is also clean.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Monday, November 16, 2015

This Sunday we covered the four basic defensive positions.  I find it fascinating how there are certain,  basic moves that are the same at their core in both Eastern and Western martial arts.  I learned some basic grappling moves.  Ways to grab and hold someone and how to counter them.  These moves are as important to self defense in the here and now as in the past too.   

I have to admit that when I first learned that Armizare is sword, dagger and grappling my first reaction was "Ewww, I don't want to learn grappling."  (I saw it as wrestling and it is much more than that.)  I was good with the dagger as it is on my learning wish list too.  I decided that two out of three wasn't bad and I'd just have to deal with it.  Now that we have actually got to it I find I am just fine with it.  I just needed to change my perspective of it.  

I feel very lucky to have found this group and the wonderful people in it.  I am looking forward to a future learning new skills, some arcane and some applicable in the here and now and the friendships I am building.  It is an amazing world that is opening up for me.  And I have found a fun way to get exercise to boot.  

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Having Some Real Moves to Practice, Thursday, November 12, 2015

Monday, November 9, 2015

I am so pleased to have these new moves to practice.  One handed cut, thrust and a defensive swing that leads into a nice counter attack with several variations.  I can't practice the latter part as it requires a sparring partner. There is hope as dear son may yet be interested.  

It is a nice feeling to know what I am doing. At least a few moves anyway.  I know that I am no expert and all that.  But now I have these things I know how to do now so I can practice them. The more I practice the more I like it and the more I like the more I do.

I have been working on push-ups and am now doing four at a time.  I am trying to remember to drop and do them at least three times a day.  Sheesh I can remember a time I could of done 20 at least.  I really do not like how my physical strength has deteriorated of the past three plus years.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

I practice several times a day.  I am enjoying being able to practice "real" moves.  I am slowly building upper body strength.  Four push ups tonight were easy enough for me to add a fifth.  I am practicing the one handed handed moves I learned.  I do as many repetitions as I can.  When I start getting sloppy from fatigue and discomfort I switch to another move. I am managing to run through two sets of reps right and left handed.  I had trouble with the left handed cut at first as my hand was too weak to properly manage the move.  I was having to do it with both hands.  Then I do some two handed moves until my dogs tell me they are ready to come in.

I am strengthening my hands without leaving them hurting later.  I've had some sore and stiff neck muscles too.  The most painful ones are in my forearms and I don't seem to be bothered by them the rest of time for which I am grateful.

Today I was cranky and out of sorts.  I woke up with a fuzzy head.  Woke up feeling like I was out of it from cold medicine.   Ugh....I really don't like being so irritable.  I decided it was stress and anxiety caused and proceeded to accomplish the task that was creating this.  So I did.  I also had several meltdowns along the way.  I fussed and cussed and kept going.

I decided to burn some sage this evening to cleanse my room, myself and my lungs. Smudging with sage disinfects the air.  I was using it for spiritual, emotional and physical cleansing.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Sunday, November 8, 2015 Second HEMA Meeting/Class

I have spent the past week sticking to my stretching and practice routine.   Otherwise I've had my head buried in paperwork.  I've caught it up and got it all filed away.  Paper work is not something I like and tends to leave me feeling as if my head will explode.  This is a chore I had to do if I want to keep my home.  After that all I want to do is relax.  (translated-paperwork left me no time or energy to journal)

I've been studying  YouTube videos trying to find ones that deal with Fiore's techniques.  I found several called "Posta di Donna".  Of course both are a bit different and one insisting that other variations are lazy and poorly done.  I stuck with the one that felt "right" to me.  One has rather simple footwork, but then the sword is held at what to me is an awkward angle cocked back behind the head and neck.  It felt overkill and awkward to me and to bring the sword around forward and down. It does not feel like it flows properly and smoothly.  This is the one claiming that other variations were incorrect.*  The footwork of the second was bit more complicated, but the angle the sword is held at feels more efficient and the stroke flows smoothly.  It also shows three different striking variations where as the other doesn't.  The footwork on this one also steps one to the side of the line of attack.

Today was my second club meeting/class.  The weather was nice enough that we were able to be outside and work, or should I say learn sword moves.  I got to meet another of our club members, a gentleman who is older than me.  The more I get to know my fellow club members the more I like them.  I definitely am losing my feelings of being "odd".   I was a bit nervous at first, but once I forgot about it I feel I did well.  I found myself a bit chagrined at first being corrected.  I just had to remind myself that I am there to learn and it is normal, natural and that I need to hear it.  Otherwise how will I get better?  I have to work on the concept that having something corrected is helpful-not criticism.

The practice of the footwork for the Posta di Donna that I favored practicing payed off today at the meeting.  The footwork for the moves he showed us today was the same.  I learned Fiore's one handed sword defense against the cut and thrust.  Not to mention I learned the basic cut and thrust.  I also learned how our defense controls the measure and what we can do at different measures.  One of the neat things I learned today is that Fiore liked to keep things simple.  Many moves and techniques use the same basic principles.  The refinements are the variations of how these basic principles may be used.  We worked on one handed sword moves.  I got to use a wooden waster and a steel trainer.  

I really had a good time and am looking forward to next week.  It was really rewarding to see my practice paying off a bit.  Not to mention getting to learn and use some things I have seen in videos.

*HEMA is about studying and trying to recreate European martial art skills and techniques that are based on the remains of historical manuscripts and drawings.  Different people have different interpretations based on these.  Needless to say there are differences of opinions on what is correct or incorrect.