Dagger is the one area where I have had the most trouble with so far. The first session was okay. The second one I struggled with the counters and finally managed to really get one. The third one was very frustrating, and I felt like I really didn't learn anything at all. This fourth session I did well with learning these counters. I was able to grasp the concepts and repeatedly apply them properly.
I think the main issue is my mental state. Being able to put myself on a even footing with the other members in my mind makes a big difference. I am learning and practicing how to dismiss my fears and insecurities to get into that proper frame of mind. In doing this I am able to free my mind which allows me to relax and focus on what we are learning. My insecurities can cause me to tense up and try to hard or maybe I should say overcompensate which leads to frustration and failure. The more I practice the easier it becomes.
This discipline is really helping though. Most our members are already experienced in martial arts. I am getting much better at taking constructive criticism from my sparring partners. I feel like I am becoming a better sparring partner too. I am learning to be more aggressive in my attacks so they have to work harder. I am honored to work with and learn from these members.
Now if I can only find someone to practice this with repetitively until it becomes instinct. That would be lovely. I have the time, energy and a place to practice by myself. I can practice guards and strikes. But I cannot practice these lovely counters that require a second participant. This is where I really wish I could get my boys into it.
*After writing all this I can see where a lot of the previous dagger work has combined together in yesterday's session. A block from the first session, the dagger strikes that I got down pat from the second session. That arm bind I couldn't get from the third session.