Valkyrie Women

The Valkyrie ladies are getting tired of beating up men in class. They have decided we needed to recruit more women, and our current method of reaching students doesn’t seem to be working. So, they put together this video in order to recruit more women to their cause. Please share it around.

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Dealing With the First Big Hit

The first solid hit I ever got was rewarding. It was in my first month or so of MMA training, back before I ever picked up a sword. I was a young and not so spry 30, my opponent was a broad shouldered 19 year old beast. I caught a left hook to the temple so hard that both feet left the ground, and I flew sideways for about a meter before crashing into the wall…still on my feet, still in guard. The world was pretty wobbly, but I was inordinately pleased that I was still up and in guard. George St. Pierre just retired from MMA competition after booking more time in the cage than anyone else. One of the concerns people had brought up was the amount of damage he had taken in the ring. It accumulates. Muhammad Ali had an incredible ability to dodge blows, but he’s…

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Kick In the Ribs

Valkyrie WMA had it’s first all-sparring class last night. No workout, no  lessons, just fighting, all night long. It was a blast. With our recent heat wave, the school was baking hot. The door was kicked open for breeze, and we had a huge industrial floor fan blasting fresh outside air in, but the wooden dance floor was still hot to the touch through the entire class. It was kind of a nice touch. The wrestling mats got dragged out first, with the boxing gear piled up on the side. Knife trainers made an appearance. We got some solid fights in. The pace was tight…competitive but fun. We all got a chance to see where we were now, what our new benchmark was for performance. We spar every class, but that’s after the workout, drills and lessons. This was us fresh and strong. During the rapier bouting, Squeak and I…

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Jab, Hook…and Cut

Jab. Jab. Jab. Over and over, feet moving around, playing at measure, dodging each shot that comes back at you. Constantly sticking that left hand in your opponents’ face, over and over. Watching for the subtle signs, watching for you opponent to anticipate, to plan a counter that will actually land…that’s your moment. The moment when they think they have you, when they know you so well, have read you so perfectly, that they know the next jab you throw will be the one that puts you on the canvas when they counter.  That’s when you throw the right, low to the body…into that big gap that they left. Now they are back to thinking about what you are doing. Their head is still stuck for the moment, though…still holding on for you to do that jab the right way again. You feed them another right, since they refuse to…

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Boxing Marozzo

We had a complex technique to learn, so I decided to start the class out with warm up drills. In theory, an angled off-line step is a simple thing, even with a passing step. In practice…much more complex. Facing an eager opponent with a sword pointed in your face, and planning to step forward as that thing rockets at your face, at a speed no punch could ever hope to match? That takes courage…and timing, as well as excellent body mechanics. So after our sprints and strength training, we moved into boxing drills. Started with a simple jab/cross combo. Boxing is an excellent exercise for the more academic fencers. It’s very hard for a rooted fighter to box correctly. You have to develop agile feet and smooth body movement to perform basic techniques well, and fencing tends to make people stiff. Our counters to the jab were a lean back…to…

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