We’re transitioning to three days a week of training at Valkyrie WMAA. The plan is to keep the Monday and Thursday night slots ongoing at One Thousand Rivers, and start outdoor classes Saturday afternoons, taking advantage of the awesome Vancouver weather and beautiful parks and beaches. For the next little bit our schedule is a little changeable, due to us giving up a few of the Monday night slots so another group can get some heavy rehearsal time in. In exchange for this we are getting some indoor Saturday slots. I toyed with the idea of just taking Monday’s off, but I realize now it would be better to just jump into the three day training thing now.

To keep up on the latest updates to classes, check out our facebook page. Things will be a little more regular in June, or when we get enough students to start looking for a permanent location…

I’m a little sore today after our first Saturday class. As is usual when a class is a little light on students, I take the chance to do more detail work. In this case we skipped the boxing work portion of class to hit a full hour of workout, taking things a little slower and working on correcting form. With our workout program, that means we spent a lot of time with our body weight entirely on our arms. So I feel a bit hulk-like this morning.

The next hour we spent working forward from our Marozzo session on Thursday. Now that the students have had some exposure to a regular practice form, and are getting comfortable assuming and naming the guards, we started working on the fight from each guard. It was a simple practice to run, as the goal was familiarity and nothing more.

We put on masks and started sparring. One side would spar from the “reference” guard of Terza, and the other side would spar from one of Marozzo’s guards. After a bit of time, the sides would switch places. When I judged enough time had been spent in each guard, I’d announce the next guard and we’d move on.

It worked out well, and we covered a fair number of the guards. I skipped some of the progression guards to add in things like Sotto Braccio (Underarm guard), to keep our minds open. It’s a struggle to make something useful out of what feels like a bad guard, especially with no instruction given, but everyone did well. Good partners can make the most difficult challenge understandable, and we had that going for us.

I think we need a few more good sessions of this before I feel comfortable moving on. A lot can get glossed over even with a good class, and things that might work well the first time can become problematic as time goes on. Lots of material in Marozzo, and the temptation is always to cover it in breadth…You always have the sneaky feeling that you are missing one of the other parts that might show to be important with the current crop of students.

I think we’ll be okay if we continue to use the progression as the basis for future lessons. Start with the simple memorization, build familiarity with the guards through sparring, slot in sessions on cutting and parrying to keep the core skills up to snuff, tease with short lesson on false and true engagements. Once the basics are showing signs of being internalized, then we can start to work on the meat of the matter and being working on the actual lessons of Marozzo.