Going back to part-time work next week, thank god. It was nice having full-time pay for a bit, but I’ve been suffering from a surfeit of imagination sans outlet. My only writing outlet has been this blog. I’m getting a lot more professional in my writing approach, at least. Instead of an hour or two to get myself in the right mood, I’m able to get writing with just a nice cup of tea or coffee, and a stare out the window. A complete post takes about as tenth as long as they used to. That’s not from choice…it’s because I only have a very narrow window of time to write in the morning. And the writing must flow. The blog is a commitment, the other writing is a desperate hope. Commitments first…

One day of recovery from the last class down, and I’m starting to think about the layout for next thursday’s class. Well, not the layout, that’s concrete…but the content. The 5×5 drill is pure flow, no teaching or correction allowed. It took a question from Squeak during the post-class alefest to remind me that I had already built a drill for teaching, that pairs with the 5×5. The 2×2 drill is a basic attack-exchange drill that allows me to chain sequences, and in the chaining, I can teach cause and effect lessons on techniques and tactics.

Working off of the basic left-right punch exchange, I can add in and teach weaves, blocks, or counter-attacks. From that new base, I can easily throw in new elements to meet the different modes of the various martial arts I am acquainted with. We can counter a weave with a leg kick, the leg kick with an extended single leg, the single leg with a rolling choke, etc, etc, etc… fifteen minutes a class isn’t much, but when the 5×5 follows, it will do.

The rapier class will be the first chance I get to introduce my challenge-based ranking system for students. I’ll discuss my requirement for first rank, and do some drills to illustrate the possibilities, and then turn the rest of the class over to directed sparring to sink in the idea. With good pacing, we should still have plenty of time for free-fighting at the end.

If I’m clever and can find some time to work things out before class, I might even be able to squeeze in some more Marozzo as a portion of the lesson. It’s important to me to keep the Old Man’s lessons in there, but good fighting skills developed at the right time comes first. Later for the good stuff…