Last month moved away from the increased practical work we have been doing and focusing a little more on theory and techniques. As such we have had a few less sore muscles but a few more sore heads. Pugilism focused on trying to get people to trust their blocks. Whilst running away is a valid self defence technique it is not appropriate in every situation so should be a decision not an inbuilt reaction. Some progress was made but we will be looking at this more over the coming months. Savate was unfortunately cancelled so we will be picking up that lesson again this month. Grappling continued to look at break falling and throws; one necessitating the learning of the other! Over all we are getting better at hitting the mat and bouncing back up again and throws are starting to happen in real time rather than in timid slow motion. Cane was the heaviest theory lesson trying to codify the lexicon around attacks and parries (or making sure we all call the same thing the same thing!). With that done we moved on to look a little more at using the butt of the cane to hook and envelop as well as some simple trapping techniques.
This month is going to have a large focus on building up to the Doncaster event; just making sure everyone knows their parts and has practiced them at nausea. Whilst there will be some of this in each class I am trying to contain it to an extended free play at the end of the class so that those not involved can still make good use of the time. Pugilism in June will continue to look at trusting your guard and then moving on to look at counters and the effect they have on the timing of a fight compared to traditional parry riposte style fighting. The savate class will work on getting into close combat range past kicks as well as continual development of kicking technique. If all goes well we may go on to look at learning not to telegraph kicks but that may well not happen until July. Grappling will move a little away from what we have been doing the last couple of months and we will focus on getting take downs in realistic sparring situations as well as some basic groundwork. Not that I advocate taking a fight to the floor, but if it happens you need to be able to cope with it. Cane will round off the month with a continued look at vignay cane style proper technique as well as an introduction to feinting.
Well this month we will be doing six demonstrations over the course of a weekend at the Doncaster Steampunk event. The Saturday shows will focus more on an introduction to Bartitsu as a Victoriana fighting style adopted by Steampunk where as the Sunday will see us doing a more theatrical performance of using Bartitsu whilst on the quest for a perfect cup of tea. Should be a good weekend and I am very much looking forward to it. Of course a full report will be posted next month.