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The knives are a dance . . . you need balance and precision.
Mon Sep 25, 2006 18:40
209.213.238.160 (XFF: 192.168.1.3)

Afailla was thoroughly enjoying herself – the burn of physical fatigue felt good, almost comforting. Granted, she was sweating like a pig, an her uniform clung to her uncomfortably, but she felt as though she were making some measure of progress. When Styr called a stop to their blundering and began upbraiding the group for not following instructions, the Soldier harbored a small grain of pride that she had been doing exactly as told. That was shot down soon enough, though, when the Dedicated began demonstrating their next part of the lesson. His intricate moves were fascinating, and Afailla watched with rapt attention, almost mesmerized by the motions of his imagined spar.

She shook herself out of the trance when he called forward one of the Dedicated and demonstrated what he’d just said – what had he just said? Something about balance, and attacking in three’s, or something. She shook her head and watched the brief battle, trying to figure out what she was supposed to be learning from this. Luckily, once the pair had finished, Styr expanded on what he’d done, and she was able to puzzle out the gist of it from what he said.

The circles that appeared were puzzling until their use was explained, and then even demonstrated. Like everyone else, Afailla jumped at the sudden sound, and then determined not to try the circles until she was fairly sure she could manage without crossing the lines. The students spread apart, and then began practicing combos of their own.

Afailla had trouble making up any moves of her own, as they seemed to be expected to do. Instead, she kind of copied what Styr had done – a clumsy imitation at best – and then began borrowing from the other initiates around her. After a while, she had managed to piece together a fairly decent set of combination attacks, and after practicing it for a good while she decided she was ready to brave the circles.

Far from the first to step within the red lines, she was also not the first to set them off. Her first attempts inside the small area were slow, careful, and somewhat halting. She felt like a child playing at a fight, her movements clumsy in comparison to the adults’. But, with a bit of practice, she began to grow more confident in the lines. Too confident, as it turned out – she tried a particularly fancy-looking (though it had almost no practical application whatsoever) and over-balanced. She stumbled backwards and over the line. BOOM! She winced as all eyes turned to her, blushed, and then managed to calm down when the practicing resumed.

After that first incident, Afailla kept her movements conservative, carefully planned out. She may not be making up her own steps yet, but she was going to learn how to keep from making an idiot out of herself no matter what. The movements may be copied, but they were performed with a steady accuracy that kept her within the circle for the rest of the time until Styr called them to a stop again. Far from spectacular to watch, she was at best a mediocre fighter thus far. Perhaps, though, that was better – mediocrity kept one from being noticed. No one would expect miracles from her, but at the same time, she was good enough that no one would be singling her out as a failure, either.

The movements became monotonous, rather like a little weave of their own. Right foot, left hand block, right hand slash, left foot. Step back, right hand block, left hand block, turn, back stab with right, backhand slash left, turn, duck . . .. She found it easy to lose herself in the rhythm – so much so that when at last Styr called them to attention again, she felt as though she’d just been woken from a deep sleep. There was a brief moment of disorientation before she recalled what was going on, and then turned her attention back to the Dedicated, hoping that she hadn’t missed anything in that brief lapse.




OOC: Blast; that's what I get for watching TV and posting at the same time....

*grins* Duplicate deleted by Mark.

  • Part II: Balancing Offence and DefenceStyr Tai'Sei, Dedicated, Mon Sep 25 12:18
    Styr sighed, and then scowled. Sighing… He seemed to be doing far too much of that today. He was not a fair-haired maiden, to go sighing about the woes of his life. True, a majority of the class... more
    • Drilling with SoundSoldier Shayla al'Cazor, Mon Oct 2 11:14
      “Initiates. Into ranks now.” Shayla jumped at the sound of the Dedicated’s voice—it boomed across the Grounds, almost as loud as thunder. The instructor then proceeded to lecture the participants... more
    • Wards are Unpleasant...Soldier Kandra sur Samarand, Tue Sep 26 17:25
      Kandra followed the others as they formed a circle around Styr again. The man then proceeded to show them different combos to try. ‘Now, I want you to practice combining offences and defenses into... more
    • The knives are a dance . . . you need balance and precision. — Soldier Afailla Dafrin, Mon Sep 25 18:40
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