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Remembering Old Lessons
Sat May 13, 2006 13:47 (XFF:

Arin tried to listen more intently than she had the previous time as the Sei'Tar continued to explain. The woman, apparently, either did not want them to know much about her or would just rather keep her name out of the lesson – she had informed them that "Sei'Tar" or "instructor" was the only name they would need to know for her. Arin, though she hadn't much experience in the field of teaching, believed that a bit more familiarity – at least to the point of one's students knowing their teacher's name – was always nice; to each his or her own, however. She preferred to try not to be overcritical of others.

Keeping the guard up… that was something Lian had always talked about as well. Arin had never had much trouble with keeping her hands up – Lian had joked that this was because of Arin's naturally defensive nature – but she knew that many people did have trouble remembering to do this. In general, Arin had been a fairly competent fighter when Lian had been training her; it had been some time, though, since she had exercised those skills. She was a bit worried that they hadn't survived through her years in the White Tower. Occasionally punching her friends hardly counted as practicing her hand-to-hand skills.

She watched as their instructor demonstrated several different blocks, trying to remember if Lian had ever taught her anything similar to what she was seeing now. She tended not to remember blocks as well as she remembered kicks and punches – though she never had trouble with keeping her hands up and guarding herself against strikes, she often had problems remembering the exact techniques necessary. In general, though, she'd been told that that was no big problem, because in an actual fight it was more the reaction than the technique that mattered. Indeed, when she had begun sparring with Lian, stopping to think had always proved a bad idea. In a fight, it was better to just to rely on one's own instincts.

They were next told to try out some blocks on their own. Arin went off by herself again and tried to remember some of the blocks Lian had taught her, as well as emulate a few that the Sei'Tar had showed them. After a little while, she seemed to be getting the hang of it once more. Luckily, what training she'd previously had seemed not to have entirely vanished from her mind.

Then they were told that they could challenge another student. Arin agreed that, yes, the best way to learn was just to fight and figure it out for oneself – but she was not eager to challenge anyone else. She did not enjoy doing things such as this in public. She did, however, pity anyone who was fool enough to challenge the Sei'Tar herself. That would almost certainly be humiliating to whoever chose to do it.

As she looked around the room, trying to decide if there was anyone there who she would not mind fighting overmuch, another woman came up beside her; another Accepted, by her clothing. "Most of the rest seem to have partners," the woman said, "so would you be willing to be mine? I'd rather not partner that Dedicated over there." Arin took a moment to size the woman up. She was taller than Arin herself was, of course, but not by as huge an amount as some. She was also fairly slender. They were not evenly matched, but Arin would likely not have too much of a disadvantage.

She smiled. "I would be willing to be your partner. My name is Arin Alistaire."

The woman grinned. "I am Mina Komala." She had a slight look of Borderlander about her, but not much. Arin hoped Mina would not fight with the skill that Lian did – if so, Arin knew she wouldn't stand a chance against this woman.

They faced each other, and the fight began. Arin never made the first move when fighting if she could help it, so for a moment there was no movement as they just stood, guarded, staring at each other. Then Mina lunged forward, aiming a kick to Arin's middle. Arin blocked, moved out of the way, and tried to punch under Mina's guard, but was unsuccessful. Mina took that moment that Arin had her guard down to slip a punch in, but then Arin managed to slip in a kick whilst the other woman was distracted.

The fight continued on in that manner for some time, each getting a punch or a kick in occasionally. Then, just when they were both beginning to tire, Arin noticed Mina's guard beginning to slip. Arin kicked, and then moved in and knocked the other woman's legs out from underneath her. She was half-surprised that she had even remembered how to do that – it had been quite some time since Lian had taught it to her.

Mina fell to the ground, and then stood up, laughing slightly. "I believe you win, for now," she said, offering her hand to Arin. Arin shook her hand, smiling as well. It was nice to know she hadn't lost what she knew.

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    • Remembering Old Lessons — Accepted Arin Alistaire, Sat May 13 13:47
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