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Merchant with a Quarterstaff (Retro)


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#1 Delfon

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 05:28 AM

Twelve year old Jon Smythe wakes up refreshed, and ready to enjoy the day. Kicking off his blankets, and leaving them curled up in pile on the foot of his bed, he makes his way to the window in his small clothes. The sun is just peeking over the horizon, and there isn't a cloud in the sky. With such beautiful weather outside, Jon's thoughts bounce from one fun adventure to another. After three weeks on the road, traveling from shop to shop with his parents he could use a nice relaxing free day.

Bounding down the stairs of his family estate, he dodges around the maid. She yelps, and drops her basket of laundry in her haste to cover her eyes. Pausing at her odd reaction Jon realizes that in his excitement he forgot to get dressed, or tend to all the other things one does in the morning. Blushing crimson right to his hairline, Jon mumbles an apology to the maid as he scrambles back up the stairs and into his room. Once there, he dresses and tends to his bladder. Then he finishes up his basic hygiene needs, and is about to head for the stairs when he sees his blankets all bunched up. Red spots marking his cheeks, when he remembers the small clothes incident, he sets to work making his bed, and giving his room a quick once over. 'There. that should make up for running around half naked!' Now that his room is clean for the maid, he sets off once more, bounding down the stairs toward the kitchen.

'I'll grab a quick bite to eat so I can slip out the servants entrance before Mother finds some chores for me to do.' Entering the kitchen, Jon skitters to a stop when he sees his father sitting on a stool reading. Stepping back cautiously, Jon turns and freezes in mid step when his father clears his throat, "Just where do you think you're sneaking off to?" Turning back to his father, Jon replies "I just forgot my belt knife upstairs Father." My father nods knowingly, "Well once you have your blade, make sure you eat a solid breakfast. Today you begin your staff training. I hope you didn't forget." Sudden realization dawns in his mind, but he schools his face to blankness, "Of course not Father, I've been looking forward to it." Heading back upstairs, Jon enters his room and sees the maid looking about in puzzlement at how clean it is. Jon smiles sheepishly, winks, and grabs his belt knife. He then he returns to the kitchen, all hope of a free day banished. Jon mechanically eats his breakfast, and head out to the courtyard to meet his new trainer. Thoughts bubbling through his mind, 'I wonder what this will be like.', 'I hope the trainer isn't mean', and 'Maybe it won't take too long, and I can still get some free time later.'

#2 Arlow

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 06:22 AM

Gaman had been traveling for days now. He had no clear idea of where he was going, just wandering from one place to the next. He had gotten by because he wheedled his way into storytelling at inns he passed, or by giving young ones lessons with the staff, sword or bow. The payments managed to get him enough food to keep him full, if not satisfied. His next stop was at a merchant's estate, as it was easier than building a camp by the side of the road, and probably safer as well. The boy's merchant father had heard he was coming into town, and cornered him almost as soon as he passed upon the Smythe Estate, near nightfall. He was surprised that he had already met the man and his son on the road, as they passed him as he stopped for the night. When he arrived, Gaman had managed to haggle the merchant down to a price that he could live off of for a week or two, which was more than he expected. Just after the deal was closed, Gaman's mind started ticking. What if the boy is nothing but trouble? How would I teach him if he doesn't listen? He didn't say anything when they passed me, but... he thought, before shaking his head and bedding down for the night.

He was up early, just as the sun rose, and made a quick breakfast out of stale bread and raw eggs. His stomach had gotten used to the raw egg years ago, although it had taken him a couple of days at the time to stop vomiting it back up. When he was finished eating, Gaman checked his sword for dull edges, strung his bow briefly to test the string, and thumped the end of the staff on the floor three times. Satisfied with the condition of his weapons, he put the sword and bow back next to the small pallet that had been made up for him in the stable, one of the conditions of the deal with the merchant. Gaman liked being near his horse, even though it was a peaceful beast, it reassured him that he still had a form of travel, and a companion as well. He grabbed the staff and saddled his horse, walking it out of the stable and mounting it.

He rode perhaps half a mile to a stand of trees, where he cut a branch of equal length and thickness to his staff, and whittled down all the stumps and broken branches, leaving a smooth, oddly rounded stick. While he was whittling away, the horse had started walking back toward the stable, in search of food. Gaman allowed it to have the reins, and cut out two small slices of the stick, cutting grooves in the flat section crossways, forming a make-shift grip for the young boy. By the time Gaman made it back to the stable, the household had truly awakened. Wherever he looked, he could see someone doing a chore. He took the horse back to the stable, where the grooms had gotten up and pulled out feed, and left it in their care.

Gaman waited patiently at the edge of the courtyard, leaning against a building, holding both his staff and the stick loosely. The boy appeared before too long, and Gaman threw the stick at his feet and stepped out from the building, leaning on his staff as he walked toward the boy. "First lesson with a staff eh?," he asked the boy.

Gaman
Waiting patiently

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#3 Delfon

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 09:52 AM

Part way to the courtyard a smirk creeps onto Jon's face. 'Maybe I can learn a little about the man ahead of time.' Jon thinks to himself as he slips off the path and creeps along the side of a building. Peeking around the corner Jon doesn't see the man at first, since he expected him to be waiting closer to the center of the courtyard. Scanning around the area he finally sees him leaning against the wall. 'Leaning might mean he isn't uptight, or maybe he's even lazy. If that's the case I might get to adventure today after all!' Excitement building inside him once again Jon pads back to the path, and walks into the courtyard as if he was just arriving.

Stooping to pick up the thrown stick, Jon keeps his eyes focused on his trainer to be. 'What's this now, my father hired a vegabond to train me? He looks like he's been traveling for weeks. Is that a bit of hay in his hair? Did he sleep in the stables?' Questions tumble through Jon's thoughts, before he rises, and responds with a simple, "Yes." Testing the weight of the staff with a few flourishes that look good, but serve no real combative purpose Jon continues, "Father thought it was about time I learned to defend myself." With a final spin I plant the butt of my staff on the ground, and lean into it mimicking the other man, "My name is Jon Smythe. What should I call you?" Once the other man has answered, Jon presses for more information, "So, how long do you think this lesson will take? It's beautiful outside, and I was hoping take it easy today."

#4 Arlow

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 05:24 AM

Gaman smiled at the boy as he showed off with the staff. "A pleasure to meet you, master Smythe. You may call me Gaman," he said, bowing his head slightly in greeting. "How long this lesson takes depends on you, young sir. I intend on showing you the basics of handling a staff and having you run over them for a short while. After that, you're free from my teachings for the rest of the day," Gaman told the boy.

Gaman stepped forward and shifted his staff up into a horizontal position, raising the his arms so the staff was slanted with one end raised to a height above his shoulder, the other end even with his knees. He showed Jon how he held the staff in a "v" grip with his index finger and thumb pointing towards the end of the staff, with the rest of his fingers straight out next to his index, hovering away from the staff. His other hand imitated the grip, and he extended his own staff to a slanted position in front of his body. "Whenever you're holding the staff, make sure your fingers are in the position I just showed you, otherwise they'll either get hit or your grip will shift, and you'll likely lose the staff. Hold the staff slanted, so that anything that hits it will slide down it, rather than bouncing off and jarring your arms. Try not to let your grip get too loose, otherwise the staff might slip, and who knows how that will end," Gaman chuckled.

When Gaman finished his short demonstration, he stepped back and encouraged the boy to attempt the grip. He reached out and pushed Jon's staff up so the boy was holding it above his head. Before his student could react, Gaman raised his own staff and struck at the boy three times over where the boy's fingers were. They weren't strong blows, but it was enough to start Gaman's staff skipping along Jon's staff. As he struck, Gaman was watching how Jon held the staff and his body, and noticed that the boy's awkward stance under the sudden attacks.

Gaman

Edited by Arlow, 25 March 2012 - 05:39 AM.

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Why should he care if I have a dozen musicians in my pocket and a smithy on my back?
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#5 Delfon

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 04:28 AM

Jon smiled at hearing that he might still be able to save his adventure today, "In that case let's get started!" Jon replied enthusiastically. Jon watched Gaman closely when he was showing how to hold the staff, already shifting his grip from the double fists he had been holding the staff with to this new way. Jon nodded again and again as Gaman gave what seemed like common sense lessons, 'Try not to let your grip get too loose, otherwise the staff might slip. No kidding! Here I thought I was just going to hold the weapon with my pinkies!' Jon thought, resisting the urge to roll his eyes. 'When is this going to get to something usef...' *crack* *crack* *crack* Jon didn't have time to react until after the blows were struck, and his reaction was... colourful. "Mothers milk in a cup man! Warn a fellow before you crack his knuckles will you?" Jon said while shaking his hand vigorously, trying to shake off the pain. It really didn't hurt that much, it was more the surprise of the hit than anything else that made him react. It took Jon a moment to realize what he had said. Eyes wide, Jon opened and closed his mouth a few times unable to form words, a crimson flood heating his face for the second time today. "I'm sorry Gaman. My language was unacceptable. You hear things when you spend a good deal of your time traveling with wagon drivers and guards." The apology was heart felt, and the explanation wasn't given as an excuse. "I would truly appreciate it if my parents didn't find out about what I said Gaman, they have a vile vial of sheepstongue root for just such an occasion." Jon's face scrunches up when he mentions the sheepstongue.

Seeing the disapproval on Gaman's face, and not being sure if it was for his language or his staff form, Jon adds, "I really do want to learn. This training may one day save my life. I understand that, and will strive to do my very best." Although hint's that Jon wasn't taking this training seriously may have been spotted by a careful observer before, those hints are completely gone now. Jon seems focused, and ready to learn. "Can we continue?"

#6 Arlow

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 06:21 AM

Gaman let his staff fall to his side as Jon cursed at him, and gave him a stern look. "Even so, one should not use that language when addressing an instructor, let alone family or friends. I won't mention it to your family, but you have incurred a... penalty, if you will. I'll explain it after the training session," Gaman told the boy, before raising his staff to a high defense position. "You need to improve your stance. Look at how my feet are positioned. I'm standing with them spread a little wider than shoulder-width apart, with my dominant foot slightly forward. It's a way of providing yourself with some stability, especially when you go on the offensive. Don't want to swing the staff, and then fall over because you weren't balanced. We'll work on the basic stance for now, and then move on to a few simple attacks," Gaman said, and assisted Jon as he needed it.

The sun hadn't moved much further when Gaman approved of Jon's footwork, and decided to move on to offensive moves. Gaman raised his staff again, placed his dominant foot forward and cut upwards with the end that was closest to the ground, stopping it at Jon's head height, two feet in front of the boy's face. "That is the first move I want you to practice. It is intended to clip your opponent in the head and leave them stunned at the least, allowing you an opening to attack again. Step forward, and swing the lower end of the staff up so it passes your shoulder height, then return to guard stance," he instructed his student, and watched as Jon moved through the basic attack, offering tips when he saw something that the boy could improve upon.

"Next, will be a thrust and then a downward sweep. The intention of this combination is to have hit the opponent in the stomach, doubling them over, and then hitting them in the head, hopefully putting them out of the fight," Gaman said, and took up a guard stance again. He swept the staff down so that it pointed at Jon's stomach, and jabbed it forward, before pulling the staff back, raising it above his shoulder and slicing down through the air. " Practice that, and then start with a guard stance, upwards cut, return to a guard stance and then thrust and cut down. After you've done this, we'll discuss what the penalty is," Gaman told the boy, and watched him go through the basic forms.

Gaman
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#7 Delfon

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 04:04 PM

Jon nods solemnly when he hears of a possible penalty, but accepts that Gaman's penalty probably tastes better than his mother's sheeps tongue concoction. Jon moves his feet to match Gaman as he shows him each new form, copying his instructor to the best of his ability. Although he still makes many mistakes, few of them are repeated more than twice. Jon was happy when Gaman moved on to new material, hoping that Gaman had accepted him as proficient enough with the old to continue. With the offensive techniques where most boys would be overeager, Jon was reserved. Any attack meant for stunning or disabling an opponent he did just fine, but when attacks were taught that could truly hurt someone, maybe even kill them if used incorrectly Jon was hesitant.

The forms were really not that difficult for Jon to learn, and it usually took no more than three repetitions before he got a nod from Gaman. In forms that were similar to ones he had already practiced, it would only take two repetitions. Again, and again however Jon kept making mistakes on lethal attacks, or completely blowing counter strikes that could cause injury. Often times repeatedly making the same mistakes, even though he was trying to do well and prove himself capable.

Guard - upward cut - guard - thrust - downward cut.
Guard - upward cut - guard - thrust - downward cut.
Guard - upward cut - guard - thrust - downward cut.

Again and again Jon repeated the motions All the while waiting for Gaman to switch him to something new, or to tell him what his penalty was going to be. Over and over, guard - upward cut - guard - thrust - downward cut. At first Jon thought he wasn't going through the motions correctly, later he began to think that this endless repetition was going to be his penalty. Regardless of the reason, Jon would do these motions until Gaman told him to stop, or he passed out from exhaustion. That's when Jon realized that he really hated sheepstongue root.

Jon Smythe

Edited by Delfon, 30 March 2012 - 04:06 PM.


#8 Arlow

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 04:31 AM

As the sun started its journey down from its peak, Gaman looked at Jon and saw that he had progressed with each motion he made, and was making an effort to get them right. "That's enough for today. Go have your fun, but I expect you back here first thing in the morning," Gaman told Jon, and walked back to the stables.

__________________________________________

Gaman woke with the sun, and went about checking his horse over before heading out to the courtyard where he had trained the boy the day before. "Today, I want to see how you go against me. We'll start off with half-pace, so there shouldn't be any accidents, and I want you to use the attacking moves I showed you as you see fit. Be aware that when I call stop, I want you to freeze. I'll only say it if you're making a mistake that will throw you off and mess up the attack or the movement you're making," Gaman said to the boy. He moved away and took up a defensive stance, and waited for Jon to initiate the bout.

After the bout, Gaman instructed Jon on how to improve on the forms that he had made mistakes on, and made him repeat the forms that he had corrected, before moving onto a lesson on the range of a quarterstaff. "The best way to hold a quarterstaff is in the center, as you can strike and defend with each end, and it's a lot more versatile. But you can use it by holding it closer to one end, giving you a larger engagement area. When you're holding it at one end, you can lose your balance and power behind any attack you make. It's good to keep an enemy at bay, but when you're holding it in the center, you can get more power behind your strikes. When you're holding it closer to the end, you can still use the basic attacks that I've shown you, it's just more difficult," Gaman said and slid the staff through his hands until he was holding the staff closer to one end and pointed it out to one side, imitating an overhead cut and a thrust with the staff as an example of a basic attack. " I want you to practice holding the staff at one end, and use the basic attacks, and then switch back to the center grip and do it again," Gaman instructed.

After the boy had experimented with both ways of holding the staff, Gaman motioned for the boy to stop. "I've got something for you to learn, that will get you more comfortable spinning the staff, holding it and keeping control of it's movement. It's also useful for distracting an enemy, as you can stop and attack at any time and they'll still be expecting you to be spinning it," Gaman said, and held his staff out in both hands, gripping it in the center. "You concentrate on one end and make it do a figure eight in front of you. In time, you won't have to look at the end to make it do it, but for now, it's easier. Focus on doing it in front of you, and eventually you'll be able to do it beside your body and even in one hand," as he spoke, Gaman demonstrated, switching to one hand and moving it to the side and back in front of him. "Keep practicing it until you get comfortable with the staff, as it gets you used to the balance, the weight and basically just makes it easier to use a staff," Gaman told him, and watched as Jon attempted it. After he had tried it a couple of times, Gaman ended the lesson as it was too dark to continue, and headed back to the stables.

Gaman

Edited by Arlow, 10 April 2012 - 04:32 AM.

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#9 Delfon

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 05:02 AM

Jon nodded when Gaman said that they were done for the day, his body exhausted. Jon turned toward his home, but stopped after a few steps, and turned back, "You mentioned a penalty for my earlier outburst?" 'I think he forgot, I should have left it alone' Jon thought with a mental sigh. Jon didn't know if it was the progress he had shown, or how tired he looked that made Gaman say, "The penalty will keep until tomorrow, off with you now." Although Jon wasn't a fan of looming punishments, he was simply too tired to care at this point. Heading inside to get cleaned up, Jon stood at the bottom of the stairs and looked mournfully at the flight of steps in front of him, 'I wonder if they will notice if I just pass out in front of the hearth down here?' Taking a deep breath, and sighing loudly Jon began trudging up the steps to his room. After a brief wash, and a change of clothes Jon leaned back on his bed and immediately fell asleep. He had meant to change and head back downstairs to eat, but he never realized before just how many steps his family estates had.

__________ The Next Day __________

Jon woke to a dull pain in his everywhere, his body stiff and sore from his staff work the day prior. His belly ached most of all, and he realized when his stomach growled like thunder that he had not eaten much yesterday. Forcing his body into action Jon grudgingly went through his morning routine. Once he finally made his way downstairs, he went straight for the kitchen where he found a wrapped lunch, and a hot breakfast waiting for him. Sticking out of wrapped lunch Jon found a note, that read, "If the young Master will not come in for lunch, then let him bring lunch out with him." Jon smiled, and wrote on the back, "THANK-YOU!" Leaving the note on the counter where he found the lunch. After eating his breakfast, Jon polished off half a loaf of bread lathered in fresh butter before heading out to meet Gaman in the courtyard.

As Jon limped his way toward the courtyard he realized that the muscles he had used the most this morning hurt the least. Pausing, Jon did a few simple stretches, and the pain in those muscles lessened somewhat. Glancing up at the sky Jon saw that he had enough time to work out some of his kinks, and so he went muscle by muscle stretching thoroughly. When finished Jon walked to the courtyard, his body feeling considerably better than when he first woke up. Jon decided right then and there, that stretching would become a part of his daily routine.

Jon arrived at the courtyard a little early for his training, and found Gaman standing there waiting for him. 'I think he slept in the stables again, I will have to speak to my father about our house's hospitality. This man must think we're poor to only offer him a place in the stables to rest his head.' Jon thought. Without preamble Gaman started into the days instruction, and Jon was excited to try out the techniques he had learned the day before, even if only in a mock half speed battle. Jon raised his staff and set his hands, and his stance the way Gaman had shown him the day before. Advancing slowly in his guard stance Jon opened the bout with an upward cut, automatically dropping back into a guard stance to prepare for a counterattack. Gaman didn't advance, so Jon moved in again with a thrust - downward cut just like he had practiced repeatedly the afternoon prior. Jon realized that it would be stupid to use the same attack progressions, in the same way as he had learned them so he switched it up, choosing whatever attack option felt right. Gaman stayed on purely defense, and Jon stopped dropping back into a guard stance between each attack, although he was careful to keep his defense prepared in case Gaman decided to take the offensive. Which moments later Jon was very glad for, as Gaman slowly entered the combat with a few attacks of his own, clearly not pressing so Jon could get the feel for defense too. After things settled into a nice rhythm Gaman started pressing his attacks one after another, forcing Jon onto the defensive with only a few freezes to correct matters of bad form. After a time Jon realized that he was breathing hard, and their half pace had become nearly full pace, the CLACK CLACK CLACK of their staffs colliding was rhythmic music to Jon's ears.

After Gaman stopped the battle, he began teaching Jon about the range of a quarterstaff. Jon paid close attention, and when instructed Jon went through the basic attack techniques while holding the staff by the end, and the balance felt awful. Thinking about it Jon could see a reason or two to fight like that, but for the most part he would prefer holding the weapon nearer to the center. The lessons continued onto spinning the weapon, which Jon thought looked fun. Again once instructed Jon began spinning his own staff, and promptly dropped it. A few pointers from Gaman and the staff was spinning again. Without realizing it the entire day had gone by, when Gaman called the day's training to a close Jon reluctantly asked, "About that penalty?"

Jon Smythe

Edited by Delfon, 11 April 2012 - 07:23 AM.


#10 Kathleen

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 05:18 PM

For a boy who begged to let his indiscretion hide when he committed the offence Jon sure was insistent that he be punished. "I don't think you're up to the punishment in the state your in now. We'll deal with it tomorrow." Gaman held of the chuckled as he sent the boy off to sleep.

Gaman rose early and checked his horse from habit, they had taken good care of it, but old habits are hard to rid yourself of. When he was satisfied he headed off to the training grounds. He ran through a few motions with his own stick while he waited for Jon to arrive. As the boy came into view Gaman finished off the combination he has going through and then let the stick drop to the ground.

"Good morning. I hope you got enough rest for today. There is not much more I can teach you, I'll be moving on soon. Don't worry though, you've picked up enough now to get by so long as you don't go searching out fights.And perhaps by the end of today you'll learn enough to make it out alive if you decide to start a fight with someone who doesn't know what they're doing. Time to start!" Gaman smiled at the boy and without looking down he tucked the toes of his right foot under the staff and flicked it up.

When the stick was just about hip high he grabbed it out of the air with his hand, keeping his eyes locked with the boys the whole time. "You'll not always have your staff on you, but so long as there is branch on the ground, or a broom about, that won't be an issue. Still, bending down to pick it up will likely leave you laying in a pool of your own blood. Its a simple maneuver in theory, but it can be tricky to get on to, so don't be afraid to practice it when I'm gone."

When Jon had his stick ready Gaman told him to come at him with a straight thrust. As the boy's stick came in at a speed faster than Gaman had expected, his experience got his stick between them in time to parry. The tight circle pushed Jon's stick away and left his whole body open. Gaman stepped in flicked the bottom end of his staff up toward Jon's ribs and just stopped it from hitting the boy in the ribs. He nodded to make sure that Jon knew he could have been hit. He explained the technique and had Jon repeat it as he came in with a thrust of his own.

When the boy was comfortable with the new technique Gaman stepped back from him and put the butt of his staff on the ground. As he leaned onto it he looked Jon over. "Well, that is about you need to know. Sure there are some fancier moves you can make, and more tricks. More difficult combinations, but I've shown you enough to get by if you ever come into danger. You've got your balance now with the stances, and you can block a blow without breaking your fingers. You can swing the thing without dropping it, and with enough sting to make a difference when it connects. All you need now is practice at these things." He let Jon take a moment to savor the moment, he wondered if the boy thought the lesson was done. Before too many seconds passed Gaman stood up off his staff and gripped it in his hand.

"It's time for combining forms. Mainly, it's those basic forms you've learned, but there are a few extra moves thrown in and it's a lot quicker," Gaman told Jon, and took up a defensive stance. He thrust the staff at Jon, making sure he stood far enough back that he didn't hit the boy and followed through with a swipe at the boy's knee height, before spinning the staff around and bringing the other end down from above in a hacking motion. It all took space in the time it took would've taken Jon to go through one of the repetitions he had done earlier.


He guided Jon through the combination he had just shown him at a much slower speed, helping the boy when he made mistakes. Gaman made sure that Jon repeated the form for a while before moving him onto another combination, this time of a thrust, parry and sweep form. When Jon's attempt was passable, Gaman asked him to stop. " Jon, I want you to continue with this forms this afternoon, but I want you to try out some of your own combinations. No matter what happens in a fight, you must be willing and ready to adapt whenever necessary. I will watch over and offer advice where possible, but it's now up to you. Your forms won't be perfect, nor will your stances or footwork, but I'm not here to teach you perfection. I'm here to teach you the basics, and for your penalty, I want you to practice these forms as much as you can, no matter where you are or what has happened. If you become lax, then it's likely that the next day will be one that you will wish that you had practiced these forms. It's up to you now, as I will soon leave to continue my travels," Gaman told the boy, and then let him continue his practice for the afternoon.

With the mouth the boy had on him Gaman only hoped that he practiced what he was just taught. That mouth would almost guarantee that he would need the practice. He may think it a lax punishment, but anything else would be pointless. When he completed whatever asinine punishment was given he would relax and probably stop using the staff at all. As it was, there was no way to know if the boy would keep up the practice when he left, but at least until he felt he had made up for his tounge, Gaman could be sure the boy would practice. If that was an hour after he left the city, it was an hour more than he expected, but an hour more experience to draw on when trouble sprang up.

When Jon seemed to have the hang of combinations, and his speed was up to time, Gaman stopped him, "Alright, lets see what you've learned!" Without giving him time to think Gaman took up his staff and started in on the boy. He threw out wide swing for Jon's head and the boy blocked it well. Back and forth the two went, full speed but not full strength, stricking high and low, dancing across the ground to give distance, and getting up close. Satisfied with the boy's reaction time and ability to block more than half his attacks, if only just getting slipping out of the way by fluke, Gaman finally called a stop to the fight as the afternoon sun began to fall.

"Good work these last few days, Jon. Keep up the practice, and next time we'll meet perhaps you'll beat me." Gaman smiled broadly. "If you have any questions for me, boy, now is the time to ask."

Gaman

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#11 Delfon

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 04:59 AM

Jon's jaw clicks from the force of the yawn that leaves his mouth gaping. With his eyes half closed, Jon nods slowly, "I think that might be for the best too." Setting his quarterstaff against the courtyard fence, Jon turns back to Gaman, "Thank you for all the work you're doing. I really am learning a lot of useful techniques. Rest well, we will resume again tomorrow morning?" Jon nods when Gaman confirms that training will continue in the morning, before heading to the house to fall into a sleeping heap.

With the sun just peeking over the horizon Jon crawls out of bed, quite stiff and sore again, 'I really must remember to stretch before bed.' Jon thinks with a groan. Setting thoughts to motion Jon stretches out his sore muscles, and limbers up each muscle group in turn. Once he's able to move easily once again, Jon works though his morning routine quickly so he can make it to training on time. Stuffing a hunk of freshly baked bread into his mouth on the way out the door, Jon tears off a chunk as he walks to the courtyard that has become his training ring, popping the last piece into his mouth as Gaman's staff falls to the ground with a clatter.

Jon jerked back in surprise as Gaman armed himself without stooping to pick up the weapon, "That's a good trick." Jon adds with a smile, "I will practice it well." Gathering his own staff, with much less pizzazz, Jon returns where Gaman is waiting. The lessons begin and Jon enters into a now familiar routine of being shown a technique, and then being made to repeat the motions until they are ingrained into memory. Jon beamed when Gaman told him that he had learned enough to get by in only three days of training. 'I can't believe I've done so well. I will have to keep practicing every day though' Jon surprised himself when he didn't add a mental groan to that. He was looking forward to practicing with his staff.

When Gaman took up a defensive stance, Jon assumed the same, and he easily parried the first thrust, as well as the knee level attack. Not expecting the attack combination to continue, Jon was surprised by the third strike. He saw the hacking downward strike coming just in time, but was a little slow to react only just barely defending the strike in time. Slowing the attacks down really helped Jon see how the attacks flowed into one another, next time he wouldn't be surprised. Working through the other combinations was interesting, and fun. The way the staff seemed to flow into other attack and defense routines felt right somehow. Jon's face smoothed to blankness at the mention of his penalty, 'Finally! I hate having punishments hanging over my head, waiting for them to spring up and ruin my fun!' Jon thought as he listened to his penalty intently. Nodding, Jon said, "As you wish Gaman, I will practice often. I won't promise that it will be every day, but I won't allow the skills you have instructed me in to grow lax either. You have my word on it." Extending his hand as if to close the deal, Jon really showed that he was a merchant's son.


When Gaman stopped Jon's practice with an, "Alright, let's see what you've learned!" Jon got excited. The sparring was the most fun part of all this practice, even if it meant painful bruises the next day. Jon also felt that he learned the most about fighting with the staff when the basic forms are taken in the context of a fight. In combat bodies are moving, not standing in the stale positions that teaching necessitates. Learning to read the turning of an ankle, and knowing that the means an downward strike is coming is far more helpful then standing in a certain way.

Smiling Jon said, "Thank you Gaman. I will keep up the practice. In a few years time perhaps we will run into one another. Then we will see how much I've progressed. I suspect that my father will hire other teachers along the way, so perhaps I will at least land a hit on you next time." Jon thought about questions for a moment before asking, "I have only one question, where will you go now?"

Jon Smithe

(The books are spinning around the Dragon. Look to a staff who plays with another kind of dragon born on all hallows eve. The letter is E.)

Edited by Delfon, 25 November 2012 - 12:33 PM.


#12 Kathleen

Kathleen

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Posted 28 April 2012 - 05:41 PM

"Thank you Gaman. I will keep up the practice. In a few years time perhaps we will run into one another. Then we will see how much I've progressed. I suspect that my father will hire other teachers along the way, so perhaps I will at least land a hit on you next time." The boy's words brought a smile to his face. It was always nice to hear true thank you's. It wasn't every lesson that his works were appreciated, and even when they were appreciated a 'thank you' that wasn't forced from the parents was still more rare. Perhaps this boy really would keep up his studies. Either way, he had had food in his belly and a roof over head for the last few days, and that's what was really needed to make the teaching worth it. It was nice to see someone who didn't just glaze over the lesson, though.

"I have only one question, where will you go now?" Gaman grinned at the boy as he answered "I'll go where ever my horse takes me." With that the trainer gathered his things from the grounds and headed back to the stables to get his horse ready.

Gaman

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