On Thursday, we played with sticks. I got there just about on time, Master Dominique (and she is fully aware of what "Master Dom" means.) led the 24, Riki arrived late.
And we spent the time using the long sticks - long, thick sticks that taper on either end. We learned the proper way of holding them - behind one arm, the way Duncan MacLoed holds his katana, or in both hands, in an overhand grip.
Then we twirled them like very large and heavy batons, and then we did some techniques using them to block. This was because Dominique just had her first stick class, and was given permission to teach it to us.
She also talked about her own stick - how it's measured to fit (hold stick vertically. Put hand over head to grasp stick. Put other hand over the first. Any over that hand is superfluous.
My stick was six inches too long. :) There was also talk about the "energy" of one's own equipment, whether it be weapon or belt. Riki and I were skeptical, of course.
But stickwork was *fun*.
I did a lot of running today, because Master Dominique wasn't there. She left instructions with Master Ian - I was to start running when the mat was free until she arrived. That took fifteen minutes. :) We did alternative stretches today instead of the 24. I'm still managing to put my foot back instead of in front for one movement. I'm rather proud.
Then we did more fighting. This time, it was attack and escape - person A attacks, person B escapes, or blocks if she has to. This was *fun* and a great workout. And I even got Riki in the corner. Things got a bit more intense when we switched to attack and counterattack. Riki, in sparring with Dominique, did a back roll but did it over her head, not her shoulder, and in the end, I managed to get her to crash into "George", our boxing dummy. I didn't mean to.
But then I didn't mean to kick as well as block at one point or block without thought at another point. I'm doing these things on instinct now. That's scary and great at the same time.
Oh, and Riki gave me a good shot to the leg as block. Still hurts. "Don't tell your husband." :)
I kinda like being a little dangerous.