Flashback The first step of a million miles.

3rd Spring 515

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Built into the cliffs overlooking the Suvan Sea, Riverfall resides on the edge of grasslands of Cyphrus where the Bluevein River plunges off the plain and cascades down to the inland sea below. Home of the Akalak, Riverfall is a self-supporting city populated by devoted warriors. [Riverfall Codex]

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The first step of a million miles.

Postby Lazryn Lazak on April 28th, 2015, 12:00 am

Lazryn sat in his own room, it was the early hours of the day and he was yet to fully arise from his slumber. Instead he sat on the edge of his bed, as he did most mornings, and contemplated what he would occupy his day with as well as what he had learned yesterday. Often his dreams would have incorporated some aspects of what he had experienced the day before, his mind was driven that way; focused on its objective even when resting.

Last night had been a rarity however, for his dream had not incorporated any of the lessons he had learnt the day before. Rather, it had curiously taken him back to his early days of training when he had been a novice learning the basics of arts he now understood more thoroughly than he did his own mind.
Many things had changed since he had begun training though few years had passed truly, at least in the eyes of the Akalak. He was a boy then, and Liyak had not even emerged yet. Things had been simpler then, so much simpler.

It is commonly said that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, if that were true then Lazryn could definitely pick out the day he had taken his first step…
Last edited by Lazryn Lazak on April 28th, 2015, 12:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
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The first step of a million miles.

Postby Lazryn Lazak on April 28th, 2015, 12:01 am

Today was the day, today was the day he finally began his training. From this day forth he would be a warrior in training, and one day he would be putting what he learned today into practice. Excitement did not begin to capture what he was feeling.

His father had brought him to the training hall and had deposited him into the hands of the Akalak whom had the honour of leading the fledglings in their first days of training, a huge wiry Akalak with a deep plum complexion. Asurius was his name, and he smiled at the fifteen or so children gathered in front of him as the last of them filed into the box formation he had asked them to group themselves into.

“Hello, I am Asurius and I shall be your first instructor in regards to unarmed combat, though I am sure that your fathers will have taught you the basics before now.

I want all of you to partner up and take up a fighting stance opposite your partner, as if you were about to fight. Though don’t be getting any ideas, it will be a while before you lot are sparring each other got it?

Good, now partner up and get into position.”

The next few minutes were chaos, the children skittered around finding their respective friends and clumsily trying to get into the fighting stance that their fathers’ had shown them, or in some cases it seemed as if there were those amongst the children just copying their partner as best as they could.

Lazryn had several friends in amongst the group, but he wasn’t really the type to rush around or the kind that relied on comradery to take part in an exercise. So, he had ended up with a young pale blue Akalak whose name he did not know before now. The boy had indicated to Lazryn from a few feet away with a curious dip of his head and a childish grin, when Lazryn had smiled back the boy had walked over and introduced himself as Sutikal.

After exchanging pleasantries the two snapped into attention as the instructor approached, each of them quickly raised their hands and shifted into the bodily position their father adopted during combat, and thus the one they had been taught. Lazryn was surprised when Sutikal adopted a totally different stance to him, but before he could question the boy Asurius was upon them.

The instructor quickly circled each of them, examining every aspect of their stance before coming to a stop on their right hand side. Looking as Sutikal’s stance he smiled and took a step back;

“Not bad for a beginner boy, I want you to tell me your name and then tell me why you took this stance, and what benefits you think it grants you in a fight.”
Sutikal paused for a moment, seemingly staggered by the request his new instructor laid upon him. Eventually he nodded and spoke up, in an uncertain voice;

“Hi sir, my name is Sutikal.

My dad taught me that this was the best stance to take for fighting, and he also said that I should place my front supporting leg forward and twist my body away from my opponent and also place my power leg behind my body. I was to keep my hands near my chest…Eh, so that I could punch wherever I wanted I think?

That’s all I can remember sorry sir.”

Asurius did not seem pleased or displeased by what the boy said, instead he nodded and then proceeded to probe the boy further;

“Do you know what your most powerful tool is in this stance Sutikal?”

The boy did not hesitate, grinning with a hint of pride in his self-assurance he announced; “My back leg!”

Asurius nodded affirmatively, and then turned his attention to Lazryn without a further word to the first boy. He gave Lazryn a quick once-over again, and then began examining his stance as he had for Sutikal ; “I’d like you to follow Sutikal’s lead please, name and then your reason for adopting this stance.”

Smiling to the man that would teach him the skills he would need for the rest of his life, Lazryn tried not to think too much about how important his relationship with this man might be;

“Hello Asurius sir, my name is Lazryn Lazak

For starters I place my support leg in front my body, though only as far as I can whilst keeping a neutral spine with my shoulder above my hips. I keep my back leg directly below my body with its’ foot turned to a slight angle to open your hips up to allow for more fluid centre-mass movement, I also stay keep my rear heel off of the ground to allow for explosive forward and lateral movement. My body is squared onto my opponents, with both of my hands raised up to head level to protect my face and my arms kept tight against my torso to protect my body.

I continuously bounce on my toes, both to set myself into a rhythm and to disguise the natural tightening of my muscles as I prepare to throw an attack.

Without going into the specifics of attacking that’s all I know Sir.”

He grinned as he finished his explanation of what his father had taught him, he had spent as much time listening to the reasons why this was how best to stand in a fight as he had actually training to use it in a fight. He was fairly sure of his knowledge about what he was capable of so far.

Perhaps his confidence was too great, for Asurius seemed to scowl for a moment before he asked the same question he had of Sutikal, though this time his voice held a taint irritance;

I presume you know what your most effective weapon is then Lazryn?”

Lazryn was not as quick to answer as his partner had been, he didn’t like rushing things in case he overlooked something, but after only a moment he replied in a slow, educated and deliberate manner. In truth he could see that his instructor had been annoyed for some reason by his previous answer, and he was wondering what the reason for that was;

“My father has always taught me that controlling the flow of a fight is more important than throwing the strongest attacks, so I would say my support leg is my most important weapon sir; as it is both the centre from which the majority of my attacks are based, and can also be used quickly to off-balance my foe.”

Asurius eyed Lazryn up suspiciously for a moment before nodding and carrying on wordlessly. Lazryn was unsure if what he had said was correct, the emotion on his instructors’ face had not been as passive as it had been when he had questioned his partner, somehow Lazryn seemed to have irked the man. Perhaps it was his confidence in his answer, perhaps it was because it was unwarranted confidence?

Had Lazryn misremembered what his father had told him? Or had he left something out, or misinterpreted what his father meant? He had doubts now where there had been none before, perhaps he was not as knowledgeable as he had thought he was.

Regardless of what he knew or did not know though, Asurius had Lazryn wanting to learn what he was doing wrong. He wanted to know what he could improve on, perhaps Sukital’s stance was more effective…

One thing was certain; all they had done so far was stand on the spot and Lazryn was beginning to see why it took even the most devoted of the Akalak decades to be considered competent in any form of combat…
Last edited by Lazryn Lazak on April 28th, 2015, 12:13 am, edited 2 times in total.
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The first step of a million miles.

Postby Lazryn Lazak on April 28th, 2015, 12:01 am

Once Asurius had completed his examination, and questioning, of the children he returned to the front of the group. As he retook his place at the front of the class the smile that he had had at the beginning of the session returned instantly, as he spoke his eyes moved around the room staying on no on individual for any length of time;

“Okay guys that was great, it looks like we’ve got a good range of skill levels in here but you all seem to understand the basics of what you’re doing. Some of you know what you’re doing, but don’t know why. Some of you know what you’re meant to do, but you’re not quite doing it right. One thing is certain, and to be expected, you are all novices in the art of unarmed fighting. Do not worry however, as that is why I am here. One day you will be the pride of Riverfall, but do not think this honour will simply fall into your laps. This is the first day of your training boys, the first day of the rest of your lives!

Now, around the edges of the room you will see a collection of bags and training dummys. I want all of you to go and find a teaching implement and stand in front of it in your fighting stance, make sure that you end up next to your partner as well!”

Once again Lazryn and Sutikal hung back as the young Akalak exploded into action, watching as they all rushed towards the human-shaped training dummy’s and tried to avoid ending up in front of one of the strange cylindrical bags that hung from the ceiling by chains. When the dust settled all that was left for Lazryn and Sutikal, surprisingly enough, was two heavy bags at the back of the room which they made their way towards just as Asurius made his way to the middle of the room and began speaking again;

“Okay, now that you all have a target I want you to demonstrate what you know. Don’t worry this isn’t a test, I’m not marking who is the best at what and who doesn’t know what they’re doing.

I will be walking around and helping everyone out, and trust me everyone will need help.

One last thing boys, remember this is just the first day; take it easy, this is about lightly demonstrating your technique not about hammering your target with all your power. On you go.”

Once Asurius had finished Lazryn turned to face the browny-grey bag that hung in front of him, it was wider and taller than he was and was elevated about half a foot from the ground. He had never used something like this to train before, his father had only showed him the very basics of fighting technique he had very rarely implemented it on anything, even inanimate objects. Taking a breath he bent his knees slightly and got into stance.

For a moment he simply bounced on his feet, unsure as what exactly he was meant to be demonstrating on this giant flower-sack, but after that moment of hesitation he mentally shrugged and threw his left hand outwards for a jab.

He grimaced as his fist impacted on the surprisingly solid surface of the bag, it must have been packed tight because it felt akin to punching a wall. He watched as the bag moved backwards perhaps a millimetre from his impact, and began swinging ever so slightly though the motion was minuscule.

He shook his left hand off and then threw another jab, this time however he quickly followed it up by throwing his right hand afterwards. After throwing the two punches he reset into his starting position and stared at bag, with a rising focus as his hands stung from the impacts.

This isn’t just a bag, it’s the enemy. Its causing me pain, that makes it the enemy! He threw a quick succession of punches again.

A sudden grunt, followed by an explosive thudding sound to his immediate right caused Lazryn to lose his focus and look to see what had caused it. He turned just in time to see Sutikal retracting his right leg and placing it back behind his body, the bag in front of his partner was swinging several inches from side to side, far more than his own was moving.

Kicks, of course! Idiot…

In his rush to simply hit the bag Lazryn had forgotten perhaps his most essential weapons, his legs. Facing his own bag once again he threw another two punches, but this time he lifted his right leg up and threw it into the bag afterwards to finish the combo before resetting back into position.

“A good combination, one to keep in mind but your execution could use some work Lazryn.” Asurius said as he suddenly appeared at Lazryn’s side, he extended his hand out and stopped the heavy bag in its tracks;

“Watch, I’ll demonstrate how you’re doing it, and then how you can improve on what you’re doing.”

Lazryn took several steps backwards to allow Asurius ample room to demonstrate.

“Firstly, you throwing every strike individually. Following one another, but you’re not allowing them to flow as naturally as they should.”

Raising his hands up to his chin Asurius turned to face the bag, taking up a stance that was similar to Lazryn’s with a few modifications he tried to take note of before the man set to work, which was a mere fraction of a second. Throwing his whole left arm forward as if it were some sort of club he was trying to drive through the bag Asurius mimicked Lazryn’s movements, he realized, all to perfectly. The follow-up right hand came a second or so after the left one had landed, and then Asurius’s right leg came off the ground at an awkward angle and hit into the bag. Each individual strike had sounded like two weighted clubs hitting each other but the bag did not move overly much more than it had done for Sutikal’s strikes.

Turning to face him again Asurius motioned towards the bag;

“Sure, that sounded good and it would have hurt someone, but that is only because I am strong myself not because I had good technique. You’ve got to use perfect technique to maximize the impact of your strikes, like this watch.”

Whipping back around Asurius became a blur of motion almost instantly. No sooner had his hands came back up to his chin than he had thrown the left, then the right, and then his right leg came upwards and cut into the bag. Each strike had sounded almost like the crack of a whip, and every one had left a small dent in the bag, most noticeably the long cut-shaped dent left by the kick.

Asurius did not speak before he repeated the action, this time seemingly in slow motion, probably so Lazryn could actually keep up this time.

He watched as Asurius took a small step forward with his left foot as he threw the jab, his entire shoulder extended out with the punch not just his arm, in fact his entire torso rotated into the punch. He drew the punch directly back to his face, not lowering his hand at all, and the moment his left was back he threw his right hand forward. This time his left foot moved outwards, towards the left of the bag, and was twisted so that it was pointed towards the far wall of the room instead of behind the bag. Once again his entire torso, and the connected shoulder followed his punch through. The moment his cross impacted with the bag Asurius began swinging his arm down, as if he were tossing something away in anger, and he also began lifting his right leg; which was utterly relaxed and almost entirely straight. Since his left foot was now fully supporting his weight, and was off-centre with the bag, Asurius had to turn his hips into the kick as he swung his leg inwards so that it properly hit the bag. When the kick landed he brought the leg back down at normal speed and then reset back in front of the bag.

He performed the combination one more time, at full speed, and Lazryn watched in awe at the speed and power of his instructor as his body flowed from one strike into the next. Once Asurius had finished demonstrating the technique for a third time he turned to face Lazryn, walking away from the bag and motioning for the boy to retake his place;

“Okay, let’s see if you picked up on what I changed there. Don’t worry if you didn’t, I can show you again if need be.”

Walking back in front of the bag Lazryn raised his fists and slipped into his stance. He could feel Asurius watching him now, he wanted to impress his new teacher so he took a moment to steady himself.

Taking it slowly he jabbed at the bag, taking a creeping forward as he done so, and then followed up with the right straight and then the kick, remembering to throw his arm down as Asurius had. The bag swung from left to right as he retook his stance, more than it had before which caused him to smile slightly at his improvement.

“You forgot to step outwards, your hips aren’t open as wide as they could be meaning your kick is lacking power. Work on that, but other than that you’re doing very well. I’ll be back around in a bit, I want you to work on that.”

The sidestep!! Urgh, how could he be so forgetful, he had literally just saw what he was meant to do. He would get it right this time!

Continuing to take it slowly Lazryn repeated the combination, trying his best to mimic Asurius’s exact movements…
Last edited by Lazryn Lazak on April 28th, 2015, 12:15 am, edited 2 times in total.
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The first step of a million miles.

Postby Lazryn Lazak on April 28th, 2015, 12:02 am

After about fifteen minutes Asurius had asked them to swap up, so that those who had been hitting training dummies were now using the bags and vice versa. He said that each of the training implements had distinct purposes and that it was useful to mix up their usage.

He was fully fired up when he had reached the training dummy, and he wasted no time in firing off the combination Asurius had showed him. Step and jab, side-step and straight, pivot and kick. The target he was up against was packed with straight and was a crude human figure, with the beginnings of arms at the sides, and a head on top. He planted each of the punches into the head of the dummy, and brought the kick into the side of its’ stomach. He felt almost entirely confident with technique already, though he was sure that Asurius would quickly find fault with it.

Regardless, with a new target he felt it was time to try a new combination. He stood in front of his imaginary foe for a moment, thinking of what set of strikes he should string together this time, and also how best to do so; last time he had simply thrown the strikes, and had not considered his foot placement and how to optimize each strike. This time he wouldn’t be so haphazard about his technique.

Nodding as he decided on a technique he took this one very slowly to start; throwing a right straight into the dummy’s would-be-face he took a small step outwards with his left foot as he had during the last combo, keeping his right hand up to guard his face he twisted his body ever so slightly to the left and then released the resulting tension as he threw his left hand towards the side of the head, keeping his elbow at an almost ninety degree angle. The moment his left hand made contact with the dummy’s stuffed head he spun his body back against the coil he had built up, bringing his right leg up he pivoted on his left and twisted his hips as he used his shin to cut into the dummy’s body. Keeping his hands up, he moved back to the front of the dummy and repeated the combination, picking up some speed this time.

He could feel how much stronger his strikes were than when he first started, footwork and core-rotation as key to controlling the power of every strike. He understood that now, it was so obvious he was a little annoyed at himself he hadn’t thought of it before, and also at his father for not telling him. Though, perhaps this was something best discovered yourself. Still, this was certainly not all his father had neglected to tell him and it was not the last lesson Lazryn would learn by himself either.

He caught a glimpse of Asurius approaching him from the corner of his eye, focusing he---

Lazryn snapped back to reality suddenly, forcing himself out of nostalgia before he lost too much of the day to it. It wasn’t a bad thing to rest and think on what you have learned from the previous day, or even to think on your training from years ago, but it was not something he endorsed doing at this time of the day when he should be jumping into action.

He had lost enough of the day to memory and lollygagging, though in the grand scheme of things it wasn’t a very noticeable amount of time at all every moment spent abed or resting was a moment not spent bettering one’s physical body.

Speaking of which Lazryn was feeling a trip to the weight room today, it had been a few days since he had done his full-body workout…
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The first step of a million miles.

Postby Ashar on May 6th, 2015, 7:37 am

Skill XP Earned
Unarmed Combat 5
Observation 3

Asurius: Unarmed Combat Instructor
Unarmed Combat: Fists Close to Chest for Protection
Unarmed Combat: Proper Bracing Allows Quick Movement
Unarmed Combat: Legs are Powerful Weapons
Unarmed Combat: Using the Body to Help Punch

Additional Comments
Not a bad first thread. Your posts were detailed when it was Lazryn's turn to act, which netted you some additional experience points. Although I see some grammar mistakes, they're the kind that will go away as you write more with people.

In case no one's talked with you about Flashbacking, I'll include a brief explanation. For Flashbacks, you can just write as you would in any other thread. Your first post is unnecessary in a Flashback thread, though you can still earn experience points in present posts. However, when you're writing a Flashback with someone else, it's very important to keep all your posts in either the present or the past to avoid confusion.

Other than that, you have the idea down. Don't forget to edit your grading request to reflect that this thread has been graded.
Ashar is being renovated. Be patient!

"Do not try to fight yourself. Such is the road to chaos."
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