Closed [The Stone Garden] Flux in Motion

Michael trains in using the Flux and unarmed combat.

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This shining population center is considered the jewel of The Sylira Region. Home of the vast majority of Mizahar's population, Syliras is nestled in a quiet, sprawling valley on the shores of the Suvan Sea. [Lore]

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[The Stone Garden] Flux in Motion

Postby Michael Kyber on March 13th, 2017, 9:57 pm

Image
Spring 6th, 517AV


In was no great secret that the Flux was designed to be used to augment physical combat. The ability to increase your physical strength was powerful enough, but give that power to a person who knew how to properly wield that strength and you had a living weapon on your hands.

After becoming a squire Michael had searched the Syliran archives for a fighting style he could study that could allow him to make the most use of the Flux, and after a bit of searching he'd found one. Unsurprisingly the Syliran Knight's order, which valued fighting prowess, had a number of hand-to-hand combat styles developed by various members of the order over the years, and among them Michael had finally found one developed with the intention of being used with the Flux in mind. An Akalak who'd joined the order many years ago who'd had previous training in the Flux had developed a style for knights who wished to use the Flux to fight with that incorporated the ideals of honor, discipline and protecting the weak into it's core values.

This style was called Syliran Suvanja, and was created by blended the Akalak's native fighting style, records of Suvanja and the techniques that the order's weaponmasters had developed for themselves over the years. The style revolved around creating a strong defense, both for the fighter and for anyone around them, and it's movements were designed to be used by people wearing both the standard and light Syliran Knight armor sets. Being as the one using it was assumed to be wearing armor most of the moves ignored lighter attacks headed towards the chest and other areas covered by armor, and contained few quick or nimble moves a person couldn't pull while wearing plate armor. However what it lacked in agility it made up for with straight and powerful attacks that could bring the full weight of a knight's armor crashing into an enemies critical point, and the way it made use of its protected areas to become practically invincible to anything less than the heaviest of weapons.

The key revolved around to things; stances and finishing blows. Stances referred both to the position one started in and the moves they then moved into in order to be the most effective in certain situations; the flowing water stance for example was a set of moves one used at the start of combat against multiple opponents in order to redirect the opponents moves against each other without tiring yourself so much, whilst the raging bull stance was used against a single opponent as they began to tire, and focused on a flurry of explosive movements to quickly crush them while they were vulnerable. With each stance one mastered they could become better against fighting a certain type of opponent or situation.

Finishing blows however where the area that the Flux came into play. The creator of Syliran Suvanja went to great pains to emphasize that a popular myth about the Flux being about striking a harmony within the body was a complete lie, the Flux was in fact damaging and hazardous to one body if used too much or for too long. They maintained that Flux was best used by not being used at all until an opportunity presented itself, such as a the opponent misstep or being distracted, and then using it in one powerful move to annihilate them. Hence the name finishing blows; they were supposed to finish the fight in one strike. To that end the creator had developed a range of moves, ranging from the simplest punches to intricate flipping kicks, that all had exacting instruction on not just how to perfectly moves one's body but where and how much one was supposed to focus their djed into. Used at the end of a combination of moves that breaks the opponents guard, the finishing blow could end the blow there and then. Each blow also had a name to be used as an incantation so that, along with the moves themselves serving as gestures, one could stay in the right focused frame of mind for using magic and for fighting.

Having withdrawn the book Michael, clad in his full Syliran Knight plate armor, once again found himself in the stone gardens for another round of training. First of all he took the time to sit down cross legged and allow his mind to empty as much as it could of all stray thoughts and feeling, bringing his focus solely onto himself and his awareness of his own body. Then he stood up again and ran through a series of light stretches to warm up and limber his body in preparation for his workout.

He then dropped into his first stance; the basic stance. It was designed to be best for the untrained user to tackle a variety of situation in, and as its name implied was easy to understand. His legs were spaced a shoulders length apart, with the knees slightly bent, the back foot facing sideways and the front foot forward to give the body a firm grip on the ground and allow it to alternate directions of attack fairly easily. Michael's strong arm formed his "sword arm", it was kept tucked down by the side of his waist with a clenched fist like a sheathed sword would be, hidden by his body from an opponent at the front's line of sight and ready to shoot out and strike at any moment. His weaker arm was also balled into a fist, and was kept extended towards the opponent as if pointing towards them to form the "shield arm". This arm stopped the opponent from getting close enough to the rest of the body to do any damage and stood ready to react at the first sign of a threat.

Happy with his stance Michael began to walk through the first of his katas; a series of moves designed to be repeated again and again to get one used to throwing those moves and teach the brain to flow smoothly from one move to another in actual combat. Each stance had a number of katas one had to learn to master a stance, with the basic stance having a katas formed of very simple moves like standard punches, blocks and kicks. Michael first attempt at the kata didn't go well however; though the moves had been designed to be used by someone wearing plate armor Michael didn't get the subtleties of the moves, such as the twists of his hips or the placement of his feet right, and the moves unbalanced him and didn't sit right in his armor. As he attempted a high kick to an imaginary foes chest the weight of the metal around his shins caused the momentum to carry on far past the point Michael had wanted to hit, and with a grunt of surprise his balance toppled and he collapsed face first onto the floor.

This was going to be a long day...
Last edited by Michael Kyber on March 30th, 2017, 12:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Michael Kyber
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[The Stone Garden] Flux in Motion

Postby Michael Kyber on March 15th, 2017, 3:18 pm

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Picking himself up again and starting off in the basic stance, Michael imagined that in front of him stood an unarmed enemy; a blank, faceless figure in armor like his. To start his kata Michael stepped forward and shot his right arm out from his waist straight into the imaginary foes chest, twisting his fist as it hit to deliver the most force. As his fist collided the imaginary foe vanished in a puff of smoke, and another one appeared by his side, swinging a sidekick up to his chest.

Quickly Michael brought his foot back in and bent lower at the knees, tightening his grip on the ground. He snapped his sword arm back up, bending at the elbow so that his forearm faced skyward and blocked the incoming kick. He then twisted with his hips and punched forwards at the exposed leg with his left arm, hitting it on the calf.

The enemy stepped backwards out of the kick and slid his hit leg behind him, bringing his arms closer to him in a defensive stance. Michael stepped forward to make a punch again, but the hit was easily blocked and the opponent retreated back another step.

Michael stepped forward to shot a quick front kick at the opponents guard, however misjudged the weight of his armor and stumbled. His false opponent waited silently as Michael stepped back in to his previous stance, its blank face still and expressionless. When he was ready again, Michael kicked out again at the enemies guard, trading speed for mindfulness of balance as his boot collided with a pair of imaginary arms.

As the opponents arms went up and received the kick, Michael brought his foot down quickly and used the momentum to step forwards into a succession of two punches, twisting his hips and fists with the blows put as much force as he could behind them. The punches hit the insides of his opponents crossed arms, weakening them and breaking and opening in his guard. With another step Michael forced with way forwards and through his imaginary opponents broken guard, leaving him with a clear path straight to the enemies unguarded torso.

Time for the finish blow.

Michael pulled his sword arm back to his waist, bracing his legs and putting his whole body behind one simple but powerful punch. As he did he gathered the djed from around his body and focused it into his sword arm, which began to stretch and shake as it tried to contain the influx of djed within it. With a shout Michael unleashed the punch with all the strength he could.

"Hammer Fist!"

His punch sailed cleanly through the imaginary opponents chest, exploding the opponent into another puff of vapours. His body lurched as the punch reached the length of him arm and pulled at his arm socket as the strength behind it recoiled back along him.Gods that punch had a kick to it, he could see why one needed to start holding back on their flux use as they reach higher levels with it; a stronger punch than that could very well dislocate his shoulder.

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Michael Kyber
A Good Man with a Bad Cause
 
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[The Stone Garden] Flux in Motion

Postby Michael Kyber on March 18th, 2017, 8:38 pm

Image


For his next kata, Michael took a deep breath to centre himself and then positioned himself into the basic stance once again. In his mind's eye the faceless fighter appeared again in a fighting stance mirroring his own, and slowly walked forward until their fists were about a hairs breath away.

Without a word the figure snapped forward in a overhead chop, and Michael shuffled back and flicked his arm up to block the incoming blow. As the figure repeated its attack twice more Michael drew back and repeated his block twice as well, and then quickly crouched lower and moved his block down to catch the low kick his opponent followed up with.

Sensing his chance to take the offensive, Michael stepped into the imaginary enemies space and pivoted so that his leg jammed up against the enemies knee, stopping him from closing his leg, and then elbowed them in the side. The figure moved with the blow and swung his leg out to get out of Michael's lock, retreating back a few steps to put some distance between them.

Seeing the opportunity to take the offensive, Michael pushed forwards with a roundhouse kick. It was an attack that took far too long to execute and so his opponent backed away in plenty of time, so when his kick failed Michael brought his foot back down and twisted into a sidekick, which was again avoided.

Michael followed up with a punch, which his imagined foe blocked with an open palm and retaliated with a punch of its own. Michael blocked it with a palm of his own, and fell into a steady rhythm of blocking and punching, keeping the speed of his enemies attacks only just fast enough for him to catch if he stayed concentrated.

Feeling himself starting to tire, Michael decided to bring his kata to a close. As the enemy punched again Michael redirected the attack upwards with his block and swept their feet out from under them, sending them lurching forward and tumbling down to the ground.

Focusing all of his concentration onto his right leg, Michael willed the djed around his body to focus down into it. He felt the strain in his muscles as the flux built up in his leg, and brought it up skyward as the strength he could muster reached its peak.

"Axe Kick!"

The leg came crashing straight down, the heel leading it as it cut through the imaginary foes torso like an axe. In order to avoid seriously injuring himself Michael reduced most of the power behind the blow and flattened his foot out as it hit the ground, but even so winced slightly as his foot hit the floor with a loud slapping sound.

Damn, it really was tricky to guess how much extra force the flux could put behind a hit.

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Michael Kyber
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[The Stone Garden] Flux in Motion

Postby Michael Kyber on March 30th, 2017, 5:30 pm

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Deciding that he'd done enough work on his katas for the day, Michael switched his attention onto practicing a simple but important move in martial arts, the double kick. The idea behind a double kick was simple; one performed a regular side kick up to the point where their foot connected with the opponent, and then held the sidekick position as they snapped their leg back and kicked out at the opponent again, ideally in a place just a bit lower or higher than the first kick.

Though it sounded simple, actually keeping your balance after delivering a (hopefully) powerful kick required a lot of practice. The good news was that when one learnt that proper balance it became easier to turn a double kick into a triple kick, then a quadruple kick, then so on and on until you could kick repeatedly without limit.

Bearing in mind that a good sense of balance was required, Michael begun his training by raising one leg up into kicking position and holding his balance on one leg for as long as he could. At first the results were predictably terrible; no sooner had Michael taken up the stance than his balance would start to slip, and like a falling tree Michael would tip down in one direction and fall to the floor.

And whenever he did Michael would sit up, brush himself off, and then take up the pose again. Over and over again he stood, and over and over again he fell, but each time he did the time he could hold the kicking pose grew fractionally longer and longer. It was about a bell and a half later when Michael found he was able to hold the kicking pose for about five seconds, more than long enough for what he had in mind.

Michael then chose one of the trees about the clearing to use as a target, and mentally marked three spots at different levels of the tree; one at waist level, one at shoulder level, and one at head level. He took up a fighting stance, and then launched into a sidekick at the middle spot, snapping his foot back after he felt the attack connect. He tried to then twist in for another attack to the head, but misjudged how much he should turn his hips and only landed a weak blow that tripped him over.

Once again he hit the floor. And, with a groan of frustration, once again he got up again.

Father had always said that the best way to learn was by repetition. Keep doing anything you were bad at again and again and eventually, through the hard fire of trial and error, each imperfection and failure would be chipped away until before you knew it you were a master. There was no substitute for practice, one just needed the focus to keep going even when there seemed like no hope in sight. And so Michael practiced the kick over and over again, regardless of the passing bells, until he was able to land a kick, flick it to another target, and then lnd back in his original stance. By the end of it his foot ached, but it was worth it where he compared his success to his many early failures.

His foot was starting to ache from the practice, but Michael readied himself into a stance one more time. There was still one more thing he wanted to try before calling it a day. Again Michael focused the djed inside him to concentrate into his leg, feeling it flush with an abundance of strength. He swung his leg at the tree in a side kick...

And flew to the floor as the strength of his own kick threw his balance off. He could feel his toes twitching slightly without his control, and realized that he was starting to come closer to overgiving. His leg had gone through enough already today, he shouldn't be putting undue pressure on it now. That was enough training for today, he'd have to learn a flux double kick another time.

Michael speaking in: Common | Fratava | Nader-Canoch
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Michael Kyber
A Good Man with a Bad Cause
 
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[The Stone Garden] Flux in Motion

Postby Samuel Longwell on May 30th, 2017, 5:13 pm

Grading Complete


Please edit your grade request thread so that it's obvious that it's been graded. Feel free to PM me if you have any questions/problems with your grade.


Name: Michael

XP Award:
  • Meditation 1
  • Unarmed Combat 3
  • Flux 3
  • Endurance 2
  • Acrobatics 1
Lore:
  • Flux: Damages the body
  • Unarmed Combat: Simple kata
  • Flux: Use sparingly
Rewards: +2 Shield Points for training

Notes: This was a good training thread, however I decided that your use of a perfect double kick as a Novice was unrealistic, so I didn't award a point in unarmed combat for the last post. If you want to do "Bells of practice", and see serious improvement I would recommend a series of threads on the one session. Your flux on the other hand was good throughout. You had signs of overgiving, your strikes became unwieldy with the added force behind them and you were not always successful. Enjoy your grades.
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