Completed (Empyreal Demsesne) Arming with Knowledge

Dess gives self-defense training to several Demesne denizens.

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While Sylira is by far the most civilized region of Mizahar, countless surprises and encounters await the traveler in its rural wilderness. Called the Wildlands, Syliran's wilderness is comprised of gradual rolling hills in the south that become deep wilderness in the north. Ruins abound throughout the wildlands, and only the well-marked roads are safe.

(Empyreal Demsesne) Arming with Knowledge

Postby Dessarian on August 12th, 2019, 4:35 pm

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Timestamp: 50th of Summer

Kelski and Dess had discussed it early on. While the establishment of the Demesne and the Meraki was going well and in relative safety, the number of potential threats were increasing. Dess took on the responsibility of getting the able bodied of the settlers and guildmembers who did not have formal defense training or ability to a state of readiness. Readiness both against an overall attack on their home, as well as a more nefarious, personal attack against the individual. While Dess would give lessons in basic self-defense and unarmed combat, hopefully others among them trained in arms will help teach the use of weapons.

Dess selected a few of what he considered the most vulnerable among them to join him at the beach. The sparring ring in the proposed practice grounds was not ready yet, so they would meet at the beach. Lynneah and Darcee knew the most basic concepts from being or living with the Damazar. The Ember and Keesha were as well, but they were young enough to benefit. He'd wish Mercy had been taught earlier in her life, unfortunately, she had become a victim. Dess invited her specifically. Darcee would look after Caitlyn while Mercy participated. Lastly, Ebon was kind enough to agree to help Dess as a sort of living practice dummy.

Once the small group reached the beach, Dess directed his three students where to stand. He wore a pair of cotton pants and an untucked shirt, but had removed his shoes before they walked out onto the sand. He had advised the lion Kelvic and the girls to dress in similar comfortable clothes. Ebon carried a sack of feed at Dess's request.

"Thanks for coming down here with me today." Dess offered with a smile. He knew all three of the learners pretty well, Ember from birth, Keesha since she was a child and Mercy since Kelski had brought him home to the Gem. So Dess didn't feel a need to be formal. "You know there is good reason for us to be wise and ready. Today, I just want to go over with you some basic things to protect yourself, whether you are over in Zeltiva, out in the woods or even around here." He began. Ebon stood close by, ready.

Ember was already distracted, staring at a train of ants moving across the sand. Dess smirked. He knew the Kelvic youngster would be a challenge. She was a mouse after all, and had a need to move almost constantly. "Bug..." Dess quipped, using his nickname for his best friend's daughter.

"Huh? Oh...." The girl looked up, big eyes meeting Dess's and then delivering the toothy smile that could slay her adopted uncle. She giggled a bit.

"Really, what I would want you to do is to avoid danger in the first place." Dess started. "We aware of your surroundings, even in a place you feel is safe. When you walk, walk with your head up. Look around you..all around. Not just straight ahead. Glance behind you now and then. Pay attention. The danger from a common thug is can be avoided by showing you are on the watch. He is a coward looking for easy prey. Someone walking with their head down who isn't wary is easy to sneak up on. Someone who is alert is not as tempting a target. So look and listen.

"Like when dad was busy writing a scroll and you sneaked up and dumped a bucket of cold water over his head?" Ember interjected with excitement. "Boy, was he mad." The Kelvic mouse giggled again.

"Um...yeah, kind of like that." Dess laughed.

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Last edited by Dessarian on August 14th, 2019, 2:28 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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(Empyreal Demsesne) Arming with Knowledge

Postby Dessarian on August 13th, 2019, 6:16 pm

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Dess looked from Ember to Keesha to Mercy. He hoped they would consider what he was saying. The Damazar took Kelski's kidnapping very personal, alarmed that someone could snatch her away from right under their noses. Granted, she was an infant, and could not defend herself. But he cared for every one of the people in front of him, and he took their individual safety very personally.

"Being lulled into a false sense of security is dangerous, but changing a few practices can make a difference, and once they become normal, you don't even think about them. For instance, don't go off alone where no one else can see you. An attacker will find a place where you are out of sight of others. And be unpredictable. If you take a walk every morning, change up your path, so no one can plan a good place to surprise you."

The sea breeze kicked up and blew his hair in his face. Dess paused to brush it away, then stepped back to stand next to Ebon. He rested a hand on the healer's shoulder. "But, if you do find yourself faced with an attacker, make a lot of noise, so other's know you are in danger. Your goal is to do what you can to get away. This is where you can't be afraid to get physical.

"I can turn into a mouse and run away." Ember declared with a bit of pride.

"I know Bug, but in some situation you may not be able to." Dess reminded the young Kelvic. "So, you want to buy yourself enough time to run. Every one has weak spots. These are good places in the body to go for if you have to fight." Dess pointed at Ebon's eyes. "The eyes. Poke or scratch them. It will hurt and disorient your attacker." Then he indicated Ebon's nose. "The nose hurts when you hit it good too. Makes eyes water so its harder to see." He moved to stand in front of Ebon, turning the man so the girls could watch from the side. Dess held his hand out flat, vertically and slowly brought the heel of his palm up towards Ebon's nose.

"Like this..." He twisted his torso in demonstration. "Put your whole body behind it. Don't be afraid to hit hard. They won't be. Or..." he turned his back to Ebon. "If they are behind you, try using your elbow. " Dess Demonstrated by swinging his elbow back as if to hit the Kelvic's nose. Turning around he faced Ebon again, but looked to his students.

"You may not think about it, but ears are sensitive, clapping hard against them..." Dess demonstrated by pretending to smack Ebon's ears with the flat of his hands. The Damazar turned to the girls. "Now, where else do you think would be a weak spot to hit someone?" He asked, looking for some participation.

Keesha chimed in. "The man hangers." She burst out laughing, as did Ember. Mercy tried to stifle her giggling. Dess sealed his lips tight, but could not hide the smile. Ebon looked confused. "That's what mama said you called them when you taught her."

Dess composed himself and pointed at Keesha. "Well, she is right." He looked to Ebon, then looked back. "You know where they are, and they are very sensitive." Dess stepped closer to Ebon, patting his shoulder as if to reassure the lion man that it would be alright. "Now, don't try to kick there. It's too easy to get your foot grabbed. You will have to get close enough to use your knee." The Damazar grabbed Ebon's shoulders, pulling him down as he lifted his knee between the man's legs, as if to strike.

"Pull him into it, use all your strength, and you won't have to worry about him grabbing you. You can also hit them, make your hand flat and swing up between the legs. Like this." He demonstrated. "And as a last resort, you may have to grab and squeeze."

"Ewwwww!" Ember protested. Keesha turned to the young Kelvic. "You do what you gotta do to get away, no matter whati!" She chastised.

"Keesha's right, there is no rules. When its life and death you do what you have to and use what you have to hit, punch, bite, whatever to get way." Dess reminded them all.

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(Empyreal Demsesne) Arming with Knowledge

Postby Dessarian on August 14th, 2019, 1:28 pm

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"Alright, so, lets try a few strikes, to get a feel of how to hit someone." Dess continued. "Ebon, would you hold that?" The Damazar gestured to the sack of grain they had set in the sand nearby. They had chosen a smallish sack, one large enough to absorb light blows, but light enough to hold up for sparring. Dess showed Ebon how to hold the sack, in front of him, against his chest.

Then Dess moved to face Ebon. "Now, where does the power come from when you hit someone?" He fist moved slowly towards Ebon.

"Your arms...and shoulders?" Ember offered tentatively.

"Yeah, it could." He gave the grain sack a pulled punch, delivered just from his arm and shoulder. "But there is a way to get even more power." Dess made an obvious point to spread his feet and plant them in the sand. "It starts way down in your feet. You see, you want to hit with your whole body, so that even a mouse's punch can pack a wallop." He grinned at Ember.

"So, plant your feet, this is the foundation of your strike. Bend your knees a bit..." He bounced to show the flexibility in the joints. "Your legs are the pillars that give you the balance and stability to use all your might."

"Once your balance is stable, everything else goes behind the strike. So, twist your torso..." With his fists up, Dess turned at his waist, cocking back his right fist. "Now you are like Kelski's crossbow, your torso is the taut string, your arm the bolt ready to fly. "Then you unwind, putting the muscles in your back, shoulder and arm behind your fist." He slowly went through the motion of delivering a punch until his fist brushed the sack Ebon held.

Dess looked to Ebon, giving the Kelvic a nod. The Lion put one foot back and braced himself. Then Dess wound up again and hit the grain sack. An audible breath escaped the Ebon's mouth and he rocked back under the force of the blow. It was not full strength, but it would give the students a visual on how a strike should look.

"Let's start with a closed fist punch." He turned to the three young women, holding up his hand, fingers splayed. "Start with a simple fist." Dess then closed his hand into a tight fist. He looked over the girls, who held up their own fists. "Now, we are used to putting our thumb across the outside of our fingers, like this." He showed his hand. "But it can get hurt or broken there. Instead, put it here." Dess then shifted is thumb to the side of his fist, bent with the tip pressed against the side of his first finger.

"You can press that thumb right against the side of the first finger, it helps keep a tight fist. Now, lets have you try." He looked over the three students, until his eyes rested on Mercy. "Mercy, why don't you give it a try." Dess gestured for the young mother to join him.

"Alright, get your stance set." He advised, watching the woman plant her feet in the sand.

Mercy made a fist in each hand, looking to make sure they resembled Dess's during his demonstration. Then she glanced at Dess. "Like this?"

Dess nodded, "Yeah, good. Now, look at your target and wind up." The Damazar instructed. Mercy twisted, cocking back her fist.

"Now, hit him." Dess commanded.

Mercy released her punch, her wrist wobbled at impacted and she withdrew it with a quick yelp, grabbing it. "That hurts." She complained.

Dess stepped closer, taking her hand in his. "Sorry, I should have explained." He felt her wrist gently, there seemed to be no damage. He looked to her and then to Ember and Keesha. "When you hit, keep your fist and forearm in a straight line. Make a fist fore me." Mercy complied, then Dess drew an imaginary line along the top of Mercy's forearm, down to his hand to her first knuckle.

"The power flows along the straight line of your forearm. When your wrist is straight, that power that is rooted in your feet travels to the first few knuckles of your hand, delivering all that force to a small area, meaning more damaging impact." He then bent her wrist. "If you land your punch like this, that power traveling down the line of your arm now ends at your wrist, meaning all that force is torquing the joint. You can hurt yourself that way."

Looking again to Mercy, he rubbed her wrist and released her hand. "Does it feel alright?" Dess asked. She nodded with a small smile.

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(Empyreal Demsesne) Arming with Knowledge

Postby Dessarian on August 14th, 2019, 2:27 pm

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Giving Mercy a moment to recover, Dess gave Ember and Keesha a chance to practice their punches. He helped them adjust their stance and correct path of motion when necessary. "This simple front punch works well right here." Dess pointed to his torso. "Just below the ribs."

Mercy took another swing and found the correct movement. After several attempts by each student. Dess moved on. "Here is the palm heel strike, like the one I should you to use against an opponent's nose." He held up his hand, pointing to the heel of his hand. "This is what you want to hit his nose with. Hold your fingers together, thumb close to the side. The mechanics are all the same as that front punch."

"But you said it's bad to hit with a bent wrist." Mercy protested.

"Well, yes and no." Dess chuckled. Bend your own wrist down, then up. You can almost feel the difference. One position can withstand impact, the other can't. Using your hand's heel doesn't put harmful pressure on the joint, and it carries that force right along the line of her forearm directly into your opponent. Plus, its more padded than your knuckles, so it hurts less if you hit a bony place, like the chin."

Dess had Ebon brace himself, and the Damazar demonstrated again, delivering a rocking blow with the heel of his palm to the grain sack and the Kelvic behind it. Then he invited each student to practice until he was satisfied they understood the basics of the strike.

"The last think I want to work on is the elbow. I mentioned its a good way to hit someone if the are very close, or grabbing you." Again taking his stance before Ebon, Dess raised his arm, bent and horizontal. He drew it across his body and slowly showed the path of the strike as if he were hitting Ebon's head, then brought it back, as if to hit Ebon again as the elbow swung back. "Get him twice!" Then Dess turned his back to Ebon and stepped closer to the man. "Works the same striking behind you." He demonstrated as if hitting Ebon's jaw. "The elbow is good about anywhere, head, jaw, neck, throat, ribs, abdomen... and they are free, so hit with them over and over.

Dess demonstrated with a half-powered elbow to the grain sack at the Kelvic's solar plexis. Ebon let out a loud 'oof', bent over and took several steps back. Dess quickly moved up to him and put his hand on his shoulder. "Brother, I am sorry, I got carried away. Are you alright?"

Ebon raised a hand, then straightened up. "I'm fine." He smiled at Dess.

"Thanks for helping, you are doing a good thing." Dess offered his gratitude to the Kelvic.

Each girl was given the chance to get a feel for elbow strikes, Dess taking a turn holding the grain sack. Once the students were thoroughly worn out, Dess congratulated each on their hard work and effort and gave each one a hug. "Keep practicing, I am happy to work with you anytime. There will be more to come." He promised, whether the three women looked forward to it or not.

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