Tuesday, February 3, 2009, 1:34 AM
Happy February everyone. I will be building a bunch of blogs on LARPing and conditioning to help be a better, safer fighter via fitness and foundational techniques. These will be accompanied by videos in the future.
LARP Fighter Basics 100 (or get off yer butt and play!)
There are many videos out there on LARP combat techniques. Few to of them address the basics of any combat sport; balance, breathing, flexibility, and conditioning. With these basics understood from the start, many new LARP enthusiasts will better grasp the techniques shown to them as they are built upon a firm foundation.
The common view of LARPer's is of overweight weekend warriors that just want to smack each other with padded weapons. While this may be partially true, many LARPers are in good enough shape to hike for a few hours, fight three of four huge battles, eat a sugar/carb loaded lunch and do it again, and again. Sometimes all weekend long. The reason I list these things as John/Jane Q Public would probably not be able to do these things without a little visit to the bathroom to hurl.
What this is:
This document will touch on the above listed topics. Very basic knowledge that hopefully can make its way into the hands of a new LARPer so they understand that this is indeed a sport and your level of physical fitness can and often times does impact how well you do during a game session.
What this is not:
This document is not a fitness guide or intended as a prescription to prevent or cure an illness. This document is provided as is and the reader accepts all responsibility for their own actions.
A good rule of thumb is “Balance before movement.” This simple information can save an injury from happening and increase your overall control during combat. Work on how you stand. Never lock your knees, or straddle out so far you can not return to a stand without placing all of your weight on one foot and balancing without a huge amount of movement. Try to never let your knees collapse inward when you fight. Try to not let your knees bend enough forward that they are beyond the tips of your toes. Once you have a good balance, challenge yourself more by adding other drills so you will be more prepared during a LARP fight.
Oxygen is your friend. This is not a plug for Oprah, it is just the simple truth. The average person, when placed in a stressful situation, either tenses up and holds their breath or they panic and breath shallow and rapid. In both situations you are robbing your bodies ability to operate at full capacity and will create fatigue at a much higher rate.
This does not imply that you must be able to do the splits, though if you can great. What is does mean is being able to move your body with limited compensatory assistance. Muscles that are tight or not well conditioned will ask for 'assistance' from nearby muscles that may not be used to a higher load. Our body is an efficient bugger however this assistance can and often times does produce aches and pains that just do not feel right and may take longer to heal.
Being athletic can be a great outlet for a multitude of reasons. There are volumes upon volumes on this topic and are beyond the simple scope of this document. Conditioning for any sport includes the movements you will be making, cardiovascular exercise, and depending on the sport medium, speed-agility-quickness drills, strength training and stretching. All of these things can help to reduce injury and allow you to experience your activity with better focus and control.
Next Blog: Technique