A New Way to Fight (A Collaboration between Wilhelm A. Heizeltroff and Lady Brielle Serra

Wil smiled at Brielle and chuckled as he took of his coat and vest. Setting them aside he donned his usual leather vest but chose to leave off the canvas shirt and wore his normal one.

Going to the wall he grabbed a small blade roughly the same size and weight as the one he'd given to Brielle. He also brought a wooden sheath the same length as the parasol. Setting them down on a bench near to Brielle he also handed her a stiff leather vest to put over her gown as well as some leather gloves.

"What I'm going to teach you here is much less about attacking and more about surviving. Arabella, Timothy, Felix and his crew all have one goal in a fight. Kill their opponent and make sure it's over. You can not think this way. Your size. Your weight. Your upbringing. These things are all disadvantages for you. You are not a predator. You don't have the training, the experience, or the brute strength to use the same tactics. If you try, you will lose. You will be hurt. You will, quite likely, end up dead."

He smiles again as he sits upon the bench next to the gear he laid out. "Your goal is much simpler. It is to survive and escape. What I'm going to teach you here is less about attacking and more about getting away. When you're ready let me know and we'll begin."

With that he stands and moves a ways off and begins stretching slowly, limbering his muscles and making sure he doesn't cramp. His own session this morning with Shankar had been rough but he was sure he was still able to do this.

Brielle smiled nervously. "Will, you are definitely right about the difference between the rest of the crew and I....I never truly had to fight for anything, so I can't see myself going for a kill unless it was out of self defense." She notices him stretching and decides to do the same. "I don't particularly relish the idea of becoming dead. Some evasion techniques would be very useful, I think." She pauses a moment. "I might not be as strong as everyone else around here, but I do have to say I've seen some serious improvements in that area since training with Sarah and Ellie, at least. Even though their methods are a bit too...harsh for me, I am getting stronger!" Giggling, she flexes her arms. "I'm ready for this!"

Wil laughs and nods as he pulls down the silver wire wrapped cane sword he used for practice. Unsheathing them he runs a few lunges and spins, making sure the heavy brace on his ankle was up to the task. Turning, he faces her and points to the vest and gloves. "Best put those on dear. I know they aren't your normal style but it will help to make sure you stay safe just in case." He grins and chuckles. "I'm assuming you know how to dance to some extent? The waltz or other such dances that a young lady should know?"

She quickly puts on the vest and gloves as he speaks. "Do I know how to dance?" She giggles. "It is an enjoyable but un-necessary skill- but of course my parents believed it was of utmost importance in my education, designed solely to snag an eligible husband!" She expertly and gracefully moves about the floor in a waltz pattern, before switching to a foxtrot and then a quadrille. "Those are only a few. Need you see any more?" She smiles widely and dips into a deep curtsy.

Wilhelm laughs and grins. "That will do quite well. I think you'll find that dancing is not nearly as unnecessary a skill as one might believe." He moves forward and nods to her. "I'm going to advance with thrusts and some slashes. Your job is to knock the blows aside with your the blade and sheath I provided. Using both allows you to block with one and strike with the other. But instead of standing still while I do this try following the footsteps of the waltz. Use the same positioning of your hands as well. The shaft to block and the blade to strike at my hand. To make it easier keep the tip of both forward and moving in slow circles. You'll find it allows you to change the direction of your block or attack much faster."

 She looks down at her blade and sheath and then raises them up into position as instructed. She follows the path of the waltz and easily evades and blocks the simple beginning blows that Wil has started her on. She giggles. "If only someone had explained this sooner, perhaps I would have been an expert swordswoman by now!!!"

Wil chuckles and nods. "It was how my instructor as a youth taught me. He was also my dance instructor. Just remember to continue blocking. Don't try to block the blow, simply knock them aside with your own." He continues to waltz and stab forward then changes to a diagonal slash from above to see if she can adjust to the different attack.

Not expecting Wil to change the pace so quickly, Brielle's eyes go wide before she quickly adjusts and nearly, but doesn't quite manage to block. "Oh bother...I suppose anyone that attacks me isn't going to go for the same simple blows each time..." She shakes her head and takes up her stance again. "Try me again, Wil. I won't be so easily thwarted next time. " She smiles a challenge at him.

Wil laughs and winks at her. "The basics is all there really is for this kind of fighting. But instead of just blocking try blocking with the sheath and striking at the hand or forearm with your blade." He begins to advance quicker, striking in thrusts and slashing from different directions, trying to get past her guard.

She takes his advice and starts making some blows of her own, all the while blocking with the sheath. As he picks up speed, she slowly reverts to blocking only for a few moments, trying to read into the situation and figure out what is coming next. As she picks up on the rhythm, she blocks a blow, twirls around, and strikes, coming into contact with Wil's hand. So excited at her success, she forgets that she is in a lesson and squeals with delight as she drops her swords and hugs Wil. "Thank you Thank you Thank you!!! I haven't managed anything of the like in MONTHS of training with Sarah and Ellie!!!"

Wil drops the blade as her blow connects with his hand. As she hug him he laughs and nods. "Very good job Brielle! With regular practice you'll be able to fend off all but the best." He picks up his own blade and smiles at her. "Grab your stuff. We're going to try a more advanced technique using both shaft and blade interchangeably. It gives you an edge as most thugs use only a single weapon at once."

She smiles happily and picks up her blade and shaft. "I'm sorry, I got so excited for a minute I forgot." She shifts into her stance and nods to Wil. "Ok, I'm ready. Tell me what to do!

He laughs and gets into his own stance with ease. "The process is the same. Instead of waltzing use a dance style that allows you to flow back and forth and spin as well. Use both blade and shaft to knock away the blows. Use one to smack my strike away and the other to strike back at me. With each time you block I'm going to go a little faster till we are moving pretty much full speed."

 He settles in and gives her a nod and an encouraging smile. "The point of this is that it lets you block multiple strikes and make them as well. I'll be using my cane as well as my blade for the attacks and to block your attacks."

With that he begins moving, thrusting and slashing with both blade and the shaft of the cane. At first they are the same slow easily seen speed which the first exercise started with.

She chooses a dance with easily flowing footwork, at first easily blocking and dealing blows with ease. Wil slowly speeds up the pace, and she keeps up for a good while. At a particularly fast point, she finds herself blocking only before Wil gently reminds her to also strike. She adds in graceful little spins and twirls which end up being just as effective at evasion as physically blocking the blows. The pair spars for a long while, before Brielle nearly collapses, breathless. "Well...I feel like I've had some great improvements here....but I really need to work on my endurance!" She smiles weakly. "Thank you, Wil. This will improve my skills for both real life and for my weekly pain sessions with Sarah..." She scrunches her nose with distaste. "Maybe now I can actually beat Ellie. It hurts one's pride to be bested by a teenage girl!" She smirks at the thought of actually having the upper hand for once.

Wil smiles broadly and nods. "Excellent! Most excellent indeed Brielle! I'm not sure if you're quite to the point of defeating Felix's crew just yet but they'll definitely find themselves on far less sure footing when next you cross blades with them. If you'd like you are more then welcome to join Shankar and I during some of our training sessions. He's far better then I but still a fair instructor." Brielle nods.

"I would like that very much. With any luck, next time I need to defend myself I won't be the helpless damsel in distress awaiting Felix." She smiles.

Wil strips off his leather vest and tosses it on a hook before placing his training sword back into the shaft of the cane. He smiles as he sets it back. She was learning the blade even faster then his dear Annabelle had. She was sure to progress rapidly. He'd have to see about making sure he made her a slightly longer blade. It would be hard to fit to her size but her lack of reach called for a lengthier blade.

Ducking into a side room he quickly changed his shirt and put on a new double breasted, leather front vest before coming out and offering to give her a ride back to the Gear, which she so graciously accepted.

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