|Marvel: In the Beginning...|
Kurt Wagner has cleared out a bit of space, moving back some of the gymnastic equipment to make more room. Some racks have been set up that double as a sort of fence to keep anyone from wandering too close to the pool's edge from the space that he's cleared. On the racks are a variety of swords with blunted points and some protective jackets and masks. Kurt has already strapped a read on one over his costume and busies himself making sure that things are set up how he wants them. For all the space he's made up however, only one regulation fencing strip is marked out on the ground. Very odd...
Lily has half-dragged Asia down to the basement. "You'll like Kurt. He's sweet. And funny. He's German. Like, as in, /from/ Germany. Has the accent and everything." She fails to mention the blue, fur, and tail. But then again, here, that stuff isn't such a standout.
Kitty has heard a LOT about Professor Wagner. A LOT. Different people had different opinions of him, all were pretty good. Nobody told her, however, that Kurt was a blue elf-devil mutant. So, when she arrives in a full dojo outfit, barefoot and all, to learn self-defense and sees Kurt, she's taken aback. But, only for a moment. Her parents taught her quite well, to accept people. Or, maybe that's just her inner angel. As she sees others begin to arrive, she admits, "Heh. I thought this was a private class, or something." Why she'd say that, she doesn't really get into. Instead, "But, I can't -wait- to start, Professor Wagner. I promise I won't disappoint you." And she means it. Yeah, Kitty is excited to be here. And she can't help but watch the tail. She's slightly intrigued, and maybe wondering what Kurt can do. But it is only honest interest in her eyes.
Simone has come to watch! and she wanders down hopefully not too late. "Hi guys.." she says as she strolls in. "Hope you don't mind an audience.." she grins. She moves out of the way and finds a chair to sit in.
Asia smiles brightly as she follow Lily from the Cafteria. She glancing around the place trying to see things and such. If Kitty will notice Asia is wearing the same thing she wore the last time she saw her, in fact she wearing the same thing the first time she saw her. She is holding a small plush doll of a man in a trench coat with red button eyes. She nods to Lily as she talks.
Kurt Wagner nods to his students and observer as they enter. "Wilkommen, Wilkommen, please please, don't crowd, Ok OK ist only being three of you, you can crowd if you wish. You too Simone." He grins broadly, flashing fanged teeth. "You perhaps have wondered why ist this class being so stressed by Herr Xavier? You nicht wish to learn to use a sword, but this class will have more applications than just that. Some students recently have found themselves in situations where they have been attacked und been hurt. This class will hopefully help to build your skills to nicht have that happen again."
Kurt moves to the racks and draws out a long thin blade with one hand, then turns towards the strip marked out on the floor as his tail plucks a couple more swords out of the rack. "This is a Fencing Strip. It is used for proper competition. Und it would get you killed in a real fight if you get used to it, so we will nicht be using it. But for officialness's sake, it must be here for a fencing class to be proper ja? So there it is. Hello strip! Goodbye Strip. Upon the strip you follow rules of right of way und permissions, moving back and forth trading blows until one gets a strike. Nicht real int he least. But we will use some of the same weapons for my class. This is a Foil. It ist light, quick, und attacks with a thrust much like a quick jab." He tosses that sword up into the air, flips the two in his tail up to join it in its aerial tumbling, then snatches the two his tail held from the air into each hand and the foil gets caught by the tail. "This is an Epee. Think of it like the big brother of the foil. Larger, harder, heavier. Much more powerful to be hut with, but still a thrust towards you. Und this one is a Saber. It is nicht fo thrusting at all, see the tip ist different? This ist for swinging und hitting with the edge. motions much like you would face against when facing someone with a pipe, a baton, or a baseball bat. Now move to the racks und look over the swords more closely yourselves."
Right down to business. Kitty manages to flash a friendly grin at Simone and Lily, before her face tightens. It says something of her grit and determination, that her eyes seem to focus, immediately, upon Kurt as he delves straight into the lessons. No class-clown, this girl.
Lily can't help but grin at Kurt's sword-juggling, and mutters a quiet. "Showoff." in an amused tone. She does, though, move towards the swords at his invitation. She wasn't entirely sure she could use a sword properly, with the webbing on her hands, but it was worth a try. She despised fighting, but having an option other than 'run for the water' or 'curl up in a ball and take it' would be nice.
The little green girl tilts he her head upon seeing the Blue Elf. They have similar eyes. She follows Lily and looking at the swords curiously then back to Kurt. "This doesn't help you with guns. Nope not at all." she says. "The bullet is faster," she rattles off mostly aloud to herself.
Simone sits in a chair sideways, her lesser wings visible in her specially altered shirt. She's got a sketch book with her but for now she leaves it under the chair, the pencil is tucked into a ponytail. For now she just watches, fangirling cause she can. Who knows she might even pick up something to use later! "That might be true, but it can still be beneficial to learn many styles of defense." she mentions towards the plant girl.
Kurt Wagner chuckles, "Ahhh, but you get ahead of me. There ist being a twenty foot rule with firearms. A person armed with a sword, or knife, or even a big stick can be striking und disabling a gunman before they can draw und fire if they are within twenty feet und trained. but you get far head of me fraulein." he gestures towards the sword with the Epee, "Examine the swords, Heft them, feel them in your hands. See that these are nicht playthings. The tips ist blunted und the edges nicht sharpened, but they are still steel und can hurt if mishanded. Even handled correctly, they can hurt, which is why we have the protective clothing. On the racks there, Herr Professor has provided many sizes enough to fit anyone here at the school. They are new now. Pick one for yourself that fits well. it will be assigned ot only you. We will order another to replace it. You will be responsible for caring for it und cleaning it." he goes through a demonstration of how to step into it and fasten it up and how to put the masks on and take them off. "You will notice that it does nothing to protect the legs Ja? For this class now, we nicht will strike at the legs ever. Ja I know it is nicht a realistic tactic in the streets, but this ist for here und now und you will have enough to learn to deal with."
Stepping forwards, Kitty does as instructed. She picks up one of each of the swords, feeling the weight of it, and at least mimicking in safety away from the other students how she might swing it, taking this entire exercise with utmost seriousness. Still, there is elation on the young girl's features. The last day or so has been nothing but surprise, and excitement for her. Finally, she ends up choosing the Saber. Maybe because it looks cooler? Maybe because it's smaller? But, there seems to be a lot of internal thought, taken into her desicion. She smiles at her choice, and then steps back in line, patiently awaiting further instruction.
Lily finally starts trying to pick up the swords, juggling them somewhat awkwardly as she tries to figure out how to grip them. "Really? Twenty feet? I mean ... that's way beyond the range of arm and sword." And she can't quite draw the mental picture of managing to draw the sword, close the distance, and smack the crap out of whoever's pointing a gun at you.
Asia looks to Lily. "You have to be fast, and you have to be light, when guns come you have to or it's death. And death isnt' good for anything." she warns. She doesn't take a sword though, just turning to watching the others curiously.
Simone glances towards the plant girl, who's name is yet unknown or undecided. "How'd you learn so much about guns hon?" she asks, finding it curious the girl would know any thing of such things.
Kurt Wagner waits for everyone to get suited up in the protective gear, "Ja, Dead is nicht good, und I am just trying to start giving you the skills to keep it from happening. Like any tools however, it will be up to you if you craft wonderful things with them, or you let them sit in the toolbox und rust after you have collected them." he nods sagely.
"You get out of them, what you put into them," concedes Kitty, glancing towards Asia. Then, she looks back to Kurt, promising him - and the rest of the class, "I don't want anything more, than this." She smiles at him and even bows just a bit to her 'sensei'. She then begins to feel the weight of her sword a little, trying to get used to it, some. She'd no idea there'd be swords - and she voices this, too. "I thought we'd be learning karate or something, when I was asked to report for self-defense."
Lily finally finds a saber that only just barely qualifies as such, being nearly as small and light as a epee. She went for those out of sheer practicality ... like Kurt said, you swung and hit with it, rather than poked. Which meant that even if she got caught without a sword ... she'd be able to do /some/ sort of damage as long as she got something long to swing at people. She finally headed over to the protective gear, and wrestled it on. "I don't think we /have/ a martial arts instructor." Lily tells Kitty. "Or if we do, I haven't heard them mention it around me."
Asia smiles to Simone. "Oh I've been shot at, lots of times, grenades too, but you don't have to be as close since they don't go splodey so soon. ' she looks to Kitty. 'What do you mean?" she asks curiously. She smiles to Kurt and nods. "Yep you got to have skills and practice those skills, I have skills, I'm good at my skills, they are important skills and I do my job good."
Simone arches a brow at Kurt, she'll let him answer the self defense questions, and then at the plant girl. "And what Job is that?"
Kurt Wagner chuckles to Kitty, "the sword IST being a Martial Art, but I am knowing what you mean. I use the swords because I like the swords, und my own body ist being different enough from that of the other students that my skills unarmed would be very hard for them to learn. You may decide nicht to ever even hold a sword outside of my class. That will be a choice of your own und nicht one I can dictate. Like with clothing, I can dictate a uniform when you are around me, but when you are on your own it would be your free choice to continue with it or nicht. But there are things I will teach in the class that will translate to defending yourself no matter what the weapons used or not. Or at least so I am hoping if I am a successful teacher." He smiles brightly once again. "As the school grows, hopefully we will get others far more qualified than myself in other forms of self defense to teach as well."
Listening attentively, Kitty can't help but grin at Kurt's words. She just shakes her head to Asia, "Just a misunderstanding. Sort of. But," she says, warmly, "This is just as good." Of course, using her sword on someone might be a different story. But for now? She's thinking of all those awesome movies with sword-fights, ninjas, samurai - and thinking about how awesome it'll be to be able to do some of that stuff. She's geeky, like that.
Simone smiles at the girls . "Soon we'll have a room full of little Inigo Montoyas.."
That gets a laugh out of Lily. "You be Inigo if you want. I'll be Westley. After all, Westley beat Inigo." She is, by no means, serious about that. She just can't quite resist teasing about the Princess Bride references.
Kurt Wagner moves into the center of the cleared area and looks about, 'Alright... So first we need a little demonstration." He sees both Lily and Kitty have sabers, so he sets aside the other swords and starts demonstrating how to properly grip it, making adjustments from his two-fingered grip for Lily's webbed hand and Kitty's five fingered one. He shows the basic mov ed to swing the sword, and the parries with the sword, showing where to parry and where not to on the sword. "Und now I need help. Come to me Kitty und help me." He waves her forward into the cleared area.
Eep! But, Kitty seems up for it. She nods and takes her place near Kurt, "What do you want me to do?" She asks, curiously. She, apparently, is not a shy one and doesn't have issues with being 'on stage', as it were.
Simone grins back as she watches. She picks up her sketch pad and pulls the pencil out of her hair. The book is opened and she begins to sketch.
Lily's more than happy to let Kitty be the guinea pig. MORE than. She stays off to the side, still fussing with her saber, getting used to the grip and the weight.
Kurt Wagner waves Kitty forward, 'now attack me until I tell you to stop." He sets himself, his sword at the ready, "As she attacks me, nicht look at me, instead look at her... see how her body moves. look for things that you could use as a clue to how she moves. More than how strong, fast, or tough you are in a fight, learning to read an opponent ist a key to winning. If you can learn to read their movements before they make them, you literally can be reading their mind und acting before they do."
So, Kitty has seen Kurt's ability to juggle. And, she studies him a little, discerning what Kurt's weakness might be. Convinces herself she /can/ hit him, or at least tries to put out of her mind the thought that he's going to knock her on her butt. She takes a cleansing breath, remembering what Kurt told her about the sword; use the side of the blade. She takes a moment to reexamine the sword, then stands solidly in front of Kurt. She bows to him, because she believes it's expected. Then, she takes a few steps forward with cautious steps as if to try and make Kurt by she's cautious about utilizing the sword, and trying to seem sheepish or foolish in front of the class. Then, the 16 year old suddenly pushes forward. She twists her body to the side to extend her reach, twists her wrists, and goes for Kurt's own wrist - after all, if he can't hold a sword, then she - as his opponent - would certainly have advantage.
Simone can't watch Kurt instead? That might be a bit much to ask of the artist as she starts sketching Kurt, but granted she's sketching the others also. Her brow arches as she watches Kitty go on the attack!
Lily already knows a bit about watching body language, though she mostly uses it as an early warning device to know when to bolt for the hills, and less as a weapon in a fight. So she does as directed, watching closely.
Kurt Wagner keeps a relaxed posture to his body, letting Kitty rush in for the attack. he doesn't even raise up his sword, but twists it slightly to bring the guard around to deflect Kitty's blade. "As she decided to move, her feet shifted a bit to show where she should go. Because she's inexperienced with the sword, her arm moved much more than it needed to, telegraphing the move. Loosen up your grip Kitty. See how I hold meine sword, nearly dangling from my fingers. Let the sword do the work for you rather than the whole arm. See how my finger here can flick the blade around with but a tiny movement from myself? Defending you can conserve your energy more und make your opponent wear themselves down."
Kitty seems to take the instruction well, testing the movements Kurt instructs her on herself, gauging and processing the order of movements in her analytical mind, making sure she understands how they function - feel, before she moves to attack again. Likely still telegraphing her movements rather blatantly, she does at least use less energy this time, showing she's listened as she moves to slide the side of the blade towards Kurt's opposite arm.
Simone finds that to be pretty interesting! she'll certainly keep it in mind for future sparring and other events.
Lily keeps watching, her own saber finally still at her side, now she's gotten a bit more comfortable with it.
Kurt Wagner twists his wrist for twofold reasons. He pushes Kitty's sword aside with his own, and at the same time, uses her sword as a platform for his, sliding his sword up along her blade, then hopping it up to chop lightly at her sword arm. "Remember, when you block something, there are two methods. To just stop it, takes a lot more effort than to redirect it away. Und in the case of a weapon like this, use the potion closest to your hand, und the leverage of their tip. Ja it is moving faster than closer by their hand, but your strike can be amplified by the length of the weapon to keep them from just powering you away." He holds up a hand to stop Kitty and then moves to adjust the sword in her hand, "Keep your wrist like this. It ist nicht comfortable, but then guard better protects your arm then from someone doing just as I did und disabling your strong arm." He steps back and gestures Lily forward, "Alright, begin to spar. I will watch und give advice. Kitty, use what you learned from watching me und be the defender. Lily, you will be taking the aggressive role right now."
It's one thing to attack the sensei when you're pretty sure none of your attacks are going to land. It's another to play defender when you've barely got an idea of what you're doing - as does your attacker. Kitty looks hesitant for a moment, then tries to instill confidence in herself. She nods to Kurt. "Okay." She looks to Lily, grinning sheepishly. "Ready?" She takes a defensive stance, much as Kurt did.
Simone arches a brow at this but hey, she figures Kurt knows what he's doing.. She puts her pencil back into her ponytail for safe keeping as she watches, bitting at her lip. She remains sitting on her chair, outside the fighting area.
Lily 'ulps' at Kurt's announcement, swallows hard, then steps forward. About the only good news here is that Lily'd need help hitting the broad side of a barn. Kitty isn't in much danger here. She bites at her lip, then takes a swing at Kitty with her saber ... that a ten year old could have stopped, since Lily's not exactly putting her back into it.
Kurt Wagner steps back out of the way, "Go slowly at first. get used to the feel of the role, und get used to the movements themselves. Lily. Your object ist to find a place where Kitty's sword ist not. You do not have to strike her hard, just enough for her to know she has been touched. Kitty, your object ist to make the sword be everywhere at once."
Okay. A half-arsed sword swing? Kitty can block that. She twists her wrist as she watched Kurt demonstrate, to easily deflect the blow, though she seems slightly wary of just how well it'll work for her, and if she has the technique down or not. Still, when she manages to do it, she does feel a small tingle of elation and grins some. "Hey! I did it!"
Simone stands up so she can better see the goings on. Poor Lily! She's tempted to cheer to root her on, but she doesn't want to cause distractions.
Kurt Wagner steps back against the wall to watch, giving encouragements here and there and tip as the two girls continue to explore their martial sides.
Kitty goes a few more rounds with Lily, taking Kurt's advice, in how to deflect and defend - afterall, that is the name of hte class, isn't it? Self-Defense! But, she seems to be enjoying herself, and building confidence pretty quickly.
As Kurt steps back, Bobby arrives from upstairs, clad in shorts and hawian shirt for some odd celebration that only he recognizes as actual holiday. "Happy pineapple day mainlanders!" He says stepping off the elevator, and stopping short, eyeing the swords in play. "Catfight with swords? Someone that seems redundant.."
Simone glances over as Bobby comes in. She smirks. "It isn't a cat fight.." she tsks with a grin. "It's self defense classes."
Lily slowly starts to hit harder, and try to be sneaky ... though that is not saying much. But at least she's not hitting like she's ten anymore. Bobby's entrance pulls her attention away. "Not a catfight. Fencing." She does though, pull away from Kitty.
Eventually Kurt has put his students through their paces, and the time allotted for their practice is up. With a few other tasks to take care of Kurt, Kitty and the plant girl depart the gym.