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Just a Few Pointers

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Hellbound stood in the empty SuperSlams ring and worked a few kinks out of his joints. He rotated his shoulders a couple of times, bobbed his neck back and forth and flexed his fingers. The fighter was feeling good and didn't need much of a warm-up as this wasn't supposed to be one of his more strenuous forays onto the mat. Or at least that wasn't the plan. Not at the moment, anyway.

Moira might prove to be a more challenging opponent than he anticipated. He'd seen how she moved, how strong she was and what her reflexes were like. The girl was inhumanly powerful and tough enough to survive just about anything he could throw at her, that was for sure. He was quicker, though. There was more experience and training backing Hellbound up, which counted for a lot, but the deceptively frail girl just might have been able to hit harder than him. Just a little harder, granted, but sometimes that's all it took. He'd taken some pretty hard shots in this ring during his fights but he wasn't certain that any of them were as powerful as the person he was about to spar with.

One thing was for sure, this was going to be one hell of an interesting afternoon.

He flexed his back again, craning his neck to the accompaniment of various popping and cracking noises which reverberated thinly in the abandoned warehouse. Nobody was home, today. The crowds which normally gathered around the ring were all sleeping their days away or off doing whatever it was they did when they were here screaming for blood and thunder. Hellbound's special status as club favorite had gotten him and Moira a little free time to play around today. The place was supposed to be closed, not due to open up until Friday night rolled around again, but there weren't many places in Freedom City where two people of their caliber could knock each other around and not draw attention.

Hellbound slapped his palms together a couple of times, the thin padding of his sparring gloves dulling the sound while not quite removing all of the nastiness from it. When a person could put his fist through a car door then it really didn't matter if it was padded before slammed into someone's head. It was going to hurt. But the little bit of extra protection might add a level of civility that Moira would find more reassuring than simply a bare knuckle brawl like he was used to experiencing. And even though the gloves didn't look like they were anything special, he understood that they were supposed to be some high-tech material that could withstand the shenanigans of a couple of bruisers like Moira and himself.

A few more movements had his legs feeling pretty flexible beneath the black warm-up pants. He wasn't dressed too fancy for the lesson, just some lose fitting sweats and a tank top, but then again he didn't have any crowds to please today.

"Hey, you ready yet?" He called towards the locker room, wondering what was keeping Moira.

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So, I'm gonna finally learn how to fight, Moira thought, No more bar brawling or self defense classes. I gotta get ready for the real thing. She pictured herself fighting Grab with some cinematic kung fu moves as she got dressed for sparring.

She had prepared for this the day earlier and went to a sporting store. The people were more than glad to help her pick out what she needed. She settled on some black spandex leggings and a black spandex sports top that left her arms and torso free. She already had a pair of sneakers, not that the salesperson didn't try her darndest to try and get her to buy a pair. Moira wondered if it was for the sale or to keep her around longer. It was a very pleasant experience shopping though. She made plans to go back again.

But that was yesterday. Today she was with O'Ren, the man she had known for a week or two. Over those couple of weeks, they had grown more than a working relationship. She knew him as a friend and lover, but today she would know him as trainer.

Fully decked out in her training gear she walked out of the locker room just as O'Ren called for her. "Keep your pants on," she grinned at him as she walk towards the ring. When she entered the ring, she sat on the middle rope and let her arms rest on the top one before scooting in and promptly falling on her ass. She looked up to O'Ren, Well, I won't do that again." She reached her ungloved hand up to him.

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"Don't be so sure." Hellbound chuckled as he reached down to help her up. "People make mistakes, especially when they're thinkin' about one thing and tryin to do another. Happens all the time."

For instance, he'd been so impressed by her approach to the ring that he'd completely spaced off helping her into it. Just watching her walk in the spandex training gear was a bit more than the gears in his head could keep spinning through properly and he was surprised that they didn't need to wipe drool off the canvas already.

"Pretty sure you didn't hurt anything, looks fine to me anyway."

His eyes drifting to the shapely part of her figure that'd made contact with the floor of the ring, Hellbound decided that it looked more than fine. Mentioning that right now wouldn't help them with the lesson, however.

"So, ya' ready?" He asked, leaning casually back against one rope and taking in her stance. The man already had a good idea of what he was going to teach her, but he was hoping it was what she had in mind. So many people thought that fighting was about wild moves with cool sounding names. They underestimated how much of it was just basic conditioning and reflexes.

"Now I know that you already have the strength, stamina and agility to be a human wrecking ball, but you got no basics. You might be able to put your fist through a brick wall, but not of the wall sees it coming. Today I'd like to teach you how to punch without telegraphing it first and also how to block an attack with something other than your head.

"Don't take this the wrong way, but your defense sucks. That's not really a big surprise, though. Someone drops a safe you in then it just means they'll have to buy a new safe. When you can shrug off direct hit from a diesel train then there's not much point in even trying to block, but it still makes for a sloppy technique. You following me?"

He bounced off the ropes at the point and took up a soft stance on the mat. His feet were flat against its surface, but his knees were bent and it looked like he could spring up onto the balls of his feet in a hearbeat. His shoulders were relaxed as all of the weight from his upper body settled comfortably around his hips.

"See if you can stand like this. Don't bounce around on your toes all the time like they do in the movies, it'll just waste energy and keep ya' from planting your heel when you punch. When you're standing still, keep yourself rooted, but when you move then you get on the balls of your feet and spring off... like this."

Hellbounded demonstrated what he meant by jinking back and forth a couple of time. He moved left and right in front of Moira, coming down carefully so that his heels made solid contact with the floor but also begining each movement by pushing off with his toes.

"Knees bent, hips relaxed and shoulders down. If you tighten up through the stomach and the chest then you won't be able to breath. Nobody can fight without breathing."

Well, nobody except those who were descended from divinity, but that wasn't something he yet fully understood about Moira's abilities.

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With O'Ren's help she picked herself up and mock dusted herself off. Sure there was nothing there, but she could never be too certain. Doing so made her unaware of her trainer's leering eyes.

Nodding to let him know she was ready, ehe did a couple of practice hops like she sees the fighters do before matches some times. She always wanted to try that. She wondered it was supposed to get her ready for battle. Was it supposed to loosen her muscles or make her more alert or both or neither? Either way it was fun.

She listened to everything he said and watched him closely When it was fimnally participation time, she smiled. "Alright," she said mimicking his stance, but not so well. Knees were bent and shoulders were down, but it looked forced and amateur.

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Hellbound had trouble keeping his train of thought while Moira went through her hopping routine. Even though he'd just told her not to bounce too much, he just couldn't bring himself to make her stop. In fact, that might be a nice tactic for her to use on a real opponent. While he was stopping to pick his jaw off the floor, she could wallop him.

"Okay, yeah. Where was I?" He managed to clear his head enough to continue. "Right. Stance. You're a little stiff... er, I mean, you need to loosen it up a bit. Just let your weight settle into your hips. Keep your balance over your feet, don't lean forward, and don't bend your knees quite so much. You just want to keep them from being locked, not really flexed that much.

He stepped forward to help guide her into better form as his gloved hands when to her hips and her shoulders. The sparring padding wasn't what a person might think of a boxing glove, it was really just a fingerless glove with a bit of thickened material around the knuckles. Just enough to keep from allowing a sharp edged impact from the bone, so he was easily able to communicate with her through his fingers.

"That's better. This way you can move any direction you want just by shifting your weight. It doesn't advertise your movements in advanced because you don't have to recover from a crouch first."

Hellbound knew that a lot of martial arts made use of extremely deep stances, but he'd never really seen the utility of such things. Sure they made for great artistic expression, but he just wasn't that comfortable using them in a real fight.

"You feel what I mean?" He asked, his head fairly close to her ear as he guided her.

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Moira nodded, acknowledging O'Ren's instruction. She tried the shifting weight technique, moving in rhythm with her trainer. It was easier with her guiding him.

She stood there for a second, taking in what she had just learned. Leaning her head against his, she continued moving along, "Yeah, this kind of moving is great. I'm sure if fights were more like this you'd get a different crowd though."

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"We'll go over grappling again later." Hellbound applied a small, sweet kiss to her ear. "For now, focus Daniel-San."

He regretfully stepped away from his attractive pupil and tried to bring his mind back around to the instructions. There was a lot that he wanted to get across to her, but they'd never get through the lesson at this rate.

"So now you know how to stand, or at least the gist of it. An even weight distribution is important ortherwise you'll be slow to react and always off balance. A good opponent will be able to spot that in a heartbeat and take advantage of you... and not in a good way."

Hellbound moved to stand in front of her once more and took up a similar position. His shoulders dropped, his chest seemed to relax and his breathing started to come from his midsection.

"Keep your hips relaxed. That's where all of your power is going to come from. You can already hit a ton, but you're still not taking avantage of your full strength. There's a lot of energy you can bring up from your legs yet, but you can't do that if your hips are locked. Stay relaxed and loose."

The fighter drew his arms akimbo as he spoke and started rotating his upper body back and forth. The swiveling motion came from his pelvis like he was just taking a morning stretch, but his legs shifted to match the motion. Each time one of his arms moved forward, the opposite leg would turn to provide support.

"This is why you want to keep your heel planted when you punch. Just reach forward with your right hand and push off with your left heel. Try to imagine drawing a line through your body that goes from your wrist all the way down your leg. Every muscle group in that line can add power to your punch if you manage your form right."

As Hellbound reached forward, his hand lightly brushed over Moira's shoulder. They were standing face-to-face and close enough that he could lightly stroke a stray lock of hair as he withdrew.

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Moira smiled as she thought of the grappling lessons over the past week or so. Then again, she was sure that kind of grappling probably wouldn't be effective in combat.

Relaxing her hips a bit she slowly swayed them a bit to show she had loosened them like he instructed. She then followed up with the fists on her side position to practice.

"Sorta like this, huh," she whispered in their close position.

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Hellbound released Moira's hair and slid his hand behind the back of her neck. His fingers, strong enough to bend steel and tough enough to survive an incinerator, drew her in gently.

"Yeah." He admitted. "Just like that."

A delicate kiss was layed on her lips as the general course of the training session began to go awry. What had began as demonstrating a few combat basics threatened to turn into a completely different encounter if Moira didn't get his mind back on track.

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Is this part of the training, Moira thought as her arms dropped and wrapped around O'Ren's waist slowly pulling them closer together, Am I not supposed to let my guard down? Have I failed? Damn this blood of mine! The kiss lasted for only a second or two, but it felt like an eternity.

"I'm sorry," she looked at him afterwards with a longing smile and gentle voice, "We're not getting anywhere with this, are we?"

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"Depends on where you want to go." Hellbound began to carefully direct Moira to lay down on the canvass. Thankfully, the warehouse was still abandoned as they'd been granted privacy for their training session.

"I'd say there's no place else I'd rather be at the moment."

ooc; Done? :D

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