Shield Shapes

The shape of the shield you use is a big thing to consider for anyone.  Your shields shape will change the way you move, defend, and attack.  the way and angle your shield is strapped can change things as well. Take your time and really think it over.

In my opinion the strapped round is the best shield for beginners to learn with.  The shield I am referring to is approximately 2′ in diameter and is strapped with one point in your hand and the other on your forearm. The hand grip should be closer to the center of the shield than the edge.  This lead to a bit more of your shield being extended from your hand, extending the reach of your defense.

I believe this is the best beginning shield because of its versatility, ease of basic use, and the ability to take the methods and techniques and easily transferring them to other shapes of shields.  If a fighter begins with this shield they will have a more shallow learning curve, meaning and easier time, when learning any other type of shield.

The arm motions used are similar to the ones used with other strapped shields.  The angles of your edges are similar to the buckler. Your hand placement and pressure is similar to the way a center gripped shield would be used.

If a fighter starts with other types of shield, yes they may get greater success early on, but that ease leads to tougher growth later.  If your goal is to become the best you can than every set back is an issue, anything that can slow you down is a problem.

The Cone of Defense

Guard placement is an important  thing to think about.  The distance from your body greatly effects how much of you  is covered by your defense. We call this the cone of defense.

The coverage of your guard isn’t just the same shape of your shield.  It extends at angles around your guard, these angles are effected by the size, shape and orientation of your shield.  As shown in the images comparing two different sword and buckler stances.  As you can see the further away from you the beginning of your guard is the more coverage it gives your body.

These angles are the same for the sides as well not just the top and bottom of your guard.  if you take the 3D image of what these angles create you get the cone.

It may appear that this would only effect straight attacks, such as thrusts, but this concept can be applied in the same way with other attack too.  With your guard further away from you you have more time to make the block before it can get the angel to reach you.

This concept is just one that we use to help fighters grow.  if your defense is good you can give yourself a lot more time in a fight to figure out a strategy and win!

Nutritional basics- April nutrition

When researching, learning, and building your own plan with nutrition you are going to run into a ton of terms that you may not know the meaning of. This can be really confusing. With that being said, I am going to go over a few of these terms to help you out on your nutrition journey.

Base metabolic rate is basically the calories your body need to “be alive” meaning to perform all the basic functions for life not including the exercise you do. For an extremely simplified way to figure this out is to take your body weight (in lbs) x 10. This isn’t exact by any means, but it does give you a place to start when you are planning for our calorie goals.

Carbs- carbohydrates, these are basic compounds comprised of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen. These are converted to sugar by your body and used for energy. Carbs are found in a wide variety of foods. They aren’t inherently bad, but if your body has an excess it will store the extra rather than letting it leave the body.

Proteins are part of the development growth and repair of body tissues. They are most commonly found in meats, but can be found in some grains, beans, and meat alternatives.

Macronutrient compounds that have a high caloric value that the body has a large daily need for. Carbs, proteins and fats are some examples

Micronutrient nutritional items that the body doesn’t have a high need (amount needed) such as vitamins and minerals.

This is just a small part of the information that you will be running into but I hope this at least give you a little place to start.

Cauliflower power! April Nutrition

Soups are a great way to fill in your meals and add to them without feeling too heavy. I have even put protein powders to help add more calories and protein to my diet.


1 large head cauliflower (2 – 2 1/2 lb), cored and chopped into small, bite size pieces

2 Tbsp olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 Tbsp butter

1 cup finely chopped yellow onion

3 1/2 Tbsp all-purpose flour

1 clove garlic , minced

3 cups milk

1 (14 oz) can low-sodium chicken broth

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 tsp dried parsley or 1 Tbsp chopped fresh

1/4 tsp (slightly heaping) dried thyme or 1 tsp chopped fresh

1 bay leaf

1/4 tsp granulated sugar

4 oz shredded sharp white cheddar cheese , shredded (1 cup), plus more for serving if desired

1 oz finely grated parmesan cheese (slightly packed 1/4 cup)


1 Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place cauliflower on baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and toss to evenly coat, then spread into an even layer and season lightly with salt and pepper.

2 Bake in preheated oven until golden, about 25 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.

3 In a large pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add in onion and saute until tender, about 4 – 5 minutes. Add in flour and cook, stirring constantly 1 1/2 minutes, adding in garlic during last 30 seconds of cooking.

4 While whisking, slowly pour in milk followed by chicken broth and cream. Add in parsley, thyme, bay leaf, sugar, roasted cauliflower and season soup with salt and pepper to taste (I used 1/2 tsp salt but this may vary depending on how much salt you added to your cauliflower and how much salt you prefer).

5 Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, then reduce heat to low. Puree 3 cups of the soup in a blender (being careful as your working with hot liquids) and return to soup in pot.

6 Remove from heat and stir in sharp white cheddar and parmesan cheese. Serve warm garnished with additional shredded white cheddar and serve with fresh bread or croutons if desired.

#ironside #ironsidemc #ironsidemedievalcombat #aprilnutrition #nutrition

The “fake” rules of dieting- April Nutrition

Anyone who survived through the 80s and 90s should be familiar with the fake rules of dieting. Such as a Diet Coke cancels out that order of French fries. My favorite, a salad cancels out desert. Sadly, good nutrition isn’t that simple or easy to manipulate. A certified nutritionist can certainly help you navigate through the sudo science that is “dieting.” However, you have to be honest with them and with yourself. That honesty starts with keeping a detailed food log. Nutrition is based on science and data. A nutritionist has studied the science, however they need the data that is specific to you to give you the best advice.

That is where the food log and fitness journaling comes in handy. I keep a log of my workouts, martial arts training, nutrition, and injuries. For the beginner simply keeping a basic record of what you eat and drink on a daily basis for a few weeks can make all the difference. At first don’t worry about the exact measurements, its more important to see the grand picture. This is the data the you and a nutritionist can use to learn what you need to add or take out of your diet.

Just recently I noticed an increase in injuries when I stopped eating certain foods. Upon further investigation I was low on magnesium and a few other vitamins found in foods such as spinach, cashews, almonds, certain fish, and pumpkin seeds. I made a few adjustments and my aches and pains were reduced. This same principle can apply to energy levels, muscle gains, mood, and so much more. So, many times an athlete’s battle is won or lost in the kitchen. You have worked so hard and put in hundreds of hours into your fitness it would be a shame to loose that hard work to something that can easily be fixed. Work hard, eat clean, and become the best version of yourself that you can!

#ironside #ironsidemc #ironsidemedievalcombat #healthyeating #foodlog #powerofjournaling #nutritionist #fakediet #nutrition #scienceandnutrition #databaseddecissions #5starnutritionuv #outlawlaboratory #bgreaterfitness