Part 14

by CM Towns

   Days had passed and Jessie had worked her four teammates through various drills and training in hand to hand combat and self defense. She was mostly pleased with the quick improvement of her teammates. Sure Reed and Araminta were visibly tired and also annoyed with their own performances but Frank and Elijah helped keep their spirits up. Frank and Araminta were currently using the ring with Frank throwing simple punches and going for grabs at Araminta who was practicing the blocks and dodges she had been taught. Elijah was down below at the pool, taking a swim after the ass kicking Jessie gave him in the ring. Reed was just hitting the punching bag working on the simple routine Jessie worked up for him-pair of rights and a left in the body area, hop back then repeat. After the second time left side step with left jab at what should be the kidneys and a high right punch at what should the the side of the jaw.
   Frank gripped around Araminta’s waist and she started struggling. Jessie shouted, “Elbows! Head!” Araminta tried throwing elbows back, when it did not work she tried to throw her head back. “Pinch the open skin! Bite! Reach back under their arm around the elbow and just grab and pull!”
   Frank let go after Araminta did as instructed. “That fucking hurt!” Frank exclaimed.

   “That’s the point,” said Jessie. Jessie hollered at Reed, “Fifteen minute break Reed.” She next entered the ring to talk to her teammates.
   “This has been interesting defense training. I kinda thought I’d learn to throw a punch or a kick,” Araminta said.
   “You’re not really ready for that. You are a survivor like you said so I’m showing you how to survive,” Jessie explained.
   “I’d still like to learn to throw one of those high kicks,” Araminta expressed with a smile.
   “You know what I said about that?” inquired Jessie.
   Araminta nodded and Frank repeated, “Don’t use kicks unless you absolutely know you can hit your opponent and hit your opponent good.”
   “And the only exceptions?” asked Jessie.
   “Kick to the groin and low to the knee or ankle when in close,” Frank answered.
   “There are other exceptions-opponents back turn, leg sweeps, so forth. Kicks, or rather high kicks and medium kicks really work for the more seasoned fighter because if you time wrong you are opened for attack. Best bet in a fight are go for the body with punches. Most opponents guard their face and head. If you can get off a shot at the face hit ’em with everything cause a good punch to the jaw will buckle almost anyway or at least knock them for a loop. Remember your elbows-they can do some serious damage. Headbutts can work good but I don’t recommend it,” she explained.
   “What about knees?” asked Araminta.
   “That is a good question. I don’t think I talked about using your knees,” Jessie position Frank across from her and got into fight position. “As you can see the distance between us means for me to use my knee to strike I would have to be in close. If I were to launch myself forward with a knee strike like so-” Jessie hopped forward with her knee out and Frank moved.
   “I could have followed through with my own attack,” Frank said.
   “Exactly. I would have been able to counter Franks attack but a far less skilled fighter could have been taken out right then and there,” Jesse said. She moved over to him, put a hand on his shoulder and forced him down to one knee with her foot, taking Frank by surprise.
   Frank cussed. “What the hell?”
   “Class is in session, listen up. Now-if you have them off balance or down in a position like this you could strike with knees but you’d still be better of going for a punch or even a kick because of the reach. Unless you go for a grab for the head in which case knees are fine but that’s only in multiple attack scenarios. Knee them, push them away, move to the next but if one on one I would rather you go for something like this,” Jessie said locking around Frank’s head tight and falling back with her legs gripped around the body.
   “Guillotine choke or some sort of choke, submission move,” Jessie said before releasing.
   “Okay, so we’re not ready for using knees,” Frank said.
   Jessie set up a grapple with Frank and stated, “In this position if you have the strength or leverage advantage you can pull them in for knees to the gut. A good move. Still best to do this-” she swept the foot. “Ashi-barai. Judo foot sweep. Designed to take opponent down and leave you the ability to follow through.”
   “You know Judo?” Araminta asked fondly of Jessie.
   “I took a crash course from a Judo master in Japan one summer. It was only a couple weeks really. I got some basics,” Jessie answered before grabbing Frank by the ear.
   “Hey! Can I not be the dummy this time?” Frank asked to which Araminta chuckled.
   “If you have control of the head-by all means knee to the nose. That’s a very good and damaging move,” Jessie said.
   “Shouldn’t Reed and Elijah know all this?” Araminta questioned.
   “Huntsman is not going to be using kicks of knees. Trust me. Elijah probably won’t but I’ll talk to him. Now take a fifteen,” Jessie said.
   Jessie watched them step out and she looked around the ring. She circled and then started running the ropes like a wrestler. Right arm up to catchthe top rope, left arm down with palm toward the middle rope. She did that a few times before doing what was commonly nicknamed the 6-1-9 at the far ropes. Jessie caught the top and middle ropes, swinging her body through onto the apron. She gripped the top rope with right hand over, left hand under, pulled back with knees slightly bent, she leaped onto the rope and jumped off. A move called a springboard in wrestling which is the set up for an aerial attack like a dropkick or clothesline to someone standing or maybe a flip or body splash to a grounded opponent. Jessie just landed on her feet and rolled.
   “Working on your wrestling moves?” asked Antoine.
   “Maybe,” Jessie said seeing Sally and Antoine watching.
   “You are visualizing your wrestling move set,” added Sally.
   “You know me too well,” Jessie replied rolling out of the ring and sitting on the apron.
   “How is everyone doing?” asked Antoine.
   “Elijah is a brawler. Despite his athleticism he is uncoordinated in a fight. I don’t know if that lack of coordination has anything to do with his mutation or if he was always an unrefined fighter. Thankfully his increased strength, reflexes, and healing abilities compensate for his lack of fighting skill. He’ll be dangerous without knowing the proper way to throw a right cross.
   “Frank is picking it up the quickest but he wants to be all Kung Fu about it. Throwing kicks properly is more advanced work. Still, if he sticks to what I taught him he should be able to maybe fight two guys at the same time with no problems. Strong shots to the jaw, body shots, use of elbows, and dirty tactics. You know the score.
   “Reed and Araminta are a different story. Reed’s power-that’s his obstacle. He doesn’t think he needs to know how to fight as long as he can power up. I’ve had him mostly working on the punching bag, working up his speed on the treadmill. He’ll need one on one really. Same as Araminta. Worked mostly with blocks and dodges. Basic women self-defense so she knows to go for the privates, the eyes, anything. I hope I did enough so that she can throw a decent enough punch. I’m thinking Sally could really help her in that department,” finished Jessie.
   “Good,” Antoine stated.
   “You got a plan?” Jessie wondered.
   “Yes, and it’s not a good one,” he admitted.
   “I really, really do not like it when you say that,” Jessie stressed.
   “To be fair, it’s the Professors idea. We tweaked it as much as possible but at this point it is the only good one we have,” Sally added.
   “It’s going to be dangerous but I have confidence this will work out just fine,” Antoine added with a smile.