Intro– Quick introduction to Roles and Positions
Hey Y’all, Back again for More Melee Role Breakdowns. Today, I’ll be bringing up the Striker Role. Strikes are primarily weapon and shield who throw a flurry of blows to disorient and overwhelm opponents, causing them to quit from pain or simple inability to keep up. The Striking role is currently very under utilized in America but is the primary Role out in Eastern Europe. It is a difficult role to Master, though probably not the hardest. While again probably not the hardest, it’s also difficulf to obtain even a baseline competence, which may be why we see so few really effective strikers. Hard to start and hard to master which means no matter where you are in your journey you’ll be seeing peers improve faster than you. Can get discouraging. However keeping at it will pay off big dividends as it’s the most versatile role, useful in pretty much any situation.
Being an effective striker means high output. Whatever amount of output you’re thinking of, double it. You might be close now. A striker is a fucking machine gun, laying down covering fire. Just like guns though, if you just point it aimlessly, and pull the trigger…probably not doing much…I think? I don’t actually know how guns work. They are magic kill people sticks to me.
The important part of that analogy is that you need to have effective strikes, you need to be able to pick your targets, and you need to know when to spam and when to pick your shots. You basically can’t do that with a 2 hander. You need a shield and a 1 handed weapon. Alot of people like the mace, because they feel they can punch easier with it. They also like these giant punch shields that give you 6-18 inches extra reach. I think those are terrible ideas. Weapons work if you know how to hit with them. Falchions and Axes are force multipliers and maces are at best force additions. You can drop people through armor with a falchion(I can link you video if you don’t believe me) and axes find those gaps so nicely. Personally I think the falchion is the ultimate striker weapon. You can get it moving fast, still has great tip weight, hits hard, allows for decent punching, and no matter where you hit on the blade it can still deliver a punch.
Speaking of punches. Shields. You want a strapped one. While center grip bucklers are fun and a bit better for maneuvering blocks and grapples, you just can’t put the same power transfer punching with the boss as you can with the edge. And sometimes it rolls if you miss the boss. So learn to strap your shield but don’t be that asshole with a good foot of clearance between edge and fist. I know it feels good, and that first punch when people come in is hella hard. It’s hard to give up an extra foot of reach…but people are gonna close eventually and then that thing becomes impossible to use to strike. It just gets bound up.
It doesn’t matter how big your shield is if you can’t throw a punch though. And your weapon is irrelevant if you don’t learn some good strikes. There’s some great videos on proper power generation on The Knights Hall website. As for punching, there are hundreds of great guides on youtube. I like Fighttips, but explore around. Learn the basics. Work the bag and the pell every day. I suggest at least 100-400 strikes a day and probably double that for punches working good form. It’s also important to get speed and endurance so I like doing a schifino of each 2-4 times a week as well as Russian drills(video coming, but basically, sit, crouch, stand, crouch, sit, for a minute each, 15-30 seconds rest. During that minute throw punches and strikes holding lightweight, like 1-5 pounds) twice a week. These are both about throwing as many strikes as possible in a short period of time. Really ups your output.
The basics covered, you might notice that punchin in armor, feels different right? Alot of your punches flow better if thrown as hooks or looping over hands. Even your jab needs to come ou alittle bit with the way most armor sits. Put your gear and guants on and work a pell with punches for a bit. Figure out what adjustments you’ll need to make. I still think out of armor you should throw punches as they are taught standard, just realize in armor some adjustments will have to be made. Fight enough and your body will take care of that for you.
If you got the tools, you may still struggle to apply them. First and foremost understand the common armor gaps. Most brig exposes the hips, Most splinted legs expose the back, whether calf or thigh. Most splinted arms leave the forearms open. Solid steel arms close this but still leave the biceps open and the armpit. Alot of spaulders and pauldrons cover the collar bone, but not that space between it and neck. Any coat of plates will not provide strong protection against a straight punch to the center of it.
Once you know your anatomy, know your flurries. There are different attacks depending on the situation. If someone is coming to grab you, all you need to do is have a high enough out put to keep them off you. Punch face strike hip, step back, repeat. That stops most attempts to wrap you up. If there’s a guy being held, move to find the weak armor point and just hit that forever. Don’t stop till they drop. If you meet someone in the open field, throw leg leg, to drop their defense down, punch them and as their arms come up, arm pit. If you come up on a guy on the right rail front kick, strike the arm chicken winging it till they react, hook to the hip or armpit if possible, if not body. If you come on a guy on the otherside, strike the hip and try to draw them in. step back and out, push them into the rail so you have thier back. Go to town.
The thing about being a striker is while you can drop people, you’re mostly there to soften people up for a throw or check. Or you’re there to finish a trapped man. So you need to learn to work with others. Learn to read what’s happening, where you need to be. And you need to talk to people, ask for openings, call for help, ect.
Stiking is key for every role, so no matter what you started with this should be the next thing you pick up, with the possible exception of certain runners that have an affinity for the axe. They might want to learn punishing, but even then I think striking is a key skill. Alot of people don’t have respect for the little hits because they don’t drop people. But you land enough jabs, and you fuck a dudes face up. Same is true here.
So up your punches, up your strikes, and I’ll see you in the lists.