Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Mudthaw & Practice Report

Mudthaw:

Well, that's pretty easy.  I missed it.  We had flight delays and by the time we returned to NJ, we were  done and just wanted to get home.  Thankfully, its an annual event, so there is always next year.

Practice Report - 4/5/16:

Got to practice a little later than expected.  E fell asleep in the car and he was a little out of sorts after getting there.  Had a long talk with a new fencer on the topic of motivation and self actualization.  No one is going to hand you anything, you have to work for it, earn it, and be proud of yourself.  Its tough sometime, especially when you feel like you are in this all alone.

I got suited up late, had some great passes with +Jonathan Bayles, a newer fencer visiting from Endless Hills, and then +Raymond Edwards.

Jonathan is in that transition stage where he is going from being raw, to becoming a fencer.  Its that plateau we all face when we start to over think things.  I am sure it will be a short plateau for him.

With Ray, it had been so long since we actually fenced one another.  He had his longer blade, and I kept my regular blade.  We both had our daggers.  It was some of the best passes I've had in a long time with any opponent.


Thursday, March 17, 2016

Rapier Academy & Practice Report

EK Rapier Academy

This past weekend was the culmination of an event I have wanted to do for about 5 or 6 years.  The problem has always been in finding a suitable site that was affordable for such a specialized event in my area.  Well I finally inquired at Jennie's church on the cost and available dates.  With K&Q Rapier having been moved from the winter to fall, I felt winter was a good time.  The only available date the church had didn't conflict with any local events, though we would lose some people to Gulf Wars and Black Rose Ball (RP).  So I put in a bid with Settmour Swamp, who were very supportive.

As an autocrat, this was the easiest event I have run.  My biggest difficulty was getting people to commit to teaching at the event.  Without classes, it would just be a big rapier practice.  The things that made it easy on me were:  no court, I'd know almost all of the attendees, limited focus, and a much smaller pool of attendees.  I figured a break even of 50, which when compared to Mudthaws I've run, is less than 10%.  I was hoping to break even on the event, but knew the Barony would still support it in the future, even with a small loss.  My budget was under 10% of what my Mudthaw budgets were.

The important thing when running a schola like this is to approach people directly, asking them to teach a class.  A point was made afterwards though, that we should not be asking the teachers what they want to teach, but also asking the students what they want to learn.  Things to note for future years.

The event drew 65 paid attendees.  We were helped out by the weather gods and had a beautiful day in the middle of March. This allowed people to fence outside.  If the weather was not on our side, it would have been a little tight inside.  In  the future, if we use the same site, I will ask for the classrooms on the for use as classrooms and changing rooms and forego the rooms off the gym, except for one-on-one training.

Thanks to the positive reception, I will be looking to run this event next year.  Some of the classes people want to see for next year are:

  • How to recruit new fencers
  • Remaining period with your armor and weapons
  • Spanish rapier
  • German rapier
  • more beginner classes
  • Intermediate Italian rapier
  • Case of Rapiers
  • Long Sword in SCA Rapier
  • Rapier 101
  • Marshaling classes
If you have any interest in teaching one of the above, please let me know.  If you know someone who would be a good teacher for any of the above, please let me know who that is, and I would be happy to reach out to them.

So thank you to everyone who came out and helped in some way.

Practice Report - 3/15/16

As for practice this week.  I actually felt better about my fencing this week.  I'm still a little sloppy and need to tighten it up, but I also need to be put into the pressure of a tournament and not just fencing at practice.  This week, I warmed up with Bethany,fighting here rapier and dagger.  I fought stick against Mike (where I was trying to get the open end of my stick over his blade.  He let me get it on our last pass, after which I was laughing too hard inside to continue).  I also had some great passes with Orlando, going single.  Overall, not a bad week.

I'm going to miss most of the fencing at Mudthaw, as we are flying back from a family vacation that morning, but I do plan to be at the event.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

How Mike Bannon broke my cup at Practice (Practice report 3/8/16)

Practice this week was good.

I had some good teaching moments, working with Bethany while she  is figuring out cloak.

I had a blast fighting rapier and dagger with Garrick.  It's not his preferred form, but it is mine.  We had some great discussion on what I was doing, why it was working, tweaking his setups and movement, and then more fencing.  Due to his long arms and height, I have a little trouble when he goes into a refused stance that I normally don't have against most opponents.  But it was way cool to be able to sword-nerd with him and go through things.  Because of this and that there is an opening in the morning for a class this Saturday at the EK Rapier Academy, I am going to try and teach a "Simple Rapier and Dagger" class.

I had some great fights with Jonathan, who is really becoming a great challenge.  He absorbs things like a sponge and just has an infectious joy when fencing.  Raw technique, but great timing and understanding have him as a capable threat on the list.  I landed a little funny on my bad leg when fencing him so I called it a night.

Now to where Mike (Ciaran) Bannon broke my cup.  I had gotten an iced tea before arriving at practice, and while Mike was wrestling with his mask, trying to get it out of his bad, he knocked it off the stage.  The cup spilled most of the tea on the floor, but the fall also cracked the cheap plastic cup, but also managed to shatter the straw.  I only write this to give him a little crap, and so I can also remember in the future the night he broke my cup at practice.


Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Practice Report - 2/23 & 3/1

I've been remiss in posting my practice reports.  Mostly its because I have not been happy with my fencing and have been slacking for the early part of the year.  I've also been travelling a bunch this year as well, so that has not helped a lot.  When we were in Orlando, I had planned on hitting their local practice, but it is held outside and it was the only day/night of rain we had, so I kind of figured that no one would be there.

On February 23rd, practice was a lot of fun.  I had a few single bouts where I was working with some of our newer fencers.  After a bit, Orlando organized some melee.  We had 7 on 8 to start with.  Malcolm and I were in command.  I had the numbers advantage for the first bout, which we won.  Jonathan switched sides so we were outnumbered, which was OK.  We still managed to win all but one of the scenarios, even after we had another person drop out.  Rather than setting up as a line, I set us up as two rows, 3 in front and then a back line, which was able to react to what the opponents were doing.  For the most part, we had our lesser experienced fencers on the back line with me.  This worked out well for us.  The opposition was never able to flank us (even in the small space of our site).  I really enjoyed the small unit work, and it helped to reinvigorate me.

Yesterday,  was mostly good.  I had some good passes with Jonathan, Orlando, and Sir Jan.  I did some teaching.  Against Jan, well,we were both legged and we bounced our weapons off of each other and I took the edge right in the tip of  my off-hand pinkie.  Ouch.  It still hurts today.  But I did have fun.  That's the thing that had been missing for a while.

Coming very soon is the EK Rapier Academy, something I've wanted to run for a long time.  Its all coming together, and I can't wait for it to be here.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Bhakail Yule - 12/12/15 (Provosting - is that even a word?)


So Saturday was Bhakail Yule. It was a day I was very much looking forward to for many reasons.  A time to hang with friends, a chance to see my friend reading stories to the children as king, some great people were to be given writs for peerages, and...

I was to become a provost to Master Jean Xavier Boullier.

I have known Jean Xavier for many years and have considered him friend.  We served on Brenwen's guard for her second reign, he as captain.  When he was forced to vacate the position, due to his elevation to the Pelican, he suggested me as his replacement.    He is the only person to hit me right on the plate in my ankle while fencing.  He is my favorite drinking buddy for Dragon*con.  He is the kind of person I have looked up to and tried to emulate, always gracious, kind, thoughtful.

When the MOD was established, I knew I had a new goal.  I'm not sure if I will ever get there, but it is something I have been working towards, even before it was a possibility.  It took a lot of thinking for me to decide to become a provost.  I was already an OGR, well established in the rapier community.  Was this something I needed or even wanted?

When I thought about the idea of becoming a provost to a MOD, I had a few people I considered asking.  Of all the Eastern MODs, I consider many close friends.  But when I thought about it, I thought that pairing myself with Jean Xavier would be a great match.  With that thought, I asked him if he would consider taking me on at the Roses Tourney back in September.  He readily agreed and I am very thankful.

When I squired to Sir Mitchel, I was asked to give an oath of fealty. I had never been asked to give an oath like that so I was a little on the spot trying to come up with words on the fly.  It might not have been pretty.  When I became Emeline's cadet, we didn't exchange oath or have a big ceremony.  We gathered friends about and she put a scarf on me.

When it came time to think of what to do in this  case, I started doing some research.  I figured an apprenticeship contract would be a good starting point.  The document I found was a little out of period, but started adapting it to work for this situation.  I asked Alys for editing help, which she gladly supplied.  I sent the words to Jean Xavier and he liked them.

I was coming down to the deadline and wanted a document to present at Yule, so it could be signed by all parties.  Again, Alys to the rescue.  So with that said, here is the contract:

Contract of Indenture
This indenture made the 12th day of December in  the  50th year of the Society in the presence of Brennan II by grace of God King of the East, and Caoilfhionn the Queen, sovereigns of all the lands from the Great Eastern Ocean to the borders of  Ã†thelmearc, Atlantia, and Ealdormere, defenders of the truth.
Witness herein that Owynn Greenwood, Baron of the Eastern Court, does  hereby covenant, accord and contract with Master Jean Xavier Boullier to serve him as provost from the date of these presents until the said Owynn shall accomplish his full understanding of all matters that the  said Jean Xavier shall require, during all which term the said Owynn covenants, agrees and contracts to serve the said Jean Xavier faithfully in all lawful business according to his power, wit and ability; in all things the said Owynn shall demean and behave himself honestly, orderly and obediently towards his said master during the said term. 
And the said Jean Xaxier for himself, his executors and administrators, doth covenant, agree and contract by these presents to train, educate and inform the said Owynn in all matters concerning the arts of the rapier and defense.  And the said Jean Xavier shall and will, during all the term aforesaid, find, provide and allow unto the said Owynn meet, competent and sufficient meat, drink and apparel, lodging, washing, and all  other  things necessary and fit for a provost.  And the  said Jean Xavier also shall and will provide that the said Owynn shall not be in any any way a burden to the faith or fame of the Kingdom. 
At the end of the term aforesaid, the said Jean Xavier agrees and confirms that he shall and will make, provide, allow and deliver unto the said Owynn apparel of all sorts, good and new, that is to say a good new suit for the holy days and another for working days. 
In witness whereof the parties abovenamed have put their ensigns manual to  these presents upon the day and year  written above.
<signed>
We whose name are  subscribed below, Administrators of the peace of the Kingdom, do consent  to the contracting of Owynn Greenwood as Provost according to the intent and meaning of this Indenture.
<witnesses>
So a HUGE thank you to Alys for the editing and calligraphy.  Also a big thank you to everyone who stood there to witness the occasion.  It meant a lot to me.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Practice Report - 12/8/15

So this week at practice, I was not there.  I've been feeling under the weather since Sunday.  Today is Friday, and I'm feeling a lot better.  I will be at Bhakail Yule tomorrow, where I will become a provost to Master Jean Xavier Boullier.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Foot / Ankle Issues

For the past two weeks or so, I've been having some pain in my right foot.  Not sure what I did to aggravate it, but its frustrating.  Its along the outside of the foot as indicated in the picture.  I found that I'm landing on that area when walking or pushing off it when walking instead of across the entire front of the foot. Part of it likely stems from my the injury to the joint, however I struggled and worked hard in physical therapy after the  injury/surgery so I would walk without a noticeable limp.  In trying to figure out the issue, I've noticed that my foot is turning out as its normal position.  I'm going to have to stay more conscious of what is happening when I walk.  I may need to get new shoes.  I'll need to examine the treads to see if it is wearing unevenly.