Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Settmour Practice - 9/19

Its much harder to get up to Glen Gardener for practice.  I used to be about half an hour away.  Now the practice is at least 90 minutes away.  Thankfully, the drive is made easier with some companionship.  Last night, my amazing cadet joined me for the trek up and back.  We had some good conversation on all sorts of topics, fencing and non-fencing related.

Ellynor wanted to work on case, so we went out to work on that.  I took my rapier and dagger out against her.  After making her work her left hand, by cancelling out her right, she was getting a better feel for the form.  She was still letting me get up the middle on her.  We went outside where there was some airflow and talked about it.  I showed her a different technique for fencing case, which seemed to make more sense to her.  She was able to process it and put it into play that same evening.

I then went out and did some passes with Master Orlando.  We both took buckler and it was back and forth, with him besting me more often.  I was not getting the control on him with my buckler that I am normally am able to achieve.  He hit me with some very pretty shots, one a slow thrust that I was expecting to deflect with the buckler, which he just went right over it.  I love fencing him as he pushes me with any and every form.

I then broke out the long sword for some passes with Duke Omega.  It was a fun fight, well paced, and not like I would have expected prior to the bouts.  On our last bout, we were both moving forward and he hit me right between the muscles in the shoulder (I think he hit bone).  That caused me to have to pause for a bit.

I then fought Duchess Caoilfhionn with the long sword.  When we got more room and it changed from a linear fight to one where she was moving around, the fight changed significantly.  On our last pass, I caught her flatfoot and with a stouter blow than intended.  We talked it over afterwards, as I was not the only one to catch her with a hard shot.

I was done for the night, as the heat and humidity were oppressive inside.  I talked with Jeff of Biscuits about how to get inside a long swords reach.  Omega helped me with the demonstration.  Then I showed Caoilfionn a few opportunities and ways to use half-swording to her advantage when pressed.

It was nice to have Ellynor to drive back with.  Last week, Jennie and Evan were with me.  The long drive home was made much easier by having company.  I've offered a ride to others who live down in the Iron Bog area.  Hopefully they will take me up on it.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Back in the saddle again

Since the move down to south jersey, I've been trying to get back to fencing. I hit the first bhakail practice after pennsic, had two bouts and I was done.  Eldrich and Morrwyl were teeing off on me. I was having issues even seeing them fire their shots until after they had buried them in my body. I was having shoulder/arm issues, so I called it an early night.

The following week I went to practice in settmour. What used to be a quick drive is now a long drive. I did get to fence some, but not as much as hoped. No issues except stamina.

I went back bhakail for practice but felt off.  I had the start of a migraine. I got some bouts in but not a lot.

Bhakail Commons is their rapier champions tourney. I felt good fencing there and was the top finisher in my pool. I fenced with the two hander or rapier. In the finals, Colin and I agreed to start single, then the loser would pick the best form until sometime win two bouts. I won the single bout, he chose buckler which he won, so I chose two handed sword for the final. Winning that bout made me champion of bhakail.

The following week I returned to settmour for Tuesday practice. Did pretty well there working in my game.

This week, I hit both settmour and bhakail. Not as much fencing as I'd have liked on Tuesday,  but had some nice passes. At bhakail, they had a round robin tournament going. I finished at the top with only a single loss. I fenced it all with rapier and dagger. Had some nice talks with people. I didn't have any ankle wrap with me so I'm hoping that it doesn't hurt tomorrow.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Mudthaw 2017

Mudthaw was yesterday and it was one of the best events I've been to in a long time.  It was my first time at this site, which was used last year.  The site is gorgeous, but the restriction is no fencing on the grass, so it was in the parking lot.
We got to the event a little later than I had anticipated.  I just made the tail end of the OGR meeting and to collect part of the tithe.  We got settled near the fencing list, and I had a nice warm up with my longsword against a nice lady from Silver Rylle.  I did a little more warm ups, but nothing too taxing.  During the Cut and Thrust tournament, Their Excellencies Settmour Swamp came over and asked if they could witness my taking a cadet. So with words exchanged and a scarf tied on, I now have one awesome cadet in Ellynor Redpath.  She also received a dress scarf made by my wife with a unicorn pin, my original cadet/TOAD scarf, and a tiny bling box with her arms burned into it.  The scarf I tied on her was made by Sir Antonio.
For the tournament of the day, my first round was Ogedai.  Go figure.  He took case, I took my dagger.  I was able to parry and strike a shot while he was throwing with his left hand.  I was his only loss in the tournament.  I lost to Kenrick, beat someone (can't recall his name), and lost to Develin.  Overall not the day I wanted, but I had fun.  I did some pickups with Llewellyn, and then some two on one against Aesa and Eanraig.  Fencing on asphalt hurts though.  I tweaked my back and even a day later, my ankle is still hurting.
We stayed through court enough to see Jonathan and Teresa ascend to the baronial seats of Settmour Swamp, but after that, the small child was done, so we left the event and headed home.  We went out for sushi with Jean Xavier and Gianetta and then showed up with them in tow for a little socializing at Antonio and Elizabeth's house.  Saying our goodbyes, we went back to our house to pass out.
I made breakfast this morning for everyone, various flavors of pancakes (blueberry, strawberry, cinnamon swirl, chocolate chip, and cinnamon swirl/chocolate chip). 
One really nice thing was seeing a lot of old and new friends. From Edmund, to Xavier and Taryn, to Straya and Rowen, it was as people said, a throw back event. Friends are what make the SCA.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Getting back into the swing of things

My hand/wrist issues have been getting better. I've been knocking the rust off, and actually using my rapier.  I've not been using the two handed sword as much.  I had been using my shorter blade since its lighter and thus not as fatiguing to my arm.  Tuesday, for the first time in quite a while, I put my tournament blade on my rig and fenced with it.  It felt very good to me.

I warmed up quickly with a set of passes with Don Sebastian Xavier (aka: Skippy, Sparky, Shackles).  It was nice to see him out and we were both knocking the rust off.  I was able to fight my fight, and even be more aggressive in controlling the bouts than I normally am.

Next up was working a little with His Nextelency, Jonathan Miles.  He wants to be a better fencer, not retreat so much as his primary defense and work on his blade work.  I showed him a trick I used which was to close my eyes and do drills with some opposition and disengages.  He was able to continually find my blade just by touch and not get out of position.  He could even feel an attack coming and responded properly.  I repeated the lesson later that evening with Christoper Serpentius (or whatever his SCA name is now).

Next up was a lesson with Berenika (aka Lucy). We both had rapier and dagger, but I brought out my 30" blade.  She was not used to having reach on an opponent, so when she closed, I was at the advantage.  I was able to get my blade free and on point, or I was quicker to the draw on the inside with the dagger.  We sat down and discussed what happened, her observations, and how things were going for her.

I then picked a fight with Dominico, who was standing around.  After a few passes, I noticed he was still strong arming his blade, so we worked on grip, theory, and then disengages around a doorknob.

My last partner for the night was Master Orlando.  Again, rapier and daggers, my favorite form.  During these passes, everything was flowing as if I didn't have an injury that prevented me from fencing.  Oh, don't get me wrong, Orlando was still able to tag me, but I felt good about my fencing for the first time in a long time.

I also noticed that I had more stamina than I used to have.  Not sure if this is because of going to the gym, vitamins, changes in my diet, but I'll take it.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Pennsic XLV

Pennsic was ....
  • Hot
  • Humid
  • Fun
  • Relaxing
  • Stressful
  • Anxiety inducing
  • Painful
It was a little weird staying offsite but I am very glad we did, for our sake and that of the little man.  We drove out on Saturday morning, after not getting much sleep the night before.  We arrived onsite and trolled right in.  Since we could not check into the bed and breakfast, we walked around and caught up with friends.  We checked into the B&B around 4:30, moved the stuff in, and had dinner at Applebee's in Butler.  Sleep was eh.  I should have taken our pillows with us.

Sunday, I drove to site early to get a paid parking pass, so we would not be parking over the top of the hill.  Paid parking pass acquired, I drove back to get Jennie and Evan.  I suited up to  get inspected for the rapier field, and did a few pickups.  I was trying out the two handed sword to get my range down with the two-hander.  Stuck around to watch rapier champions.  E passed out but Stacey took up his chant of "GOlando" when Master Orlando Sforza was up to fence.  We grabbed some food and then back to the B&B for bedtime, except we were to meet people for coffee, so we turned around, parked, and then hung out for about an hour before  heading back for bed.

Monday, I did a few more pickups.  Most enjoyable were those with Warder Fergus, he with rapier and dagger against my long sword.  I cracked the handle on my long sword when fencing Mikulaj and had to make an emergency repair with duct tape so it  would not get worse.
In the rapier battle, which started way late, I started out with the Southern Region.  There we faced a lot of Atlantia, with a smattering of Midrealm fencers.  As we we dominating the open field, Nataliia directed me to head up the line to  assist with the other flags.  I was able to help out in the broken field section, but after being backed over a hay bale, I opted to move up towards the fort and assist the Handsome Boys/Calivers and Ansteroa.  I was able to help push the enemy forces around the tower, but we never had enough people to keep the ground and flank them and gain the tower.  Intense and fun fighting.  Just wish it was not so bloody hot.  Doroga's girlfriend is amazing, having cool towels for the fencers at the resurrection line.  I think that saved me.  Had an "interesting" conversation with a Midrealm MOD after the battle, but it all worked out.  Funny though as the old me would have blown up at this person.  Being a dad has changed me as I now have a lot more patience.  As I said though, all good now, and now I have a new friend.  Jennie, E, and I went to dinner over at DeLondres.  Yummy ribs and good company.  Then onto Master Phillip White's ice cream social

Tuesday, a few pickups, but not too much fencing due to the increasing heat.  I helped to marshal the early goings of the cadet tournament and signed in a few friends.  I'm so glad to see the tournament i started thriving with 95 entrants this year, even up against the Ansteorran tournament.  I was not a fan of the melee scenario.  In the first pass, as a defender, I held off an advancing line with my cohorts until I was DFBed.  I think I threw on shot to back a few people off.  In the second go around, as an attacker, a advanced on a few skirmishers, saw Bruce and Trap and an Atlantian MOD.  He looked at me, I threw my shot, he looked away at a group advancing on him, as he started to look back, I connected with my shot to his mask, right about the jaw line.  He felt it was hard and asked me to give my medallion number to  a marshal.  I complied, resurrected at the nearest flag and tried to get back in the fight, but it was soon over.  I had tracked him on his way back to his resurrection point.  I apologized, we discussed it, and we were all good.  I introduced him to Jean Xavier as my Peer.  I  then went to where the marshals were having their meeting.  When they wrapped up, I talked with Frasier, told him that we were all good.  Did I feel the shot was hard?  It doesn't matter it what it comes down to.  My opponent felt it was hard.  I stepped up and did the right things afterwards. I will call this personal growth.  I saw my opponent later in the food court.  We talked a little more, I apologized again, he said there was no need.  All good there.  After all the fencing we went over to An Dub to hang out with Jean Xavier and Gianetta.  Evan was passed out due to the heat and we needed a place to just sit and (try to) chill.  We had a nice dinner.  Gianetta setup a tub of water for Evan to splash in, as he was overheated.  His smile returned.  We then went back to the B&B for showers and a bath for Evan, and bed.

Wednesday was our last day.  We cut it short.  Jennie went shopping with Engracia.  I followed with Evan, but not too closely.  We went for a walk down to House Hedgehog, where E passed out.  We spent some time down there just hanging out.  E slept the whole time, so when we got back up to the top of the hill, we called it a day, got in the car with the A/C blasting, and headed back.  We got cleaned up and headed out for dinner to North Country Brewing Company in Slippery Rock.  It has become our post-Pennsic meal of choice.

Thursday, we drove home.  I was worried about how E would do in the car with us leaving after breakfast, but he was great.  He passed out for a bit or kept himself entertained.  We got home and stopped at Costco and we ran into my grandmother and my mom.  I unpacked the truck later that evening.

Overall it was a pretty good Pennsic.  I am glad we didn't camp, but I missed being onsite. We shall see what next year brings.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016


So I'm still having problems with my hand.  I thought it was getting better.  I've switched out my keyboard for work to one with a negative incline.  I've changed from a mouse to a trackball.  I'm giving it rest, but as soon as I pick up a sword, it starts to hurt.

Last night, I helped to authorize 3 new fencers.  We had four people at the practice authorize for the first time.  Watching Malcolm fencing Erika, it was an easy authorization to observe.  I did some pickups with Dominico to prep him, and then fenced his authorization bout.  The third of the night was Anton, who I observed.  It was not an easy one to judge from outside, so I asked him to fence me some.  I was satisfied and another authorization was completed.

My last fight of the night was Wulfgar, who wanted to do 48 passes for the night, as he's turning 48 on Thursday.  He was at 40 passes, so he only needed eight more.  We had some fun passes completing his goal.

In other news, I've ordered a Federschwert from Castille Armory.  I have the Hanwei version, but its too floppy.  This one is being ground down to work as an SCA Heavy Rapier blade and not limited to C&T.  I hope to have this in before Pennsic.

I'm also going to be making a handle and cross guard to go on my 45" blade.  I am given to calling it the "Pennsic War Atrocity".  My actual hope is that this will help me with my hand issues during Pennsic, as I'll be able to use both hands to support the weapon.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Practice Report - 6/28/16

After a great time fencing on Saturday, not sure what happened on Tuesday at practice.  Went out and fought  Jonathan, gave him my buckler and I took single.  Hand started cramping up immediately.  Took a break, did some teaching with Rachel.  That was my practice.  I have a feeling it's all the typing I do all day long.

Tonight I am heading to a session on Italian Rapier by Maestro Tom Outwin.  I may have to leave early to pick up my father at the airport.