Friday, November 27, 2015

This week in rapier

I skipped practice this week. Between Thanksgiving prep and my ankle being sore from 100 Minutes War, it was just not feasible. Still having some major pain in the ankle. My weight is a contributing factor I'm sure, but it's never taken me this long to recover so I'm getting a little worried. I need to do something, just not sure what.

I also subscribed to Duello TV

Sunday, November 22, 2015

100 Minutes War

Sorry for any typos. I'm trying to post this from my phone.

So there was an event yesterday, 100 Minutes War. It marks the end of the outdoor fencing season here in the East.  This year the weather was cooperative. 

The day started out slowly. Bethany asked a question of me and while I wad right in my thinking, I'm not as good at saying the full answer.  I noticed Lorenzo, Donovan, and Remy having a discussion, so I pointed her at the three of them. I enjoyed listening to their sword geekery in breaking down the answer regarding the differences, subtle and gross, between stances of Gigante and Fabris. I need to get better at giving a fuller answer than just an overview as my thinking was right,  but not complete.

Onto the warlord tournament to help choose sides for the day. My first fight was with Melchior, and it wad one of the most fun passes I've had in quite a while.  I figure in a warlord tourney you want good teammates and I could not have asked for a better captain, as he beat me cleanly.  We eventually lost in an 8 on 8 to Orlando.

Then there wad the crazy cannonball melee. Seems like people enjoyed hitting me hard, including a punch with the guard to my mask (Looking at you, Monsoiur Remy) and a shot from behind into my kidneys. It was all good, though I do have a few nice bruises. I talked to the folks who made the mistakes after the fights,  not out of anger, but to use it as a teaching moment. Remy still continued to hit me hard.  Must be my mask that offends his sensibilities.

At brief court in which for new members were added to the rolls of the Silver Rapier, Yehuda was given a medallion that started with me, was passed to Engracia, and is now his.

Alesone, put out a call fire anyone willing to be a lava otter for the next scenario.  Now lava otters are an elusive creature, chaos incarnate but with a sense of fun and fair play. I jumped on the opportunity and thus the forces of chaos included myself, Caine, Nataliia, Melchior,  and Ronan.  It was some of the most fun I've ever had fencing. My queen called me the perfect lava otter for my actions. That made me smile inside. Chasing Aiden through the woods at the end like a crazed horror movie killer, telling him "my son wants me to give you a fist bump" and his reaction to that is going to be s favorite memory for a long time. We were both laughing about it.  He said I had that perfect killer stalk, which was because I was wiped and my ankle was killing me.

Then into the final tournament, the MOD/OGR challenge. I had some great passes with people, was able to provide some good feedback and instruction (I hope), and end the day on a high note.

Gearing down a leaving site down, I was very happy with the day. This morning, my legs still hurt but I am smiling. It doesn't hurt that my sin wad just giggling and being all cute.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Practice Report - 11/17

Not happy with where my fencing was last night.  I'm relying too much on tricks and not good fencing.  This makes me want to just pack it in for a while.  I know in my mind what I am doing is wrong, but I just can't break the body of the habits and make it do something different.  In part, I wonder if it is due to the new blade.  I think before next week, I am going to drop back to the 38" Darkwood blade, instead of the 45" Castillle.  I wonder if I'm using the length as a crutch to prop up bad fencing.  I have not been this unhappy with the way I have been fencing in quite some time.

The good, well interesting, from last night was Yehuda and Firebow doing some teaching on what they learned at KWAR.  We were doing some very basic things, like finding the blade, which is awkward at the moment since it is new.  It is very similar to what I was doing on Saturday with my bouts against Jean Xavier, but now there is some thought behind it.  I look forward to learning more as I need new skills to develop.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

St. Andrew's on Long Island and Practice Reports

Practice has recently felt like a chore.  Last week however, I had some great passes with Orlando which I really enjoyed.  I'm not sure why the feeling of malaise when it comes to practice, other than my life has been very busy right now, and going to practice feels more like an obligation and not like something fun.  But I do enjoy being at practice for the people and the fencing.  Its the "going to practice" that has me iffy.  I also need to get back to working on drills and building up muscle memory.

Saturday, we traveled out to Long Island for St. Andrews.  Its a small local event and most of the people who were fencing there don't travel all that much, so it was nice to see some unfamiliar faces, as well as those more familiar.  There were two tournaments, a single elimination tournament and then the novelty tourney.  I went into the first tournament over confident.  I drew Eanraig the Bonesetter as my first bout.  He's pretty good, I was stupid and I wound up dying.  So lesson learned... and its a lesson I've probably been needing for a while.   I tried to toy with my opponent, figuring that I could counter anything he threw at me.  I was wrong.  I need to fence my game and keep it tight.  That is when I am at my best.

In the second tournament, there were three people fencing at a time.  You got one or two points for picking up objects around the list and three points for killing your opponents.  I said heck with bending down, and my strategy was dispatch my opponents and then pick up any remaining objects.  At the conclusion of the tournament, I had 27 points.  My next closest opponent had a little over half my total.  For my effort, I was rewarded with a signed copy of "Honor Among Thieves" by J.M. Aucoin.

I did some pickups and a little teaching at the conclusion of the tournament.  I did some pickups with Eanraig wherein I felt better about facing him earlier.  He's strong and faster than I thought, but playing my game and maintaining proper measure, I felt more at ease.  He does like to come in hard and fast, but it left me his belly to hit as he tried to  recover from his initial attack.

I did some my quick and dirty dagger lesson with Baroness Lassar.  She picked it up right away and we signed her auth card for dagger.

Then I participated in a re-auth for a nice lady and did the dagger portion, as she had all her auths and had to go through all the forms.   I had to coax her significantly to actually make any attack with the dagger.  Even after tying her sword up completely with the dagger free, she was reticent to make an attack with it.

Finally it was a series of bouts with Jean-Xavier.  Its always a fun time fencing with him.  For some reason, I was making a lot of parries in five, with my blade over his, and my point offline, which was allowing him to complete his attack after the initial interception.  I'm not sure why I was doing this or what was going on in my head, but I was not rolling my wrist over to execute a parry four properly.  I paused what I was doing, evaluated it, still have no clue why I was doing it, but was able to correct it for the rest of our passes.

Following the fencing, I was able to witness Jean-Xavier take Lady Miriam Giant Killer as his first provost.   Then it was the long trip home.  I hate travelling through NYC.  While it was only a little over 90 minutes to get to the site, it took us an hour longer just to get to the George Washington Bridge.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Practice report -10/13/15

Last night, I decided to take my buckler to practice with me.  It was the first time I have used it in a very long time.  I had problems fencing a buckler fighter in the first round of the 16 at K&Q.  I figure the best way to learn how to defeat a weapon form is to study its use from the other side.

My buckler is a wavy buckler in the style of Marozzo.  I made it out of leather a few years ago.   It was the first leather tooling project I ever undertook.  After last night, I need to rework the handle on the buckler as it is way too tight to the back of the shield.

I fenced Garrick with it while he took cloak.  It was some interesting exchanges, and it forced me out of my comfort zone of staying linear.  It was a fun set of passes.  I took one that left a very interesting bruise from the chain shirt, up my arm from the bicep to shoulder.

I then did some passes with Ciaren, again working with buckler.  My left hand cramped up bad, from the handle being so tight.  I switched to dagger, but the hand was pretty much done for the night.  I did some passes with Jonathon, but the pain in my left  hand was intense. Not the practice I would have liked after this weekend, but I'll take it.

I need to figure  out a way to stand the handle a bit further off my buckler.   I'm thinking I'll but a wood block that will go between the handle and the back of the shield.

Sunday, October 11, 2015


So I had a pretty good day at K&Q.  I wish I could take back one fight. My only losses on the day were to Donovan and Thomas, who were both in the finals. Thomas hit me with a beautiful shot just inside the shoulder. I doubled with Donovan in the first pass. I had a great shot to his head but I let my defenses lapse and he wad cutting my belly. In the second pass he got me clean, and this I was out.

I finished top 6 or 8. Not really sure with double elimination brackets. The math is messy.

I was allowing some slop to get thru my defenses, and while it didn't kill me, it means I was not as clean in my defense as I would have liked. More things to work on. Need to also get in better shape, but that is a work in progress.

I was very glad to see some awesome people recognized for their hard work and their skill with a blade.

I am very tired and I have thoughts but I'm not awake enough at this point to write them coherently. We left Massachusetts at 6 this morning and just got finished with Bat Mitzvah.  Time for a nap.