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.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Potted Arms - 5/25/16

I was undecided about going to Potted Arms in the Canton of Hawk's Reach (corrected from - Lions End), Barony of An Dubhegeinn. I wanted to go, but my hands had been bothering me. I wanted to fence, to see friends, and it would likely be the last time I'd have to see John Radburne in a while as he's moving halfway across the continent. Not that I get to see him that often, but he's one of my favorite people, to fence or just hang out with.

So the morning cane and I took E to get bagels. I was still undecided, but was feeling ok.  I got home and decided that I would go battle the traffic on Long Island to get to the event. Traffic getting there was not to bad for the L.I.E. during a summer weekend. I got on site in under two hours. Got ready to fence and was asked to fight an authorization. It was with John and for case of rapiers. A no brainer, but the forms must be followed. It was a fun few passes but the hand started acting up. So I took it easy and entered the first tournament which included a hat auction of fencers. I brought out my mask, and my herald spoke well of the character that inspired the design. I went to Vitorrio for $20.

The tournament was a fun scenario that would take too long to explain. I never did get to light Alexander MacGlouchlin with the torch as I wanted to. When I was the witch, I took out all the villagers scoring max points. This had me tied at the end with my provost sister, Miriam Giant Slayer. So a single bout would determine the victor. I won after a hard fought bout, taking the prize for my sponsor.

I did some pick ups with Adi before the next tournament, a straight up double elimination affair with bouts being best 2 of 3. I drew Eanraig, Targai, John (loss), Vitorrio, and then wound up in the finals with John. We agreed to go blind (keeping what we picked up first, without seeing what our opponent had chosen) as it was rotating weapons forms, best 3 out of 5.

(Bouts how I recall it, but I may be off)

* first bout: me-buckler,  John-stick 
* second bout: me-dagger,  John-dagger
* third bout: me-case (I gave up the secondary),  John-single
* forth bout: me-singleJohn-case

He won 2, I won 2, setting up a final bout. John had not re-authorized in non-rigid parry, so we both agreed with the marshals to fight either single or rapier and dagger. Baroness Suzanne choose dagger after employing the very scientific, eenie, meenie, miney, mo method. John took the final bout. I'm thankful to my most worthy opponent and friend who allowed me a few stoppages to relieve the discomfort in my sword hand. All my fights were very clean and I thank all of my opponents on the day. It was a great day of fencing.

In court, I was called up as the winner of the first tournament. My sponsor was presented with a mirror box, and then it was revealed the prize was a blade of my choosing. The people of An Dubhegeinn are as gracious as they are generous. John was presented with a wooden cooler for his victory and Eanraig was declared the new champion of the barony.

I had dinner with John and Adi at a Fridays, and while the meal was good, the company was even better. I wish I got to see them both more often. Lots of laughs and just a good feeling you get when spending time with people you like. Adi said it best after I toasted "to good friends". She corrected me and said family and is so true.

After dinner it wad a slog through traffic to get home. Thankfully my GPS avoided some major delays. I got home exhausted but it was worth it.

I know Long Island is a pain to get to, but they have a great spirit and some fun and  challenging fencers. It was a good day.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Practice report - 6-14

Well, practice sucked for me this week.  My hand issues that showed up at SRWC had felt better until I picked up a rapier and tried to use it.  I tried fencing Malcolm and I was hurting and off.  I unwrapped  it, and then used some prewrap and athletic tape to try and support the muscles.  Ithen tried to  do a few passes with Jonathan.  Yeah, that didn't help either.

Today its bothering me more, especially when typing or using the mouse.  I'm now going to look up some exercises to do and stretches.  Lucy gave me a stretch to try and do.

Time to work on the fencing lefty I guess....

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Practice report and SRWC

Practice this past week went ok. I had no motivation for a number of factors.  Mike asked me to drill with a new fencer, Jeff.  To set his mane in memory, I called him, "Jeff, the god of biscuits" from an Eddie Izard shot in religion.  Anyway, we worked a lot from the ground up as this was his 4th practice. He seemed to grasp the concepts I was giving, so we kept at it. I can't believe we spent so much time worthing, and I didn't get to spar once and I was still happy with the night.
And E gave Jeff a new nickname. He kept saying, "Daddy fencing 'skits" to Jennie. She finally figured out he meant biscuits because he had overheard me reference Eddie Izard from halfway across the room Jeff's wife heard it and laughed, so I think he has been christened.

SRWC

A day where nothing seemed to be working right. My right hand cramped up in warm ups and settled up. Pain in the base of my thumb and along the pinkie side. I went 2-2 in the tournament. I tried fencing more but the hand was hurting too much. Additionally, I knew where my mistakes were but everything just felt off.
With the heat, Jennie and I took Evan to the pool for a swim. That was the best part of my day, followed closely by setting a dear friend elevated to the order of defense.  I count myself lucky that I get to see Orlando every week and pick his brain on a multitude of subjects.
We tried to stay through court, but R was done. He passed out in the car quickly and didn't even wake up for food, lemonade, or my offer of a french fry.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Practice 5/24 - Quest - Practice 5/31

Practice 5/24

There was a weirdness at practice that I can't put my finger on.  I was still riding high from fencing on Sunday, but I was just not feeling it this time.  I did some fencing and some teaching, but I was not in a good head space and was not comfortable in my gear.  We all have those days.

Quest 5/29

Great day for fencing.  Weather was hot, but the humidity dropped.  Prior to the tournament, I did a bunch of secondary authorizations.  I authorized Jonathan and Ciaren in Case.  I authorized Caoilfhionn and Elizabeth in rigid parry.  Like the dick I am, I made them fence with both the bucklers they were familiar with and a cane, with which neither had practiced.  I can't recall if there was any others at this time.

The tournament was a round robin coin tournament. Since I didn't want to serve as champion, I told the MOL that prior to the start.  My losses were to Melchior and Eleanor Redpath.  With Melchior, for some reason I tried to hit his left shoulder, which he took slightly offline with his dagger while tagging me with a beautiful shot.  Why I went for that target, I have no clue looking back on the bout.  Bad decision making on my part.  

For my loss to Eleanor, I didn't realize how close we had setup prior to the bout and she made me pay for it with a quick one shot to my belly under my buckler.  I barely had a chance to even get set and I was dead as can be.  So very proud of her.  Kicking myself a little, but I needed a reminder like that,

I wound up finishing tied with Garrick for second place with an record of 11-2.  Firebow came in first place with the same record, but more coins.  

Ev needed a nap and I needed a cup of A/C and some food, so we left soon after the fencing tournament completed.  

Practice 5/31

I was having an off night with motivation, but once I finally got up and moving, I had a good time. I got to fence Ronan, Antonio, and Caoilfhionn.  I did some teaching and a few passes with Elizabeth.  What started as an iffy night, turned into a pretty good night.  The practice continues to grow and grow which is amazing.  

Monday, May 23, 2016

Southern Regional Rapier Practice

Fun, exhausting, long day. Joining us in the car were Orlando and Bereneka (Lucy)for the drive, so we had a full car. When we got there, the parking lot was already full and we had to park on the grass. This was going to be good. I got suited up and did some warm up passes with Eldritch. He snagged the tip off my long blade, so I went inside to tape it back on. I couldn't find my tape, so I just swapped the blade out for the 37. We did some more passes and then it was time to begin the days tournament for the Champions team for Pennsic.

My first fight was Orlando. Of course, the guy I drove down with. He took case of rapier to my rapier and dagger. I managed to get his right hand, then put him away after a long drawn out fight. It's not like we don't see each other every week.

Next up was Antonio. After the bout with Orlando, I swapped back to the longer blade. What most were probably expecting to be a longer fight was over quickly. I pushed on his shirt and should have followed it up with a step, but I backed off. He hit me in the under arm. I was going to call it arm, but then in the pause to think about it, it was right on the edge within the hand span of the arm pit, so I called it good. First loss.

After Antonio, I drew Declan who came at me with case. He exposed the centerline and I struck home a winning shot.

Next bout was Yehuda, another person I see regularly. He was over extending and reaching and it gave me the opportunity to strike.

Then came Eldritch. He presents such a different style but it works well for him. Fortunately for me, he paused and dropped his weight just add I was throwing for his head. It came in a little hot, and I apologized immediately.

My penultimate fight was Ciaran, yet another who I see weekly. I'm glad E was not watching as my son might have cheered against me. He was throwing things at me but without intent. I dropped my hand and aligned my blade so all he saw was my point and my guard. He paused and I took the shot right along the same angle my blade was at to his eyes. He never saw it unit the point was on his mask.

My final fight in the tournament was also my first, Orlando. He took me clean with a shot from his right hand into my left chest.

The finals was then Orlando vs Antonio. I missed the bout but it was won by Antonio. So I wound up losing to the two finalists and in 3rd place, not to bad.

I later realized it was only my second tournament since K&Q in October. The other one being at 1066.

After the tournament we did some melee drills. It was fox and hounds.  During my third go around, I was the fox and managed to lock and roll my bad ankle. I went down. It wasn't too bad but with the moisture falling from the sky, I and done.  Sorcha got me an ice pack and that helped it from swelling more. We waited around for our travel mates to be done and then headed home with a stop at a diner for food.

All in all, it wad a good day. I couldn't sleep last night add my adrenaline was still spiking. I wad riding that high all day while fencing and it lasted until somewhere around 4AM.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Enemies at the gate

Practice last night was awesome.  I felt alive, rejuvenated and wanting to fence.  There was an energy in the room that was amazing.  We had 24 people on the floor fencing last night.  Most of these were our regular attendees, but we were also visited by a lot of people.  Professor Pieter from the Midrealm and Don Po Silvertop from Aethelmearc both chose to visit our practice.  Additionally we had Alesone and Elizabeth attending.  Malcolm also released a bunch of the newer fencers out of the kiddie pool and into the big pool, so there was a lot of fencing going on.

I reinforced a lesson I gave to Perot on using a curved blade from two weeks ago, showing him the subtle differences in blade positioning.

I got suited up and then waited for my chance to cross blades with Pieter.  It was awesome fencing him, as I have not had a chance to cross blades with him in a few years.  I know I'm short, but even Garrick has to look up to Pieter.  The man has arms longer than a Brighid (a standard unit of measure).  He popped me a few times, I got him a few times.  There was some dagger work involved in close.  It was a ton of fun.

Over the rest of the evening, I fenced Jonathan, Po, and Rachel.  With Jonathan, in our last bout, he hit me with a beautiful outside shot from his right, while his body went to his left around me in a passing step.  It was a creative and amazing shot.  Fencing with Rachel, she is coming along very nicely.  Her defense is tight and she takes instruction extremely well.  Her offense is coming along, and when I leave a hole capitalizes on it.  When I change up what I am doing, she reacts appropriately to it.

Fencing Po was like fencing a mirror image of myself.  Short, pudgy, old, and Jew-ish.  We went our rapier and dagger and it was a very tight series of bouts.  It was also so much fun.  Tactical, strategic, neither of us giving the other much time or distance.  A conversation of blades.  His hand speed has improved since I last fenced him.

Overall, it was a great night.  I wish I had more passes, as I was feeling good, but the energy from last night will help sustain me until I have a sword in hand again.