Saturday, April 20, 2013

Practice Report . Drew Med Fest Demo

Practice 4/18/2012

So again our intrepid duelist forayed to the wilds of Settmour Swamp to do battle with his biggest enemy... himself.  I got to practice a bit late, due to making a stop to find supplies for the wedding while they are in season at the dollar store.  I got there just in time for stretching, which is good as I'm not as flexible as I once was.

After stretching, I warmed up with Antonio.  I took out my 30" rapier against him.  He matched me, so it was an intense battle with small sword.  I love fencing with the shorter blades, all forte, no waiting.  Not the best way to warm up by going out there hard for the first bouts of the evening, but certainly a fun way to play.

After Antonio, I'm not sure who I fought, maybe Edmund.  My right hand was cramping, and my point was bouncing all over the place.  I felt like I had no control of the blade, so after the bouts, I changed out the Hanwei 43" blade I normally use for a 37" blade from Darkwood.  I figured I would see if there was some improvement, both with control and pain.  I took the blade out against Kat.  I went single, she went dagger.   I felt like I had more control of the point, but not as much as I normally do.  Also, I noticed the hand cramping more around the thumb. Additionally, my range was now off, coming up short on hitting my opponent by about 2-3".  Again, this was something I had experienced back in November, when I decided to go back to the 43" blade.

So hand cramping, knowing my measure was not happening, I tried to think what would be the best thing for me?  So I went out and just worked on my basics while bouting with Jose, Kat's boyfriend.  This was his 3rd or 4th time suiting up, and he just gets things instinctively.  I was working on one concept, keeping my hand relaxed.  I'm not going to out muscle Jose, so no point in trying to.  I was able to hit some nice things, but the hand was cramping severely.  After we went a bunch of passes, I showed him one of the moves I hit him with and how and why it works.  When I had hit him with it, I could see the WTF moment through his mask. When I explained it to him, he caught it quickly.

After that I suited down, as did everyone else and we headed to Applebee's for food.  Service was a bit lacking on promptness.  That's one thing the diner of disappointment had going for it, semi-prompt service.  So we may be on the lookout yet again for a new place for after practice.

Edmund and I at Med Fest - 4/20/13

Med Fest - Drew U - 4/20/2013

So Jennie and I had a morning meeting with the priest at her church to review some pre-wedding stuff, thus we got to the demo a little late.  There were a few fencers there, but the only one I wound up facing all day was Edmund.  We started out, me with the Darkwood 37" and a dagger.  Very quickly my hand cramped up again.  So after a bunch of passes to entertain the crowd, I switched the grip on the sword, back to the original grip it came with.  Overall, I think the grip I made was too square and not the right shape for my hand, thus I had to grip it in an unnatural way.  This then caused the hand to cramp and sent my blade control out of whack.  I fenced for the rest of the day with the old grip in place.  I noticed later in the day that my thumb was out of the normal alignment with the rest of my hand.  I could not even get my thumb to line up flat with the rest of the fingers as muscles in the pad of the thumb were just so tight.  So Retep helped me out a bit and I was able to get in some more passes and I felt like the control was coming back.

I think I am going to try and rest it more this week, but we'll see how successful that will be with work and life.  I'd not sure which blade I will be using this week at practice, the Hanwei 43" or the Darkwood 37".  I'm leaning towards the shorter blade, but I know I will be using the original grip.  We shall see how this works out.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Practice Report - 4/11/13

So last night, the weather was nicer.  It was warm during the day, so fencing in an unheated building was not too bad.  Getting to practice, the parking lot was full, so I figured it was a large turnout for practice.  Turns out the Moose were drinking in force, but we had only 7 fencers in attendance.   So after getting suited up, we did some basic footwork drills led by Antonio.  Then to change things up, and as we are getting older, we did about 20 minutes of stretching led by Mable.  I am hoping the stretching becomes part of the regular practice schedule.

I started the night fencing Firebow.  Typically, we are both out there fencing Italian with long blades (40"-43") and daggers.  I decided to change things up by bringing out my 30" rapier and dagger.  It was a much more fun fight than out typical waiting game.

Next I fought Malcolm with case of daggers, facing the same.  It was silly, it was fun, I was able to actually land a lunge from both sides.  I need to incorporate more of that in my regular game.

I ended the night with fencing Edmund.  We went back and forth.  I was working on something specific but he is probably the wrong person to try something new against as you can never get a consistent response from him.  Surprisingly, after fencing Edmund, there was only about 15 minutes left for practice, so I suited down.

When fencing Edmund, I was using my longer blade.  I noticed my hand and wrist were fatiguing.  Its something I have noticed since I changed the handle.  I think the handle I made is too narrow, so I am going to make a new one, and swap the existing one to the matching dagger.

After practice we skipped going to the "diner of disappointment" and went to Applebee's instead.  I and others had been having digestive issues after eating at the diner.  Nice thing about Applebee's, you can get a drink, and after 10 PM to close, its happy hour with half priced appetizers.  So with a bunch of appetizers and a few drinks on the table, it still came out about the same price as going to the diner.  And, my belly thanked me as I was trying to get to sleep by not keeping me awake.