Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Practice report - 9/29

So I think I needed to upgrade to gills last night.  I thought fall temperatures were supposed to be cooler.  It was actually warmer when we left practice last night than it was getting there.  Add to that very high humidity, and well, it felt like swimming.

Anyhow, practice was actually pretty good.  I warmed up fencing with Bethany.  I noticed her disengages were really large and I was not riposting with my parries at all, so I asked her if she'd mind doing some drills.  So we worked a simple drill where I would give her blade opposition, she would disengage and attack on the open line, I would parry and riposte.  We did this with both the inside and outside high line, both hands, and then we switched it up.  It felt good to do drills again.  If she or others are willing, I would like to do more of this.

Then I went out and fenced my squire brother Jonathan.  I went out with goofy case, my curved blade in my right and my 30" rapier in my left.  I had used this combo against Meryke at River Wars and I enjoyed it. It seems to work decently for me.  I recall about 10 years ago, I fought nothing but case, but since then its likely become one of my weaker forms.

After Jonathan, I fought +Raymond Edwards, who tagged me in the belly with his new blade.  It shows me I need to lose weight, as it caught my belly and pinched it.  Ouch!  We traded blades, and I really like his new setup.

The little man, and I, and Jennie were all getting over heated in the humid air, so I decided to pack it up early.  I didn't get as much fencing in as I would have liked, but I'm feeling a little better about where I am currently than I was last week.  Need to do more drills!

Monday, September 28, 2015

River Wars

River Wars was on Saturday.  Great fencing weather, overcast, cool but not cold, breezy, a little humid, looked like it would rain a few times, but splendid fencing weather overall.  There was very little traffic, and all the worry about the Pope being in Philly was for naught.

The format was interesting, in that it was the MODs/OGRs each held a spot on the field and the non-OGRs came to us.  It was three passes, not best 2-3.  We were asked to give feedback after the bouts with our opponents.  I really enjoyed the format overall.  I think I fenced 14 people as part of the tournament.  I know exactly how many fights I lost, but to me, it wasn't about wins and losses, and that in many ways is unusual.  I had a blast fencing, and it allowed me to give some concrete feedback during my bouts.

I got to do some pickups after the tournament.  I really enjoyed fencing +Caitrin M even though we were both gassed and she was hurting a bit.  I don't get to fence her enough.  I did some pickups and authorizations with two handed swords in preparation for the Oct 1 rule changes.  I authorized +Patrick Panico and +Michael Fina, thus increasing the available pool of marshals who can authorize people.

During court, I was very pleased to help induct +ivan nosenchuk into the Order of the Silver Crescent by giving him the medallion I have worn for the past 2+ years.

Post event, it was dinner at The House of Brews with +Thomas Zadlo+Cathy Griswold , +Timothy Walsh, and +Caitrin M.  This is now a tradition having gone there three years in a row.  The food was good, the company was better.  The beer selection this year was not as impressive.  The drive home was ok, but when we got home, I showered and crashed hard.

My favorite part of the day though was watching Evan playing with daggers and the joy he had on his face while doing so.


Friday, September 25, 2015

Practice Reports- Rose's Tourney

Its been almost a year since my last entry in this blog.  I'm not sure why I stopped writing. But reading +Whitney Sternberg's posts has made me think it might be a good to start this back up.

So with no Pennsic, and a lighter event schedule this year, I've tried to be consistent with going to the local practice.  We unfortunately lost our Thursday night site over the winter.  Thankfully, Orlando had developed an alternate site on Tuesday nights in Glen Gardener, NJ, so that has been the primary practice I am going to.  The usual people there are Orlando, Malcolm, Yehuda, Mike, and some new blood.

The first week of September, I fenced at practice.  Yehuda was hitting me left and right.  No matter what I was doing, something was off.  This had bugged me as I was trying to break down what was happening and coming up with no solutions.  Then it was two weeks without practice, as we were at Disney World.  We got back late on Wednesday, and I was not feeling great so I was not  sure if I would be attending the Roses Tourney.  I felt better on Friday so we made the trip.  It has been a while since I did such a long day trip and fenced at an event.

I had the honor and pleasure to fence for Duchess Aikaterine.   I was on a team with Caine, Yehuda, Theron, and Agapios.  I started the day out fencing well, but as the hours wore on, and more time passed, I was losing steam.  In a late bout against Sorcha, I tweaked my knee.  I tried to do a body void, but my upper body didn't move.  My lower leg shifted a bit.  I walked it off and was able to continue.  I only had a few bouts left in the day.  I had a great bout against +Whitney Sternberg, and I look forward to crossing blades with her sometime soon.  I also had great bouts with Jacob, Firebow, and Jean Xavier to name a few.  Overall, I was not satisfied with  my performance but was happy to spend time among my friends.  I do realize that winning isn't everything, but I prefer to fence to the best of my ability.  When I look back on the day, and I looked at my losses, I had no clue what I was doing wrong.

So Tuesday, I was not in the mood to go to practice, but I needed to get out of the house.  So to practice I went.  I faced Jonathon, my squire brother who took up fencing about a year ago.  I was seeing the openings, but something was off.  There were way too many double kills and just bad measure of my end.  In waiting for Orlando, I picked a fight with Bethany, who is a newer fencer.  Against her, I was still coming up short, and this was after changing my blade out from my 37 to the  43" blade.  I realized while fighting  against her that I was not moving my back foot.  Everything I was doing was like a short lunge, not an advance or passing step.  This was the same problem I had prior to the vacation, without realizing it.  So after fencing her, I went back to do a couple of passes with Jonathan just to test out the hypothesis.  Things were working better for me.  My next set of bouts was against Orlando, and I felt like I was myself again.  Things were flowing in my fencing as they should.  My last set of bouts was against Firebow, and they were a fun set of passes.

This weekend is River Wars, where I am looking forward to fencing some more and challenging myself.  Not sure if I am going to keep the 43 on my sword or drop back to my normal blade.  Most likely I'll be switching it up to see what is more comfortable with K&Q right around the corner.

More to come...