Monday, December 14, 2015

Bhakail Yule - 12/12/15 (Provosting - is that even a word?)

So Saturday was Bhakail Yule. It was a day I was very much looking forward to for many reasons.  A time to hang with friends, a chance to see my friend reading stories to the children as king, some great people were to be given writs for peerages, and...

I was to become a provost to Master Jean Xavier Boullier.

I have known Jean Xavier for many years and have considered him friend.  We served on Brenwen's guard for her second reign, he as captain.  When he was forced to vacate the position, due to his elevation to the Pelican, he suggested me as his replacement.    He is the only person to hit me right on the plate in my ankle while fencing.  He is my favorite drinking buddy for Dragon*con.  He is the kind of person I have looked up to and tried to emulate, always gracious, kind, thoughtful.

When the MOD was established, I knew I had a new goal.  I'm not sure if I will ever get there, but it is something I have been working towards, even before it was a possibility.  It took a lot of thinking for me to decide to become a provost.  I was already an OGR, well established in the rapier community.  Was this something I needed or even wanted?

When I thought about the idea of becoming a provost to a MOD, I had a few people I considered asking.  Of all the Eastern MODs, I consider many close friends.  But when I thought about it, I thought that pairing myself with Jean Xavier would be a great match.  With that thought, I asked him if he would consider taking me on at the Roses Tourney back in September.  He readily agreed and I am very thankful.

When I squired to Sir Mitchel, I was asked to give an oath of fealty. I had never been asked to give an oath like that so I was a little on the spot trying to come up with words on the fly.  It might not have been pretty.  When I became Emeline's cadet, we didn't exchange oath or have a big ceremony.  We gathered friends about and she put a scarf on me.

When it came time to think of what to do in this  case, I started doing some research.  I figured an apprenticeship contract would be a good starting point.  The document I found was a little out of period, but started adapting it to work for this situation.  I asked Alys for editing help, which she gladly supplied.  I sent the words to Jean Xavier and he liked them.

I was coming down to the deadline and wanted a document to present at Yule, so it could be signed by all parties.  Again, Alys to the rescue.  So with that said, here is the contract:

Contract of Indenture
This indenture made the 12th day of December in  the  50th year of the Society in the presence of Brennan II by grace of God King of the East, and Caoilfhionn the Queen, sovereigns of all the lands from the Great Eastern Ocean to the borders of  Ã†thelmearc, Atlantia, and Ealdormere, defenders of the truth.
Witness herein that Owynn Greenwood, Baron of the Eastern Court, does  hereby covenant, accord and contract with Master Jean Xavier Boullier to serve him as provost from the date of these presents until the said Owynn shall accomplish his full understanding of all matters that the  said Jean Xavier shall require, during all which term the said Owynn covenants, agrees and contracts to serve the said Jean Xavier faithfully in all lawful business according to his power, wit and ability; in all things the said Owynn shall demean and behave himself honestly, orderly and obediently towards his said master during the said term. 
And the said Jean Xaxier for himself, his executors and administrators, doth covenant, agree and contract by these presents to train, educate and inform the said Owynn in all matters concerning the arts of the rapier and defense.  And the said Jean Xavier shall and will, during all the term aforesaid, find, provide and allow unto the said Owynn meet, competent and sufficient meat, drink and apparel, lodging, washing, and all  other  things necessary and fit for a provost.  And the  said Jean Xavier also shall and will provide that the said Owynn shall not be in any any way a burden to the faith or fame of the Kingdom. 
At the end of the term aforesaid, the said Jean Xavier agrees and confirms that he shall and will make, provide, allow and deliver unto the said Owynn apparel of all sorts, good and new, that is to say a good new suit for the holy days and another for working days. 
In witness whereof the parties abovenamed have put their ensigns manual to  these presents upon the day and year  written above.
We whose name are  subscribed below, Administrators of the peace of the Kingdom, do consent  to the contracting of Owynn Greenwood as Provost according to the intent and meaning of this Indenture.
So a HUGE thank you to Alys for the editing and calligraphy.  Also a big thank you to everyone who stood there to witness the occasion.  It meant a lot to me.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Practice Report - 12/8/15

So this week at practice, I was not there.  I've been feeling under the weather since Sunday.  Today is Friday, and I'm feeling a lot better.  I will be at Bhakail Yule tomorrow, where I will become a provost to Master Jean Xavier Boullier.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Foot / Ankle Issues

For the past two weeks or so, I've been having some pain in my right foot.  Not sure what I did to aggravate it, but its frustrating.  Its along the outside of the foot as indicated in the picture.  I found that I'm landing on that area when walking or pushing off it when walking instead of across the entire front of the foot. Part of it likely stems from my the injury to the joint, however I struggled and worked hard in physical therapy after the  injury/surgery so I would walk without a noticeable limp.  In trying to figure out the issue, I've noticed that my foot is turning out as its normal position.  I'm going to have to stay more conscious of what is happening when I walk.  I may need to get new shoes.  I'll need to examine the treads to see if it is wearing unevenly.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Practice Report - 12/1/15

This week I spent a lot more time teaching than actually fighting.  Orlando asked me to run drills this week, and rather than just doing footwork drills, I ran a drill to help work on opposition and disengages.  We had three people who are newer to fencing in the SCA, Jonathan who  has been at it for about a year, Miles who just started, and Tim who started just prior to Pennsic but has a background in modern epee and saber.  I realized quickly that Miles didn't know the basic terminology, so in order to help build him up and as a refresher for  everyone, we worked on wards and building a common language.  For me, this is based on modern french foil.  This is what I was taught, and is understood by many, so it gives us a basis for understanding and instruction.

In observing Tim over the past few months, he has a lot of energy, but not a lot of blade work.  His parries are all parry by distance, retreating out of the way, but not availing himself of the opportunity to attack or counter attack.  We discussed this, and he commented to me that many a coach tried to break him of the habit, but it worked for him on the strip, so they just let him continue as it would win matches.

We had a bit of a discussion on what he wanted out of this game and the SCA, and what he was willing to do.  He could be a good fencer by just continuing with his instincts, but he wants to be better than that, so thus began the process of introducing new skills.  His parries were weak and there was never a riposte coming from him, so we started with defense.  In order to allow him to concentrate on his bladework and not retreat out, I placed his rear foot/leg against a wall.  We then began a slow drill of parry, followed by a riposte.  We worked this, but he was still trying to rely on body movement  without any blade movement to get out of the way during the drill.  So  we slowed it down even more to concentrate on just the parry.

Not wanting to burn him out, we stopped so he could fence.  We discussed him concentrating on his blade work and not retreating, but its still his first instinct.  He's also sitting in more of a gunslinger stance, not covering his opponents blade or even covering a line defensively.  I could see him getting frustrated, and when that hit, all the talk about standing ground and working with the blade went out the window.  There was some good stuff in there as well.  I called a hold and showed him how and why his opponent had free access to strike at him, without him being able to do the same.  I showed him how I could sense and tell where an opponent was going if we had a little blade contact.  I did it  with my eyes closed.  Jonathan moved his blade and I followed it blind, due to feeling it through the sword.  They did a few more passes and we talked afterwards.  I think Tim is of the mindset that he needs to win his bouts, even in practice.

After that I got a little fencing in against Malcolm.  I switched back to my 37" blade and found it to  be comforting like an old pair of jeans.  At one point, I tweaked the ankle, so we did a few more passes and I called it a night.

In other news, next weekend at Yule at the Palazzo (Bhakail), I will be taking on the role of provost to Master Jean Xavier Boullier.  This was something that was discussed at the Roses Tourney, where I broached the idea with him.  It further strengthens our friendship, and I can think of no finer men to take on a project such as myself.