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.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016


I have not posted a lot recently as I have been in a rut with fencing.  I'm facing the same people over and over again at practice, doing some teaching.  I'm still enjoying things, but needed a day to just let loose and fence.  I got that this past weekend at 1066 out in Long Island.

We drove out Friday night and stayed with friends.  It was a gray day, with rain threatening all day.  I watched an authorization bout, and made a comment to the fencer trying to authorize about his hand position while the marshals were discussing things.  I'll get back to this in a little bit.

I did some pickups to get warmed up with a nice guy named Ian from Long Island.

For the tournament and melee we started out with 6 fencers.  After getting a bite to eat, the tournament began.  I usually don't eat before fencing, but had not had anything all day to that point.  My first bout wound up being Jean Xavier.  It was best 2 out of 3, single rapier only.  I was victorious in a well fought series of passes.  I love fencing against Jean Xavier.  He is my Master, my friend, and one of the people who always makes me smile.  I then faced two gentles I have never met before, Bob Fox and the guy who tried to authorize.  I hit Mr Fox with a shot and he continued to come in and close with my point on him.  He eventually called it good.  Against the new guy, he was keeping his blade refused and was trying to jab his shots in.  I thought I had a touch on him, but he got me in the side.  Ah well.

This set us up for picking sides for the melee.  I was captain of one team, while the provisionally authorized  guy was captain for the other.  It was a 3 on 3 resurrection bridge battle / capture the flag. There was even archers with Nerf arrows to add to the fun and theme.  My side was competitive, but we could not gain the other side's flag (lanterns actually).  After being run over a few times with my point on my opponents chest, a very hard shot to the head, and a little more melee stupidity, I decided I needed a break as I was not having fun.  So I took myself out for a bit to relax.  After all, this was supposed to be fun. After the short break we resumed, but this time, my side added a fencer, so it was 4-3, but we could only have 3 people out on the field at any time.  It was a fun change to the scenario.  One member of the opposing team had to go, so we needed to give up a person to balance the sides.  I figured, why not me?  So I switched sides for the last round.  One of the archers, with her tiny nerf bow and arrows managed to shoot me 3 times during the last round.  Twice I was shot while halfway across the bridge, not even engaged.

After the melees, I wound up doing some authorizations.  I ran a bunch two-handed rapier authorizations, and we authorized four fencers in that weapons form.  I think I fenced everyone on the rapier field with a 2 hander. I also authorized a fencer for case of rapier.  At the end of the day, I was beat.  That was the most fencing I had done in a long time.

At court, I was awarded the first place prize for the tournament.  I traded it with the guy who finished in second, as Evan had made the 2nd place prize.  To me, totally worth it.  All in all a very good day of fencing.

So getting back to something I mentioned at the top, I gave unsolicited advice to someone I don't know.  I see it as my job as a duelist to improve not only myself, but also help those I fence with.  Sometimes I will notice something and just tell the person.  In this case, the guy I gave advice to, I did not know, had not even introduced myself, and here I am, trying to give him advice.  It was not done from malice, but to genuinely try to help.  I think it was taken the wrong way, and set off this person, as it seemed like anything I said to him for the remainder of the day on the field was taken poorly.  I also found out this person was a HEMA instructor, focusing on German long sword.  Fencing him with long swords was some of the most fun I had all day.

The thing is, I don't want to stop giving advice, but I need to find a better way, most especially with people I don't know.