Wednesday, August 29, 2007

McCaren Park practice

Last night we had a great practice. There were nine fighters including myself, which is about the best I've seen at an Ostgardr practice in five years. There was me, my squire Cian, Avram, Bill from Bay Ridge, Gil, Ervald (looking stunning in his new Gambesson from Chivalry Press), Sancha, Ann, and Robert, who's recently moved from Cinabar in the Midrealm to Brokenbridge. Lots of good stuff going on. It was kind of a relaxed Post Pennsic day, so I played around a lot. As it turned out I only fought four of the people there.

Cian and I fought with six foot polearms. I was doing pretty good, and beat him four times to one.

Before I left the field, I squared off against Robert, who's very tricky (more on that later). I was really happy to beat him two out of three fights, polearm against sword and shield.

I fought sword and shield against Gil, who is a really good buckler fighter. I won most of our fights. Most interesting thing was that I got him with houghton's old "Sit up/sit down" technique. Probably just because he had a bucker. (this is simple: start out on your knees. Rise up to a tall kneeling position, not sitting on your haunches. As your opponent steps in, sit down and throw a shot straight down, so that it hits him in the chest with the full length of the blade).

Next I fought Robert, who kicked my ass. It was good to get my ass kicked, which never happens at that practice. He's a very sneaky fighter. He's taller than me, he's patient, he fights at long range with very loopy shots (not like my loopy shots), he's got good thrusts, good power, and he ducks and weaves like a boxer. Best/worst of all, his shots come in at angles I rarely see. He doesn't fight like most midrealmers I've fought before, but he doesn't fight like many other people at all.

I've been working on using some of Hauoc's technique. I started doing this fighting with my buckler, and it worked, so I've been bringing it into my bunnyround fights. Here's Hauc in the finals of the most recent Western crown: It's not unlike what Duke Connor is doing here: but not as radical as Duke Jade's open form, also with sword leg forward, like here:

Anyway, it's worked a bit. It's not as comfortable as the classic Radnor form, and I find it a bit too linear, but it works sometimes. The best I did against Robert was our first fight, when I used this technique but, instead of doing what hauoc would and firing from long range I went for a Jade style off body shot and took Robart's arm. I did kill him once or twice, but it was tough.

I'd made a new shield at Pennsic and gotten the bolt placement a bit off. Then with all the rain the leather stretched. End result was that my straps are *really* loose. I had a bunch of very long fights with Robert and by the end I was totally beat. My arm was jello from gripping the shield so ight, and the back of my had was bruised both fromt he wood and from the bolt being driven into my nuckle. At some point I hurt my sword wrist too. I learned a lot fighting him but it cost a lot too.

After that I took it easy and trained a bit. I fought Gil again with ax and buckler. That didn't work as well as it had at Pennsic. he kicked my ass.

I took some time out to train Ann with greatsword, which always gets me thinking and set my mind ight.

I fought Robert a third time, this time Florentine. I killed him once, but that's not my best style. My defense was pretty good. Even though he's from Cinabar I used a Milwauki syle on him and at least it kept me alive.

Last out I fought Bill sword and shield and did really well, but he fights left handed at our practice even though he's right handed (he fights right handed at Nutley).

It was a rough practice, but coming off the year I had and considering how well I did at Pennsic, I got pretty roughed up for a McCaren Park practice.

No comments: