Monday, September 17, 2007

My Best Day in Years

Ok, let's be real here: I only made it to the finals of King's Championship because I had a lucky draw. It's the best I've done in a major list since I won crown 13 years ago (58 fighters, including two counts, two dukes, and the king is a major list). I finaled, coming out of the winner's list. But all the other royal peers ended up in the loser's list and took each other out. I didn't see a knight until semi-finals. Everyone I fought up until that point was an unbelted fighter I had fought at least once before. All of them had beaten me at some point before, if not in a list then at least in practice, and none of them were easy, but they still weren't knights. And once I got to finals Darius manhandled me.

But it was still my best day in a long time!!

I killed Roger Stocton, Darius' squire Dahr, and William Maccrimmon with thrusts. I killed Christian Knox, Edward Gray of Lochleven, and Damon von Drachenklaue with cuts from parry 5 (cut from a hanging guard). I lost once to Christian and twice to Darius.

Artos, one of my best trainers, said I was full of patience all day. Darius said he beat me because I was too impatient. Go figure. I think they are both right. Against Darius I was definitely not relaxed. I wanted to get the kill. All the fights I'd won my head was in a different place. I went into them without a plan. The most I planned was determining whether I would stand sword foot forward or goofy footed. Against the three better fighters I did best by using Hauoc's counter punching technique, so I guess goofy footed was the answer. Against Darius I was at a loss, and I pushed the issue a bit more. I also didn't want to get killed without having thrown a few shots. Take that attitude and you are bound to die. I was also more into the idea of being Queen's champion than King's (that honor went to D. Sebastian von Drachenklaue, and was well deserved), a very Western perspective.

I'm not an appreciably better fighter than I was when I arrived in the East but they think I am. What I am is a lot thinner. That has brought my fighting back up to a decent level. I weighed 250 when I got here. I got as high as 270 a few years ago. I weigh 210 now. It's a big difference in everything. But I've also become more classically western in my style. I went to a Spanish half round instead of my nice comfortable safe heater. It has made me much better, but also better able to deal with the Eastern style. I have a big insecurity about that. I sometimes feel that the some of the knights here, even after eight years, don't respect my fighting. I fight that Western style, which they all know can't be as good as the pure Eastern form they use. Paranoid? Maybe, but if I were back home I'd feel the same way. We all know deep in our hearts that our Dukes are the greatest dukes, and our way is THE WAY(TM). I long ago gave up trying to prove myself. Yes, I still have problems with huge shields, both practically and philosophically, but I just fight my fight. And this weekend my fight was good enough. Felt pretty good.

Now to the gym. I've got to make up for the eating I did this weekend! :)

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