Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Practice makes what?

I'm having trouble with fighter practice. My complaint is the same one I always make: I want to get to New Jersey but can't take the time off work. Last night I was kind of mean to the other fighters at practice. I'm trying to get ready for Crown and I didn't want to spend a lot of time training. I wanted to just work on my own stuff. There were four of us there: me, Timur, Bill and Mathias. None of those unbelteds are newbies. I just went out and fought. Especially early in the night, I was fighting as though I was in a tourney and winning nearly all my fights. As I do when I get bored, I started goofing around after awhile and got killed a couple more times. But there are two things that I left practice unsatisfied about and they're related:

1) I never got pressed.
2) I basically pounded everybody who was there.

I didn't learn much. My defense was tight enough for this crowd but who knows what it will be like with the dukes. My offense felt a little sluggish but I was winning all my fights. It didn't matter what guard I took. It's a bit frustrating. I'd have been happier if I'd gotten my ass kicked a few times.


Somebody asked today about Gambesons on the fighter practice list and there were a lot of good suggestions. I decided to put a few links here:

Historic Enterprises
Revival Clothing
Ice Falcon Armoury
Chivalry Bookshelf
Revival Clothing

There are others out there of course, and some of them are much cheapre than these, but these come reccomended by people I trust. I'm personally familliar with all of them except Historic Enterprises and know those to be of good quality.

Monday, October 15, 2007


Of course, I had planned to train for Crown this fall. A bit any way. I can't go to Nutley practice, so I don't get to fight people who are a lot better than me very often. But I'd hoped to get a bit of pell work in. Well I finally got my pell rebuilt but then as I was using it my shoulder tightened up, and I recalled that when my shoulder stiffened up last year it was because I was hitting the pell 1,000 times every other day. There was no practice last week, and none that I could make this weekend, so the last time I was in armor was at Crusades, which wasn't a good training opportunity. Fact is with the new semester and our expansion at Vox Pop, I am suddenly much busier and, when I'm not, much more exhausted. It sucks. My schedule is such that I cna't make Cardio Blast on Fridays any more. I did make spin class this past saturday, first time in over a month.

I was at least riding my bike till it got stolen a week ago.

So this is the extent of my training: a bit of practice swinging, treadmill and yoga on Mondays, fighting Tuesdays when it doesn't rain, and whatever else I can work in. But my weight's good, my wind's strong, and I've been fighting well every time I strap it on. So we'll see how deed I can go.


Congratulations to good friend and fellow tribesman Reinmar Wolfmeir. who won Artemesian Crown this weekend! Woo hoo!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

A Victory for the Tiny Shield Set

Word is out that Sir Gemini won Western Crown, fighting, of course, for Countess Mari. It's about time! He's been one of the better fighters in the West for a long time. Not only is he the first New King in a while out there, but he uses a relatively small wankle-shield.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Kingdom Crusades and a few other notes

Kingdom Crusades was this weekend. I've heard this event sucked, and in the nine years I've been here I had never attended it. But I went and had a pretty good time. As wars go these days it's not much. There's no terrain and fighting was done basically on a big tourney field. But the fighting was fun and intense none the less. A few observations:

Having heroic champions before the battles is cool, but ten fights can take a long time to go through and it was hot out there. I *love* the heroic champions. I've always wanted to fight in it. I miss ahving it at Pennsic. But I'd have rather been fighting.

There were two open field battles (we didn't need the third because the East won the first two), a bridge battle and a resurrection abbey battle with points for hold the "huts." Standard stuff. I think we could have fit in twice that many battles.

There was only archery in the town battle. We were originally told it would be face and armpit shots only. then right before the battle they said it was standard targeting. This confusion sucked.

Much worse was the color confusion. The tape requirements were white for the East, Blue for Atlantia. But most of the Easterners had blue tape on their helms because that's our color for Pennsic. And some of these are lions or crosses that fighters dont' want removed. Plus the white didn't show up very well and most of the blue being used was kind of a pale blue. I hit one guy from our side and may have killed another (I'm not sure). The guy I know I hit (in the leg) had put his tiny piece of whtie tape off to one side because he didn't want to cover up the nice blue tape cross he had on his helmet. Since Atlantia fought with the Midrealm this year at Pennsic and a lot of their guys still had red tape on their helms, wouldn't it have been better to have had the East be blue and Atlantia red?

I fought every battle with the short polearm and I got a few more kills with it than in the past. Where it worked best was in the tight confines of the abbey buildings and on breakthroughs. I got to assist on a few kills too and got one good singles kill on a greatswordsman after one of the open fields had broken up into scattered combats.

Of course it also got me killed because I had no protection from the archers and, since I was using a polearm and commanding I was a target. I kept a good eye on them and managed to dodge quite a few, but I got killed once in the res battle by a sword and four times by corssbow bolts (not at all by spears).

I got fallen on by a heavy guy from the other side, and felt and heard some crunching in my ribs/back/scapula. I ache.

I had really wanted to do some training for crown. Unfortunately I didn't get to fight any pickups till after the battles when I was tired. So I worked on my "long fight at the end of the lists reach down deep and figure something out fighting." I had wanted to play with Lucan and Darius but they were worn out. I did get some fights with Thorsen. He actually caught my hook thrust between his baskethilt and shield edge the first time I threw it. It was very kung fu. I killed him with it a second time though. I had a long set of fights with a Midrealm knight that were a lot of fun. My defense was pretty good and he died to a lot of stuff that is bread and butter for me but rarely works inthe East because of the big shield tight defense style that predominates out here: wavy/rising snap, a nice double fake slot shot, stutter wrap, etc. It was like old home week. I also killed him twice with the hook thrust. I also fought a couple of Florentine fighters and got my ribs caved in by one of them. Spasmed my diaphragm, knocked the wind out of me and made me nauseous. Ick! Pain is just weakness leaving the body. I got back out and fought some more after that.

I fought until exhaustion, but I noticed that Kenderick fought at least 45 minutes longer than i did, and was the last person out there.

I had wanted to work on whether or not I wanted to concentrate on the Hauoc style of sword foot forward limited shot selection that had worked for me in the upper rounds of Rattan Champions or do what I enjoy more, fighting the shield-foot forward Rarnor style. I didn't come up with an answer. My hook thrust, as always, was my most effective shot, and that works from the shield foot forward style best, but my defense is better with the sword foot forward style. I didn't' get any of those slot shot kills that are the hallmark of that style though. I think the best thing to do is to have no plan, which is how I approached most of my fights at Rattan Champions.

It was a great event. I will definitely go back.

Monday, October 1, 2007


I said awhile back there are about six techniques in the SCA. I actually know how to throw an onside head blow eight different ways: with a bellatrix snap, a gendy snap, a mollinee, a Peregrine snap, with brute force, passing on the right, and three false edge cuts: a snap/wrap, a wrist breaker (which is like a mollinee that hits with the back edge), and a shallow wrap (which is when you throw a wrap when you're in close with your hand behind your ear, so that it hits him on the side of the helm not the back). Wait: that's nine. But do we need so many shots? Bellatrix for years had one shot. He only started using wraps a year or two ago.