Sunday, November 4, 2007

Eastern Crown Results

Tracy called it the night before. She called Thorsen and Conrad in the finals with Conrad winning. After King’s champion I was pretty sure Conrad would be the guy to beat. After Crusades I was pretty sure Thorsen wanted it bad. Tracy didn’t think Throsen was that keyed up but she was very wrong. I’m also positive that if finals had been fought in the traditional East kingdom manner, with five fights with different weapons forms, that Thorsen would have won. But Ice doesn’t like that finals form much, and the last few crowns have mostly been fought with a best two out of three final with sword and shield. That’s the way he’d had Darius and I fight finals at King’s Championship. For mee it’s like home, but in the East it causes angst.

From my own perspective: not a bad crown really, but not what I had been looking forward to. Time was not to long ago I would have been happy with five rounds. It meant I’d won more fights then I lost. In this case I killed a couple of knights as well, which is the second benchmark I look for. But for all that I was disappointed.

I warmed up with Conrad and I was fighting him very well. I had pop to my blows and my defense was pretty good. I certainly wasn’t beating him. I killed him once and I took his arm once (which he was taking as a kill, so I guess that’s twice). I did slow work with Dietrich and felt pretty good. Had a couple more warm ups but definitely didn’t over do it. I felt good.

Damien von Drachenklaue challenged me first round. He was probably the one person I didn’t want to challenge me. He’s a really tough fight for me and I knew he was really disappointed when he lost to me at King’s Championship. He kind of had a hard-on for my hide and I knew it. And he’s tough. Our fight was a slug fest which eventually I lost. I’m told it was a bit ugly on my part. You might want to ask Damien about it if you get a chance. He told me he was happy and didn’t think I was blowing his shots off. He said it not just to me but to Artos as well, so I’m hoping he wasn’t just blowing smoke up my ass because I’m a knight. What he was doing was throwing a lot of high shots trying to get them over my shield that he was throwing with all arm and that were glancing off the top of my helm, and they didn’t hit hard at all. That was his interpretation too. The big problem from my perspective is that I let him take my leg because I got flustered when I thought I’d hit him and he called it low. I stopped to look at the target (he wears his knees under pants). I paused—much like the way I did against Max in the last crown. It was amental mistake that cost me. The other thing that bugged me is that I didn’t land the hook-thrust harder. I hit him square in the chest, but he wears lamellar and sometimes you have to hit that a bit harder than you do mail or leather. I should have cranked it up a bit. Anyway. He couldn’t get over my shield effectively so he started thrusting underneath it. Eventually he hit me in the cup. I asked Andreas what he thought and he said it looked rough. I asked him what he’d like me to do. He told me to just keep it in mind. Of course once that happens my fighting goes south in a hurry.

My second round fight was against William Raven Hair, who I later learned had had a family crisis that week. He was not into it at all. I took both his arms in very short order.

My third fight was against Sir Yoshi. That was probably the most fun I had all day. He was fighting greatsword, as usual. I did what I always do. Got inside after his first strike, took his leg, then worked him until I hit him (in this case in his gut). I think I may have thrust him in the arm at some point as well. It was a great fight.

My next fight was against Allexander de Hautville, the SUV of the East. He’s about six foot seven and lots of muscle. He was one of Randall’s squires and fights with a huge coffin shield and, like Randal, if he takes your leg he’ll be all over you. As to be expected he took my leg. I was pretty lucky. He knocked me over once. I stayed alive just long enough to hit him with a thrust as he was coming in on me, same as I did with William at King’s Champion.

My last fight was against Antonio. We had a good long fight. But eventually he took my leg and, after that, I was dog meat. I’m usually pretty good against lefties when I’m on my knees, at least at staying alive for a long time. Not this time though. He kept coming in on a low like attack but I couldn’t hit him as he did so.

Afterward I went and did some pickups and I felt I was fighting ok.

I wish I had video. I’ve been told alternately that I was backing out, that I was off, and that I was slow. I had intentionally gone into every fight without a plan, because I didn’t want to over-think my fights and I ended up over-thinking my fights anyway. I felt totally relaxed ahead of time but I was not relaxed once the flag dropped. I was tight, I was putting too much pressure on myself and I was fighting not to loose. I didn’t really decide in most cases when to fight with aright foot lead and when to fight with a left foot lead (except against Antonio, because he’s a lefty). My recent debate with Ben regarding shields sizes and the disadvantages of the Spanish half round agaisnt big Eastern style shields was in the back of my head the whole day. I had a bit of mundane stress going. And, of course, when I start worrying about my calibration I always choke. In other words, my mind was all over the place. No excuses. Just trying to analyze why I fought as I did.

With all that other stuff analyzing my technique would be a waste of time.

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