Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Sunday Sunday Sunday

So I went to Sunday practice again this past weekend and it was great. We had seven fighters and did some good work. I took it easy and just went for helmet time and a set against each person there. As expected, Oscad gave me the most trouble, but those were also my best fights. He said I was totally taking him out of his comfort zone, which was part of my goal. I also did a great thing against him: I did a wavy fake and struck at his leg, and he blocked it with a very pronounced window parry, which is the normal way to do these things. But it made his face look more open than if he'd been using a smaller shield, for some reason (I don't know why). So I did it again, only this time I tucked my elbow it, pronated my hand and thrust to his face. It worked great. I also re-discovered my ax. I'd used it in a fight at Birka and had fun with it. I found that with the viking shield it works well with a straight up, slightly squared Bellatrix style, and it's a lot of fun too.


So I accidentally posted an anti-republican rant meant for my Mediagrouch blog on this blog. That was a mistake. It had no business being here. Sorry about that. It's been moved to where it belongs.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Fighting Video

I saw this great video of me fighting Rolf at June Crown 2006. Rolf won this crown and I lost to him and the other finalist, Duke Hauoc. It was one of my best fighting days in awhile. If you look at me I'm fighting the classic Bunny-round high form and it's working, but my targeting seems to be a bit off. At least one shot I put right into the middle of his shield. I clearly remember why I lost this fight:P I went for his off side leg and opened myself up doing so. Rolf is a trigger fighter who trained with Sagan for a long time, so it was a risk. But what I see in this video is that in both cases where I get struck I practically invitged him to hit me with my shield position. I opened my head *after* I hit him in the leg, which isn't what I remembered doing. In the case of the leg shot I did a standard small shield thing: if you don't know where the sword is and your sword is busy, guard your head.

I've been fighting Rolf since the day first I got into armor, and I have never beaten him.


Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Estrella Roundup

In case you hadn't heard somebody died at Estrella, a fighter named Albert from Starkhafn who passed away during the town battle. He collapsed and was treated by EMTs and medical personnel on the field but was never revived. Real death is a big shock in a game with so much pretend death. Real death doesn't belong. It also reminds us that, as this group gets older, this is going to happen more often. We have people who are grossly overweight pushing themselves hard physically wearing heavy, heat trapping gear, and people in their fifties and sixties running around like teenagers and hitting each other with sticks. And some of them are simply going to die. Maybe some of us.

So how was the war? For me it was great. In spite of the sea of mud the site became, I had a really good time. I fought well and I fought hard. I really only partied Saturday night (the only non-rainy night of the war), but I did have fun at the West Kingdom bash.

A few things I learned:

1.) Ok, this one I knew but it was revealing to have it demonstrated so forcefully: the center-grip is lousy against spears and polearms because a strong fighter can blow right through it with a thrust. This happened to me at Nutley a couple of weeks ago too. Thin is, that thrust is usually so hard that when it lands it will jack you up. Two of the thrusts that leas to my mild case of whiplash were in the town battle, six foot polearms only, where I got speared from inside one of the buildings while fighting at the windows, twice. The second time nearly ripped my shield out of my hand and my wrist was sore the rest of the war. I think the An Tirans actually brace their shields with their weapons in that situation, but then of course you can't kill anybody.

2.) Edric is using a really great foot stomp/face thrust. It's a lot like what he killed me with at the cancer tourney last Estrella, and it's a lot like Rolf's foot stomp/snap that I used to use a lot. I used it during pickups on Sunday and it worked well. I also managed to kill Edric by laying my sword on his shield rim and face thrusting him and a couple other ways. We had some really good fights.

3.) I love spear. I've been a shield guy in wars for almost thirty years, using spear only occasionally, but I'm really enjoying it these days. And I'm getting pretty fair with it. I killed a ton of people on the ford.

4.) I think shield leg forward is the best way to fight with the centergrip. I don't use the classic An Tir leg forward because my centergrip is a little smaller than that, mine is more square and taller. I still alternate sword and shield leg forward, but shield leg forward is working well for me. It also works with the bunny round and the buckler, so that shouldn't be surprising.

5.) at various times most of my tricks were working. I got people with the hook thrust, the cut and thrust, the stutter wrap, all my leg shots, a hidden snap, a timing snap, and Ed's version of the butterfly. I even killed a few people with a classic butterfly, which rarely works for me. I wasn't using a lot of footwork, but I didn't have to. As usualy, I'm still having trouble powering my legshots.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Brooklyn Fighter Practice

We've got a new indoor fighter practice in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. It's on Sundays at 11 AM. I will be going this weekend for the first time.

Below is the announcement from the Whyte Whey list:


Site is a large warehouse, there is tons of room, even polearms are fine.
Site is 2-3 blocks from the N train stop (59th St)
Has plenty of parking, in a guarded lot
Fighters will be allowed to leave armor/weapons/whatever in the warehouse if they don't want to transport them each week.
There are bathrooms and a drinking fountain readily available.
Because of regularly spaced cement columns, melees are less than ideal, but still possible.
Plenty of chairs
No floor fees

There are only two issues.
The warehouse is under-heated. It is still good for fighting, but we may want to use the (well heated) office to change. Just don't stink it up too badly....
As stated, this is a guarded parking lot. To get in, tell the gate guard that you are going to a meeting at Quality Conservation. (Bldg A, unit 8M) If you mention anything about SCA, or fight practice, or such... it will just really confuse them.