Thursday, October 9, 2008


Well, I’ve been saying for weeks that I want to go to Nutley and get my ass kicked!

Nutley last night was great! I fought every knight who was in armor and two good unbelted fighters. I have bruises today to prove it. Let me tell you, if I went to Nutley more often I probably wouldn’t have stuck with the bunny round as long as I have. I got an ass whupping the likes of which I haven't experienced in a long time. Today I am your baby harp seal!

I jumbed right into the pool by fighting Sir Douglas first. He’s a good two sword fighter who hits like a ton of bricks. I normally have good success against him with my thrusts, so I started out concentrating on my edge work. That wasn’t working so good. When I switched to thrusts I got some good kills on him. I did manage to get one belly cut on him though.

Then I fought Heinrich Braur, an unbelted fighter whom I’ve fought in a lot of tournaments. I usually win, but not always. He is Kelson’s squire and fights that style: large heater, right side/left side guard (by this I mean that he guard his right side primarily with his shield and his left side primarily with his sword, kind of the opposite of a bunny round fighters, who will normally guard high with his sword and low with his shield). This is a pretty static fight. He uses quick sword work and counter punches. I killed him most of our fights, starting with a good hook/thrust. This was nice, because the hook thrust had abandoned me for awhile (I think the fighters at BAT had both gotten used to it and are backing away whenever I do anything, so they’re often out of range). I also got him on a great wrap when he closed with me too fast.

I fought Jan Janovich next. Jan, who trained with my squire brother Ronald, fights a lot like I did when I used a heater. 24”x32” heater, lots of lateral movement, hooks, presses, works hard to control range. We did a lot of movement and positioning trying to keep range control, and we both mostly fought right at the edge of our effective range, which always makes for a fun and exciting fight. We were pretty evenly matched. I won two, he won three, which would make him king ;-)

Next I fought Stephan von Dresden. I mean why not. He’s the best fighter in the SCA right now. Every time I fight Stephan I have one goal: just hit him once. He is so fast and moves so well that anything I do seems like a victory. He said our fights were great, but by the end it seemed like it was child’s play for him, like he was toying with me. It got to the point where he’d trigger off any movement I made (which he always had blocked) and just throw a cross shot. Like pounding nails, it was. So fast. He also brings the love better than anybody I fight regularly. He hit me so hard three of four times that I felt like a boxer who’d just been beat up by Larry Holmes. I did kill him once though, also with a hook thrust.

Next I fought Gregor. This was truly a lesson in humility. When I still fought with a heater I thought I’d like to learn Gregor’s style. His heater is strapped like my last one was, with the hand way up in the corner, so it sits pretty low when not engaged. His leg is well covered but he has to bring it up to cover his head. He is so SO fast. And he knows how to beat a bunny round fighter. The first thing I tried (which I’d been wanting to try more against top level guys) was Hauoc’s high closed form with the sword side leg forward. Except that lately I’ve been doing it in more of a crouch than Hauoc. Big mistake. He hit me in the cup. Twice. Ok, we go back to sword foot back. Gregor has a plan for the bunny round and he executes. He pasted my leg right off with a quick pump fake. It HURT! Right above the armor. He worked on my leg for awhile. Once he got me thinking about my leg it was all over. I wasn’t fast enough with my sword block to guard against the rising snap and he just went to town on me. I don’t think I’ve fought him more than once with the bunny round, so I’m used to doing much better against him than I did this time. Ow.

So I finished the trifecta by fighting Duke Kelson. Kelson, like Heinrich, fights a passive blocking, right side/left side fight without a lot of movement. He also took me to town, though I did slightly better than I did against Gregor or Stephen. I was moving out of his leg shots a bit better. I also killed him with a hook thrust. Then we double killed several times, me thrusting to his face and him cutting me. After awhile he started doing some of those Lucan leaning shots, and I got him on a deap lean hit him on the side of the head. Hammer blow. But I had no real answer for his speed.

Next I fought Bill. Bill usually fights me left handed because we usually fight in Brookyn. He switches. He fights lefty in Brooklyn, righty at Nutley. He is good lefty but much better righty. I still killed him a lot.

Last I fought Sir Christian. I was so tired by that time I am not really sure what all I did or what he did. I was fighting mostly on instinct. Fortunately for me he was tired too. We probably traded about even.

It was a great night, but I spent a lot of time on my knees. My left leg is tattooed with bruises. This is the curse of the bunny round fighters. It is normally a good shield from your knees, but Kellson is able to get my ribs quite handily when I’m down there. And I am limping a bit. :)

But it is what I needed. I wish I could get over there once more before crown. The rumor mill on this crown is better than it has been in years. It’s got Andreas, Brion, Gregor, and Lucan all gunning for it. And my primary goal was to reach the final four. Cool! This will be fun!

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