Monday, June 22, 2009

Western Crown

Well, I suppose I might as well say it: the knights with the biggest shields were in finals. That's not to say they weren't both great fighters: they were, in fact, awesome. But it indicates once again that, contrary to that old saw they like to say in the West, a big shield *does* give you an advantage.

and there's nothing wrong with that.

Titus won Western Crown, fighting Sir Cyrus from Oertha. It was an awesome list. Wide open--no Dukes and only two counts, me and Titus. Cyrus was using a really light (three pounds or so) windrose aluminum heater with a center grip. He's about my height (6'3") and he had it built the distance from his chin to his knee. Titus was using the kite that Lucan had given him, but he'd re-strapped it. The interesting thing was seeing someone using that shield who fights like a Westerner, with a great offense instead of fighting defensively. He was all over the place. In the end he was too much for Cyrus. He beat him twice, finishing the list without a loss.

I went five rounds. I lost to a good unbelted fighter, Owen Fletcher, who hit me with the overhead thrust I like to use, and basically knocked my teeth threw the back of my head. It was awesome. I got knocked out by Cyrus after a long fight in which he took my leg, then hipped me two or three times, and eventually hit me in the head with an overhand offside. My best fight of the day was agaisnt Leon. It was totally old school. I eventually killed him with the hook thrust. My other two fights were against an unbelted fighter named Vlad and one of Uther's guys, Eigil. Eigil was fast, really fast, with a great attack. I eventually took his leg and then, as he was reaching to hit me in the hit, he kind of slid onto my swordtip, under his arm. Vlad, a good lefty, I hit with that lucky combo: hit his shield, step offline to the left with my right foot, step around with my left, hit him in the head.

Sunday, though I probably shouldn't have, I went out and trained people in the kingdom fight practice. It was worth the dead-arm and pain, because I got to fight Gemini. He runs De Gendelus, one of the schools I mentioned in my last post. He gave me a pretty good compliment. When Maythen said something about him schooling me (which he totally was) he said that he'd been watching video tape of me for eight years, and that he copied his molinee from me. This is important, because watching him and fighting him, I now believe that he has some of the best sword work I've ever seen. He is up there in the Torgul, Jade, Lucan category. Awesome! I learned a lot from him. The first thing is that he fights an interesting option attack. He moves his sword when it's int he ready position, and then he starts it forward, tip up, but his body hasn't really moved. His arm forms a perfect right angle, the upper arm parallel to the ground. From that position, much like from the behind the head position, he can go anywhere, but since he's started his attack he's watching for where you block before he commits. It's really nice. And boy! Does he commit! He is very patient, letting the fight come to him and not attacking right away. He also has great offensive shield work. He taught me his technique of attacking the pivot points on a shield, which of course makes sense but I hadn't really thought about it in those terms. He uses a very small wankle and a 30" sword, so even though his shield is small he's all about in fighting. Our third fight was amazing. He took my leg, then waited. The he literally exploded on me. He trough an offside headshot, hit my shield below my arm, so it rotated away from my head, stepped to his right, and threw a hard, fast thrust, in a straight line and parallel to the ground, which hit me right in the throat. Amazing.


Sir Phil said...


I was just sent a link to your post.
Are thrusts becoming a mainstay of fighting now in the west? You seemed to mention them quite a bit in this post. If so what are the probably reasons for that?


Ray Simonsen
aka Sir Philipe du Lac
Kindom of Lochac.

MAC said...

The reason for the increase in thrusting in the West Kingdom is the low-profile thrusting tip, which allows for a thrusting sword that doesn't have a bulky/weighty tip, which would change the handling characteristics of the sword. Since the low-profile tip came around it has gained wide acceptance in the West, and several dukes now use it, including Jade, Radnor, and Uther. But not everybody does so, and Uther recently forbade his men at arms from thrusting because they were coming to rely too heavily upon it. Some people use it more than others. It is a big part of my attack, so much so that I consciously avoid it much of the time in order to improve my edge work. When I fought Count Hanse this weekend, it made up at least half the blows he threw at me. But most people use it as a secondary attack, and some have a thrusting tip and almost never thrust at all.

Once upon a time my knight, sir Alfrik, was the only knight in the west who used thrusts, and that was with a shortsword. There was a real prejudice against thrusting in the early 80s among some of the chivalry, but that has disappeared.