Sunday, August 23, 2009

Two practices

Went to Hawthorne and BAT practice this week. Had a good time at both.

A couple of things stand out. I have lately been working on using Gemeni's 90 degree arm position. Gemeni uses an interesting combination of techniques. His grip is essentially the same as Gendy's, a thumb and fore-finger grip, and he plays on the sword with his fingers in the same way. He holds his forearm at a 90 degree angle to his upper arm, and he uses lots of body mechanics a la Bellatrix. I need to talk to him about direction changes. I am using the thumb/pinky grip but his arm position. So far it is working. My shoulder and body move the sword around to block or to begin a blow and deliver good power. Here is a good example of Gemeni using it:

Note how, whether his sword is behind his head or in front of it blocking, Gemeni tries to keep his arm at a 90 degree angle until he fires the blow.

My very first fight at Hawthorne was my best. i fought Sir Alberecht and I used a classic Bellatrix technique, one that von Dresden uses too, of throwing a snap, moving the right foot directly out to the right, so I am side stepping on a perpendicular to the line of the fight on the return, then throwing the same snap. Worked like a charm.

I had good fights at BAT too, but I was mostly training. My best fight was probably against Timur. I took his leg with a good double thrust fake, then when he was on his knees I used the Gendy version of the butterfly, where you throw a fake offside, step in deep with the right foot, then spin on that foot 180 degrees and drop the sword in a straight line downward across the face.

This was one of the best attended BAT practices we've had in awhile.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

BAT Practice

I didn't. Recovering from work and Pennsic. We had a Beau Geste tournament however, and Fast Eddy came and taught a sword-work clinic, which is always useful.

I'm going to try to get to Hawthorne this week.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Fighting At Pennsic

Ok, fighting at Pennsic:

I was only there for four nights, so I only got to fight four days. Nonetheless it was a blast. I fought nearly the whole time with an aluminum center-grip kite, the one Jarrod had made, except with my stainless boss on it. It’s a bit heavier than most, the boss is too high, and the handle too small, but it was still good to me.

Sunday was the champions battles and, since I wasn’t chosen, I fought some pickups. Not too bad. Lots of fun. Didn’t really do too much.

Monday was the gate and river battles. I fought with Serpentius and we did great. I got into the scrum a lot, especially in the river battles. I killed a few dudes and the center-grip didn’t really get me killed. In the gate battle I fought spear and got some really good kills, including one on a knight where I bound his spear and slip my point down into his face. Then I fought more pickups. I recall two women from Atlantia, and one of Bedford’s squires, named Cristolf, and a guy from CAID who uses a Greek shield. Had a good time with all of them. And I got munched by a count from Atenvldt.

Tuesday was my favorite: the field battles! I had some fun, although in one of the battles four of us with Serpentius got cold-cocked, full force, from behind. That annoyed me. The only battle I didn’t kill anyone in was the first one, which is when Wolfy (in my own unit) accidentally took my arm with the great sword. I was obviously having trouble generating power, because I had to hit guys four or five times to kill them. Probably the new shield overbalancing me. When we fought the friendship battles I got to follow Alden into the fray, and that was great. I got quite a few good kills and the center-grip kite seemed to work ok. Later it was more pickups, but there were mostly Easterners hanging around, and after one or two bouts I split.

I wasn’t going to fight on Wednesday until I heard about the Known World Chivalry Tournament. Not only was this going to be fun, but it was the first big test for the center-grip kite. It was a soccer-style tournament with two pools. Both pools were tough, but mine was a bit odd as well. We had three right handed sword and shield fighters (including myself) four two sword fighters, two lefties and a polearm fighter. I fought Sir Theron, Duke Aaron, Duke Edmund, Sir Ix, and Federach, Oskgar, Doug, Kendrick, and Yoshi. Interestingly, all of the easterners in my pool I had killed in tournaments within the past couple of years. This meant they were ready for me. It especially showed with Kendrick, who knew exactly where I was going and put his sword in my way, one shotting me. Doug just stayed out of my range. It ended up with me down a hip and him. Standing, down an arm. I pretty much couldn’t reach him, at least not fast enough. But I did feel I was just a hair away from killing Federach and Yoshi. Edmund had me totally beat. He took my leg, then, as I tried to strike his leg he stepped into my shot and used his sword to trap mine against his hip. He wasn’t going to hit me but I looked up and said “well?” at which point he tapped me on the shoulder. It was a classic case of not needing to be struck because I had been so totally bested (which is, after all, the actual point). I killed Ix, Theron (with a hook/thrust, still my best friend), Oskgar, and, believe it or not, Duke Aaron, after having lost my shield arm. I just pretended I had a shield and through the patented William the Lucky pass through combo that works on both lefties and righties (he’s a lefty). It is the same shot I through at Kendrick that he had scoped and was ready for. Hit the shield, step off line with your right foot, doing a little “bob” as though you’re going low, then step around and throw an off-side head. I’d thrown it on Aaron earlier in the fight, but he’d backed out and so I didn’t complete it. This time he stepped in and I hit him in the head. My best fight of the day by far. He is a truly great fighter.

Edmund won the tournament without a loss. The other three finalists were Kendrick, Edward Gray, and Jan Janovich (who won his pool without a loss).

Watching both Richard and Tim fight in the other pool was fantastic. They are both so much fun to watch (and to fight).

I take from this a few things. The center-grip kite is fun and may actually work. I still lose my shield arm more than I should, but it opens some things up too. I can throw a great hook thrust with it (better than with the strapped kite). I can also go defensive with it really well. My spear work is still pretty good. I had some truly great spear fights in that gate battle. Aggression is your friend in the field battles: I knew that but it’s good to be reminded. And I still love fighting along side the West. As usual, the broadsword was too long for most of that fighting. I think next year it will be the Tribal war shield and a short heavy thrusting sword, when I’m not using spear.