Sunday, January 31, 2010

BAT Practice and Birka


Market Day at Birka was yesterday. It is the greatest fighting event in the SCA. No kidding. Prova is the most spectacular event, and I love the pageantry, but Birka does away with all of that and strips down to the essence of fighting. Lots and lots of fighting. There are over 3000 fights at Birka among roughly 150 fighters.

And I missed it. Life sucks.

But they do publish the results on the Norther Army site. Douglas Henry won after years of flirting with the top spot. He fought 123 fitghts and won 94. He didn't have the best winning percentage, but that's not what it takes to win Birka. You have to win the most number of fights. Vivat Douglas.

(my best rank at Birka was 24, and I peter out after a bit over 50 fights).

But the big news from our standpoint is that Oscad placed tied for fourth. (!!!) He won 82 out of 100 fights. Good Job Oscad!

It also meant that most everybody was at Birka. I went to BAT, fenced with Alexandre and Llewellyn (they both beat me soundly, but it was fun) and then I trained Nik, the only other heavy fighter there. It was a lot of fun.

I ended up using some Bellatrix techniques. We did slow work for awhile, then we fought, then we did drills. I wanted him to work on movement and striking. I taught him the double-strike to the leg with a lateral step to the right on the second strike. Then I taught him the onside head, offside leg with a lateral slide to the left. He used those two plus a simple one-two onside, offside head combo. We did the three combo drill, where he defends and has only the three combos he's allowed to throw, and the drill wins when he's thrown them. We did it twice. He said that it forced him to pay better attention to what I was doing and to look for an opening. He only killed me with them once, but his fight became much tighter.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

King's Champion


Oscad de Segovia, who lives here in Brokenbridge and who hosts our practice at the Brooklyn Army Terminal, is the new King's Champion!

Monday, January 11, 2010

The pre-season officially begins

For most people pre-season begins at Estrella. This was always me. I would maybe practice a bit between Thanksgiving and Estrella, but at Estrella I'd fight in the Outlands tourney, which kind of got me going for the rest of the year. (used to be Silver Dollar, which I do miss). Since I've stopped going to Estrella I've started going to Birka, which probably is the best shake the rust off event you can go to. However, I often start earlier than that, with midnight fighting at 12th Night. That's when I get back into armor after a fattening break and begin to work on my fighting again.

This year midnight fighting was moved up to seven o'clock which, since I was still jet lagged, was fine by me. I had a blast.

I fought an unbelted fighter named (I believe) Vinnet (I must have mangled that), Uther's brother Chad, Uther, Sir Mark, and Sig. The only knight out there that I missed was King Edward of Atenveldt.

Mark is a really good great sword fighter. I think I killed him once after taking his leg. With the bunny round (it was the first time I'd used one since Jun and the second time in a year) I could not track his leg fakes. He destroyed me.

Chad is a really good fight. He is taller than me, stronger, and uses a center-grip kite. I did ok against him working the inside edge of his kite shield. It was a really fun fight. He needs to hit a touch harder, but since I know he can do so easily, I suspect he is just being careful with his control.

Vinnit is a beginning fighter who needs to attack more aggressively and on an angle. She is very short, and should use that to her advantage by trying to disappear behind my shield.

My fights with Uther were awesome. He said so, which made me feel almost as tall as he is. I actually killed him twice, once with the hook thrust when we were both legged, and once with Havoc's downward counter off the leg shot, when he leaned out a bit too much. I also took his leg three times, twice with the double strike, and nearly got thim with two other thrusts. Later when going over the fights in my head it occurred to me: the hook thrust, the downward counter, and the double strike to the leg are my three best techniques right now. This means the fights I won were not flukes--the drilling has been working. I managed within several casses to use my best techniques when the opportunities presented themselves, and they worked. This is pretty cool. Uther said that, while I was thrusting too much (and I thought I wasn't doing it much at all, which says something) I was attacking at really unique angles and making great decisions, which was "awesome." Ok. That made *my* twelfth night almost as much as Eilis getting her duchy did. Almost ;-)

My fights with Sig were good too. I started out very much in control, but as the set went on he started to come on. The more aggressive he is the better he does against me. He said my wraps felt a bit weak, which doesn't surprise me.

This was a lot of fun!

So yesterday I took a long hike with my Squire tthrough Golden Gate Park and today I'm going to the gym to work out. Sunday at the Beau Geste will be my next time in armor.