Thursday, June 24, 2010

Western Crown June 2010

I haven't posted on this yet because I had a death in the family and, as soon as I got home to New York had to get on a plane and fly right back to California. But I've got some down time.

Western Crown was a lot of fun for me. About half way across Nevada I decided that I was indeed going to fight and that I was going to do so using a glaive. This is NOT because I didn't want to win. On the contrary, I wanted to win. Yes, I would have done better if I had fought with my center grip kite and sword, but I didn't have it there. With the bunny round I probably would have won at least one of the fights I lost, and I fight most of the guys who were deep pretty evenly. Except Titus, who was *so* much the class of the field as the only duke fighting. But I hadn't been fighting with the bunny round back home, I'd been using my kite for the past year and a half, so I wasn't feeling too confident with it. And my shoulder had been hurting since I'd left Brooklyn, which prompted me to wonder if I wanted to fight sword and shield. Glaive solved all those problems. I didn't know how well I'd do with it--I don't use it often, but when I do I win some of my fights. I figured I'd do at least as well as I did sword and shield (turns out no, I wouldn't). It would be easier on mys shoulder and it would be a lot of fun.

My usual benchmark in Crown is how I did in my first one: make it to the fifth round and kill a knight. I did that. I've got maybe four techniques that I use with a glaive and during the day all of them worked at some point. Mostly I try to use Visivald's opposed thumb techniaue (nobody out West does that).

I warmed up with a couple of guys I didn't know. The first one I killed both with Vis' thrust/block/short chop (stand with a right hand lead, thumbs opposed, holding the glaive in the middle, let your opponent close with you, thrusting as he does to draw his shield up. Block whatever comes in and counter with short chops to the head. Simple and effective. I also killed someone by using a left hand lead and taking his leg on the step. This is a trigger shot I learned from John of Skye, and it is so effective that it should be illegal.

During the warm up mellee I killed Loy by thrusting at his face, passing offline to the left, and cutting his ribs with the back-edge. I lost my arm in the process. More on that later.

First round I fought Titus' man at arms, Edmund. I killed him quickly using Vis' technique.

Second round I fought a florentine fighter named Drogo. I feinted a thrust to his face, hit him in the leg, then dropped the head to ward his lunging shots as he went down. I didn't want to stand out and poke at him, so I choked up a bit and after a few cuts timed him right and hit him in the head.

Third fight I fought one of Uther's guys, Bjornhaven. He was using a center grip round. I tried Vis' technique and he had that blocked. I tried moving him around with thrusts, and even some of Balfar's choping style. He just pressed and crowded me, which I wanted, but I couldn't get around the center grip. He took my leg then killed me.

Third fight I fought Sir Connall. He used his glaive and we had a nice couple of passes. He went weak side on me, which threw me off. But he stuck his arm way out and I cut him on the forearm as he swung at my head. Then he went to his broadsword, in his strong hand. I was weary but I killed him with a cut to the head.

Fifth round I fought Loy. Last time I fought Loy sword and shield I was winning, and I'd killed him that morning with the glaive, but he was ready for that technique and had it covered. I tried a couple other things on him but he took my leg and then killed me good. He was the third place finisher, so he was doing really well.

I did do a bit of sword and shield fighting in Roses. I won all four of the passes I fought (they were all two out of three), including one with the first guy I lost to in the lists.

There were 54 fighters in the lists. Titus fought Sigifrith in the finals. Titus won without having taking a loss all day.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

In Cali now.

If you've been following my trip on facebook, you will know that I just drove from Brooklyn to Sacramento CA. The trip took me a week, but that was because I had some extra stops built in. I stayed an extra day and night in STL. and stayed with my mom last night in Fallon NV. Most of the driving days were LONG. First day was to Morgantown WV to visit relatives. Second day was to STL with a stop at Indy to visit my old sword brother Tor Tracier of the Grey Wastes. Third day was in STL being a tourist and hanging with a friend. Fourth day I drove from STL to Goodland Kansas. The next day I drove to Fillmore Utah, on I 15. Next day I drove to Fallon. So really, Fallon was the fourth day of driving, and since I got there at 3:00 I could have easily mad SFO by ten PM.

The point of the trip was to deliver a car to my friend Drew. I will also go to Western Crown (haven't decided if I am going to ask permission to fight yet).

Driving for fourteen hours a day is very sedentary, but I did manage to get some exercise in: walking around STL, a hike outside of Glenwood Springs CO; there are two par courses near my mom's house, and I went and ran the shorter oone (next time I will probably just do them both). Feeling good about that. But I havn't really fought since Eastern Crown, so we'll see how the sword moves on Saturday.

Par courses are one of my favorite ways to work out. They combine strength and conditioning in a boot-camp sort of way, but you can vary the intensity. I used to run the one in Lakeside Park in SFO all the time. There used to e one in prospect park, but there are only two stations left. grr. I always go away from them feeling like I've accomplished something.

Fallon has a huge military-style obstacle course at their town sports center (no big surprise when you remember that it's where Top Gun is located), and I'd love to run that one.

Thursday, June 10, 2010


I'm feeling old, tired, and fat.

I haven't been in armor since Crown. Between Kalamazoo and finals May was a wash. I started working out again in June, and that's going well. In the past week I've been to the gym twice, I've run around the lake and up lookout hill, I've taken a spin class, I've done yoga and even an indian clubs workout (and I'm about to do both those again). But I miss the armor. I miss fighting.

My next time in armor will be at Western Crown. I'm driving cross country to deliver a friends car (I leave tomorrow) and I'll go to Crown. I am likely to break one of my primary rules: I may show up to crown and not fight in the list. At this point I am not sure I want to take that on. It's the first time I've ever felt like this.

So I might fight in the list (assuming the King lets me) or I might just fight in Roses. I will likely decide that day.

So in the meantime I am working on writing a fechtbuch. More on that later.