Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Progress Report

So my first week (last week) of off-season rehab went pretty well.

Last week I did Yoga class on Monday. It was a good class. The instructor is very good at moving you just to the limits of your body and no farther. I push myself farther than she would like, natch, but I like her approach. I feel a bit tired but invigorated after her class.

Wednesday I did my scheduled gym workout #1, with 20 minutes on the elliptical, abs, and stretching. At some point last week, and I think this was it, I strained a hip flexer. But the workout felt good.

Being in a rush to go meet Big Mike so I could ride with him up to Cornwall, I did not do my Friday workout. It needed to be replaced, so on Sunday I rode my bike to BAT. Not a long ride, only about 6.5 miles round trip. I also taught a class at BAT, which was a slight workout in itself.

I have decided to re-order my workouts a bit. I am devoting Monday nights to Yoga from now on. The gym near my house has class at 7, which is easy for me to make. I do some brief Yoga most mornings along with my rehab exercises. I am also still feeling pain in my elbow when I stretch it, so I'm not yet adding the strength exercises.

At BAT I taught a class and did pell work with my left hand. I worked on both regular snaps and on stepping to generate power.

Count Vitus from Drachenwald was at BAT on Sunday and will be there again on Thursday. He was great to have around for a number of reasons.

His primary goal is to create a good 12th Century impression. Here is a picture of him:

Note the very cool mail chauses, the soup-can knees and elbows, the pot helm and the cross-hilted sword with finger gauntlets. This lead to some great discussions on the place of basket hilts in SCA fighting. He fights an old-school sword back style, not because he thinks it's stylistically superior but because that is the way you see fighting being done in the Maciejowski bible and the Manesse Codex. Since he uses finger gauntlets, he really doesn't want to be blocking with his hand (this is also the reason, from the days of hockey gloves, why hands are not a legal target).

Listening to him talk to Ervald was a lot like listening to me talk to Ervald ten years ago, when I was trying to explain to him why i fought in a sword back style (although i used a basket hilt and employed a lot more sword blocks than Vitus). The difference is now I've adopted an East Kingdom sword forward style, because I realized that the sword back style (and my smaller shield) wasn't allowing me to compete with the top Eastern fighters. "The top level fighters, they won't fight with that sword guard" Vitus said. Of course, nearly all the top level fighters *do* fight with that sword guard. However, he had some good ways around it, and I really liked watching him fight.

His position does raise the common question, where do we draw the authenticity line? There are no manuals for armored combat from the late 11th century, the time period we are all supposed to be armored for, but we do have the armor and some illustrations. Until the 15th or 16th centuries, blocking with the hands was suicidal. But we do it all the time now. It is an integral part of our art. At what point do we sacrifice our art for a more period look or, arguably, a more period style? It's pretty telling that in the class I taught before they armored up, I concentrated on sword blocking.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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