Sunday, January 15, 2012

Calontir Crown

I have reached the doldrums of my rehab. It is frustrating. I want to be fighting. I want to be training. I am being careful instead. Bright idea, I know, but not happy making. However, I did get to both 12th Night and visit a foreign kingdoms crown, so I’ve gotten to watch some fighting, which is frustrating but educational.

I am on an extended trip, and working out hasn’t been easy. Workouts have mostly consisted of walking (lots of it) and yoga. I took a class on Tuesday in Sacramento. I did a lot of walking in Capitola and in San Francisco. I was on my feet a lot last night. But I have not really worked out this half of the trip. I took a Total Body Sculpt class at this fantastic gym in Palo Alto called Vivre. (I saw that they had a free day pass for newcomers, and I wanted a workout). Great facility. It doesn’t have a squat rack, so serious weight lifters are not their clientele. It is a lot of the Mercedes and Jaguar crowd. But they have good machines, lots of spin classes, and a spa-like locker room. Albert, the teacher of my aerobics class, had a bit of Marine in him, which was good. I had real trouble keeping up due to my Achilles issues. At some point in the class I tweaked my back slightly. It was a really good workout combining palates, weights, and aerobics, and it kicked my ass. It took me two days to recover.

I brought along a rubber band and my new flex bar. (the flex bar was a big hit at 12th Night, since everybody was saying “I’ve been having elbow problems—I showed it to Duke guy and he loved it). I have skipped a couple of days but I’ve been keeping it up. My elbow feels great. I am still weighing when I want to get back into it. I am leaning against going to Birka at this point. I still feels tight when I grip the sword—not painful, but warning me it is there. We’ll see after I do some Indian club work this week.

Needless to say, I haven’t been fighting. However, I have been able to watch a lot of fighting. Duke Guy was fighting at 12th Night. I mostly missed him, but saw a bit. He is one of the greatest. His style is pure power, and it is one of the most fun fights you will ever have. Jade was doing some unarmored training. Gui had never watched him before, and he was amazed at the precision of his form, even in slow work. I was digging how his feet were more in line than usual.

The real treat was an unexpected visit to Calontir Crown. I was going to be in St. Louis visiting a friend, and it turned out Crown was that weekend and local. I really enjoyed it. It was only a 16 person list (no byes) and it went by really fast. They held it indoors. They had a very nice list enclosure. Because it was so small they did one fight at a time. The list table was off to one side with a huge shield-board and a double-bracket tree. Calontir seems to be a small shield kingdom, and the fighting was faster and more elegant than you usually see in the East. The two most impressive fighters all day ended up in the finals. One was Duke Donegal, a left handed fighter with a center-grip round shield. He was beautiful to watch, with deep steps and lots of interesting angles to his shots. Like all center-grip lefties his defense was amazing. The other finalist was Sir Lucien, a Roman with a center-grip oval. His fighting was a bit more compact and efficient. He didn’t have quite as many shots available to him as Donegal did, and only Donegal had a thrusting tip. However, his style gave him an nearly perfect defense. Donegal won the first fight and Lucien the second. They double killed in the third, then Lucien won. Twice Lucien talked Donegal out of taking a blow that would have won him the crown. They were very hard, fast fighters and it was a joy to watch. I’m not sure I learned anything, but I liked it.

This is a shot of Lucien in his semi-final. He came out of the losers list.

I really like the Calontiri. They remind me of the West in AS 13. It is probably all the singing.

The new year is upon us. It is either 14 or 15 weeks to Eastern Crown. (date tba).

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