Thursday, May 31, 2012

War of the Roses, plus extras

REHAB My rehab was going well. Elbow feels great, but it has been stiffening up at inopportune times. Indian clubs are doing very positive things, but I think I’m going to have to go see the doctor this week. I want to get an referral to a sports medicine specialist. WORKOUTS Workouts were great last week. Counting cycling, the gym, hunting and fighting (both of which have entries on my workout ap), I worked out six days last week, logged 22 miles (admittedly that was all in one day on the bicycle), and burned about 4,700 calories. That feels good. FIGHTING Speaking of fighting, I went to War of the Roses this weekend. I had a lot of fun, but I did not live up to the standards that I have set for myself. Every time I go on the field I ask for the strength to fight honorably and well. I am confident in my honor over the weekend, it’s the fighting well part I fell down on. I have lots of excuses why I didn’t do well, but to whine doth seem most unknightly. I’ll just go over the day. My elbow was tight all weekend long, and I was worried about it a bit, so I wore my splint arms with the steel elbows, which I rarely do. I was glad for it when I had my arms taken on Sunday. Nonetheless, my elbow was bothering me and affected how I was fighting in numerous ways. I decided to fight in the great-weapon tourney. I’m glad I did, because Master Feral was razzing me about how bad my polearm fighting is, and I certainly need the work. I used both glaive and nodachi. I’m much more comfortable with the nodachi. I warmed up against Avran, a few fights with each, and won most of those. My first round fight I drew an inexperienced glaive fighter. I took his leg and then used technique I usually use with great sword—attack the off-side (his right), wind, and hit him in the face. Worked like a charm. My second fight was against Cullyn, the best glaive fighter in the lists. We went round and round for awhile. We’ve got some experience fighting one another. Most of it was posing. Every time I tried something—switched my grip, changed my stance, just prepared for an attack—he stepped back, adopted a counter, and waited. It was one of those Yoda like fights, and it felt good. We had two good exchanges, then he got inside my guard and hit me. My third fight I took out the nodachi. That was fun. After a couple of passes shortened my grip (brought my hands together to increase my range) and took my opponent’s arm. Then I killed him with a blow to the head. I usually like two handed sword versus glaive, but I tried that in my fourth fight and it was a disaster. I never swung a blow. My blocks were not strong enough and on his second cut he powered through my block and killed me. That was just rust, but it sucked. I fought in the open field battles for Lancaster. I had a great time, even though we were on the losing side each time. I got a couple of good kills in. We tried an envelopment the first battle and two refuses after that. We stayed alive a long time in the third battle but got hit from behind by another unit. After that I marshaled the rest of the day, dropping out because I was concerned about my elbow. Sunday I fought in the double elimination prize tournament. I warmed up with Evalder and felt ok. My first round fight was against Terion (sp) the brand new OTC. This was the fight where I really let myself down. I felt stupid, worse than I had in my last polearm fight the day before. All he had, really, was a fast off-side face shot, the same thing Thorsen throws at me. He missed with it once. I attacked, he hit me with it twice really fast, and I fell down feeling like an idiot. I have the counter for that, but my mind was not in the right place and my arms felt slow and I was just not focused. It was embarrassing. My second round fight I one-shotted my opponent with a butterfly, wrist locked a la Radnor. My third round fight I fought a great-sword fighter. That was no-nonsense. I jumped in, took his leg, kept my position, and just pummeled him till I got a shot into his body. My fourth round fight was against Teron (sp), a big tall OTC from VDK whom I have fought in tourneys a few times. I was being too cautious. He was hunting my arm. We went a long time with several good passes. I missed him with the one hook-thrust I threw. Finally he got my sword arm as I was throwing a slot-shot. With my off hand I had two good passes against him but he hit me in that arm too and I fell over. That fight was not as embarrassing as the first round. I also fought Evalder in a bye fight. He won that after taking my leg. I did some pickups. Some days your mind is just not in the right place. I am particularly susceptible to this. I will either be too tense or too relaxed. I will start worrying about my calibration. I will start to get frustrated. When I do this I start doing silly things, either trying weird shots, showboating, or just thinking too much about one aspect of the fight, and I get hit. That is kind of what was happening on Sunday. Mostly, I was thinking about my elbow, but I was also just not in the moment the way I should have been. Annoying. I didn’t learn anything new, but I was reminded of how I need to warm up with at least three guys before a tournament, how vital focus is, and to keep my shield in line with my opponent’s sword. Grrr. NEWS Mari Alexander was victorious in Cynagua Coronet, becoming one of the few princesses in her own right. Good news. I miss Cynagua. VIDEO! I found the video of the end of my 13 minute fight with Jabril from Crown. It shows the Lucky spin I threw to take his arm, then how he beat me with one hand behind his back. It was a great fight. You can see a lot of things. I'm getting tired. I telegraphed the spin but he didn't catch it. You can see me psyche myself out after I take his arm. Best (or worst) of all you can see how, when we come on guard, I relax and he triggers off it and throws an off-side head which, looking at the video, I probably should have taken. I thought it hit a bit farther back. It did not have much power on it, but it looks like it’s in the eyes. Thinking about that shot—either being scared by it, or worrying that I should have taken it—is what got me killed two blows later. I went berserk for a split second, jumped in and let Jabril cut my head off (he hit me in the side of the neck). Hind sight is a bad thing in fighting, so I won't say good or bad about the ending, but I will say it was one of the more fun and awesome fights I've been in in a while.


STAG said...

Honour trumps winning.

Every time.

M.A. Cramer/Valgard said...

STAG: if I didn't believe that, I've had been a Duke years ago! :)