Wednesday, February 6, 2013

A cold muddy day at Grants Tomb.

It was a cold muddy day at Grants Tomb on Saturday. We moved practice to Saturday because of the Super Bowl. As a 49ers fan I now consider that an empty gesture, but what the Hell. It was still good because Duchess Eilis, my SCA mom, was visiting from the West Kingdom and she came along to hang out with us. Afterward we went to Hill Country, possibly the best Barbecue north of the Mason Dixon.

Yesterday I started doing rehab exercises again for my shoulders and elbows. Partially it was because of how tired my shoudlers were after single-sword work on Saturday, but mostly because I've now developed tendonitis in my shield elbow. It does not affect my fighting, it pops up other times.

I am having a bit of trouble (read slugishness) getting into a workout pattern now that the semester has started. I am a lot busier right now and more tired, plus I was planning to change my workouts to more of a fitness based rather than strength based workout at the same time. However, counting practice I managed to work out every day last week. I got in my regular arm workout on Sunday, yoga class on Monday, WODs and yoga on Tuesday and Wednesday, and then walking around the Lower East Side with Eilis on Thursday and Friday--a total of 6.75 miles in two days. Then I fought, and while I have skipped the last three days (other than some physical therapy) today I did a monster workout, with 20 minutes yoga and tabata sets of dumbbell exercises. Intense! (I ache!) I do need to go back to logging my food.

Fight practice at Grant's Tomb was pretty small. There were two knights--me and Gui, and two newer fighters, Damien and Tycho. Gui and Tycho are both left handed. I started out doing sets with Gui and I won two and lost two. They were, as usual, long fights. He is using a center-grip heater, which for a lefty like him is almost cheating because it is such a good match, but he hadn't figured out his leg defense with it yet and I took advantage of that. There was nothing special in any of the fights I won. I simply caught him slightly out of position in between attacks. Against Tycho the best thing I was doing was the closing attack I started working on at Beau Geste. I flashed my thrusting tip at him and he focused on that, then I stepped around it and was suddenly in position. I also killed him with Lucky's move off line to the left combo: throw a snap, pass off line to the left with your right foot, stepping between your right foot and your opponent  exposing your head but guarding it with your sword recovery, then passing with your left foot, squaring up and striking at the head. It's like Lucan's passing shot but it starts closer and with the shield foot forward. It's effective against both right and left handed fighters. Damien has an unfortunate habit of using a downward chop, which we need to train him out of. A couple of times I took advantage of it by moving offline and deflecting it, so that his momentum exposed his offside to me, which I hit, but mostly I was defending and giving him targets to strike.

Next we did a bear pit exercise, where each of us fought the others in turn. Wounds were not retained. This was good endurance as we were rotating through quickly. Then we broke up for some single-sword training. To make it interesting, I took Tycho and Gui took Damien, so were were working with opposite handed opponents.

Most of the work involved footing. It had snowed the day before and the ground was muddy and slippery. Balance and footwork under those conditions was the hardest thing. Each of use slipped around a bit. i mostly worked on lifting my feet up and putting them down instead of letting my momentum carry me forward. This is good practice when it is dry.

It was an excellent practice for what it was, but I need to do some work at Nutley.

It is 80 days until Crown Tourney. My next time in armor will be at the Iron Bog practice this Sunday.

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