Saturday, March 29, 2014

Beau Geste, March 14

The Beau Geste tournament was this week, but I was sick most of the week. Also, during pickups, my shield had come apart (I just lost a bolt) and I had forgotten to fix it. This led to the inescapable conclusion that I needed to fight with my greatsword. It's far from my best form, but I've had some good success with it in the old old days. I felt great on thursday after having a cold early in the week, but that was an illusion. Exerting myself fighting on Thursday then only getting 5 hours of sleep that night and I felt really ill on Friday.

None. I did my pushups, but having a cold most of the week, I didn't do anything else--not even yoga on Monday (ever try to do an inversion with a head cold?). The cold mostly manifested itself in the form of a migraine headache, so I was really not too good for anything.

Lately, I've been trying to employ the Greatsword technique used by Duke Gregor, who is the top greatsword fighter in the East Kingdom. He fights a very simple but effective style, with his sword held with his top hand about shoulder or chin-high in front of him and using diagonal cuts, as can be seen in this champions battle against Duke Palymar from 2006:

It's n ot unlike Duke Rolf's bastard sword technique, which is the first thing I learned.

Much of my early training with two handed swords, beyond what I learned with Rolf, came from Duke Paul of Bellatrix. His techniques can be found here: 

Lately, I've been trying to learn the techniques of Duke Marc d'Arundel, one of Paul's students and probably the best bastard sword fighter in the SCA right now. He has a very detailed manual describing his techniques here:

Thursday night, I was trying to stay away from my opponents, use Marc's middle guard, try to step into a hanging parry, and cut to the off leg. That never worked, but I did take a couple of legs and won a few fights.

I warmed up against Conrad and then Baldwin. I was running my ass off trying to keep them at range. It was working pretty well. I killed Conrad two out of three fights and Baldwin at least once. I was specifically not trying to close with them. I wanted to work on my outside game. I might have won one more fight if I'd closed and used some back-edge technique, a la Gui Avec Cheval.

There were six fighters in the Beau Geste: myself, Tycho, Zurr, Conrad, Baldwin, and Caithlin. Zurr and Tycho are both very good lefties.

I was challenged first round by Zurr, who killed me very quickly. I struck at him, he blocked, struck my sword, stepped in, and struck me in the body.

I next fought Tycho, whom I beat. I managed to keep him at range and block his attack till I took his leg. Then I struck at him, he missed me, his momentum carried him forward, and I hit him.

Baldwin killed me about as quickly as Zurr had. I struck at him once or twice, but he blocked and instead of countering with a cut threw a thrust that hit me in the throat.

Against Conrad I lasted a long time, but he took my leg and then killed me.

Caithil I beat kind of handilly. After a few exchanges I took her leg and then hit her in the head.

Zurr defeated Baldwin 2-0 in the finals. Vive la Beau Geste.

I'm still taking it easy this weekend. It is  49 days until Crown Tourney. My next time in armor will be this Wednesday at Nutley, and after that it will be next Sunday at Iron Bog.

1 comment:

Lee King said...

Sir Valgard:

I still think you need to right a manual (with illustrations or videos for us dumb squires). :)