Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Crown Tourney #97

So I went to semi-finals in East Kingdom Crown on Saturday. This was the best I've done in the Crown Lists in the East in the nearly 20 years that I've lived here -- and, no, it doesn't seem nearly that long, but right about now, I've been active in the East for as long as I was active in the West.

Speaking of being active in the West a long time ago, here is some video from March Crown Tourney 1990. This was about four months before I was knighted. At the end of the first reel you can see two fights of mine, one with William the Lucky and another with Andrew Shay Forestborn. This video is pretty amazing. In the East and the Midrealm, unbleted fighters have a common bond. They all fight on the unbelted champions team at Pennsic. They train together for months each year, and it's the biggest honor they receive as unbelts. In the West we don't have that. But the West is tourney focussed. What we do have is the three crown tourneys a year that we all fought in. Looking at this video, most of my peeps are there--some knights already, some not: Elrik, Fabian, Ob, Steven,  Douglas, Neal, Theodric, RAT, Cybi, Farin, Keythen, Gareth, DOA, Collin, and more. Jad eis fighting byes. Plus there are Greyhelm and Rolf and Lucky, and there are a few who were never knighted like Ulrick and Malcolm and Seamus.

And part two....

And what stands out? How slow I was, and how fast everybody else was. Especially Jade. I mean, we know that, but wow!

Oh! as for this past crown: I can't remember the name of my first round opponent. I fought Duncan Kerr, Sir Mathias, Sir Thomas, Sir Rory, I lost to Duke Brennan and the other finalist, Sir Matthew D'Arden. I used nearly my whole arsenal. A butterfly to kill Matthias, a hook/thrust to kill Rory, a top-edge hook to kill Thomas. And the kitchen sink against Brennan, but that was futile.  It was also the first crown I've ever fought in wearing my contacts. I don't think that made a difference, but I'm wearing them again in the spring (I rarely wear them at all).

It was a really good day. The two fights that stood out, of course, are the ones I lost. against Brennan I had a great fight, but once he took my leg, while I could make it last a long time, I couldn't kill him. I was able to get the shot I wanted twice, but I was falling over both times so I had no ballance and, ergo, no power. Against Matthew, I set up using Gui's footwork, which I've been practicing against lefties for awhile. It involves setting up with your shield side foot in front of your sword side foot, not in line, so that you are set up to walk a diagonal past your opponent. This kept him at bey for a pass or two, but then he countered it beautifully by stepping into me and passing really close on my shield side as I was doing an incresare step to take his leg. It was kind of a houghton maneuver, that finishde with a grape-vine step, and he ended up basically behind me, and back handed me to the head. It was a great shot. I felt good because I hadn't been stupid, he'd just countered my technique and beat me. Besides, I was giggling I was so happy to have FINALLY made it into semi-finals. I've been in the final six several times, but I had never made the final four, where you get presented to the crown and everything stops for your fights. (I'd been in the finals of King's Champion once--that's the best I had done in the East up till Saturday).

Tina Degenhart live-streamed Crown on her twitch feed, so you can see my two defeats (and one of my victories). It's a four hour stream, and she was on the opposite field from me, but at 3:19 you can see my fight with Brennan. Note how I had fallen dead but he insisted I not take the shot, so we keep going.  At 3:32 is my fight with Rory, which ends iwth a good hook/thrust. At 3:49 is my semi-final bout with Matthew. What I love most about this fight is very subtle--how we were both setting up for a face thrust, saw the other doing it, and backed out. Also look at me when they call us up for final four. I had no idea that I had that huge giggly grin on my face! I'm on cloud nine! :-)

It will be some time before I'm in armor again. I need to heal my shoulder and my heel--which still hurts from Pennsic (I've got an appointment with a specialist coming up). Plus hunting season, holidays, and The Importance of Being Earnest. I don't like to fight when we get into rehearsals, because I don't want to get injured and screw up the show, meanign I will *not* be fighting at Birka. I scheduled this production to be over the week before Aedult Swim, but I'm sure I'll practice before that. Oh! Visit the crowd funding campaign for the play! Send us money!

To be honest, I am STILL grinning about crown.

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