Journal, 11/8   Leave a comment

Thursday dawned bright and early, somewheres around sunrise, and it was a day for killin’.  Of course, thanks to the vagaries of axial tilt, orbital period, and the cessation of daylight savings time, it was long after sunrise that the killin’ started.  It was, in fact, after sunset.  “Dark” is a good estimate.  All of which would lead a Creator in his right mind to decide that light was needed and, indeed, should there be letted to… er… be?

Thursday Night Lights

The local True Value, purveyor of just about every damn thing a fighter might ever need, and is the first stop when the Zombocalypse comes, was having itself a sale, just in time, on stand-mounted shoplights.  Letia got the first set, I got the second, and Eldrid got the last.  The only thing that got in the way of having Letia’s yard lit up like a baseball stadium was a shortage of extension cords, which Letia should be fixing this week.  Add in the three portable work lights from Girard, and it will be lit up like daytime, if the sun never rose above the horizon.  We may get some rope and hoist lights up into the trees.

A Night for Teaching

I worked with most of the fighters there, but didn’t get to fight Eldrid or Giovan, so I’m making a note to get at them next week.  Generally I’m just continuing on my quest to make everybody push themselves harder (well, except Rachel and Malcolm, who are still figuring out which foot goes where).  Bigger, Stronger, Higher, Faster, etc.  I think I may have to just start fighting everybody at my level to kick their asses into ramping it up.  That’ll benefit me, as well, because I think I’m back-sliding a bit and, while being more energetic, getting sloppier.

Glove Melee

When the light, terrain, and experience levels are not conducive to melee practice, what else can you do?  Well, getting rid of the masks would improve visibility, but then you’d have to get rid of weapons, leaving you with… gloves.  So we did line drills with gloves, working the zipper drill and chattering.  There was way too much of that, we really need to work on the “one person talks, everybody else listens” shit.

And that’s where it stood on Thursday, and that would have been a mediocre week.  Luckily, Sunday brought…

Fight Club

Gawin and I trucked ourselves out to the glorious town of Statesville, NC, whose motto is “Turn left at Bumfuck and you’ll find us eventually”.  For a two and a half drive one-way, it had, I thought, better be really fucking good.

So when Provosts Sir Christian, Raphael, and Greylond, and my brother Free Scholar Philip Jaeger, and a half dozen or so scholars all turned out, I thought “Well, this was totally worth it”.  I proceeded to set about getting my ass kicked by Sir Christian, and we talked a little bit about something which led to a realization for me, which I shall share with Letia on Thursday because it applies directly to her.  Also to me, but as it speaks to my strategy (and a shift I need to make during my top-level fighting), screw you all you can figure it out for yourselves.  Okay, maybe not, but I’ll wait until next week to go into depth on it, after I’ve had a chance to jimmy with it this week.

After Christian, I bounced around between the scholars, and also picked up fights with Raph, Greylond, and Jaeger, but I was having trouble switching out of “teaching/play” mode with those three, so I think I gave each of them about five good passes and then a load of horseshit.

Nonetheless, a good practice and a good time.  But it didn’t end there…

Sir Christian has a tradition that, at the end of practice, everybody fights a first-to-ten fight with everybody else.  Since there were 11 people there, we cut that down to a first-to-five.  Sir Christian took the floor first, and fought every fighter in succession.

Against him, I had a couple of good shots, he had more than I did, and we started doubling for about five passes.  Eventually I figured out that this was not going to prove a winning strategy, shifted tactics, and lost.

Now, at this point, it’s probably worth noting that Chris is a lefty, who is taller than me with a slight range advantage, but by his account is just a little slower.  He and I also try a lot of the same attacks (snap-up from the wrist into the lunge).  So these doubles were: Stand at range, both lunge with blades rising up, and both hit eachother in the leading armpit.  That, coupled with fighting Jaeger in much the same way (He has the same range as me, so we end up lunging into eachother a lot), means that today my armpit is technicolored, and the muscles of that area are pulpy.

After Christian had fought all of the fencers, I then stepped in and did the same, fighting everybody except Christian (having already fought him).  That shit is grueling, man, but boy did I notice somethings: Against slightly slower opponents, I got sloppy, wasting a lot of effort in trying to be brutally aggressive (I won my fifth fight against one of the fighters with a draw cut to the back of the head that took his mask with it).  Against the top-level fighters, though, my fights were sharp and efficient.  Part of this was that I was exhausted, and didn’t have much left except for a stesso tempo or messo tempo attack.  But, I’m guessing, it also comes down to a reactive level-setting on my part, carried over from the teaching mindset, that I need to thoroughly expunge from my fighting mindset, and that I can relax the knife-edge readiness of a fight against a top-level to a mere spoon-edge readiness.  Blue scarves on the tourney field deserve no more motion than provosts, ’cause if I give them more I’ll end up tired or accidentally dead.  And for that, I’m going to need a hell of a lot more stamina.

But, damn, that was a great practice.  4.5 hours of fighting, which means I spent just about as much time there as I did getting there and back.


And, last but not least, today saw the return of the venerable Wistric’s War Wagon from its six month tour of the parking lot of the repair shop, on a quest for a new engine.  Wistric may be able to fight decently, but he should never be allowed to try to change a fan belt.  Ever.  Of course, deprived of an excuse for sloth (“can’t fit running into schedule while I’ve got to drive my wife to and from work”) he must now return to the Couch to 5k program.  And next week I shall, by god, resume Giganti.

Posted November 15, 2010 by wistric in Journal

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