Wistric Fighting Journal, Week of 5/14/2012

Wow, it’s been a while since I did one of these.  I blame sloth, because it’s an easy target.  Slow moving and whatnot.

For some of the below to make sense, it’s worth mentioning that while sparring a couple weeks back with Don David, I may have cracked a rib (don’t tell him).

 

Wednesday

The past couple Wednesdays I’ve been out to Eldrid’s to put dents in metal that he then turned into the correct dents for making a burgeonet out of.  Between the two of us there’re the two halves of a helm and the crest.  Just needs the brow, cheek plates, neck plates, and face plates, and welding.  Lots of welding. And planishing.  But he’s got an auto-hammer now, which apparently will planish like a mother fucker.  All of which means, fingers crossed, sweet ass fencing helm by Pennsic.

This is his prototype f0r a “munitions grade” helm.  He’s making one out of spring steel for himself, and Gaston’s working on another, and there’re at least three others in progress that may be for sale (Gawin and Baron Calli may have dibs on two).  But, if you see me with a sweet ass helm, it’s all Eldrid’s doing, and you should get in touch with him and getcha one.  But it may take a while: A couple of dukes are commissioning spring stainless harnesses out of him for next Battle of the Nations.

Interesting discovery of the night: When you’ve got a rib-proximal injury on your right side, reaching across your body with the hammer to smack some metal strains it.

 

Thursday

FENCING!  As is the way of Kappellenberg, it happened.  Others can talk about what all we did.  I just remember I got to stab people.  Interesting discovery of the night: Extending a sword at shoulder height also strains the ribs on the right side.

 

Saturday

The UNC collegiate fencing coach, Ron Miller, held an 8 hour coaching clinic.  Since I am on a quest for pedagogical… er… pedagogy, I headed on over.

And it was awesome.  Most of it was taught around foil drills, but most of those can apply to SCA rapier with modification (there are only so many ways to stick a sword in a man). What is essentially the “How to Throw a Real Feint” drill we do at practice was one of the first things he handed out and complexities.

He gives his one-on-one lessons in ten minutes or less.  Start with something they know, then add in new skills (between 3 and 8), and end with something they know, for the whole “positive reinforcement sandwich”.  Considering how common the hour-long poke-a-bit/talk-a-lot happens at practices and events, it’s a radically different approach to training.

He also provided some pretty stark demonstrations of how having the wrong measure can fuck up a drill. I pinged him yesterday to follow up on some questions.  First, converting the “I want to have fun” to “I want to win.” Second, he has 10 and 11 year old fencers who are ridiculously dedicated and train hard, which you just don’t see in the SCA, and I’m wondering how you get youths to that point.

I’m still processing huge chunks of it, but am already going to modify my teaching style  based on it, and know of a few changes that may be made at practice.  And going to go read Fencing and the Master soon as I finish Vol 2 of The History of the Peninsular War and Tulipmania.  So finish it up Tassin.

 

Sunday

Baronial was Sunday, and his Excellency has set it up so that we can run rapier melee in the first half and heavy melee in the second, for crossover-y types.

Last month, Tassin, on behalf of the Kberg fencers, challenged the Attillium fencers to a throw-down.  So it was supposed to go down this month.  Except that Adelric got called in to work, and since he was the ride for most of Attillium, only two fighters showed up.  Oh well, we melee’d anyway, and had in all around 16 fencers there.  I was a touch annoyed that the armored marshal then decided he had to teach us melee. I held my tongue right up until he decided we had to know how to wheel, and then taught it wrong.  Not just a little wrong, either.  Like a lateral caracole.  Apparently that’s “how they did it” back in some distant grand old vision of the SCA. Ugh.  He apparently also thinks that Atlantian rapier used to maneuver in block units spectacularly well.

At one point, standing around in a circle, His Excellency asked us how many were going to Pennsic, thinking he’d make one team of “Going” and one of “Not Going.” The “Not Going” team would have been one newb fencer and two halves of two fighters from Attillium.

Also somewhere in there I stop-thrust Girard as he was doing his sideways running engagement thingie, and he now also knows the feeling of a cracked rib, possibly.

A half dozen of us swapped over to armored fighting, where we worked triads and I realized something: I have NO field vision when fighting armored.  Way too reactive, and got my ass obliterated.  Though I did keep up with the Bedford cav dudes.  They thought it’d be hard.  Queen’s Spears are gonna leave them in the fucking dirt.

Interesting discovery: At some point, when one has a cracked rib, one should take a break from things that can injure it.

 

2 comments to Wistric Fighting Journal, Week of 5/14/2012

  • Staffan Arffuidsson

    Have you considered that Don David just might be helping you get better fighting left-handed…

    Cheers!
    Staffan

  • Gawin

    I was wondering how long you’d let the rapier melee “lesson” continue uninterrupted on Sunday. Though, slight differences in terminology has always been the weird bit of Baronial practices for me.Hopefully that SOP you just sent out should solve that problem.

    By my count, having 15 or so Windy Kitties on the rapier field at Pennsic this year doesn’t seem outside of the realm of possibility. I’m looking forward to repeating last year’s field battle 5 times.

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