Buckston Demo and KBerg Class   Leave a comment

On Friday, Jaume, Joe, Giovan, and I went over to the Buckston-on-Eno demo at the Durham Academy.  I like demos.  While I don’t really want to turn into the two choreographed guys down at the Ren Faire, I like the chance to add a bit of showmanship.  At events that’s just not reasonable, because it’s nothing that hasn’t been seen so many times.  But at the demo, with a hundred middle schoolers watching, I could unleash my Wistric-ness (though I did have to dust off my inner Bowlderization Protocol for the day).

The kids were studying medieval history, from 800 to 1500, so rapier was just slightly outside of what they were looking at, but we had that covered, too.  I started off talking about what we did, then passed around a couple of books: Talhoffer, period quarterstaff, and… something else, can’t remember what.  I also showed off the pretty, pretty pictures in the MS I.33 facsimile.

Giovan and I did a couple of passes out of I.33, which made a nice frame for discussing the fundamentals of combat.  And the kids seemed to be paying some attention.

Next Jaume and I ran the first three Presa of Marozzo’s unarmed defense against dagger.  Somehow (though it was not intentional), Jaume’s quillons kept getting caught in my palm as I threw him, so I’d end up with the dagger in hand.  The kids loved that.

Then we shifted over to free fighting, with big dramatic deaths and Giovan providing excellent color commentary on the fights (even the ones he was in).  I was going for the sorts of big movements and high energy fighting that makes kids go “ooooo”, which led at one point me dying downward, and my forward momentum carrying me rolling into a wall.  I hope there was a picture of that one.

Talked with a couple of the kids afterward.  One little girl, less than 5 feet tall and just tiny, picked up my 35″ and got a scary grin on her face.  I hope she comes out and learns how to fight.  I talked with a couple of young ladies who said they’d fenced at summer camp, and told them “Hey, we’ve got a youth fencing program, you should come out and fight!”  I figure I should get some mileage out of this youth rapier marshal warrant one of these days.  We decided we need cards to hand out, though.

At Canton on Monday, Sweetums and I did “Period Self-Defense, or Sunneva Beats up on Wistric”.  Sweetums took a semester-long self-defense course back in college.  Many times when I’d go out to see her she’d say “Hey, let me try something on you.”  I learned to fear that phrase.  When I started looking over Marozzo’s Presses a few months back, I needed a sparring partner, and she was willing.  And it really clicked with her (aside from getting left and right figured out).  She retained enough from her self-defense to remember the majority of leverage, and has decent enough reaction time to make half-speed flow correctly.

So on Monday, we worked through ten or so of the Presses for the audience, Sweetums and her 5′, 100 lb. self throwing me around in an uncomfortable, but highly amusing manner.  With Jaume on Friday, we were the same height.  But having Sweetums throw me around illustrates the importance of how leverage is gained and exploited.  I’m thinking University class.

Posted November 18, 2009 by wistric in Events

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