Journal, 6/14   1 comment

Another week, another Thursday practice.  As mentioned last week, I’m still trying to muster up the urge to kick as much ass as possible, without having Pennsic or WoW as an outlet.  Add to that the current wave of heat and humidity, and it’s a bit like trying to sprint under water.  But screw that, I’ve still got legs to stand on, so I can still sprint and/or fence.  And when I don’t have legs, I’ll fence from the wheelchair.  Rascal Jousting has got to be a sport, somewhere (if Dwarf Olympics exist, Rascal Olympics must, as well).

Overall I’ve picked up my regular running again, but not lunging, and with no other great leaps in fitness, though Letia’s Wii Fit thinks I’m down to 205.


Early on in our practice-scale footwork drills, Percy brought a pattern to work on: Extend/Advance, Recover/Retreat, Extend/Retreat, Recover/Advance.

This week I applied a new pattern, Advance, advance, lunge, recover, retreat, retreat, demi-volte, recover, repeat.

During my warm-ups with Gawin, I discovered that his blade defense has become much tighter than I usually think of it being, but that his footwork was a huge liability: he over-extended his attacks, or moved too chunkily.  So we’re gonna break that, by training him in short, smooth motion in his attacks.

If anybody else has ideas for how to refine footwork and smooth transitions, let me know so I can abuse Gawin at practice this week with a new torment.


There’s video of this practice somewhere.  It may be up here sooner or later.  I’m sure it’ll be as ugly as last time.

Feral Fencers

We have a new fencer in Windmasters.  He’s been practicing at unofficial practices for a while, and Thursday was his first time at an official practice.  There is very much that has been overlooked in his education because of that (like, armor standards, and the importance of real tips on your weapons).  He is, along with certain other similar fencers, a major source of stress for me; He’s not “mine” the way that, say, Gawin is.  He didn’t start at my practice, so he didn’t get the necessaries.  But because any Windmasters Hill fighter somehow defaults to being “mine” at an event, it now falls to me to be the heavy, while those friends of his who got him into fighting are nowhere to be found because they don’t show up to official practices so much.  And being in that position wears me down and burns me out on the whole marshalling thing faster than anything else.  It also makes me want to disown anybody who doesn’t have a gold wake knot on their blue scarf (or other embroidery by me) if they should come in for any criticism.  But casting them out seems a great way to lose them even though they have so much potential (and the new Feral Fencer has a shit ton of potential).  I may go lean on some other fencers at practice on Thursday.

But Fighting the Feral Fencer is Fun

He’s aggressive and fast.  He has a little bit of strip fencing in his background, but is mostly a PROFESSIONAL GYMNAST.  He’s in good shape and flexible.

Because of his aggression I was working on my attacks into tempo, throwing cavazione after cavazione.  And the bastard’s hands are fast enough he withdrew and remised in the tempo of my lunge.  So we doubled.  Over and over and over again.  That got painful.

But I also noticed he wasn’t quite grasping the concept of the foible and forte of the blade (yes, yes, and when he shows up on Thursday we’re starting him over from the ground up to fill in all these gaps).  I ended up throwing saber guards to block his attacks, and from that solid bind on his foible, throwing my counter-lunge until I’d satisfied myself that it worked against him 100% of the time (when done right) and then took a break.

But, yes, many bad habits to break, many knowledge gaps to fill.

My own fighting

Somewhere after fighting the feral fencer, I picked up my thirty-five and Percy and I walked off to a corner of the field.  The ensuing fight was one of our better fights.  I was a little sloppy, but mostly we were both tight and spot on, my lunges were in good form.  Damn, sooner or later I might be good at this thing.

And it’s all on Letia’s camera, so I can compare my own perception to what actually happened.

Posted June 22, 2010 by wistric in Journal

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