Thursday, March 29, 2012

Bad Days and Failures

Today was a poor day of swordsmanship, and a worse day in regards to sportsmanship.

When fencing today, I grew frustrated and lost control of myself.  I lashed out with a cut that was supposed to knock my opponent's sword away, and succeeded admirably in the attack.  Either in keeping with my pace, or because I had been disrespectful and a jerk, my opponent rushed at me, and before I knew it, we were wrist deep in wrestling, that could have turned very ugly.  I was ready back him into a corner and proceed to mash him, and had he wrenched a little harder, he probably would have broken my fingers on my right hand.  It happened so fast.  It was the first time I felt like I'd truly lost my cool in the midst of a match.

I was ashamed; I am sill ashamed as I write this.

Once at an SCA event either last year or the year before, I showed up and Devon vouched for me.  He told the marshals and the dons that I was a good guy, a good fighter, and I was safe.  At the end of the event, he came up to me and told me that I had acquitted myself well.  That I had represented him and the Academie admirably.  I just about cried what my friend Eric (and anyone reasonable) would call "manly tears".

I was the opposite of that tonight.

As a swordsman and a future teacher, mine is to live the chivalric ideal.  What do I do when I stray from it?  What does Devon do when his students stray from it?  How big of a failure is this?  Big enough that I felt it was time to get out of my combat gear, and cool my temper.  Big enough that it left me shaking on the sides.

But falling isn't failing.  Not getting back up is.

Back at it again tomorrow.

Training Journal- Day 6

March 29, 2012
Warm Up- N/A
Solo Drills- 5 lunges into each closed position
Partner Drills- N/A
Slow Work- N/A
Full Speed- 10 minutes with Raj
What Worked- Good intent, and improved ability to capitalize on blade control
What Needs Improvement- body alignment and footwork were sloppy
Follow-up for Next Time- back to basics, lots of footwork and posture drills for the next little while
Other Notes- It's bigger than a notation.  This one gets a write up.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Regarding Kingmaking

Yesterday was epic. I feel justified in using the term due to what happened.

I armed myself, faced great opponents in honorable combat, bested them, and ascended the iron throne of Westeros.


Okay, totally not what happened. It was a demo tied to the Game of Thrones marathon at the Van City Theatre yesterday. The iron throne was there, Kit Harrington did a Q&A, and there was also an advanced screening of the first episode of season 2.  Oh, and then we wound up doing another demo immediately after said Q&A.  All told, it was a good day, and a good experience. A post on the actual breakdown of how I did will come later. Now I sleep, because bar hours are cruel to men without cars.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Training Journal- Day 5

March 21, 2012
Warm Up- N/A
Solo Drills- Lichtenauer guard progression. (2 hr 15 mins incl. Reading and learning)
Partner Drills- Tessitura with Jordan Bo. (5 mins) Basics of side sword with Tay-Tay, further cutting mechanics and basic counters for each quadrant (30 mins)
Slow Work- 45 minutes with Jordan Bo.
Full Speed- N/A
What Worked- as a mental exercise, seeing each attack as moving through a guard. Shoulder cuts with side sword felt smoother during solo work
What Needs Improvement- targeting/alignment on my squalambretti needs improvement. I'm presently cutting too low. The mechanics of my longsword work needs to be verified.
Follow-up for Next Time- Try cutting to a pell to improve alignment?
Other Notes- must practice off hand with rapier, and go through all the online videos. Must drill further with side sword. What IS the difference between Italian and German long sword, anyway?

On Errantry

Why have you been missing Aaron?  The 67 people who have viewed this blog MUST HEAR OF YOUR ADVENTURES.

Funny about that, there's been non blog related things over the last couple weeks.  Well, non related in content, but related at a resource level: I ran out of money.  Not "I couldn't afford double meat steak sandwiches blended into my golden protein shakes" or "I had to cut the beer out of the budget" (which I had to) I'm talking about "I couldn't even afford bus fare." poor.  You know what I'm on?  The quest for work isn't so much for money in and of itself, as it is for the money to chase the dream.

Anyways, I'll puzzle out some manner of work, or a clever way to make dollars.  Thanks for reading, all 67 of you.

Training Journal - Day 4

March 20, 2012
Warm Up- N/A
Solo Drills- Sidesword cutting (0.75 hr) Thanks to Kat and Tay-Tay
Partner Drills- N/A
Slow Work- Sidesword slow work with Kat (.25 hr).  It was highly ham fisted, and bits of Lichtenauer and I.33 kept creeping in.
Full Speed- With Raj in preparation for his assessment, also with Kat and FancyPants when Raj was unavailable (0.33 hr)
What Worked- Footwork was decent, and my arm didn't want to quit immediately this time.
What Needs Improvement- Need to get a better grasp of when to capitalize and attack my opponent.  There were points where I had control and hesitated, and other when I had no advantage and tried to attack anyway.  Fast footwork, and an equally (un)skilled opponent occasionally kept me from being hit.
Follow-up for Next Time- Work tessatura (did I spell that right?) drills as a warm up; furthermore, actually warm up.
Other Notes- Double hard this week as I prepare for a demo with the performance team, and make up for not getting any sword time in during the last week.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Training Journal- Day 3

March 5, 2012
Warm Up- N/A
Solo Drills- N/A
Partner Drills- N/A
Slow Work- 10 minutes with Jordan Bo.
Full Speed- 25 minutes with Jordan Bo.
What Worked- better footwork, good control when facing single sword.
What Needs Improvement- Need to keep my sword on line, need to learn how to counter the dagger.
Follow-up for Next Time- read/watch videos on defeating the dagger and off hand.
Other Notes- Jordan took me apart with that dagger! It wasn't even a contest. I might have gotten a single hour on him in 10 minutes of full speed.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Training Journal- Day 2

March 2, 2012

Warm Up- 15 minutes with medicine ball (mostly standard mastery warm up)
Solo Drills- 10 lunges from each measure with each hand (80 lunges total)
5 lunges to each closed position with off hand x 10 (left hand only)
Practiced solo portion of off hand material
Partner Drills- Capo Ferro plate 8 with Devon for the performance team
Slow Work- N/A
Full Speed- N/A

What Worked- front foot was well aligned during lunges, footwork is slightly improved
What Needs Improvement- alignment of quarta high seems suspicious, spend more time on form instead of working on speed when tired
For plate 8, watch that the off hand stays in the open position, or stays well behind. Make sure the lead shoulder advances even though the front foot is meeting voided.
Follow-up for Next Time-Further practice of solo material, arrive in time to practice with opponents

Other Notes- learn the afternoon class times, and arrive in time to get people before or after class.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Training Journal- Day 1

March 1, 2012
Academie Duello

Warm up- 10 lunges
Solo Drills- 5 lunges with off hand into each closed position
Partner Drills- stringere with the off hand (Duello learning video) w/ Raj (Asian kid, huge blade on his rapier)
Slow Work-N/A
Full Speed-N/A

What Worked- good understanding of off hand use
What Needs Improvement- body alignment in lunge with off hand (seconda)
Follow-up for Next Time- all assessment material, drill footwork, posture drill against wall

Total work out time- 45 minutes

Other notes- spent 20 minutes screwing around with snickerdoodles (Steve) playing rapier vs. longsword. Spend less time screwing around next time.