Sunday, 20 September 2009

Synthetic swords and banana gloves

Sound odd? Well, it's one way of describing some of the equipment used at the longsword tournament at the upcoming Swordfish 2009 event. The first term is apparent, the latter refers to how the players hand protection looks like to me, i.e. those who use lacrosse gloves.

Well, I've been reviewing my abysmal performance last year at the biggest sword-related event in the Nordic countries, hosted by those very enthusiastic and frankly tireless chaps and ladies from the Gothenburg Historical Fencing School.

Basically, I sucked. So, after some reviewing I feel I need to concentrate on, inter alia:

-protecting my hands and attacking the opponents'
-attacking in proper distance
-being more and constantly mobile
-changing guards
-using the thrust
-taking better advantage of largo and stretto distances
-learn to use the circlular step and not be so linear

Hmm, this will give me plenty of material to work on between now and the end of October....

I'd like my style to improve, perhaps win a clean point or two and have anybody watching still be able to say.."oh, he's a Fiorista".

We tried some slow freeplay at training last saturday and it went ok I think but I still got hit on the head a lot, and took a "lethal" thrust to the throat where I attacked, missed and ran myself onto the incoming point. I wasn't relaxed doing the freeplay, nor indeed was I slow and deliberate as was the oringinal intention, in itself designed to allow for constant motion and a way to stop the freezing. I think I completely forgot anything to do with the seven sword drills we've trained and sometimes it looked messy and well, shite. On the positive (sort of) I found that I could exploit the stops in others by grabbing their swords, something made easier for me by their attacks were occasionally made out of distance. I would say that this was feature of lack of experience though, not something that I'll get away with in Helsinki, nor in Gothenburg. Still, it was a lot of fun and gave us all good feedback about things, albeit basic, that we really need to train more. Thanks to E and M for making it a good training session.

Next weekend should be a blast as there is a two day "Medieval Mayhem" seminar, which should be loads of fun and a chance to spar against others in a variety of weapons. I'm looking forward to it already.

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