I've had a rethink about the nylon longsword competition which will be held at Swordfish '09 in Gothenburg this year. Basically, I decided to pull out and maybe attend Dierk Hagedorn's class on half-swording instead.
-I'm not very good at freeplay and my performance at the Medieval Mayhem overall, and particularly against the Mikkonator was crap. So, I'm just not ready for free bouting yet.
-Different rulesets and competition mode is different from the context we normally do freeplay.
-In terms of learning stuff useful for the practice of Fiore, there isn't much (at my current level, such as it is) that I would gain by taking part in the competition.
-I'd learn more from the half-sword class with Mr. Hagedorn.
-I started to stress about the competition and worrying if I was ready and all that crap. Yes, I do stress about things too easily, I freely admit. So, this worry was starting to take away the joy of the whole Swordfish experience, which is just daft. If the joy isn't in it, then there's something wrong. This has become my yardstick for my whole attitude to swordsmanship. It doesn't preclude hard work and regular training as these can be a joy in themselves.
Instead, if I want to have a friendly spar with people at the event, I will have more than ample opportunity to do so. I just have to be open to the experience, have a laugh, get a bit sweaty and maybe a bruise or two, make friends in the process, learn, consider and perhaps discard new stuff, then discuss it all over a pint or dram in the pub afterwards :-)