I went to a big Regional Fighter Practice today and got authorized to fight rapier! Woo! Sean cam e with me, as did Faith, and the rest of the Glees hung out with my mom. Sean got to put a trebuchet together, then realize it was unusable due to a hardware failure, then went to get the parts to fix it and then he fixed it! Because he’s smart, see. He also shot a crossbow!
Faith spent her time hanging with a girl named Natalie and building elaborate waterworks by the pond onsite. Then some jerky older boys came along and destroyed their stuff! Grr! Faith has had very limited exposure to that bane of children everywhere, the Common Bully. She was angry but relatively unruffled by the time she told me about it.
I’m sunburned and happy. Now on to armor/garb.
I’m such a dork about this fencing stuff, I know.
So practice went well. I used dagger and rapier this time instead of rapier alone. The dagger is used for defense and offense and I liked it. Not that I did especially well with it or anything. I have a hard time telling where it is in my hand, so I would parry with the flat instead of the edge.
My rapier and blunts came. I love my rapier very much.
My rapier will be here tomorrow! I hope it gets here in ime for me to bring it to practice tomorrow evening. I probably can’t use it to spar with, because I don’t have a safety blunt for the tip, but I want to show it off anyway.
I have been reading Agrippa and Capo Ferro and studying their diagrams. And watching rapier videos aon YouTube. I am struck (har har) by the elegance and inevitability of the moves, countermoves, and counter-counter moves. (there are actual names for them, I can’t remember or don’t quite understand yet.) The way it all goes together, like a sonnet or like a chess match.
I also ordered a mask.
I fought with rapier this evening! It was so awesome. All told it was a good hour I was out there, getting my clock cleaned. I’m bruised pretty good, two real shiners, bicep and ribs. I loved it though.
Next step is to buy my own rapier and mask.
Day 2. A little easier. The jump rope style bouncing eats my calf muscles. Ow! The reading I’ve done says that this thing burns 225-250 calories in 20 minutes! Hot diggity.
I baked bread today. I was going to make sourdough but I didn’t allow enough time.
I’m pretty boring! I just wanted to log that I Shredded.
I did Level 1 of the Shred today. I’d say I learned I’m weak as a kitten, but that would be insulting to kittens who I’m sure they are much stronger than I am.
Both Bede and Gloria (who is three today!) were very distressed by the whole affair. I think they were freaked out. I persevered and they seem recovered now. With any luck they won’t mind it so much as I continue.
The hardest things were jumping in place as If I were jumping rope and also the push ups. My abs aren’t as trashed as I thought, yay!
I’m going to stick with Level 1 for a while. Dude.
I went to practice #2 last night. I was outfitted up in some loaner gear (it was pink and rose-covered) and learned about judging the distance between myself and my opponent. I was better at it than I thought I would be, what with my lack of binocular vision. I have a tendency to keep one thing good while letting the other six things I need to do fall apart. I expect this will improve with time. Like, I parry a blow but in the process get my blade tip off in South Texas somewhere and pfft, I’m dead. Or my feet will be placed correctly but I’m slouching and lifting my back foot up. Etc.
It makes driving a stick shift seem pretty easy.
I’m worried about how hard I’m hitting. Surprisingly, I’m hitting too hard. I think it’s due to my weak little arms. In order to get there (even remotely close) at all, I have to use most of my strength, and so I bang! too hard. I don’t have anything left to contribute to controlling the power of the blow. At least I hope that’s it. I’m shooting wild. In any event, I’ll get better at that too. Either I’m right and strength will help it, or I’m wrong but time will help it. Or both!
Strength will help with the slouching too. My core is so trashed. Probably every pregnancy and definitely the last three my abdominal muscles unzipped themselves to accommodate the baby. I’m not sure if I can repair them, but I can strengthen what’s left and also work on my lower back muscles.
I asked about the cost to get outfitted in this gig because I can’t really tell from online sources. I don’t know what length of blade I need, or which manufacturers to avoid, or, well, anything. I hope to find someone who was in my position a year or two ago who is ready to sell his noob gear. The Marshal (person in charge of rapier) said he’d make me a price list and give me some sources to buy from. I found this Practical Rapier – 37 Inch Blade and think maybe it will be okay?
I also need a helmet/mask, a gorget (neck protection) and gloves. And armor, such as it is. This is unarmored combat, so the armor consists of puncture and abrasion resistant clothes. I can make that.
I’m baking bread today. Tomorrow is the First Day of School here, since it worked so well to go with Sean’s semester last year. It would have been today but I want to tidy up the kitchen and dining room and also make bread. Abaigeal requested a knitting refresher course s well, so I’ll get out some needles and re-teach her. I think I’ll see if she wants to make some of these cute little bunnies.
I didn’t mention that I started rapier combat before just jumping in to the getting-in-shape part. Well, I did. Start rapier combat, that is. And I love it! SCA rapier is in the round, not on a straight line like Olympic fencing. And of course there’s no electronics to see who made a touch, either, you have to call it as you feel it. I don’t know much about sport fencing, but I don’t think it allows cuts, just thrusts, and SCA rapier allows draw cuts as well as thrusts. No chopping cuts though, those are for the heavy armored combat. The rapier cuts involve placing the blade and pulling it away.
It’s REALLY AWESOME. Here is a charming email + photos of a rapier practice from a Canadian Scadian (how poetic.)
If you have Netflix streaming, you can watch a cool documentary (is that an oxymoron) about the history of modern swordsmanship, called Reclaiming the Blade. Faith and I watched it last week and we give it two thumbs up.
I was given a new sewing machine by my dear mother! So I have no excuse not to sew garb.
I better go bake that bread. And get the stuff for school tomorrow – William the Conqueror! Da-dum!
We went to fighter practice tonight for our SCA barony, Wiesenfeuer. I went with Faith, Abby and Gilbert.
There was no heavy combat (that’s the armor-and-swords-and-shields) but there was youth combat!
Here are some pictures I stole because I didn’t want to steal bandwidth. They are from http://www.housetaivassalama.com/youthCbt.html and are not from today, but from a tournament.
Faith LOVED IT. She didn’t hit any people (she will need more practice before she can be authorized) but she spent an hour learning stance and hitting the pell (a large block of wood, covered with carpet) with a padded rattan sword. She ate it up and only stopped because she couldn’t see in the dark. Also, her arms were so tired by then she was pretty wild with her blows. She was doing drills with the edge and the point, since her age group allows thrusts as well as edge blows.
Abby took a few shots too but she didn’t adore it like Faith did. She does like it enough to make a sword, however! And Gilbert liked it too. Truth be told they both had more fun running around with the other children than they did with the swords.
But Faith now. I tell you. On the way home, she summed it up thusly:
“Mama, it’s like I was born to hold a sword.”