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cathyn: (My arms)
[personal profile] cathyn
I had a great day today at Mists Coronet. I went five rounds, after a very inauspicious fight in the first round. I died very stupid, made a drastic mistake which my opponent MASHED me for. After that, I tightened up, up to and including getting past a fighter who smashed my steel buckler to pieces. No, seriously, he hit it so hard, he tore it off the handle, bounced it off both my fore-arm (I have a knot), and my JUNK. Nothing quite like being hit hard in the cup by a flying steel disc. I still feel the pain, just a bit. I borrowed Helga's shield and went three more rounds.

I was telling people after I fought that I had "won Coronet", going to explain that, while I had been eliminated in the 5th round, I had met every single goal I had set for myself that day. I made it to round 5, which I consider to be the minimum good outing for a Knight and Royal Peer. I took everything that hit me, and was told by more than one source that my calibration was too low. I didn't get angry (I've been having a significant problem with this the last few times I was in a Crown or Coronet Lists. I think it's fixed now.) I didn't get hurt. So, total victory!

I also fought several matches in "Roses" (it's a Western tradition where the fighters who are eliminated from the lists go off to the side and keep fighting challenges, and the loser of a match goes to petition the Princess or Queen for a rose to then bear to the Consort of the victor of said match. The Roses fights did not go well for me, I had 4 three fight matches, and in each, I fought poorly, without enough aggressiveness, and lost the first two fights in each match, before then realizing I was in a swordfight, and knocking the fuck out of my opponent.

I received many compliments on my kit, which made me feel good. I had just spent the last 2-ish weeks having completely disassembled and then reassembled my lamellar breastplate, eliminating all the knotted cords inside which shredded my skin every time I wore it, and tarted it up a bit. When I laced the rows of plates, I used alternating lines of red and black cording, instead of a single color. When I laced the bands of plates back together, I switched the overlap from "cavalry" (where each band, from the bottom up, is inside the lower band), to "infantry" (overlapped from top to bottom, like shingles on a roof), and laid hand-scallopped decorative strips of red leather between each row. Now, it just looks nigh perfect, and many people noticed, most particularly other fighters who also wear lamellar.

The whole day was very good, but I was amazingly stiff and sore, my right ankle in particular is troubling my, and I gassed out easily. I had plenty of endurance for my fights, which surprised me a little, but as the temperature climbed, I just couldn't go on. I have no idea how to train for that.

I had started training February 1st, not for this tourney in particular, but just to get back into fighting. I noticed several things overall. I think too much, and get hit a lot for doing it, I'm not aggressive enough (though sword and buckler isn't the best style for aggressive, and I am glad of how I played the range game when I was using it), I most definitely did not move enough, but on the good side, several times, after doing things that were familiar, which didn't seem to be working, I would, mid fight, change everything, and go back to how I had been fighting for the past two months while doing my pell drills. Every time I did so, I stood better, I moved better, and I killed my opponent with a flat snap (see above comments about how my Roses matches went). As for brutal self-assessment, I do not yet have much confidence in my skill and technique, which is leading to me being far too tentative in my fights. I allow mo opponent to dictate every detail about a fight, range, tempo, etc., which is getting me killed a lot. My targeting and accuracy were far better than I expected, and it turns out that throwing 2600 shots at my pell in two months seems to be helping in that respect quite a bit. I need a good footwork drill. I need to revamp the mindset to get me into the "Time to make the murder" mode of approaching my fights rather than a "Well, let's see what my opponent wants to do today..." approach.

I still don't love my new helm. I vowed that today would be the last time I fight in it until I get the padding fixed. Today, I also vowed that it would be the last I fought in my Haroun legs as the left knee-cop keeps pinching the hell out of my thigh against the plastic cuisse, so when the fighting was ended, I gave the legs away to a friend on the promise that he would give them to a newby fighter in his area to get them on the field.
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