My friend Nicholae, who I had known for several Pennsics now, had just gotten his armor together and had invited me to come to attend his first fight practice with him. So I drove down and we went to the Bhakail fight practice.
I started with sword and shield. Because of my shoulder problems that I had earlier in the year, I did not expect to be able to hold the shield for long, but that was not a problem. I fought both Gunnar and Vachir and I discovered that I was VERY rusty. I fell for all of Gunnar’s fakes. He offered to give me pointers, but I refused. I didn’t refuse because I didn’t think he had anything worth teaching, but because I felt like I wasn’t going to retain anything until I actually fight sword and shield regularly again and knocked enough of the rust off of my game to actually benefit from it. Although he was a good enough fighter for him to remind me of the areas I constantly left open. And time and again I did not do what I needed to in time to actually avoid being hit in those two weaknesses in my defense. Vachir was difficult to fight because it seemed every fight he did something different, so there was no pattern to follow. I think I maybe had one or two kills when fighting sword and shield. That was it.
Next, I took out two swords. I ended up fighting both Todd (whose SCA name I forget) and one other person, who I forgot. I did well with two swords. I think I actually killed more often than I was killed!
Then, several people took out two-handed swords. I did not bring mine, so I brought out my shorter pole arm. I did okay. I got killed more times than I was killed. Again, I felt very slow.
Then there was a spear drill led by Barry (again, forgot his SCA name). Even though I’m authorized for spear, I really have had very little experience fighting with it. My car is too small to fit a spear, so I don’t own one. I didn’t do terribly well. The spear seemed quite heavy and I didn’t have the muscles built up for it. It didn’t take me too long before my muscles lost their strength and my shoulder started bothering me.
Sadly, when my friend put on his armor, he discovered that several modifications were still necessary, so he didn’t get to fight at all. But I was still glad to get to go to the practice!