Pennsic 42 (part 1)

In the past I have detailed everything I have done at Pennsic as part of my Pennsic blogs.  I will not be doing that this year.  I have done more partying than usual this Pennsic and some things that happen at Pennsic should stay at Pennsic 😉

On Tuesday of Peace Week, I attended a class on Pole Arm Techniques of the 16th Century.  It was a very interesting class.  The grip that is taught has your knuckles facing outward and your thumbs facing each other.  I grasped the first few concepts immediately.  I even helped the squire who had partnered up with me (I forgot his name) fix one of the issues he was having.  As time went on and we built several blocks and shots onto the sequence, I began having difficulty adding additional blocks and shots.  Near the end of the class, the teacher talked about “set play” and “free play”.  Set play is when you practice specific things in a specific sequence in order to improve your techniques and reactions to set events.  Free play is just when you fight and use what you have to try and win.

This talk about free play and set play reminded me of a conversation I had with Fionn (who is in House Serpentius and is squired to Sir Marcus) earlier in the week.  He was saying that there are two types of fighters, the naturals and everybody else.  Most people that pick up and stick with fighting are people that have a natural inclination for it.  That’s not to say that they don’t need training, practice, and pell work to become good at it.  It just means that they have a natural ability to pick up new things and make it work for them.  Then there’s everyone else.  These are the people that get into armor a few times, are taught a flat snap, given calibration shots, then are expected to know what to do next.  After a number of tries, they don’t get it, they don’t get better, and often give up.  I am sure I am explaining the concept poorly, but I hope I have given the general idea.  The second kind of fighter is me.  That may be the real reason I fought so sporadically for so long.   I just couldn’t pick it up like others can.  I still can’t.  I wonder if there is a way to better teach new fighters so we don’t lose them to frustration.

Anyway, I went down to get inspected and do pick-ups the first day Marshal Point was open on Wednesday of Peace Week.  I had no issues with getting anything passed.  They sprayed all my weapons and I got my sticker.  Then I stood around waiting for someone to fight.  I fought a man who introduced himself as Vranco (sp?) from Ealdomere.  He was very good about finding both weak spots in my guard.  He also was quite good at hitting them repeatedly.  I don’t think I killed him even once.  I took a break and realized that my back was hurting, so I abandoned the idea of more pick-ups.  I clung on to the notion that saving my back would allow me to fight more pick-ups later in the week rather than overdoing it and being in pain.

On Thursday of Peace Week my back hurt too much to fight.  It may have been weather related because it rained and stormed sporadically throughout the day.  The next day I was too hung over to do anything.

On Saturday of Peace Week, I went down for pick-ups again.  This time, there were several members of Serpentius down there.  Fionn, my squire-brother Tally, my squire-brother Ioannes (John the Breeder), and Omega were all down there fighting.  I started with Fionn.  I (finally) discovered how I learn.  I need to practice a move repeatedly.  Then, instead of going directly into typical fighting, the move needs to be inserted into the fight often at random intervals.  It also needs to be practiced and utilized the next time I get into armor.  We practiced me avoiding head shots in this manner.  Then we practiced several methods and returns from avoiding leg shots following the above outline of practicing.  I had fun and I learned a lot!  I really wished Fionn didn’t live so far away because he really worked well with me!

I took a break and then took out my pole arm, in order to practice the new stance Omega had taught me.  It did not feel natural to me and thus required some practice.  Tally came over and I practiced the new stance with him.  I did not do too well with it.  I understood it intellectually, but could not make my body do what I wanted it to with it.  Then I inwardly said, “Screw it,” and fought him with my usual stance.  Then I think I was able to hit him more than he hit me! In chatting with Tally, I saw his list of things to work on in fight practice. I never realized how long it was! He starts at the top of the list until he can make it work, then he goes on to the next item.

Fionn decided to head back to camp and I realized that my back was sore, so I left, too.

On Sunday I watched the Champions Battles.  Three members of Serpentius had made it onto the Unbelted Champions team, so I went to support them.  I was disappointed to find that one friend of mine had somehow been bumped off of the team and another friend was bumped off the alternates list at the last minute.  Unfortunately, our Unbelted Champions did not prevail and the opposing team won.  Ioannes (John the Breeder) had been one of two Unbelted fighters that was chosen for the Heroics.  He won his fight!

Disclaimer: All I have written was true to the best of my memory at the time it was written. My memory can be poor and my point of view can change with time, so please keep that in mind as you read.

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~ by Gunnvor on August 3, 2013.

One Response to “Pennsic 42 (part 1)”

  1. Varanco is the Ealdormerean’s name. He is a great dude.

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