Rusted Woodlands Practice 3/6/14

I think I mentioned a while ago that Prince Brennan had (very kindly) given me a sword blank.  I had attached it to a basket hilt, maybe in December or so.  I didn’t practice with it because I thought it would be too late to get used to it before Birka.  Since then, I HAVE been practicing with it.  It’s a few inches shorter and round compared to my sword blade which was a bit longer and had the rattan shaved into a square-like shape.  It was surprisingly heavier, but hit with more force. Thursday night was the first time I used it for fighting, but I plan to play with it at more practices.  I want to give it a fair trial to see if it will improve my game.

I am on a quest to fight 1,000 fights in a year.  I can have up to five fights with each person.  I started that quest on Thursday.  As soon as I put on my armor, I knew that something was wrong.  My back was sore immediately.  I don’t know if it’s getting worse or just responding to the extra 10lbs I seem to have put on since I fought last at Birka. But I had a quest to fulfill and I did my best.  This all happened 5 days ago, so I’m going to do my best to remember the events, but I may confuse which fights happened with which people and whatnot. If my memory is inaccurate, I apologize in advance and will fix anything I write in error here. I will also note that it was difficult to read some people’s handwriting, so if I misspell their name (I added titles where I knew them), please correct that as well!

My first five fights were with Arn Ulrichson.  I know that there’s an opening from my eyes up on my helmet.  I managed to dodge the first few times that Arn threw a shot there.  As I fought him more, the less likely I was to block that shot.  I lost all five bouts, mostly to the same shot.  I realized that I started feeling that kid in A Christmas Story in my armor.  You know the one where they deck him out so heavily in snow gear that he can barely walk?  I don’t know if it was the extra weight and having to squeeze into my armor or what, but I felt very constricted, slow, and clumsy.  That feeling got worse throughout the night.

Sir Jan was next.  I should have fought him later in the night because he really wore me out.  He circled me and with the defensive way I’ve been fighting, I didn’t take a first shot.  As such, I kept my sword and shield up for an extended period.  Sadly, my muscles were screaming with fatigue by our fifth fight and I was just hoping for him to hurry up an kill me rather than wait, since I wasn’t sure how much longer I could hold up my shield.  I suppose it’s a testament to his prowess (or my lack thereof) that he didn’t kill me the same way twice.

I fought Jonathan Miles next. I wish I could my fights with him better justice, but I can honestly remember very little of our fights.  All I remember is Gawyn coming over afterwards and advising me to be more aggressive.

Sir Tanaka Raiko gave me the opportunity of choosing which weapons form he fought me with.  I chose sword and shield.  He also gave me the choice of whether he fought me righty or lefty, but I let him decide on that one.  He chose to fight me righty. He had a stance I had never seen with sword and shield and that threw me off immediately.  I tried to be more aggressive, but my left arm was sore already and my shots were not going anywhere near where I intended them to.  And that’s not even counting for Tanaka’s impressive dodging abilities either!  He kept hitting me in the left leg and following it up with a head shot before I hit the floor.  He wasn’t the first one to hit the opening on my left leg, but he was the first to do it repeatedly.  It REALLY started to hurt at one point.  I NEED to start stepping out of leg shots!

I took a decently long break to breathe, get some water, and give my back a chance to rest.  While my thigh stung, my back pain increased with each person I fought. Then I fought Gawyn O’Clery.  I tried to be more aggressive. I did!  My brain seemed to limit my shots to onside head, onside leg, offside head, and face thrusts.  I attempted a few wraps, but couldn’t get the timing right (as always). I was shocked to find that I actually won one of my fights with him.  I managed to face thrust him once!  It was a bit light because I was moving backwards at the time, but he took it!  He was a fun fight, but I was having such issues battling back pain and muscle fatigue in my left arm, I had to stop to breathe after almost every fight.

There was a new fighter there.  I’m not sure if it was his first time in armor, or just one of his first times.  His name was Tim. I won most of the fights, but he managed to win one.  There was another time where his killing blow to my ribs came not long after I had killed him.  As sad as it is, it was nice to win for a change.  Maybe it’s just me getting down hard on myself, but I almost feel like I’m getting worse at fighting sometimes!

My final fight was Erich Hundeman.  He fought me with a sword and dagger.  I wish I could do him justice by talking more about our fights, but honestly, the only thing I was focusing on was my back pain which had reached levels where it hurt to take a step. My focus was on trying to move with the least amount of pain possible. There was also a small portion of my brain trying to figure out what the f*** I was supposed to do to fight a sword and dagger fighter and it just kind of shut down in confused resignation of my imminent deaths.

There were two people in armor there that I did not get to fight, unfortunately. I got a total of 35 fights in and some good advice written in my book that the fighters signed. I can’t wait until I get my c-belt in! I have been told by several people that it’ll take the weight of my leg armor off of my back.  I bartered for one and sent the tunic I made him so it would be in time for Gulf Wars.  He said he’d make it when he got back, so I’m hoping it’ll arrive soon!

Oh, and on a side note, I’m starting another blog under the Gunnvor name to discuss my weight loss and training efforts.  For anybody interested, you can find it at



~ by Gunnvor on March 10, 2014.

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