I got to fight in the East Kingdom Rose Tourney, a tournament where Ladies of the Rose pick a team of fighters, fencers, and archers to represent them, last weekend. It was a great time and an honor to fight for Duchess Kathrine. I got to fight beside Duke Balfar, a knight I didn’t know who I believe was called Sir Mord, My friend Laurie, and some kid from Panther Vale who’s name I didn’t get. While I could probably speak a little on my companions fights I was mostly focused on my own and without video to review I do not trust my words to have any meaning as I can’t review what the fights looked like.
For my own fighting I felt really good about my movement, thought my defense and shield work was good till the end of the day, and think that my ability to actually set up and pick shots is beginning to show again. However right from the beginning I had trouble generating power and was never able to get a really satisfactory answer for why. Master Pat did point out I was hitting to far down the blade but that shouldn’t have robbed me off all my power so I must have been missing something else. I did injure my middle finger in my first fight but I do a horrible job of using my grip to deliver power, instead over gripping the whole time so I doubt it was that either. I may just not be firing my hip while I move, or perhaps I’m throwing while I’m not planted. I’m really hoping I get a chance to film some of my stick fights over the next few weeks so I can figure out what I’m doing wrong.
The best learning experience of the day was realizing that despite being in pretty damn good shape, I’m not able to dig as deep on no sleep and no food. I didn’t hydrate well enough while fighting, barely ate in morning a over 6 hours before the tournament started and didn’t get any other fuel while fighting. While I still felt pretty decent during the fighting I tried to do some pick up’s afterward and found my entire tank just drained. After removing all my armor I felt muscle cramps and pain through all of my legs and back. I’m not doing nearly enough preventative care or recovery work. Need to start adding a more thorough stretching routine to my after workouts as well as my morning ritual, regardless of whether I get my run in or not.
On the psychological front I felt up for the tournament almost immediately. I was loose but focused, not too hyped up like what happened to me in Poland and Birka(every year so far) or too loose as happened both this and last Baronial Championships. It was that sweet spot where things were still fun but serious enough that I was managing to keep things like measure and center line in my head when I moved(most of the time). I still need to work on keeping Jaye’s footwork in mind but I was starting to get the offline step Cat has been working with me on for almost a year.
Overall I’m pretty happy with my performance and think the biggest take away is I need more pellwork. Which is good because that’s something I can do everyday without anyone’s help. It’s easy work that just requires time and dedication. Speaking of which. It’s time to get it in.