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The Awesome Gets Awesomer!

So, cool things are developing!

I had the chance to speak in-depth with Sir Duncan on the phone to go over some things that are making me stumble when it comes to pell work. So not only did he indulge my endless questions, BUT he made me three videos of how to incorporate them. Wicked cool!!

So, what we discussed was pell work issues:

  • wearing full armor for pell work
  • the three parts of the shot
  • transitions and returns
  • fighting close
  • retreating and recovering
  • drills

Wearing Full Armor for Pell Work

So for some reason I had thought the idea was to wear full armor when doing pell work. I had seen a comment about something doing pell work with just their arm protection and shield and I asked on my Facebook page what the fighters did and it was a resounding – not in full armor. The pell is best used for slow work.

If you wear your armor, it insulates you from being in touch with what is going on. Sir Duncan

Like is a shot hurting you, is the shot you are doing not balanced or overall doesn’t feel right. And that makes perfect sense now that I take time to think about it! And a lot of guys rarely go full speed, unless they are doing a test run to see how something feels. Somehow I think I should have realized this!

The Three Parts of the Shot

They are power generation; delivery path and the return. Now, I’ve been mostly focusing on the first and really struggling with the last two and especially the return.

The following video shows the three different returns that Sir Duncan is teaching me:

Transitions and Returns

I’ve been using a combination of the first return, with a bit of the ‘yanking the sword straight back’ from what he mentioned in the third return. Now I can start practicing NOT doing that. I definitely like the third return but I’m going to be spending my time working on all three.

Retreating and Recovering

This has been a big problem. Normally, I blind myself – peak and get bonked. And I get bonked as I’m retreating. Now, I know why!!

As you can see there are actually ways of peeking without getting killed! I really am looking forward to practicing retreating off different angles – or even straight past!

And Onto the Fun!

The drill! Sir Duncan put everything we talked about into one drill of awesome! This puts everything together so seamlessly.

This involves the 1 to 6 drill that Sir Jonathon taught me and is a very good drill that a lot of the fighters use. But, I’ve never thought to incorporate, the recovery, the retreat, the reset. This is going to REALLY help so much!!

Is that not just amazing!!

I also learned that there are many different ways to throw a shot. The thing is to try different ways so you’re not always just doing it one specific way. It’s also important to learn how others do the shots because in knowing that you can try to figure out how to block what they do. I learned that it’s important to not let your guard done until you know you are well out of range. In practices I had been letting my guard down as I was retreating and that was where I got killed a lot.

I am pretty pumped up. I’m going to review the videos a few more times so I know I’ve really gotten it down and then put it to the test. Looking forward to reporting back some excellent results to you guys!



Role Models and Pedestals

There was a discussion several months back about putting Knights on pedestals. Some felt it was unfair to do. They said that Knights were like anyone else. I both agree and disagree with that. Knights to me are what your favorite rock start or actor would to be people who aren’t SCA/swordfighting inclined. They are the ones those like me strive to be like. They are the role models that you think about when you think your dream is not going to happen.

So honestly, it’s hard not to put them on a pedestal. They are human. They will make mistakes sure. And I’d never want to put someone in a tough position of having people look up to them. And not in stalkery sort of way. I mean genuine, honest flat-out respect for what they have achieved. And really it doesn’t pertain just to Knights. There are many fighters who have yet to get the accolade that are also great role models.

I remember at Crown last year when Sir Duncan took time out to talk to me about fighting. Some of it I don’t remember sadly because I was just in awe that such a high level fighter was talking to ‘me’. Now, please don’t let that sound like our Knights are a bunch of snobs that only keep to themselves. It’s 100% the opposite! These guys do go well out of their way to help people of all fighting levels.

But, it’s still that ‘rock star’ sort of thing of, wow… look at who ‘I’ am talking too right now!!!! You want to be like a schoolgirl that just got asked to the prom but you have to maintain. Believe me it is NOT easy.

And then there are those role models that you’ve never ever met that make a huge impact on you. Of course I cannot forget my mentor Sir Johnathon. He would not be happy with me that I have strayed from my Path since he passed away. I promised him I would continue on and honor him and I will do just that. He made a huge impact on me and my Path. And Duke Thorstenn who is a great Knight from Trimaris. He’s been helping me a lot with strength training. I’ve learned a lot about the Philosophy of the SCA Chivalry and the technical ins and outs of fighting from him too.

I struggle often about this Path I have chosen. Can I do it? I have all these knee/joint injuries and another likely surgery looming on my left knee. And I think about ALL the Knights that have similar issues and how they have overcome and I think I want to be like them. And I push forward.

I don’t ever want to put someone on the spot with my hero-worship. But I also hope those on the receiving end have an understanding of why people like me do it. It’s for inspiration, it is to get us to our own goals. And one day, I hope there is a way I can inspire someone. And when that happens, I want to be like Sir Duncan, who took time out to talk to me and literally made my day.