Bruised and happy

I’m enjoying a nice 4-day weekend. I went yesterday to Hastings, Michigan for the Havoc in Hastings event/demo. The park was open to the public, and the SCAdians were doing demos or simply putting on display various aspects of SCA life. I went to participate in the fighting, because I’m a lazy procrastinating slacker who needs to get out and be active a little more often. I was also going to visit friends of mine in the area who turned out not to be there, but such is life. I met new people and made new friends. We fought in a “bear pit” style, which is to say that two fighters square off at a time, and whoever wins stays out there facing the next challenger. It’s a great way to get everybody fighting as much as they want to and then some, and by keeping the winner out on the field, it ensures all challengers will face a good opponent, and it’s a real endurance challenge for the best fighters who stay out bout after bout.
I was fighting German Longsword (what most SCAdians and all D&D players call a bastard sword or a great sword) utilizing some of the knowledge I’ve gotten from Tobler’s interpretation of Leichtenauer. Apparently I did a decent job of it, because a knight (whose name I heard multiple times, and yet still cannot remember) who also favors Leichtenauer recognized my style and came over to give me some good tips on how to fight an opponent with longer reach. I was just happy that I was doing well enough for my style to be recognized, as it’s really only the third time I’ve gone out with longsword since reading the book. I also had somebody not yet SCA-authorized in great sword style take an interest, which I thought was exceedingly cool. I loaned him my weapon and he went out to practice some against some of the other fighters, made inquiries about the book I’m studying from , and discussed his own experience with period fechtbuchen (they aren’t great to learn from).
So today I’m kicking back and taking it easy. I’ve got a nasty knot below the left knee (not a legal target), bruised knuckles on my left thumb and index finger (not a legal target), and a very sore and bruised right bicep. Sore from swinging the huge sword one-handed, bruised from missing a couple blocks. My right forearm also took a little bit of a beating from a lefty with sword and shield. Note to self: practice more against lefties. All in all, it was a good day. I haven’t had so much fun in quite a long time. Particularly when I faced a man name Zygmunt who was fighting with a pole-axe. We had some lengthy and entertaining duels. Particularly the one where I rushed him, and grabbed the haft of his axe with my left hand. Hence, the soreness in my right arm, trying to kill him with my big sword while he tried desperately to yank his axe out of my left and constantly spinning me around to try to keep me from landing a good blow (which I never did land). Like holding a tiger by the tail. 😀

edit: added link for the book by Tobler that I’m learning from, and fixed spelling of Zygmunt’s name

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