I went to my first fighter practice as a fighter yesterday, at Oldenfeld. Nice turnout for a newbie, about six fighters - I did three intervals, which is back up to what I'd done at Daggers that flattened me so badly, and I had my armor on from about 11-2. In Florida, late September, in the shade, about 80% humidity, high 80's temp. Not bad.
I got this lovely thing, on sword side not-quite-hip. It's tender, but not awful. Not sure why there's a stripe through it. I knew I'd gotten it when I did, and if my plate kit had tassets, I might not have gotten it. Almost certainly I got it because I had my sword foot forward...but I'm so bad at blocking now, I really deserved it anyway.
I'd been worried about the bruises. I see people with them, and people boast/complain about them. I am the sort of person that will acquire bruises unknown. I'm not sure whether I'm oblivious (def. possible) or bruise easily. I wasn't sure how much this sort of thing would hurt, in the getting of, and that scared me, because I'm having fun, and I don't want to be so worried about bruises that I won't take the risks I need to, to play the game.
It wasn't that bad. Onward!
Notes from practice:
- The crossed arm block can come from a hip swivel, and not moving my arm.
- My new longer sword is probably too long. I'll play just a bit more with it, and then make adjustments.
- "Wearing my water" is a fantastic idea, but sort of shocking to actually do. Fun, though.
- Forgot to do warmup arm circles AGAIN. Bad Greet.
- Did do half an hour of yoga afterwards despite forgetting yoga mat. Mat would have been a good idea anyway, to sit on. Yoga felt awesome, particularly the dogs and standing twists. Was able to put an extra military pushup into ALL the vinyasa flow parts - I'm getting stronger. I think that was about ten extra pushups. Quad stretches a *very* good idea. Right shoulder has become significantly tighter than left, unsuprisingly. Must put belt in armor bag. The yoga impressed people. Well, that's something, I guess. ;)
- I am spending a lot of energy interrupting my sword arcs. This feels awkward, and is a shoulder injury waiting to happen. Will work on this with solo practice - I think it's just the new movement vocabulary of swinging my arm extended by 3 feet, heretofore untried. New dancy people don't straighten their legs for the same reason...it's harder, and it feels funny.
- And the armor bag that I got with the kit is falling apart. I have an old parachute bag - I'll try using that.
- Using a separate bag for clothes/tools/gloves is a good idea for catching the laundry right away. Could put the water bottles in this, frozen, and not bother with a cooler. "Greet Bag" works well.
- Would like to adjust half-gauntlets; to pull cuff tighter, so as not to bang on inside of center-grip.
- I did much better about backing up fast enough. Must work on footwork, though - I'm 'running' backward, instead of keeping foot placement even. I know better than this! Must be concentrating elsewehere.
- I also did better about being able to look at sword+face at the same time. Still too slow to do anything about it, but at least I'm starting to see things. Maybe this means my eyes are staying open now?
- Used new round shield - like it very much. Was able to hold it correctly (sword edge tipped out) nearly all the time, and my arm only gave out in the last interval. Someday it'll get painted.
On the topic of relatively small shields, one of the Oldenfeld fighters uses a surprisingly small shield for his height - I need to watch Seamus more carefully in future. Then again, Sir Norm (is this right?) uses such a long shield I have no chance whatsoever of a leg shot on that side.