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Tomas de Courcy

A Baker's Peel Vert

A New Page

Greetings;

I decided that now would be a good time for me to re-do my SCA website.  The previous one was in html, and fairly basic html at that.  Instead of redoing the site in html I figured I might as well switch platforms.  So here it is, my new SCA and Persona site.

I’m thinking about moving my rapier blog over here as well.  We’ll see.

In Service

The Honorable Tomas de Courcy (GdS)

Aquaterra Champions

Had a great tourney on Saturday.  I drove down with my Lady and Theign Oak.  We got through the border without issues and made it to the event just a bit before court, with enough time to get parked and set up and all.  We came forward to kneel and say that we would fulfill the duties of a champion if we succeeded.  After that we had the rest of the morning off, as the tourney was scheduled for one in the afternoon.

The event was outdoors with a few things in small halls.  And it was freezing.  Very freezing.  It tried to snow once.  So we spent most of the morning inside halls either watching the A&S or the Bardic competition and trying to stay warm.  Around noon Oak and I began practicing a little, and trying out the baton and cloak, as both were likely to come up in the competition, and Oak didn’t have much practice with either.

After lunch we armoured up and began practicing.  We got some fights in with some of the local dons and they gave us some good pointers, then we got ready for the procession.  We had the procession and setup for the tourney.  There were six entrants.

Gearing up

I’m off to Aquaterra’s All Champions event this weekend.  It looks like an interesting event.  You had to apply to compete, and you must have heraldry present with you.  It’s a challenge tourney.  Odd format though.

One person challenges another to a number of fights.  The challenged party chooses the weapons for the fight.  After all competitors have fought the fighters who the baroness believes fought the best/bravest/most honorable will receive tokens from her.  This happens for two more rounds, and then a champion is chosen.

I’m looking forward to it.

I’ll be heading down with Oak, and there are four other fighters competing.

Tomorrow at practice I need to practice with the other weapons, and I would like to get at least one fight in against Warrick, as he fights with a different style than I am used to.

Speaking of style, I’m a little nervous at fighting people whom I have never fought before, and don’t know the style of.  At practice tomorrow I’ll try out a stance that is purely defensive and is used to provoke your opponent into letting you know how he fights.  It’s some marrazo, but I’ve never tried it before.  Should be interesting.

Investiture

I got to fight in my first investiture tourney this week.  It was my second tourney since I’ve been back.

I fought well, and placed better than I expected, defeating three people.  One of whom went on to win.

On the Sunday I fought in the Cadet Tourney, sponsored by Oberst Luther Magnus.  I did much better than I expected in this tourney, with 14 victories, which is almost 50/50.  Luther gave me some tips which helped a lot, bringing my dagger lower, and pulling my sword closer to me.

With the dagger lower, it needs to move a bit more to protect my head, but it needs to move less to protect the rest of me, which I found was useful in my parries, and kept me alive much better.

January 14, 2010

Note to self, taking three weeks off is a little too long.  I had a rather punishing practice on the 14th.  I did my 50 lunges, and then worked on my dagger parries, we were practicing moving sword and dagger as one.  Then I started practicing with Don Godfrey.  It was rather punishing, but I learned some more about defeating beats.  I’m currently working on my footwork in conjunction with bringing my tip back online.

My new dagger is great, I”m loving it, but I need to add some leather to it before Winter’s Tourney, otherwise the grip loosens too easily.

Winter’s tourney is tomorrow, so I expect for all of this to be put to the test.  I’m hoping for a round robin so I can get a lot of practice in against various opponents.

The big one is Investiture, which is in four weeks, but I only have four oportunities to practice before then.  Here’s hoping.

Tomorrow is going to be my first time fighting in a tourney in almost two years, and my first time fighting in a championship in over two years.

Practice Plan Jan 14, 2010

Back to fencing tonight after the winter break.  I’ve got two tournaments coming up, so I’m trying to get back on the horse in time.  First up is going to be Winter’s Tourney on the 23rd, which should be a lot of fun.  It will be my first full tournament in quite a while.  The next one will be Tir Righ Investiture a month later, which will be my first time fighting in a principality level tournament.  I suppose I need to renew my membership before then :).

Tonight’s plan is to start putting together everything that I’ve been working on, fighting close, counter-punching correctly, closing out lines of attack without needing to contact their sword, and dagger parries.

So the plan for the evening:

  1. 50 lunges against the pillar with dagger in off hand
  2. Work on dagger parries, hopefuly with Lucien (Lee)
  3. One on one fencing with rapier and dagger, getting geared up for tourney fighting

Luckily I have a new dagger grip.  It’s a bit short, so I’ll have to pick up something to use as a spacer tonight.

December 17 2009

Fencing last night was great.  I had the opportunity to fight vs longsword.  Very interesting.  I had a speed advantage, but that was balanced by his strength.  When I was using dagger we were very much equals, but when I was fighting open hand I was definatly strugling.  My guard seemed to be perfect at stopping his cuts, and my shorter blade meant that I had to fight close enough that he was on the defensive a lot.  What surprised me the most were the similarities.  Gaining the sword was still the best way to work.  There was a little more need for double parrying, but it translated perfectly into thrusts.  I found that when gaining the sword there was very little difference between that and a rapier, though my opponent was more likely to withdraw before an attack, but that gave me a tempo to attack in, so it was actually advantagious.  Double parrying with the dagger and rapier together was helpful for getting me to actually move both at the same time.  Because of the strength of the longsword any parries done with just my dagger had to be well away from my body, or else it would go through anyway.  To counter that I was using my sword to parry at the same time.  It was much more effective, and as I mentioned previously allowed me to then step in with a thrust and compas step.  I also go to work on closing out a line even if my opponent has his sword pulled back so I can’t completely take the sword.

At the beginning of practice I did my fifty lunges with a dagger, and tweaked that a bit.  Then Lee (from Blood and Iron Martial Arts) did thrusts against me as I parried and attacked.  He gave me some good tips regarding the tempo of my attacks and his.  He also helped me with moving sword and dagger at the same time, and the next move from the initial attack, often a compass step out.

After that was the Longsword fighting, and then some pickups against one of the newer students who was learning about using a shorter blade.

All in all a great practice, and I managed to do my plan.

Next practice January 7th 2010.

To bring us up to speed

Things I have been working on up to now.

Don Godfrey has been helping me work with the shorter blade that I use rather than trying to imitate those with longer blades.  Makes sense.  Instead of trying to mimic the strengths of the stronger blade focus on your own strengths and find your opponents weaknesses.

One new thing on this is that I’m now only using sword and dagger.  The reason behind this is that with the shorter blade I have two choices:  I can stand further out beyond my opponent’s reach (and much beyond my own) and counter punch what they throw, which may be sometimes effective, but I can’t parry everything all of the time; and the second is to close to where I am within a comfortable distance and my opponent is having troubles because I”m too close for them.  What this means is that I”m at a range where I can use a sword, but my opponent will be using his dagger.  In order to combat that I will need to use a dagger myself.  That way I will equalize their advantage, and surpass it.  I will have two blades which I can easily wield at that range, and my opponent will only have one.