Tag Archives: fencing

On Rapier Tournament Headspace

“Tourney Headspace” seems to be on a lot of fencers minds these days. Hardly a month doesn’t go by where I’m not part of some conversation, over drinks, talking about what works and doesn’t for fencing competitors.

For better or worse, a lacking “tourney brain” is often blamed for poor performance in tournaments. That’s definitely part of it. Not being properly focused can lead to early exits. I also think there’s a bit of a proper technique gap, especially in the confines fo SCA rapier, but tourney brain/headspace gets the lion share of blame.

I figure I would present my two cents on the issue.

Thinking about thinking

Note: By all means, I don’t think my way is the way. I think it’s one of the unlimited ways someone can prep themselves for a tournament or their next fight. It’s highly customizable, which is both a pro and con.

I also encourage people who are trying to develop their tourney brain to talk to the top fencers in their area to see what they do, read up on sports psychology, and be willing to experiment and fail while figuring out what’s best for you.

Continue reading On Rapier Tournament Headspace
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King’s & Queen’s Rapier Champs Recap: 2018 edition

So yea. K&Q Rapier was almost a month back and, man, this year was a day. After eight years of fencing in the SCA and five Sweet 16 appearances, I finally won King’s Champ.

King's Rapier Champion scroll, East Kingdom 2018
My King’s Champ Scroll

I’m gonna compile all my thoughts about the tournament and the weeks leading up to it. It’s all tied together and were important to my road to the tournament, but no idea if the ideas will come across.

You can read my 2016 & 2015 recaps here. Apparently I didn’t write one for 2017?? Lame.

Continue reading King’s & Queen’s Rapier Champs Recap: 2018 edition

It’s Hardest To See Your Progress Through a Mask

I know sometimes my sword-friends get frustrated with their skill development. Been there. Still there some days.

So here’s a little reminder. It’s hardest to see your progress through a mask.

When you get better the people around you get better. You make them better and, in turn, they make you better. It’s a leap-frogging cycle that makes measuring your progress frustrating at best and disheartening at worst.

But it’s so worth it for when things click. It’s worth it to prove to yourself that you can.

So when you feel that frustration build to a boil, take off your mask. Step away from the lists. Get feedback from people you trust. Tell the self-doubt to fuck off. And keep grinding away at those XPs.

Post-Birka Report

I love Birka. Ever since I joined the SCA it’s been one of my favorite events of the year. I love that I get to fight a bunch of different people in a relatively short period of time. I also love that I can mine the stats that’s collected from the event I’ve used it to measure how I’ve progressed from year to year — both in standings, total points, and win percentage. It’s my yearly measuring stick.

Last year I won Birka. Went 70-10 for a .875 Win%. Not bad at all. I was looking to see if I could retain my title.

Alas, it wasn’t meant to be. Continue reading Post-Birka Report

Class Notes: Finding & Gaining the Blade the Italian Way

The following is the handout and notes from my finding/gaining the blade class, based off Capo Ferro’s manual. Additional and great resources are listed at the end of the post.

This a constant work-in-progress. You can download a PDF version here.


 

Step one of every duel is the same — not die. The longer you can stay alive, the better. Stringering (controlling/finding) your opponent’s blade is a simple and effective way of doing that. Continue reading Class Notes: Finding & Gaining the Blade the Italian Way

K&Q Recap: In which Carolingia (and the Author) Have a Day

Yesterday was the East Kingdom’s King’s & Queen’s Rapier Championship. It was a beautiful day for fencing. Sunny and comfortably warm. A naval fortress on the coast as our backdrop. Great day. Great location.

We had 62 fencers in the field and a really deep pool of good fencers. Each pool had at least three OGR/MoDs, and since we take just 16 from the round robin pools to move on it was going to be a pain for a lot of solid fencers to get into the double-elimination round. Continue reading K&Q Recap: In which Carolingia (and the Author) Have a Day