Wednesday, August 21, 2013


So, sport of kings was a little weird for me this year -- we had the kid with us, so I knew i was going to have to balance parenting with fighting, i got my period the first day and felt like crap, it was hugelt humid on friday which enhanced the feeling crappy, both teachers that I had signed up for classes with had to cancel, and honestly I just was not feeling like i fit in.  My fighting was ass on friday, i could not find my feet and my movement was non-existant.  I helped Villius teach sean's recovery class, which was good, but I felt odd.  All my classes I was supposed to take on friday were cancelled, so I could not feed on energy from those either. 

I wanted to monopolize time with Octa, and Sven and Brand, but felt like my fighting was such shit, that I would be wasting their time.  The torchlight tourney was out because I cannot see at night, so I was left feeling very very unfulfilled and lost and like a fighter/poser.

Saturday we woke up and contemplated going home.  For reals.  Still feeling crappy and really a little menstrual induced depression probably.  Went to my class on the mental game and came out of it a bit disappointed really.  Its not that the teacher did not have anything to say, he just did not know how to say it I think, and he certainly did not know how to tell us to go practice what he was trying to tell us was important.  So, that was a bummer.  But then I heard the pickup fighting going on, and it called to me. 

I came to fight, so I put on my armor, did warmup drills with Villius, had an awesome set with Octa and then another awesome set with Sven, and then I felt like a killer and went out and fought a ton of pickups with a bunch of people.  I need to cultivate that fun, free-spirited, killer feeling on my own, I cannot continue to rely on fighting Octa or Sven to bring that out in me.  This will proabbly be my focus in practice for the foreseeabvle future.

Got out of armor before the tourney because I wanted to end having fun and because I promised the kid I would take her into town for dinner and it was already 4 oclock. 

Decided to enter Crown -- Crown this time will be all about finding thje killer mindset and bringing my own energy tot he fight and having fun no matter what.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Wednesday practice

Promised my squire I would meet him at practice last night, so he and I and his good friend Heinrich were the only ones in armor -- sir Paine and sir Villius were there watching and giving critique and filming.  The night for me was about the on-side (or more to the point not setting up or fixating on the offside) and being able to bring intensity when I needed it.  Also, working with Constantine to flesh out some of the stuff he has been working on.

Heinrich is a lefty, which was fortuitous because I have been wanting to practice my thrust more on traditional leftys, so Heinrich got it in the face a couple of times.  Also, good for me to concentrate on attacking the lefty power with the snaps and wraps.  I had some vicious shield control with constantine in one of our fights that I was super proud of as well.  All in all, a good night fighting because i kept on track with what I wanted to work on.

Mentally, the night was weird though.  I felt a little like I did not fit in -- which is dumb, but there you have it.  I don't know if it is a me thing, or a me combined with being the only woman there thing.  Part of it is that Villius likes to talk and sometimes I feel like I cannot get in a word edgewise, even with my own squire.  Guess I will have to talk to him about that. ;)

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Finding My Rudder

We took a family vacation last week and went to Yellowstone and Montana and spent two days in Idaho at Uprising, primarily to fight with, and hang out with, Duke Sean and Count Ralf.   Fighting and talking with Sean and Ralf helped put my head into a better place and I no longer feel so rudderless.  Both of them gave me stuff to work on – the drop thrust from high guard, the thrust on the inside line, a new drill from Sean – the 30 second kill drill,  relaxing the snap, flowing better, and getting rid of the lean on the offside leg, and owning that I’m a killer.  But the real value was just how much fun we had fighting with them and hanging out and just being at Uprising.  Even my kid had fun. 
Sean also listened to me whine a bunch about why my head has been in such a weird place, and gave me good advice on how to get out of the “no joy” hole I have been in – so that will be a major focus for the next couple of months.    He said a lot of things that Vik had said to me at Crown during squires tourney – I can only control me; be the killer that I am; don’t worry about other people, continue to emulate in deed those that I find heroic – i.e. Sven, Octa, Attaias, Vik, Sean, etc . . . , and keep working with my teachers, but let myself find my own style and own that.  I need to care less about whether I think my opponent is enjoying the fight – I am supposed to bring the fight that makes my opponent uncomfortable – if I am having fun, my opponent will be too.  I don’t need to not hook just because I know my opponent prefers an elegant fight, or not use my thrusty when I know my opponent does not like the thrust.
I also got a bunch of unsolicited feedback from a bunch of the people I was fighting that my power is really good, so working on that has paid off.  I need to continue to work it so that the power is top notch 100% of the time and not the 75% that it seems to be right now. 
Anyway, the trip was awesome and has given me focus for my training.  76 days until September Crown and I am gonna make each day count.  Be the killer.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Tacoma Practice May 7

The goal was to bring my own energy, not let other people's attitudes affect me and to really concentrate on volta-ing my shots.  I did a pretty good job and really felt like I was able to dictate the fight.  Mentally and emotionally a much better practice for me than sunday.  Still need to work the volta, but that is getting better as well.  All in all, my fighting is not in a bad place right now.  I think we are going to fight this weekend and my focus again will be on bringing my own energy and intensity to the fight. 

Crown is next weekend.  I have made the decision to fight and my focus will be bringing my best fight, bringing my own intensity and energy and just fighting one fight at a time and not worrying about results, but focusing on execution. 

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Still here.

Had a super fun fight practice last week at Stromgard.  then went to Wyewood on sunday and not so much.  Dave and I did drills in the backyard last night, me working on making sure I incorporate the volta on my blows.  the plan is to go to BAO tonight -- goal will be to volta my shots and have my own energy and not let anyone's attitude make my practice unfun.

Been feeling like I am allowed to be a good fighter, but when I start winning fights it makes people uncomfortable.  That is not my problem and I need to let that go. 

Crown is in a week and a half and I have been debating whether to fight or not.  I likely am not going to publicly "game" crown for the first time in years.  In many ways I am at a point where I need to put my energy into me and making this fun and beneficial for me instead of always putting the group ahead of me.  That sounds awful when I put it in writing.

Something changed yesterday which makes me more interested in fighting Crown, but we'll see if that comes to fruition or not. 

Monday, April 1, 2013

April . . . .

It is April and I feel unsatisfied and like I am searching to find the joy in fight practice again.  I love fighting, I do not particularly like our local fight practices.  The practices are always hit or miss attendance wise and we have some challenging personalities.  I think if Davin or Thorin were showing up regularly, things would be different -- they tend to draw everyone out.  But, right now practice is not something I am looking forward to.  I'm hoping going to Sean's Ludus at the end of the month will help me find my inspiration again.  I am sort of at the point where I just want to fight in the backyard with villius, because I know I will have fun. 

Anyway, today starts the beginning of the century drill, which i will likely modify for my needs -- i need to do shield work and more that 100 blows a night, but the century drill will at least get me out on the pell every night to get work done.  It is also finally staying light late enough, without a ton of rain, that pell work is not daunting like it is in December.

Villius and I were planning on going to Artemisian Crown in Boise this weekend, but I think we are going to stay home instead.  We'll see.

Fight practice over the weekend was hard.  I think I had a touch of the flu and just felt like I was fighting in jell-o. The video does not look terrible, but it felt off.  And I only got to fight Sir Antonio once -- I need more than one pass with him!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Feeling Unbeautiful

Have not chronicled my training or the last couple practices or even the training when Gemini and Mari were up.  I have been in a bit of a funk.  I watch the video of me fighting and all I can see are the mistakes and the lack of flow and it is just not what I imagine I want to look like.  Even when I am successful.

Villius was saying last night that my "controlled aggression," something I have been working very hard on for awhile, was beautiful.  That it just was.  I cannot see it.  I see the indecision and the hesitation and the openings I did not capitalize on and how unhappy I am with the package.  I need to think on this some more.  I need to figure out what it is I want to see myself doing and then figure out how to train it and make it so.

Part of me also thinks that maybe I am just so focused on how fat I am that I cannot escape that when I am watching the video and that that negativity seeps into all my dissection of what I am doing.  How harsh is that?  I don't think that about anyone else when I watch them fight, but for myself I am just so mean in that regard.  I need to stop that and really focus on making all the right choices to change the weight factor, so i can get past that roadblock.  I need to get to a place where I can see the beauty in my own fighting, where I can see the beauty in myself.  As lame as that sounds, I really think it might be the major mental obstacle for me right now in getting to the place where I really believe in myself and can maintain and have that calm confidence that I need to be great.

Monday, February 25, 2013

sunday fight

kennydale practice yesterday.  Started with Villius and doing some drills and working on throwing 8 to 10s only.  and working the timing on the snap and the wrap.  My defense felt pretty good.  also fought both constantine and William -- mostly wanted Constantine to work on attacking my stick side and moving that way and out of the shield quadrant.  I did a lot of just sucking up his offense; same with William -- I felt palpable frustration from both of them -- I may need to reassess how I train with them, or really work on throwing in a lot of positive feedback when they do something right, because not letting them hit me, was not helping either one of them mentally.  Brendan and Timm told me that my Sven wrap to the leg does not look like it is turning over at the end and looks flat.  It does not feel flat in my hand, so I'm not sure what the problem is.  Watched the video a bunch and it does not look flat to me in the video either -- it looks like the blade is hitting the target at an angle instead of straight in, so it may look flat, by the color of the blade you can see, but my knuckles look like they are in the right position on the video -- anyway, I worked on this with a rebated sword on the pell this morning to make sure I am training edge on, and I'll likely do that for awhilw to make sure my technique is being ingrained correctly so that at speed I am not doing something wonky.

Fought Timm last -- worked on staying low, calm and fighting relaxed, wanted my heartrate to stay down and any time I felt it elevate, I forced myself to relax.  Timm said he was wondering about the backhand to the head he was hitting me with -- i told him that they felt shallow, like he was not finishing his blow, but moving into the return insted of into my head -- he said that he did not think he could throw the backhand harder than he was -- no animosity or accusation though, just two people trying to figure out what was going on, so that was nice and mature and adult of us.  so either I need to think about what I'm feeling on the not-so-new helm or Timm is not throwing as hard as he thinks he is.  I watched the video, unfortunately not all of our fights got filmed -- there was nothing on the video that looked like I had missed anything, and I honestly did not feel like any of his backhands that I did not take were even questionable good.  Anyway, Dave and I are going to assess it some more and see if it might be an equipment problem with me and I might need to regauge that area of my helm.  If it is not one thing, it is something else, sigh. 

On a different note, that MMA fighter, Ronda Rousey, is inspiring me  to up my training.  I do not know what it was about her, maybe her absolute deication and the grace with which she moves and her explosive power, but it has me all fired up to do what is necessary to be my best self.  I'll take it whatever it is.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

My brief notes from Ulfred's class last sunday

My Notes from Jarl Sir Ulfred’s Class 2/17
(We also fimed the portion we were there for – we were a little late, and it should be up on youtube sometime soon)
Think in C – if you are thinking in A or B, you’ll dies
Worry about “adapting” in between fights, not during the fight
Chicken Stance – a lot of people grip their sword too much and they lose the “snap” of the blow, keep in “ok” grip even when in high guard
Trigger off distance, threat assessment

Use your returns as defense – when you throw all the way through your target, your retuen can close the holes and openings you have created on yourself
“Flow Drill” – Throwing good blows and blocking get into rhythm; not trying to beat one another but to to get rhythm; (can eventually use this to throw off time or on half beats); concentrate on footwork and using return – what is the trigger you are working?  If you do not understand the flow, then it is hard to interrupt it – half beats, etc.
Difference between aggressive and assertive – aggressive can be mindless; assertive means imposing your will on the other fighter – get him to fight the way you want to fight the fight
Elite fighters throw quicker, more precise and more accurate – no necessarily harder or faster – there is a difference.
What is your power train?  Understand it, now how to utlize it in motion.

Where is your head at???

Where is your heart at??


used the new shield -- the handle is in the wrong position, I was dying to flat snaps left and right, the handle needs to come down a couple of inches so my block is the same
felt fatigued -- stayed low, but could not block my midline.
I need to hunt down and fight elite fighters.  I need to get my ass kicked when I am focused --- too much learning and trying new stuff and not focused ass kicking fighting.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Mental Stuff

I have been reading, The Fighter's Mind by Sam Sheridan and it has been reasonating on all sorts of levels.  The author basically interviews a bunch of the elite fighters and coaches for the MMA, boxing, and wrestling and discusses what makes a fighter great or elite.  It mostly comes down to (1) loving what you are doing; (2) working harder than anyone else; and (3) an absolute belief in your ability tempered by the knowledge that you are always learning and that you can learn from everyone -- that losses do not make you a loser; losses are an opportunity to learn, adjust, improve and make yourself better.  

Pell work, cardio and strength training have been going well and we had a good drill practice last night and also watch a video of Sir Kjartan teaching out in Caid.  The more I watch people talk about what they do, the more I realize I am doing a bunch of the same stuff, a little different but based on the same premises.  Anyway, the content of the video was good, even if the sound quality was a litle poor. 

I am finding myself frustrated on the weight loss front.  I work hard and I eat right and the pounds are creeping down, but it is so slow.  I need to find the balance of keeping vigilant about my eating and exercising and where it is putting me weight wise, and not obsessing about what I weigh.  Right now, I think this might be my biggest barrier to letting myself become a dominate fighter -- I am too self-conscious about my body -- i think my essence is that of a warrior and this modern world that has me riding a desk for most of the day is so not conducive to what my body was made for and it makes it so hard to find the time to give my body the activity it needs to be the warrior it was born to be -- sometimes, I feel trapped by my plump body fueled by a mostly sedentary lifestyle.  What I think I need to make happen is bring a timer to work and every 50 minutes have it go off, and take a 5 to 10 minute break to  do core exercises, or planks, or pushups, or lunges or squats and then also make sure I take at least a 20 min break for lunch, bring my good walking shoes and a change of clothes and go for a power walk around the city.  Maybe that will be the goal for next week.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Wednesday fight

went back to regular fight practice finally.  i was a little worried that i would not enjoy myself.  or that the pell work would not translate wll into full speed.  but i did enjoy myself and lots of what i have been working on in drills and on the pell translated well, i have lots more work to do, but i felt like what i brought was better than where i had assessed myself as being.  My snap is still too tentative -- i need to relax and just let it go -- Vilius had a good idea and at the next practice, the only shots that will count for me will be onsides -- wraps and snaps; i can fake the poke, i can fake the backhand, or the slot, but i need to kill with the onside.  if i throw a killing or disabling blow that is not an onside, I will likely be calling it back probably as "flat" or something or just telling my opponent that i am working on something and i am unable to allow the fight to end with what i threw.  i think most of the people i fight and practice with will be fine with that. 

Vilius and i did a bunch of drill work first at practice cause no one else was in armor when we were ready to go, we did some shield hook drills and blocking by stepping in and shutting down my opponent's offense and turning to face the blow to block until you decide to step in and throw and do a blocking while striking maneuver.  All very helpful.  Vilius and i also fought each other left handed for a short set -- need to do this more because it is so not natural and it takes forever for one of us to actually land something decent on the other.  Fought single sword with Jennifer, which was fun, I worked on blocking her attack and then making a different attack everytime.  it was super fun -- 1) because she did not arm hunt and neither did i and 2) because neither one of us went for the double kill -- it is the kind of single sword i enjoy.  then timm and villius and i fought some and then everyone else joined in to sort of a bear pit -- fought sir payne, quaz and another guy whose name i am spacing on.  Worked on staying low, had some beautiful stuff and also some stuff that felt too forced.  next time in armor will be about the onside, staying low and staying relaxed.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Setting Goals -- Owning My Content

I am happier when I blog and set goals and stay on task.  The last couple of months I have not wanted to share, or put my thoughts or goals or musings out there.  A lot has to do with the blowup over the summer last year -- and I have meditated on that and mentally dissected it way more than it warranted.  I have come to the conclusion that I need to be me.  An honest, open, me.  If people get upset by what I write, I will have to deal with that.  But I am not going to censor myself because I am afraid other people are too delicate to handle what I have to say. 

I am not a mean or vindictive person.  And I would never write something about someone that I would not say in person; moreover, this blog is not a gossip blog and it is not about other people, nor is it, nor will it ever be, a place for me to vent about other people.  It is about me.  It is from my perspective and it is an analysis of the way I handle my training, my tourney bouts, my mental preparation, and the hurdles that inevitably come up related to those issues.  This blog and everything I write in it, is about me -- not you and not your friends.  Not any of you.  Really. Seriously.  That is not who I am. If you think I am attacking you, I'm not.  That is not who I am. 

If you feel the need to spread rumor and innuendo related to my self-reflections in this blog, you do not get what this is about and I will probably excise you from my life.  That IS who I am.  That being said, I am going to blog again -- about me, self-reflection, self-analysis, and probably some deep shit sometimes.  And I refuse to censor myself. 

2013 Goals

1.     I am going to win a tourney this year, maybe two or three.  For too long I have had the attitude that I don't care.  Or the tourney is small and it is not fair to enter unless I really want to be champion or whatever, or because I helped organize the tourney I should not win.  No more.  When I enter a tourney, I am in it to win it.  Unless I change my attitude in this regard, I am never going to be able to mentally practice, in a  tourney setting, for winning Crown -- the one tourney I am always in to win.  I need to practice, in real tournies (not just Crown), always bringing my best fight, and wanting to do my best and focusing on doing my best.  That is the only way I am going to have that focus in Crown on a consistent basis.   And lets be honest -- my focus is not going to be on winning the tourney -- any of the tournies -- it is going to be on bringing -- mentally, physically, emotionally, and skill-wise -- my best fight every round no matter what.  If I lose, but I brought my best, most focused, most dynamic fight, I still have reached my victory condition.  Winning, for the sake of winning, is not me.

2.   Kit.  I have a kickass helmet.  Its gorgeous.  I need to finish my fighting pants, make a new fighting tunic, and put together my new fighting boots, so that the rest of my kit does not make my helmet look like an anomaly.  The deadline for doing this is the end of April.  I also want to reshape my heater, so it looks more like a mini-kite, or a larger version of Mari's shield or put a fake center boss on a rectangle, so it looks more period appropriate.  This will be a project that I work on with Dave.  The new shield might need to wait until after September Crown becaue I do not want to change my kit mid-summer.  We'll see.  I need to finish my banner, it is almost half-way done, I just need to fancify it -- needs to be done before May Crown.

3.  Health/ Fitness.  I'm turning 40 this year.  Realistically, I probably, if I'm lucky, have ten years to win the two crowns I want to win.  That sounds like a lot of time, but it isn't.  I need to get my body in peak condition.  To that end, I need to really buckle down on the no simple carb way of eating -- that means eliminating sugar and grains completely.  No more snacking off plan.  I will lose 50 lbs. this year.  Exercise -- I will engage in cardio 6 x week; mental workout 6x week; yoga 4-5 x week; pell work daily; drills 2x week; and armored full speed fighting 2x week.   I will enter a 5K walk race once a month.  I will enter at least 3 long distance open water swims -- probably .5 to 1 mile distances.  I will go to the chiropractor for an adjustment and massage twice a month.  I will stretch daily.

4.  Skill development.  6 times this year, I will either travel to, or bring in, a fighting instructor and attend a workshop.  I will do video analysis of myself and others 2-3 times a week.  I will e-mail with my mentors more for feedback -- at least once a month.  I will read through the fighting books on my reading list, at least one every two months.  When I am sewing, at least once a week, I will watch a training video instead of brain candy.

This looks like a long list, but it is all doable.  I need to stay focused, motivated, and inspired.  And when I'm working hard that is easier to do.