Whatever happened to the girl who could stab people for hours?

Man, the first time I put a rapier in my hand that was it. Game over, man. I was hooked.

So what happened?

Let me backtrack a bit: I started out super gung-ho about rapier fighting and fencing. I wanted to learn All The Things, and I would get uber frustrated if I didn’t get something right. I went to every practice I could, and I joined a local fencing school to get even more practice in. I did tournaments at events (even though I’m not the greatest at it)–once with a broken foot–, and I even tried melee fighting (which I am even less the greatest at).

Lately, though, and I mean for a good few months now, I haven’t been at it as much. I’ve been withdrawing from the rapier fighting and even exercise days with my rapier friends. Why? What’s got me shying away from the one sport that ever got me excited, that ever made me feel like I could be good at a sport?

Part of it, I think, is that I got burned out after Estrella War. I practiced so much that I just got practiced out. Another part might be that, for whatever reason, my performance in tournaments has dropped significantly. Not that I was ever even close to winning–I wasn’t–but I feel like I’m just flailing around, whereas before I was more focused and driven.

Another part, and it’s not necessarily his fault mind you, but another part is my husband. Due to some … we’ll say “unsportsmanly behavior” … from some more experienced, respected rapier fighters, my husband withdrew from rapier first, before I did. He didn’t want to go to the regular practices, and more recently he stopped going to the rapier academy practices as well. It’s largely a personality clash issue. Not to say that either personality is “wrong,” just that they don’t jive together well. He doesn’t want to go back, but I do…don’t I?

We’ve also been super busy; we go to more out-of-Barony events than we did at this time last year, so Sundays we’re either exhausted from traveling or still heading back from wherever we traveled when it’s time to practice.

I’m still gung ho about trying to get a rapier practice area set up on our land. I’m still plotting that out in my head. But I don’t go and actually practice anymore.

Is it because I live further away now? Well, that would explain the SCA practices, but I’m a tad closer to the rapier academy practices now, so that’s no excuse. I still love my friends and love fighting them and learning from them, so that’s not an issue. So what is it?

Last night I went to a different Barony’s rapier practice. I got to fight a couple of people that I don’t usually fight, and that may have helped a bit to motivate me to do better. I need something more though, some extra push, to get me back in the rapier game. Maybe if I ask my White Scarf for a set day during the week to practice I will get back into things. I mean, I can’t use traveling as an excuse if it’s a work day–I’ll theoretically already be in town.

Regardless of the hows or whys, something’s gotta change. I have to get back at the stabby-stab so I can improve, learn, and excel.

I just gotta figure out tho hows of that bit.

 

Manual labor

It’s that time again…not even 0500, and I’m wide awake. So what’s a girl to do? Well, if you’re me, you end up cruising Pinterest for interesting or helpful images and tutorials. My latest pin obsession? Images from medieval fencing manuals.

Yep, I’m taking it upon myself to try to learn more by…osmosis? I’m not sure what I hope to gain at this point from the diagrams, because I don’t really know how to read them properly–yet. Sure, I can see the drawing and say “Okay, so that guy is standing like so,” but when it comes to the diagrams of movements and such I’m at a loss. Lots of lines and circles all over the place. Or sometimes not even that; just static images that I guess were helpful in ye olde times for teaching fencing and rapier fighting.

I’ll learn how to read them eventually–that’s going to be part of my training as I progress in the rapier arts–but for now, they’re kind of just interesting drawings that I’m saving for the heck of saving. The Spanish Circle is especially mind-boggling, but I’m pinning it anyway.

My hope is that, once I learn how to read the manuals and translate the images into movements, I can start gaining ground in my fighting. Fencing is the first and only sport I’ve ever been remotely good at, and I don’t want to let my teacher down. Yep, I’ve finally chosen a fencing teacher who can give me good one-on-one guidance in my path. I know I’m years from any special awards or recognition as far as period fencing goes, but better to start studying now. Imagine: me, the always-did-her-homework-in-the-five-minutes-between-classes learner, actually studying stuff.

It may take me a while, but I’m going to kick this rapier training in the butt!

En garde!