It didn’t take long. One practice, and I am now hooked on SCA rapier fighting.
I have a lot to learn, obviously–especially since yesterday afternoon was my first time picking up a sword–but I received a lot of encouragement from the people I fought with and they’re great at teaching newbies.
One of the first things I learned is that I’m horribly out of shape. It wasn’t long before my right arm was shaking with the effort of holding and maneuvering the rapier. I found a solution that allowed me to practice longer, though: left-handed fighting. Yeah, my derpy left hand that doesn’t know how to do much of anything now can perform a few thrusts and parries. It was all very basic, but I had a blast.
I’ve already started looking up places to find gear for myself, as well as started planning how to make protective jackets for myself and my husband. (Safety first, people!) Not that the local SCA group (barony) doesn’t have loaner gear, but I want something better fitting that I can move in. The loaner jacket I used yesterday was a bit tight and restrictive, largely due to my largeness. Broad shoulders and fat upper arms do not make for ease of movement when the garment isn’t fitted properly.
The swords will probably be a long time coming, because rapiers aren’t exactly cheap. For a good fighting sword, you need something that’s not going to break on contact or whatever. And for a practice sword (and maybe tournament fighting? I’m not sure) you need something that’s tipped to prevent actual stabbing.
No, I’m starting with a basic mask, some kind of hood to go under it, a gorget (look it up–basically neck armor), gloves, and a jacket. Very basic protect-your-vitals kind of stuff. Because again, safety first. They’re not going to let you swing swords at each other, rubber tipped or not, if you’re not wearing protection.
Okay, so maybe you don’t need that much protection. But you get my point. Keep the vital bits covered (and the “bits” as well, if you value your ability to bear children in the future and sit comfortably for a while–this is applicable to both men and women).
I’m not going to be joining any tournaments any time soon, but I already love the feel of a blade in my hand and the clash of sword against sword (okay, so it’s not quite that dramatic…still fun). It’s good exercise, and I am definitely “feeling the burn” a bit this morning. I took it easy, though, and made sure not to over exert myself. So the spaghetti arms of yesterday are simply achy, not shaky. Well, no more shaky than normal. 😉
My husband and I are going to purchase our SCA memberships soon and become card-carrying fighters, which I think will be fun. I’m leery of the camping portion of SCA events, because I’ve never been a camp-y person, but from what I’ve heard you get so busy doing event stuff that you don’t have time to realize you’re camping. By the end of the day you’re exhausted, so it’s find tent/cot/crash. Or something.
I already can’t wait for next Sunday. Things to remember: Benadryl (in case of bee sting), sunscreen, and some kind of headband to keep the sweat out of my eyes. I didn’t sweat that bad yesterday, but I know eventually I will.
It feels good to have exercise aches today. Definitely better than just arthritis aches or pains from sitting on my ass too long. 😉