Jean Paul's Fighting Page

January 27, 1998 y first journal entry. I went to Sir Hildebrandt's house tonight. It was, to say the least, an extremely painful practice. I warmed up fighting Angus MacDade, a good friend, and we were both weilding sword and Shield (S&S). Unfortunately, Angus and I have been fighting each other a bit too much recently, because the fights between us have started to degenerate into gunslinging. Regardless, he is still very fun to fight, and helps me out a lot. He's also a very hard fight, as he is approximately 7 or 8 inches taller than I am. I am a modest 5' 7" (barely), and he's a good 6' 2" at least, so I tend to have to worry about the shot coming in from above ("Look out!!! Incoming!!!!"). But the fighting went well, and we traded kills about evenly.

Then Stephan armoured up. Now Stephan is a totally different fight that Angus. Whereas Angus is bout 6' 2" tall, Stephan is right around my hight. However, the two of them do share something in common : they hit like a ton of bricks. Dropped from outer space. Angus has pretty good snap, but Stephan has just power. I don't know what he does, but I've yet to see anyone else straight-arm a shot in with the amount of power he does. I shudder to think of what would happen if he ever acquired a good snap.

I also got several good fights against him, and I even helped him discover a problem with his armor. See, I tend to like thrusting tips (I actually joined the SCA for Light Weapons) and I have this one shot that, if the opponent backs up, misses the stomach area and slides up towards the throat. If your gorget and helm do the job, no problem. Unfortunately if they don't, it can hurt. Stephans armor did protect from the shot, but since he had the gorget on the outside of his coat of plates, the shot kinda got stuck inbetween the gorget and the coat. He payed me back later with an amazingly hard shot to my right shoulder ("Bad shoulder!!!! BAAADDD shoulder. See what happens when you don't stay behind the shield!?").

Since my I started fighting again (I tore my ACL in July of 1998) I have been mainly working on my sword and shield style, and have really neglected everything else.

Tonight though, I decided to try something else, and I picked up Sir Hildebrandt's great sword. Now for those of you who don't know him, Hilde is a very large, very STRONG man, and his great sword reflected his desire to fight with a weapon that was as close to period weight as possible. In short, it was excruciatingly heavy.

So, weilding what felt like a proverbial bar of iron (seriously, you don't want to drop it on you foot :-) ), I took the field versus Stephan first, and Stephan came out and fought me weilding two broadswords. The fight was pretty tough, but pretty fun. I was pretty much able to fake him out with a pump to the head or to one side, and then reverse and hit him in the side he exposed while reacting to my fake. I killed him two or three times, and we double killed a couple of times. I only think that he killed my once. I was fairly happy. This was the first time I had picked up a great sword in almost a year and I didn't do that bad... (wait, the shoe is getting ready to drop)

Then Angus retook the field. He was still carrying sword and shield, and I must admit that I whimpered inside to myself. Those of you unaccustomed to our fighting style might not realize it, but a sword and shield warrior has a REEEAAALLY good chance of winning most encounters with a warrior carrying a great sword.

And I was correct in my feeling of impending doom. Angus then proceeded to win fairly handedly several times in a row. Now I had once watched a mountain of a man name (discongrously enough) Fluffy fight a s&s fighter while he was wielding a great sword and he won the fight. He won it by using the great sword to keep the s&s fighter at range, and then finally hitting the fighter when he dropped his guard. Well, I tried that, but it didn't seem to work (sigh). Oh well. I did manage to double kill Angus twice, but it was a tough job both times, and the second time that I did kill him, it was at the price of a shoulder blow that made me remove my armour.

Now, I have been hit really hard before, with one of my best friends being Ld. Owen Ap Aeddan, but this was the hardest shot I have ever took fighting in the SCA. Still, overall it was a good practice. I think I will continue practicing with the great sword in order to work on mobility and footwork. Also, I did a much better job at backing up in a curve or on a different tack. It seems like in each practice, your lucky if you can improve just ONE aspect of your fighting.

Jean Paul le Pel
Seconde, Lion Dragon Guard

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