Amergin's Revolt is an SCA ecvent in the Barony of Adiantum.
I drove up for it yesterday, wanting to try out some swordplay stuff that had been percolating through my "Elderly Swordsman" presona's brain.
The tournament was for the Baronial Heavy (rattan) Championship. I have no desire for jobs or titles at the moment, but they let me play in the tourney as a non-competitor.
I had a good long time to hang out and think about what it was I wanted to try: a more deeply relaxed offense and a softer, more yielding and movement oriented defense (a la Peter Ralston.)
Pursuant to that, I spent a big part of the time (when not socializing) meditating on the subject of relaxation. As sifu R says: "Let your mind return to its natural state of calm and
let your body return to its natural state of relaxation."
Socializing included a long talk with the Baron, and another with the Baroness (that was mostly me talking, since she asked about my writing...) and an interesting talk with my Squire Viscountess Vesta. I also heard Tales of Great Western War from those who'd gone, and had (as always) interesting conversations with the current Prince (Sverre Bjornhartta)
I noticed that every time I went outdoors, I tensed up. "Why?" I asked myself. The pelting rain?
But I am usually at home in the rain, I work outdoors after all. I finally realized that the tension I was feeling was so slight that others probably couldn't even see it: I was not hunched over or 'hiding' from the rainfall as so many people do... I only noticed the tension because of my otherwise relaxed state. I took such steps as occurred to me to reduce my tension even further, and I liked the results.
At long last we all armed ourselves and began. Simple round-robin, I had five quick fights, went 2-3, saw places I could improve.
Then I fought a bunch of pick-up fights, and really began to feel the thing I was looking for. My attacks were quicker than I'd felt them in several years. The time between blows was down as well, which makes it harder for my opponents to respond with attacks of their own. To the extent possible in such a small field I was moving instead of blocking. I did wind up with some tension between my shoulder blades, but otherwise felt good.
I'm sitting reading over this and realizing that I can't even describe in common terms what it was I felt. Hmm. Gotta work on that; when I start to write about Mr. Rothakis meeting his mentor Arrenji in training bouts, this has to be accessible.
Not sure how to do that.
Anyway, here's a short video of Sifu Ralston "boxing" with an opponent. Shows a little of why he's so revered by those who discover him.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T8mxqY2Ko_M