Drunken Smallsword In A Romanian Palace – The Climb #267

/, The Climb, Travel/Drunken Smallsword In A Romanian Palace – The Climb #267

Drunken Smallsword In A Romanian Palace – The Climb #267

Sunday 15th October 2017

Today was my last full day in Romania.  In truth this weekend has been everything I could possibly want – an amazingly relaxed and chilled weekend that takes my mind away from a load of personal crap going on back in the UK

Today had originally been intended to be our sparring day, but after the longsword competition overran, our second seminar got bumped to this morning.  We were in the tent today and whilst the group was smaller, there seemed to be more attention  and focus given to the instruction.

I think we were helped by the fact that we knew the counter-posture stuff would throw them so we could prepare them.  They struggled in parts but we’ve had so many people come up to us afterwards and say how they now want to buy a rapier that we must have done something right.

We finished right before lunch.  I pretty much went to lunch in my kit as my intention was to be available all afternoon to spar with people.  It’s been quite interesting to see people come up and ask to fence Pim and go all fangirl when he says yes.  I guess if you are from a smaller club, having the chance to fence with the world #1 in rapier & dagger must feel like such a moment.  It made me realise how lucky I am to belong to a club with so many great fencers.

But by the same token, whilst I don’t have Pim’s stature, I wanted to make myself available to attendees.  Many of them train in isolation and so the only feedback they can get on whether they fight well or not is by fencing people like Pim or me.  I fought with one guy from Serbia and told his teacher he was really good.

As the afternoon proceeded, we were joined by a lot of the host club.  With their work now done, they could get chance to relax and spar, and like the attendees, they wanted to fight with us.  I was only too happy to oblige.  They’ve made us feel so welcome this weekend, I felt it was the least I could do to fight all the club members and give them some constructive feedback.

My absolute highlight today, came when I was sparring.

I was fighting one of the Bucharest students with single rapier (not my strongest weapon although still #160 in the world) and I got this lovely thrust in that hit him square in the neck.

He stopped, his eyes went wide and for a second I thought I’d hurt him.

“Whoa,”  he says,

“Are you OK?”  I ask, worried I’ve injured him.

He assured me he was fine, just that he never saw that thrust come in.

I thought little of it, and continued to fight him and others.  It was only as I was getting ready for another bout that I overhear him tell my last competitor,  “See.  I told you he was fast.”

Honestly, that made my day!  For years I have been the fattest, the slowest.  I’m a symbol of perseverance, not athleticism, and yet today I became fast.

It’s surprising how those little things mean so much, but it was a sign to me just how much I’ve progressed as a fighter.  I came away feeling proud of myself and my progress.  In a club with so many good fighters, it can often be hard to see your own progress, yet today in those comments, I realised just how much of a transformation I’ve made.

It’s got me fired up for Wessex and Swordfish.  Look, I have no chance of making it to the final.  Even if everything went to plan, I’m years off, but I know this.  If I did, I would give everything on that piste.  I would show them just how fast, how much stamina.  I’d go out onto that piste prepared to die in order to win.  I’d leave nothing behind.

I’m excited for Swordfish.  I want the pool of death.  I want to throw myself against the world’s best fighters and see just how good I am.  No expectations, although I’d love to cause an upset.  Final 16 seems a little out of reach, but maybe I could win a fight or two.

We fought on gravel so I couldn’t really lunge yet I felt I fought well.  Heck, people who don’t know me said I was fast.  Me!  Fast!

We finished the night out on one of the balconies of the palace, with a few beers and smallswords.  Who can honestly say they’ve fought drunked smallsword on the balcony of a Romanian palace?  It just seemed the perfect way to finish what has been an incredible weekend.  The venue has been awesome, the hosts have been so welcoming, the weather has been incredible, and the camaraderie has been awesome.  I’ve come away with so many good friends.

People seemed to enjoy Pim’s seminar but I’ve also had many come up to me and thank me for my encouragement and assistance.  I never got to fight everyone which was a shame, but I’m glad the organisers got chance to spar with us.  With Pim being seen universally as the #1 rapier guy in the world, there’s immense pride when people get to fence him.  And they see the fact that we were willing to fence everyone as generous.  It’s a special moment when they get to fight the world’s best and I got a taste of that when I was happy to fight anyone, and be gracious & generous with my feedback.

We leave ridiculously early tomorrow, and I return home to find the mess I left.  Reality will bite tomorrow, but for tonight at least, I’ll just enjoy my last night in Romania.

It’s been an incredible trip and I’m sad to leave.

expand on any point mentioned above, please say so in the comments.

Past Issues:  266 265 264 263 | 262 261
260 259 258 257 256 | 255 | 254 |  253 252 | 251 250 | 249 248 247 246 | 245 244 | 243 | 242 | 241
240 239 238 237 236 235 234 233 232 | 231 230 | 229 228 227 226 | 225 224 | 223 222 221
220 219 |218 | 217 216 215 214 |  213 | 212 211 210 | 209 | 208 207 206 205 204 203 202 | 201
200 | 199 198 197 | 196 195 | 194 | 193 | 192 191 190 189 | 188 | 187 | 186 185 | 184 183 182 181 |
180 | 179 | 178 | 177 | 176 175 | 174 173 172 | 171 | 170 169 |  168 | 167 | 166 | 165 | 164 | 163 | 162 | 161 |
160 | 159 | 158 | 157 156 155 | 154 | 153 | 152 | 151 | 150 | 149 | 148 | 147 | 146 | 145 144 | 143 | 142 | 141 |
140 | 139 | 138 137136 | 135 | 134 | 133 | 132 | 131 | 130 | 129 | 128 | 127 | 126 | 125 | 124 | 123 | 122 | 121 |
120 | 119 | 118 | 117 | 116115 | 114 | 113 | 112 | 111 | 110 | 109 | 108107106105104103 | 102 | 101|
100 | 9998 | 97 | 96 | 95 | 94 | 93 | 92 | 91 | 90 | 89 | 88 | 87 | 86 | 85 | 84 | 83 | 8281|
80 | 79787776 | 75 | 74 | 73 | 72 | 71 | 70 | 69 | 68 | 67 | 66 65 |  64 | 63 | 62 | 61 |
60 | 59 | 58 | 57 | 56 | 55 | 54 | 535251 |50 | 49 | 48 | 47 | 46 |45 | 44 | 43 | 42 | 41 |
40 | 393837 | 36 | 35 | 34 | 33 | 32 | 31 |30 | 29 | 28 | 27 | 26 | 25 2423 | 22 | 21 |
20 | 19 | 18 | 17 | 16 | 151413 | 12 | 11 |10 | 9 | 8 | 76 | 5 | 4 | 3 | 2 | 1

2017-10-17T11:58:39+00:00October 16th, 2017|Swordfighting, The Climb, Travel|0 Comments

Leave A Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.