Defeated By Titans – The Climb #270

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Defeated By Titans – The Climb #270

Wednesday 18th October 2017

One of the biggest downsides to our school is that we have so many really good people that it can be hard to see your own progress.  I think something like 8 out of the top 10 British rapier & dagger fighters were trained by the school.  That’s pretty impressive.

But it means that you are constantly surrounded by excellent people who are all levelling up like you are.  So it means you can often feel your progress is static because you still can’t beat Bob, when n reality both you and Bob have got better.

I think back to Bucharest and how people would completely fanboy over the chance to fence with Pim – the #1 ranked rapier & dagger fighter in the world.  And yet here I am fighting him most weeks.  It’s easy to forget how lucky I am.

But this evening was a lesson in humility.  Not only did I get to fight Pim, but Sasha as well.  The plan was to have 2 people fight for 3 minutes then those not fighting give feedback on how to improve.  We were joined by Matt which meant that in that session there was the #1 fighter in the world, the #11, the #32 and the #57.

And it was every bit as intense as you’d imagine it to be.  Here we had some of the world’s best fighters just fucking going for it.

To use a writing analogy, it was like having your work critiqued by George R R Martin and Stephen King.  Yep, they’d rip you to shred but the insight you’d gain would be invaluable.

And this was true here.  I got told EVERYTHING I was doing wrong.  And I mean everything!  Just like writing, I don’t want people to hold back.  That doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt though.  I didn’t feel so much coached as battered.

I had to remember I was fighting titans.   Even at #11 I think Sasha is massively underrated.  I find him more difficult to fight than #1

But I’d gone in wanting to win.  I was fired up and ready to rip off faces… and as a result I fenced terribly.  When I went to thrust, it could be read a mile away on my face.  I didn’t seem to be able to control the fights, and I got hit a lot.

Everything seemed to fall apart.

It really got me thinking.  When I’ve done really well recently (Fightcamp and Wessex League Bristol) I’ve been ill – first from heat exhaustion, the second from a dodgy stomach.  In both those cases it forced me to fight very insularly.  Tonight, I just tried to bound around and have more stamina than anyone else  (which is hard when you are fighting 6 out of every 9 minutes).

So I’m left wondering whether illness, caused me to clam up and fight what I know.  Perhaps I don’t need to get fired up, perhaps I need to get ill?

Whereas with previous tournaments I’ve been content to just do my best and be pleasantly surprised… now I want to win.  Now I know that Swordfish is going to be impossible (especially after today) but I feel a overwhelming urge to win rather than just do well.

I should trust the process and let the dice fall where they may, but I realise I’ve raised the expectations on myself massively.

So in fighting titans today I can away feeling humbled and humiliated – not because anyone was mean, but because I realise just how far behind them I am.  I have been utterly outclassed and it made me feel the same way as a particularly brutal critique.

I’m not aggressive enough, I give too many tells, I’m not finding the blade,  Gahhh, argh!,  Grahhhh!

To combat this, I’ve thought back to Swordfish last year.  I think about how bad I was.  I purely defended, never got a single hit (apart from that one on Danilov), and lost every fight.  Yet, look at me now.  Well inside the top 100, fighting relatively well,  being more offensive and hitting points cap at tournaments.  I’ve made massive improvements in 2017

And whilst I feel I’m long overdue some disappointment, I think of my plans for the next year and how much better I’m going to be in a year’s time.  I’ve gone from the worst student to average, to good.  Next year I’ll be great… because when I make plans, I get results… and I have plans.

So I need to remind myself that #57 – even if I drop down – is good.  I want to get it in a tattoo so I can remind myself that I can do the impossible.  I just need to be patient and up my training,

And that means getting beaten constantly by titans until such time as I become one myself.

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2017-10-19T23:52:45+00:00October 19th, 2017|Swordfighting, The Climb|0 Comments

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