Sunday 18th February 2018

I sparred for the first time in nearly 3 weeks today.    The plan had been to really see how the finger could cope with a potential tournament next weekend.
It’s my offhand that’s damaged and I suppose that’s been a bit lucky.  The competitions I’ve entered don’t really need my offhand.  Both single rapier and single sidesword primarily use only one hand and I can keep the other behind my back.  And the other competition is sidesword and rotella where my hand should be very well protected.
The aim for today was multifold.  First I wanted to see how driving was.  Being unable to properly flex my finger these last few weeks has meant that changing into 3rd or 1st gear results in me poking the dashboard.  Flexibility has improved somewhat but it’s still not 100% and so I wanted to see if I could do a 2 hour drive without stubbing my finger and sending jolts of pain up my arm.
Obviously not having done such a long trip in a number of weeks was tiring, but I managed without too much of an incident.  I didn’t end up driving off the road.  That said, I think I still need to limit my road trips for now.
Fighting was interesting.    I only fought single sidesword and single rapier today but I did fight some of the best fighters out there.  Given that I’ve had 3 weeks off I don’t think I did too bad.  I’m certainly not going to be winning any prizes but my friend who is ranked the best in the world at my primary weapon said I was fighting solid with sidesword, not giving any openings.  That’s good, although I somehow managed to get a hit on my super-protective glove that have an endoskeleton in them, which resulted in me thinking I’d broken a finger on my good hand.
I guess 3 weeks away and I’ve forgotten how to take knocks.  I also was probably feeling a bit delicate given the finger.  Although showing even some of the most hardened swordfighters the current damage plus pictures of the cut had them wincing.
In single rapier things were a little more difficult.  In order to pull off some moves, I bring my offhand across my body to close my shoulders and make my thrust straighter.  But keeping my bad hand behind my back changes the alignment of my shoulders and makes those moves difficult.  On top of that, off-hand parries and grapples are off the cards.  I found this a particular disadvantage in some of my fights.
I came away feeling a little tired, and a little demotivated too.  My plan is to miss training this week to give myself more time to rest the bad hand.  Given the amount of healing in just the last week, another week of taking it easy should pay big dividens.  I’ll then fight in both competitions (on 2 consecutive days) next weekend and head up to Yorkshire the following weekend.
I had been planning to travel with a friend up there, but that now looks in doubt, so given as that competition is single rapier, I think that tournament is probably the most in doubt.
If you want to follow more of my journey, then be sure to check me on my social channels.  Likewise, if you’d like me to expand on any point mentioned above, please say so in the comments.

Past Issues: 392391 | 390 | 389 | 388 | 387 | 386 | 385 384 | 383 | 382 | 381
380379 | 378 | 377 | 376 | 375 | 374 | 373 | 372 | 371 | 370 | 369 | 368 | 367 | 366|  365 | 364 | 363 | 362 | 361
360 | 359 | 358 | 357 | 356 | 355 | 354 | 353 | 352 | 351 | 350 | 349 | 348 | 347 | 346 | 345