Let's face it, if we were all models, this kind of essay would be useless. We would all be able to contort and run and bend in ways that even Spiderman would be envious of. But we're not all cookie cutter people, and I know first hand what it's like to be the slowest on the field of battle. Here are a few tips and pointers that I have found useful in my short time with Amtgard fighting.
Number one. Never be afraid to walk. Let your victim, err opponent, go running over hill and dale, looking oh so lightfooted. Take your time, and walk. One thing, you arrive at the fight with some energy left. Second, your victim, I mean opponent, will be winded. Sound fair? No!! It's to make your life easier, and it will still be a battle. Also it's easier on knees, a notoriously bed item wih those of poundage like me. Take it easy, and you'll make it to the fight. Otherwise you spend a lot of energy just showing up, and have none for the battle.
Number two. Weapons. Good old fashioned sword and board works wonders. Prefer a florintine style? Team up with a board, and go have fun. Two is better than one, and it's harder to kill two than one. Once again, we're not here for fairness, we're here for victory. And fun, lots of fun. What works real well is a sword and board teamed up with a polearm or long sword. You have reach and blocking, and neither has to work as hard as they would if they were alone. Or find a combination that works for you. Everyone has a weapon they love, so use it.
Number three. Training. Grab a friend, get creative, and have a presonal practice. There is nothing wrong with working a bit harder to be deadly on the field, and it pays off. Most get their weekend and the mid week fighter practice. Find a sparring partner and add another day of two to your list some evenings. Blocking is vitally important, so go through defence drills until you could wack someone in your sleep. It's great exercise, and you learn more than if you simply lose every weekend to the local speedy. Train with your weapon of choice, against many other weapons. A basic format is sword and board, long sword, duella, polearm, and quarterstaff. Keep at it, it'll pay off.
Number four. Garb. Go loose, for many reasons. One, it looks better. Two it helps with cooling, something important in Texas where I'm at. Also if your garb is comfortable, you'll be paying attention to that shot coming at your leg instead of fussing with cloth. The most impotant part of gard I cannot stress enough. Mechs. Those things that run from you toes to your knees, will save you legs and knees many times. Though they are not armor, they do help with those sudden drops to the ground for losing a leg. If anything, some kneepads are good too.
Number five. Gloves. Sound odd? How many times have you lost a weapon due to a shot across the knuckles? Since I'm not fast, I have to improvise. Mech gloves, racing gloves, biking gloves, welder's gloves, anything that pads those poor knuckles is great. Or hide the hands behind a good weapon grip.
Parting shots. Don't be afraid to state your lackings. For example, I cannot kneel, so I have a standing deal with my park that I will merely stand there instead. Or take a moment to kneel, no need to bash your kneecaps in. Training training training I cannot say it enough. Make up for that lack of speed with skill, and really scare your local speedy when you clobber him. Legally, of course. Finally, have fun! If you are not having fun, there's something missing, and you might want to consider looking for it. Too much fighting? Try A&S. Not enough fighting? Get out there and bust some guts.
That's all that comes to mind for now, I'll write again when the muse calls
out to me. Later ladies, and remember...
Slower is better.
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