This week’s training was by invitation of the Isca Knights- who were most honourable hosts.
Finally, after a prolonged and arduous 2 months apart, Steph and I were reunited on the historical plains of Tiverton.
And where better to plot and scheme our ascension to glory than on grounds formerly retained by medieval noble-women, feasting and fighting.
The most legendary of said nobility was Isabel de Forz: one of the richest women of medieval England. Isabel’s wealth was achieved through her cunning ability to outlive her husband, children, and even most distant relatives. Her seemingly-immortal lifespan earned her many titles including the Earl of Devon and the Lordship of the Isle of White. She refused to remarry despite hordes of suitors throwing themselves at her manicured feet.
So what did this medieval Beyoncé do with all that coin?
As any strong independent women would, she built a leat in her childhood homestead of Tiverton. This act was so venerable that it is commemorated every 7 years with a village fair and jaunt along the banks of the aqueducts. The last ‘Perambulation of the Town Leat’ was in 2010, so best clear your diaries for this September!’
Disclaimer: some artistic licensing may have been used in the making of this blog
So that’s rather enough of the tedious links.
Upon arrival at the training ground, I was welcomed with a Bleep test of a series of runs and press-ups. The later I failed miserably at, so I have now dedicated myself to 22 press ups a day. That’ll show me. Unarmoured training sword work before lunch and then straight into armour.
We covered a range of fights: 1 vs 1 rounds of pro fighting and 3 vs 3 bohurt.
This weekend really gave me confidence. The basics and groundwork were starting to become much more natural, allowing me to focus on the technique of making each strike count. Exhausting myself with encumbered shots is a waste of time. It sounds pretty obvious, but until now, wearing armour has felt almost alien… so has been being attacked with medieval weapons… but I’m getting used to that too.
In my first round on Saturday I cowered away from a strike from a bigger and stronger opponent. It was shameful behaviour! I forced myself bravely back out there faced the beast. It ended with my face being wedged between a barn wall and my adversaries shield: I was delighted at my progress.
Steph and I finished off with 3 rounds of 1 vs 1. Here I seem to have a problem with ‘letting go’. Perhaps I hated the though of her leaving again. Maybe I couldn’t resist her tender touch. But ultimately my inability to free myself of the grapple brought us tumbling into the straw leaving none the victor. We eagerly await videos (watch this space) so that we can analyse or progress but I felt we had both come a long way since last October.
Revelry was conducted as it must into the drizzly Devon night. I met some knew faces and so the family grows. We slept under the roof of a lofty barn adjacent to some horses in true medieval fashion. But that’s another story for another time…