Welcome to the Weekend

Morning motivation
Up and at the physical training by 10am Saturday which is early for the Fed. Must be the world championship fever making us behave so unnaturally.

We played a game in the list which was a lot like tig but with a UK Fed twist. If you were tagged then you had to do 10 burpees before coming back into the game. It makes me wonder what the incentive was to win that game at school. Being ‘got’ would have earned me a relaxing break sat at the side lines enjoying other’s physical torment. But alas not anymore – as with most things in life, ‘adult tag’ is cruel and punishing.

You’ll find a resonating theme to this blog which revolves around burpees.
Since reading the inputs of my fellow warrior women, I have realised that I am not alone in living one burpee to the next. If I achieve nothing else in life.. at least I can find comfort in the knowledge that I am 50% sure that I can do more burpees than the person next to me.

Perfecting the throw down

The UK fed are competing in the buhurt discipline (for want of a better word) in the world championships.
Buhurt involves 5 vs 5,  or 21 vs 21 combatants who engage in battle with the aim of decimating the opponent team. Once you are down you cannot get up and become an obstacle for the remainder of the round. The rounds are a best of three.

Practising this is difficult. We train alongside our male counterparts and they are heavier and stronger than us and that’s just how it is. We see it as a blessing as when we compete against women in competition we’ll be better prepared. But at times it can be frustrating. The secret is that it’s all in the hips. Position yourself strategically beneath your opponent, holding one arm to their shoulder blades, the other clenching to the list, twist your body in, keeping a sure footing and haul them down using their body weight as leverage. Got it? Right now put armour on and do it again.

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Armoured Afternoon

In the afternoons we get into armour and start brawling. We focused on 5 vs 5 buhurt in order tie up any loose ends for our team bound for the championships. We had such a great turn out that the chaps could train as a full team and develop their role. Within the buhurt there is a clear structure to the team, despite what it looks like there is method in the madness.

Fighting talk from our newest recruit Sam:

“Ok…being in a full set of armour for the first time, it’s heavy! And I immediately imagine ways to get fitter for wearing it but then realise I would look a complete loon skipping in the gym in plate armour. So my attention turns to the novelty of having someone else help ‘dress’ you in the armour and check it fits. It’s nice to have a team mate do this and see how much they care it fits properly, they were in your shoes and you want to know your safe as a newbie and not once on my first weekend did I not feel completely safe and looked out for. Having a small head (it’s about quality of contents, not quantity) I found it was difficult to borrow a helmet that fitted which is why it’s one of the first recommended purchases for a new player. Visibility in one that isn’t snug is highly variable and although I had moments of difficulty I didn’t let it stop me getting into the thick of it. However, it did not help that my lack of peripheral vision allowed me to be blindside-ly rugby tackled to the ground going down like a sack of spuds on three occasions. Sounds more dramatic than it felt and I laughed them all off, it’s a fair play after all and I’ll be glad to return the favour at some point. I know I was a bit of a steam train at hockey, looking forward to seeing if I can transfer that trait to being in armour. You get tired very quickly and I can see how some people may get a bit claustrophobic in all of it, and why the guys help you with anti panic training. Ultimately you have to accept it as part of you as a second skin that ultimately makes the difference between you making it back to your everyday job without too much hurt or injury. Needless to say I’m eager to save up and build up a treasury for some more personally fitting armour but in the mean time it’s important to get a feel for it, learn from the experienced members of the team and enjoy it.”

Too soon the day was over. Time to disarm, get all the armour cleaned, oiled down and packed away. Sewing, riveting, and hammering grieves, shoulders and helms back to form ready for another battle.

Dubious Dinners

The training and fighting is done for the day but the fun never ends. The family perch around the blazing fire under the stars (it’s all very romantic). The evening roles into a pantomime of war stories, times past and feasting on questionable scran. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve divulged in some delicious dishes during my time with the FED but the contents could only be speculated over. Watch this space for a The FED Cookbook where the collective culinary expertise will be shared.

 

And so we conclude a days training. If you fancy giving it a try or have any questions then contact us here through email or on our new facebook page @swordsofcygnus

 

Goodnight ~ Jo

 

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