Category Archives: Stick Jocks

Goodness Gracious, More Sword Fighting!

First, a little shield blocking with a handy boogie board. Actually, first is getting a hold of the boogie board. That was tough stuff.

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It went a bit better with John behind the shield.

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During a lesson about how to fight from one’s knees, Lily had a bit of trouble holding on to her weapon. John really needs to reconsider how he builds his grips.

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Back on their feet, they practiced form. Lily is very anti-form. Her style is more swing like crazy, try not to get hit. Methodical she is not.

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She tries really hard and she’s very enthusiastic though. Plus, you can’t deny she’s insanely adorable.

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John decided it was time for Lily to pick on someone her own size. We had to roust Aidan from his bedroom to that end. As I’ve mentioned, these lessons weren’t meant for him originally. He seems pretty interested, though, and it’s really handy to have someone who is about the same build for Lily to spar with.

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Sometimes they even look they’re enjoying each other’s company and that’s beautiful. Other times Lily gets her can-you-believe-I-have-to-hang-out-with-my-little-brother look on her face.

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Usually that’s when she’s tired of chasing him all over the yard. The kid hates to swing. He loves to retreat.

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He looks uncomfortable standing his ground, I can only hope that that’ll change with practice.

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Maybe Lily will learn to temper her strikes and in three years she can fight for real. If, you know, she wants to.

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And I don’t know about Dan. Maybe he’ll get into it, too. Except, he’s got nearly 5 years to wait. Lots of practice time.

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In the mean time, lots of adorable pictures.

 

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First Sword Fighting Lesson (The Lily & Dan Show)

Lily has been reading the Percy Jackson books and is completely obsessed with them. As well as all activities contained within them. She expressed to me an interest in learning to sword fight and I told her John would teach her. After all, he sword fights on the regular and even so happens to have weapons small enough for her to handle. She was super excited to get started. This past weekend John and I were planning to be over at my sister’s house anyway so John brought his weapons. Just in case.

I expected that Lily would start out nervous and awkward. No. She picked up a sword and came out like a whirlwind on fire.

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Though the lesson was meant for Lily, Dan decided to join in, too.  After John explained the rules and Aidan watched for a while, it became a free for all.

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At some point in this, it occurred to John that he might want to teach the children how they were actually supposed to hold and swing their weapons. I think he took it for granted that they would pick it up naturally. Or else he forgot. There was a brief instruction phase and then it was brother versus sister.

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Lily was beyond confident but I think Aidan has more of the temperament for an assassin. He was very meek face to face but he never hesitated to stab someone once they turned their back. Sneaky little thing. (I think he gets it from me.)

Watching John teaching the kids was great fun for me. He’s so good with them and they seem to like him. When they referred to him as Uncle John I had to stop for a minute to make sure my heart hadn’t burst. So, so much happiness. It was a lovely day.

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Harvest 2013 (The fighting part)

I’ve admitted in the past that the fighting doesn’t matter to me even a little bit. It matters to John, though, so I climbed off of my high horse for a bit and took pictures.

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Sometimes I’m rewarded with awesome shots. Like this one, of Kael unintentionally posing.

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Or this picture of Leo looking incredibly outraged. I don’t know why he’s outraged and I don’t want to know. Somehow I think the real answer won’t be as entertaining as what my imagination will come up with.

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And then there’s my most favorite capture, this picture of Rau that looks like he’s pointing at me. I was taking pictures from pretty far away so it’s almost guaranteed that he wasn’t angrily pointing at me to tell me to stop taking pictures. But I like to pretend that he was, anyway.

My favorite subject (surprise surprise) is my beloved husband. So much of my battle footage revolves around him. I have all his most exciting activities. Here he is listening:

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Defending!

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Charging into battle!

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And the very best one, winning a fight!

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Staying on my favorite subject, I want to chronicle the most photogenic battle of the event. A one on one between John & Cassius. You remember, this guy:

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Anyway, when these two fought it was more like they were playing than anything and it tickled me. John started things off right with his most mischievous grin.

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Cassius, of course, responded with a serious business attitude. He is not to trifled with.

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John clearly worked at wearing down his fierce attitude, but Cassius was having none of it.

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Really, they were both quite cheerful.

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Harvest 2013 (Part One)

This past weekend was yet another fighting based event. A camping event, no less. Now, I have declined these pretty steadily every time they have come up but this time I decided to try it out.

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I did not help with the putting up of the tent, John had another manly man (Donald, Kael, if you prefer) to help him with that. So while I can no longer say I have never been camping I can still say I never pitched a tent. (Cue adolescent laughter.)

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Of all the delightful camping companions, Mister Rusty here was my favorite. Sweetest old dog you could ever imagine. That doesn’t come as much of a surprise though, because his owner is a totally awesome lady.

Not so delightful were these guys:

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I only encountered a couple while I was eating in the picnic area but Tati and Rau were King and Queen of the spiders. Their tent was fairly overrun by 8-legged uninvited guests. Together they claim to have vanquished dozens of the tiny menaces.

Easing my way into the wild world of camping was Krystal. I didn’t take a thousand pictures of her this time so you’re just going to have to remember what she looks like. On Saturday we took a nature hike while everyone else was beating each other up with foam weapons.

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The trail we were walking along was frequented by people on horses and that was made evident by the sheer amount of horse droppings. And, more pleasantly, by these:

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We ran into a bit of trouble on the way back. Specifically, my lungs decided to quit functioning. The whole way there was downhill so of course the whole way back was uphill. I needed to stop quite a bit to keep being able to breathe. My asthma was not improved by sitting in front of a fire the night before. On the plus side, I got lots of great pictures while I recovered.

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Ultimately what I learned from my very first camping trip is that I should probably never camp. But if I am going to camp, I should definitely do it in the Spring or the Summer when it isn’t quite so freaking cold.

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More Medieval Rugby (Leo’s Nameday Battle)

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It’s gotten to the point now where I am legitimately happy to go to events. I still don’t want to fight (much to John’s dismay) but you can’t beat the company. Well, actually, you can, but you oughta sign a waver first, cause they’ll want to beat you back.

This event was to celebrate the birth of a great fighter and all around awesome guy, Leo. You can see him in the picture above, grinning as he’s about to be killed. I don’t think he stopped smiling for more than a minute all day. But he’s a jovial sort.

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I brought my best friend Krystal along with me and she wanted to try out a little swordplay. She got comfortable with taking that leap a lot faster than I ever did. And with a little bit of social pressure at work I picked up a sword as well. She wasn’t bad at all. I would prefer not to disclose how I did. Assume as you’d like.

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Fortunately, being behind the camera, I don’t have to worry about any pictures of me with a sword. Phew.

Of the others, though, I have plenty. Here you see Rau catching a spear that had been thrown at him.

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And then, of course, preparing to chuck it back.

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At one point, my husband found himself in quite a difficult predicament. He was facing two kings and missing a leg.

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The results were predictable to say the least.

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The lovely Tati, while not really fighting that day, was a great herald (read: referee) and very willing to pose as well.

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The after party was even more fun, hosted by the totally awesome Fugook, seen here looking like a king of the forest.

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We didn’t get home until well after 2 am and it was a wonder that either of us ever got out of bed today. Though it should be noted that John did go back as soon as he could.

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Medieval Rugby

When I started dating John in 2006, he spent every Saturday afternoon at the park with his friends hitting each other with foam covered pipes. It was piping then and for the life of me I can’t stop calling it that. These days it’s a sport and it’s called a few other, fancier, names but piping is how it was introduced to me and piping it remains.

My enthusiasm has stayed the same but John’s has fluctuated quite a bit. He went from wearing workout clothes and taking duct taped weapons to our local park every weekend to, well, this:

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I have a love-hate relationship with events. I’m not terribly fond of nature and they require staying outdoors all day and sometimes camping overnight. Though admittedly I have yet to agree to actually camp out during a camping event. Last weekend’s event was a day event and totally worth all the time I had to spend outside. It wasn’t the fighting that kept my attention but rather, the fighters. They’re all quite photogenic. And friendly!Image

There were lots of games that I don’t quite understand the rules of just yet and a questionable game involving killing/protecting a balloon baby that I just don’t care for. Here you see the proud papa passing off his child to the worst babysitters you’ve ever seen.

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But the highlight of the day was John being (as I like to put it) jumped into the Grey Wardens. Which is a unit in…you don’t care. And you don’t need to, don’t worry about it. He had to fight about twenty people (rough guess) one at a time, until he managed to kill them all. Some people went down easily, but not Black (note: this is his nickname and not a vague description). This was a common view during my filming:

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Ultimately, though, he succeeded and I was happy to be there for that. I’m sort of negative most of the time but John sees the good side in everything. Even his horrible injury. It looks like a heart. Or so he claims. You can be the judge.

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