Monday, October 24, 2016

King's and Queen's Rapier Champs

Lupold, Caine, Remy, and Malocchio receive words from their Majesties before the Final Four
I am not going to have as many words as several of my friends do, but I think it's important for me to have some.

Remy and Thomas in the final 8. 
I went into this tournament with a lot of good feelings. I haven't been posting about practices, but I've been fighting well at them, and making a lot of good progress. I was optimistic that, for once, my brain would match my skill and I wouldn't think myself out of the tournament.
And it turns out, my optimism was correct!
Lupold and Remy in the final 4, in the longest legged battle.
Mind you, I also worked for that brain. I warmed up in a real way, not just some practice bouts. I ran around the parking lot a bit, did eastern martial arts forms (which will get my blood moving and calm my mind), stretched a lot, and made sure to keep all of that up right until the very last moment. And then once the pools started, I tried to never stop moving. I resisted the urge to watch my brother or my cadet, who were both in neighboring pools. I had a sort of soft focus going on, and managed to have adrenaline, but (mostly) not get the shaky come down parts it.
I ended up winning 7 of 11 matches in my pool, and none of the losses were easy ones. I felt like the others in my pool were worried about me as an opponent. And more importantly, I felt like they should be.
I learned a variety of things from my losses, and will work all of that into my game. And although I was not able to get out of my pool, I was very happy with my performance.

And that was just the beginning of an astoundingly good day. The sweet sixteen was filled with people I care about, all doing wonderful things with swords, all being great people. I watched my brother, Malocchio, climb the ranks, alongside two good friends. I watched them ferociously fight each other, and love every second of it.

Malocchio and Lupold were in the finals together, and I couldn't help thinking about the years it took to get to this place, and watching the newer generation really come into its own. And Lupold won. And then, Malocchio was chosen as Queen's Champion. I'm told, with enthusiasm.
Malocchio and Remy fight in the final 8
And all throughout watching Malocchio win fight after fight I knew that he was going to be receiving a writ for the Order of Defense at the end of the day. And he definitely showed how much he deserved that.

In addition to all the expected tournament and court related goodness, I watched several moving ceremonies in which fencers I respect took on dependents. I'm certain that all of those pairings are going to go great places, and I can't wait to see what those places are.

Lupold defeats Caine in the final 8
I'm already looking forward to next year. Thanks to the rapier community for being awesome.