- Tournament fighting has a specific set of skills that are related but separate from the manuscripts
- The judges are human, fallible, and doing their best to be impartial and accurate - mistakes are inevitable.
- The camaraderie across the clubs is strong and extends very quickly to welcome new players to the "field".
- The competitive spirit is strong yet it seems no matter who wins, the victory is celebrated wholeheartedly, even in the disappointment for the one who was defeated (I am sure that this experience will be different in other tournaments).
- We need to bring more film equipment.
So we have made it through our first tourney experience as a club. It was overall a great time. we learned a lot, we connected with a lot of great people and saw the sport aspect of "our thing" in full swing - pun intended. Here are a few keynotes that have stuck out in our minds.
What to do when you are "too sore, too tired, too worn, too.....(fill in the blank)" to train. I am no spring chicken, and I am admittedly a bit out of shape, and that means I have a bit of a struggle sometimes with motivation on training days. I often push through and train anyway, but it really is a struggle sometimes. With the upcoming tournament looming I am aware of just how much I need to train. As I sit here drinking my morning coffee, I am feeling like I don't even want to spar tonight at practice.
So how do I resolve this struggle? One answer (and, my typical solution) is to "just do it". Reach down in my Kool-Aid pumping heart and force myself to get up and train. This is great, but sometimes, I don't want to push through. Another answer is to reason with myself about the reward of training and honing my skills. This works too, but often the results are like a long term diet - a fair distance beyond my problem today. That distance makes it easy for me to justify putting it off. Another way is to convince myself of the need to do it. Again a great motivator, but the improvement is sometimes a slow process. Yet another way is to be inspired by others skill or achievement. This is the most encouraging way i know to overcome the Blahs about training. It is a good reason we should all contribute to our HEMA community visually, physically, and with correspondence. The exhortations and celebrations of others are not only a cool a part our community, but a huge encouragement to those of us who need it.
Perhaps i will have a moment to watch a video or read a great encouraging e-mail today about an accomplishment or something
So here we are, less than two weeks before the first tournament our group will have the honor to be a part of. Not only are some of us competing, but we are also running the First Aid station and being the "medic" team for the Event. None of us competing are expecting anything but to make a first step into the Competition scene. We all however are a bit excited and nervous at the prospect of being a part of it.
The big Competition debate is whether tournaments actually impede the spread of the True art or if they aid in the expansion of this thing we do. Both ideas are correct and both are wrong. I feel it is up to the individual artist/player to make the choice to perfect his play to whatever degree he or she wants. We in SRA feel that we ought to compete to aid each of us in that individual "perfection". We have seen instances where people begin to Train themselves only for the competitions. In this way they do perfect a certain skillset and show a great deal of skill, but in our humble opinion, it cheapens the art to reduce it to a sporting event with rules of Points and tallies and lists. All those things have a place in this Art, but to compete is chance to test our mettle not prove our worth.