At any rate, it was not one of my best nights, but at least I was out there. One of the things that we discussed is that I need to work more on my "B" range game. Of course, that has always been my bane. (And now the entire world knows it. So there.)
It isn't so bad in the sense that at least I currently have a "B" range game. Heck, at least these days I have a "B" range game. There was a time I did not have one. You see, when I started, and for a long time, I had an "A" range game, and a "C" range game, but no "B." What does this mean? It means that I either hanged out entirely out of your range ("A" range), or I went immediately inside your range ("C" range). And by "C" range, I mean really, really on your face while getting your guts for garters.
The latter worked very well when I got inside my opponents blade, that is provided I did not get killed in the way in. That means that 50% of the time I got impaled into my opponent's blade. Hence, my need to learn the "B" range game as well.
These days I have good days and bad days, just like everyone else. However, the "B" range game still frustrates the heck out of me. You see, if you give me a dagger and nothing else -- and by that I do not mean rapier and dagger, but dagger and bare hand, I know exactly what to do. Yes, boys and girls, give me a short little dagger and I know exactly where to put it. I know that I am going to win that bout and that very few people can get away from me.
No, that is not to say that I will win all the time, but that I know without a doubt that I will be able to best a good number of people most of the time. Why? I don't know. All I know is that I know I can do it.
Now, when it comes to regular blades, I do not have that certainty. And by regular blades I mean anything longer than 30." For some reason, I can feel reasonably confident with a single smallsword. Perhaps it is because I tend to use a smallsword like a dagger and, being a smallsword, it does lend itself for that kind of use. It is not perfect, but it works for me. Not as beautifully as a dagger, but it is the next best thing.
Nevertheless, I feel frustrated because I don't want to become a "One Trick Horse," meaning by that someone that can only rely on one weapon's form. Therefore, I need to master my anxiety for the longer blades and work around my fears and my insecurities -- not to mention that I get killed most of the time in the "B" range. And no, I am not afraid of my opponent's longer blade. Au contraire, I love it when my opponent has a blade that is actually longer than mine (can anyone say "C" range?). It is simply that I want to not just rely on my short weapon vs. the longer. I want to be able to feel the same confidence with a rapier and a second weapon as I feel with a dagger or smallsword, or a case of daggers.
ballistabob keeps reminding me that I lost a year and a half of real practice. That was the year of the mastectomy when, although I kept showing up for practice, I had to basically re-learn everything from scratch while training an entirely new group of muscles for the job. This is basically true, but I am finding myself at a point in which I really need to get around this mental slump in order to master my rapier.
At this point, I will have to practice a lot of patience. I need to go out there and do what I have to do until it becomes as much of a second-nature as a pair of daggers. I will get hit a lot. I will be frustrated a lot. All I can hope is that at the end of the day, I will bring my game up another notch.
Here's looking at you girl.