Week 3 Streams

Second blog of the week! This time it’s dedicated to listing upcoming streams. The focus is on Amtgard and foam fighting. Some of the lists are incomplete but I wanted to get out as much info as I could early enough that it would be useful. To be clear this is just the streams I’m aware of in my region. I am sure there are many more streams being produced through the Amtgard world.

Inland Ocean (Redmond, WA)

IO has two streams this week. One on Friday and one on Saturday. The Friday class will be based on Amtgard classes, put on my Drusk. On Saturday the class will be basic leather tooling put on by Unum

  • Friday April 3rd, 4:30 PM PST: Amtgard Classes by Drusk. Watch it HERE.
  • Saturday April 4th 12 PM PST: Basics on Tooling Leather. Watch it HERE.

Dusk Hollow (Dallas, OR)

DH will have several streams this week but they are not all nailed down just yet. I will update this page as the slots become updated. You can check back here or you can follow the Dusk Hollow Facebook Group for more information. You may need to join the DH Facebook Group to watch the streams.

  • Sunday April 5th, 12 PM PST: Fighting with Vale You can watch it HERE.
  • Sunday April 5th, 12:30 PM PST: How to Bard and How Not to Bard with Punkow. You can watch it HERE.
  • Sunday April 5th, 1 PM PST: Talking with Critias. You can watch it HERE.
  • Sunday April 5th, 1:30 PM PST: Ghouls, Trogs and More with Akryn. You can watch it HERE.
  • Sunday April 5th, 2 PM PST: Chatting with Ozzward and Guests. You can watch it HERE.
  • Sunday April 5th, 2:30 PM PST: Wacky Wizard with Vale. You can watch it HERE.
  • Sunday April 5th,3 PM PST: Fighting with Indra.You can watch it HERE.

One Grind Nation

One Grind Nation plans on doing one stream on Saturday but they have not decided on what exactly or when. They have been streaming for the last two weeks doing random foam fighting AMAs. Saturday Dalos did some video analyzing, which I found informative. Dalos is also doing a big discord birthday party on Tuesday.

  • Saturday April 4th. Time TBD: A stream about foam fighting. Like the One Grind Nation Facebook Page to keep up to date about when the stream will start. They are in the CST time zone.
  • Tuesday April 7th. Time TBD: A big discord get together for Dalo’s birthday. Like the One Grind Nation Facebook Page to keep an eye out for the Discord invite. He is in the CST time zone.

While not a steam. I wanted to highlight another source of online foam fighting information put out by One Grind Nation, Stab Chats, a podcast series. Normally there is a paywall of $5 but they have made all their podcasts available for free through this pandemic. If you like the content you should support them with a $5 a month pledge.

You can find the podcasts on their Patreon page, HERE.

I’m actually listening a Stab Chats while I write this blog, it’s the one on The Book of Five Rings. It’s my favorite book for foam fighting, it also applies to any path, martial or otherwise. It’s worth a look at. The podcast is pretty good and is a good introduction to the book. You can listen to it HERE.

Beer With Baelnorn

Grab a beer and join me on April 9th. I plan on doing an Ask Me Anything stream on Twitch. I will start out talking about event running and probably go into some details about running a feast but it’s still an AMA. That being said we may go off on tangents based off the questions I get.

If you have any topics or questions you’d like covered please feel free to post them or send them to me before the AMA. I’d like to have the chance to be able to answer them with more depth than if it’s a random question asked on air.

I don’t have a specific time on April 9th that I’ll be doing the stream. I was thinking 7 or 8 pm PST. If people would like it earlier because they live out east, I would be willing to change it.

  • Thursday April 9th, Time TBD: Beer With Baelnorn. You can watch it HERE. The channel is named The Real Apathetic Gamer.

If you like my content consider becoming a Patron on Patreon. You can see my Tier 2 and 3 supporters on my Patreon Supporters page as well as find out how to become a Patron yourself.

Amtgard Online Week 2

We are into week two of no meet up Amtgard. I spent a little less time watching videos this weekend than I did the week before, but I still got a few hours of Amtgard watching in.

I also found out, while writing this blog, that Western Wars 17 has been canceled. It was schedule for May. It’s a Belegarth event and this year it was actually going to be pretty close to my house. It’s the one Belegarth event I go to on any regular basis and I was looking forward to it. It also happens to be about the same time as my buddy Gustav’s birthday so it’s sort of a birthday event for him, which makes it doubly sad it’s been canceled.

Last Weeks Streams

On Saturday I watched Dalos’ live stream on One Grind Nation. He did some fight reviews, which was nice to see. I don’t recall ever watching someone review fight videos so it was a unique perspective that I appreciated. It reinforced to me that not being able to see when I fight is a big disadvantage. I’ve missed lots of small clues when fighting because everyone is a big blur to me. For example slight shoulder movements, I can’t see them; angles of feet is hard as well as judging what foot their weight is on. On the plus side it helps me not get faked out as much. They need to really sell it for me to see it. Someday I’ll be able to afford sports glasses and I’ll find out what it’s like to fight while being able to see. You can watch the video of Dalos HERE if you’d like.

On Sunday I watched a few of the Dusk Hollow (Dallas, OR) live streams. If you want to watch the videos you might have to join the Dusk Hollow group page. The first one was a video about making paracord belts. It was put on by Darb and Frye. It looked hard and I’m not sure I have the patience to do it. I’ve done some paracord before but never a full belt. You can watch Part 1 HERE and Part 2 HERE. They were making two belts and giving them away. I put my name in for the multi-colored purple belt and I ended up winning it! I don’t win things often so I was pretty excited.

The next Dusk Hollow stream I watched was the one put on by Critias and Ozzard. The camera was manned by Minerva. The stream was focusing on the mentality of fighting. Most of the talking was done by Ciritias but Ozzward did a bit near the end. Critias talked about overcoming fear and a lack of confidence and used himself as an example. It made me think about about my own state of mind when fighting and I think I’ll be more mindful in the future. You can watch the video HERE.

The last stream I watched was put on by Devry for Dusk Hollow. Gen was the camera man and stand in when Devry needed a person to show examples with. I came into the stream about half way. From what I saw there were two main takeaways, range control and sword placement. Range control is important, he talked briefly about the red, yellow and green zones, but spent a lot more time talking about range by using cones influence. It’s a lot more technical and while harder to grasp and explain it does a better job at explaining what is open at what range and why you should be in what range for what shot.

The second main concept was sword placement and lane control. Both where your sword should be when you guard and when you attack. He talked about not having your hand cross the centerline of your body. Another thing I like that he talked about was that you should be mindful where you place your sword. When you attack, you should try to make sure your sword is placed in such a way that next probable attack by your opponent will be blocked, or that your movement will have to be slight to block it. Something I advocate for. If you’d like to see the video you can watch it HERE.

Personal News

Last week I kind of went off on a tangent about my own fighting experiences so I left out some personal good news. I received my 8th Dragon a week ago via the Silvermoon (Aumsville, OR) online coronation. You can watch that video HERE on the Silvermoon Facebook page. I received the award for my work on the Shattered Kingdoms Wiki. At the time of the award the site had 91 pages and I wrote approximately 80 of those pages.

I’m very happy to have received this award. It makes me closer to a serpent belt, putting me on the knight’s watch list but that’s only half the reason I’m happy. I’m also glad to see that the writing arts are getting better recognition. It has been pretty overlooked for years but it started to change at last year’s Pacific War when I received my 5, 6, and 7th for writing. I really hope this goes beyond just me and others get recognized. Derek Roth comes to mind. he has been writing for years with little award recognition. His writing is amazing and he deserves to be recognized for it.

I’m now on track to become a three belted knight in the next five years, provided I put in the work. As of Winterbash I’m qualified for Crown and my serpent looks like it is closer than I thought it ever would be,, provided I continue to get recognized for my, sadly, non traditional dragon award arts. I already have an idea what I plan on doing for my 9th and 10th award. I’m excited.

My Upcoming Stream

A few months ago I talked about doing an Ask Me Anything stream, I went so far as to hype it up by having people help me decide what I was going to stream, but it never happened, mainly to my own nerves. I’ve decided it’s time to do it but rather than playing a game I will just chat. I’m calling it Beer With Baelnorn. I’ll be drinking beer and chatting. I encourage people to join me in drinking but it’s not necessary. I might also play Amtgard videos in the background to keep it visually interesting.

Yesterday I put out a post asking what people would like me to talk about, sadly I’ve gotten no responses and it saddens me. I would really like to have some talking points before going into the chat, just in case people don’t really have questions. I like to be prepared for things like this. I don’t want it to be boring. So if you have anything thing you’d like me to talk about, such as areas I know, which is considerable, or just want to have my opinion on a subject, I’d like to know.

I plan to be doing this on a Thursday, either April 2nd or April 9th, based on what people think is best. I’m also not sure what time I’ll start the stream, I was thinking 7 or 8 PST but I’d be willing to start earlier to get some of the people out East. I want to get the most people I can to watch. I’ll be using my old gaming Twitch channel to stream it. You can pre-follow the channel HERE.

Next Week

I’m unsure about what streams there are next week. Most people have not announced a schedule but I know Dusk Hollow plans to do some streams on Sunday, they just haven’t announced what yet. To keep informed you can follow their Facebook Group HERE.

Inland Ocean will also be doing at least one stream, leather working, by Unum. They have not announced what time they are going to start or exactly what part of leather working he will be focusing on, but he does do some pretty amazing work. It’s worth keeping an eye out for it. You can follow both their Facebook Group and their Facebook Page for more information.

If I find more streams and get the details about the streams I mention above I will probably make another post this week to let everyone know what is going on this week. Especially if I ended up doing my AMA this Thursday, but chances are it will be next week.

The End

I hope everyone is keeping busy and keeping LARP on their mind. This is a great time to work on arts and crafts and fighting. You can find so many vidoes out there to help you learn just about anything you’d like.

For fighting, watch some fighting videos, analyze fighters. Watch some instructional videos. If you have the time make a pell, you practice your shots and how you engage a figher with your feet. Even if you don’t have the room to practice your shots, you can practice your footwork in your living room or hallways, you might have to get imaginative, but it can be done.

I’d like to hear about what you’ve been up to the last few weeks. I’d also like to hear if there is anything you’d like me to talk about either in an article or in my upcoming stream. I look forward to you helping me to expand my content over the next few weeks.

If you like my content consider becoming a Patron on Patreon. You can see my Tier 2 and 3 supporters on my Patreon Supporters page as well as find out how to become a Patron yourself. I’d like to recognize my newest Tier 3 Supporter, Vale. I really appreciate his and everyone else’s support.

Amtgard, Online Edition

As everyone is probably aware, the COVID-19 virus has shut down in person Amtgard meetings. However that hasn’t stopped people from finding interesting ways to engage in the game. This weekend I was able to get two credits, one for Saturday and one for Sunday, thanks to online meetings.

Last Week’s Streams

On Saturday I watched Oromis doing an online sword and board class for Inland Ocean (Redmond, WA). Guin was the camera person and stand in pell when necessary.

I didn’t get to watch the whole stream but I enjoyed what I saw and asked a question or two. One thing he mentioned was actively blocking with your sword. For the longest time I’ve always been under the impression you should block with your shield while the sword was a bit more passive. This off hand comment made a light bulb in my head go off. I’m excited.

Once we are able to meet again I plan on breaking down my sword and board fighting and reinventing my personal style. One thing I know I’ve needed to do for a while was to get a smaller shield. Right now I use a large medium shield, at least large for my size. I can maneuver around it alright, but I do get tangled up in it a little bit more than I like. I think having one a few inches smaller would be a better fit.

Getting that new shield will help allow me to maneuver my sword better. I plan on translating my single sword to sword and board much more actively. It will be a big mental change that will take time, but I plan on fighting more like I’m using single sword with an area, caused by the shield, that is impenetrable. On paper that doesn’t sound like a good idea but in practice I think it will work well for me, after a lot of practice. I of course will still move the shield and use it to block, but it will be a secondary thought rather than a primary thought.

On Sunday I watched a stream put on by Dusk Hollow (Dallas, OR), It featured Critias teaching fighting in general and answering any questions people had. I missed the beginning of the stream but I watched most of the two hour stream. Ozzward, my Man at Arms, was his fighting partner and Minerva was the camera person.

Critias covered a lot of topics, the main topic was sword and board but he also covered single sword and two swords. People also asked him to demonstrate and explain several fighting aspects. In that way the teaching aspect was somewhat erratic, at least at the point I started to watch. He actually inspired me to want to develop a single sword class. I’m most certainly not the best fighter out there, not even close but I have a lot of theory which I think is valid. I believe I make a good coach.

I got the chance to coach Indra and I’m getting the chance to coach Ozzward and it’s pretty exciting. Right now I’m mostly focused on teaching Ozzward single sword, since it’s the thing I know best; plus a lot of the basics translate to fighting in general. As I said earlier I’m excited to explore a new angle for sword and board. I know the common theory of sword and board and I can teach that but if I can find a way to better translate my single sword style to sword and board I will be ecstatic, but that’s a long road to walk.

My Fighting History

My basic style of single sword isn’t too different from the basic style everyone uses. A lot of it you’ll find in any beginning class for short sword but I focus on important small details and add in some personal touches here and there and I back it up with theory. I took a lot of theory from Musashi, some physical basics from boxing and aikido with a dash of kung fu and karate as well as some of my own ideas. The evolution of my fighting has been long and convoluted.

Unlike the current generation of Amtgard fighters I didn’t have the benefit of the internet to watch videos to learn from. I had to rely on in person meetings and figuring things out myself. In my first several years of Amtgard I learned a lot by trial and error. Gustav and I spent many and I mean many hours of mindful sparing in his backyard. When I mean mindful I mean we would break down our fights, we wouldn’t just fight for an hour. We would try to figure out what worked and what didn’t work. That was a big help in my early years.

My first big jump in skill came after a year or two of playing; I hit a plateau. Around that time my dad started doing martial arts and I was his practice partner. That’s when I learned about the importance of footwork, something I had taken for granted. I had a lot of ingrained bad habits when it came to my footwork and I had to completely relearn how to fight. For the next year or so my fighting took a big dip in performance while I learned how to properly move but once it became more natural I was able to move forward in my technique.

It’s hard to remember exactly what I took from who in Amtgard but I know two early influences were Ursor and Derek Roth. I am certain I did some side work with Ursor when I was younger but it was so long again I don’t remember exactly what I took from him, other being inspired that a bigger guy could become a good fighter. As to Derek Roth I specifically remember taking a single sword class from him at Sword Knight Boot Camp back when it first came to the North West. I believe I took my belief in the importance of returning to guard from him.

Then there is Gustav. He also is someone that is big into theory but he is a better fighter than me. When we started we were on the same fighting trajectory but at one point my desire to fight waned and I didn’t go to Amtgard as much, but he continued. He is actually the person who was able to explain the rapshot to me in such a way as I was able to properly do it. Our sparing through the ages has really helped me and I believe helped him. I taught him some principles he didn’t know and he taught me stuff I didn’t know. It was a true knowledge exchange. We still continue to do this to this day, but not as frequently

It wouldn’t be right of me not mention Freddy. He taught me some fencing techniques that I’ve added to my repertoire. Specifically what became my signature move, a sword side hip shot. I can’t understate how often I’m able to get that shot. It all started because of some basic fencing shots that Freddy taught me. He also made me more mindful of how to properly do a stab. There can actually be more technique to it than simply shoving your sword into someone’s gut (although that’s the basic principle).

Outside of Amtgard I also dabbled in martial arts. I took karate and aikido courses and continued to be my dad’s practice partner. He took Tai Chi for a year or two and eventually became a black belt in Kung Fu. I spent a lot of time working with him and talking theory. I also put a heavy importance on the Book of Five Rings by Miyamoto Musashi. I have read it at least two dozen times, throughout my life if not more. I get something new from it everytime I read it. It’s also required reading for my belted line.

All of this has lead me to where I am now. If I had stayed motivated throughout my life and kept a healthier lifestyle, who knows where I would be, but that is just wishful thinking. I am where I am and I’m excited about where I can go from here. I’m a firm believer that teaching other people is a way to help teach yourself and I’m inspired to teach again. This inspiration has been there for months but it came to a head when watching Critias’ stream. I hope that excitement will carry me through the quarantine and beyond. I really like the idea of my philosophy living on in the fighting of other, more gifted people.

Upcoming Streams

I was asked by Minerva to stream my class for Dusk Hollow next weekend but sadly there is a stay at home mandate, which started monday; it prevents me from doing this. I do not have the ability to stream at home, I do not have a phone stand or an extra person to hold the camera. That just means that I’ll have to do it after the mandate is over. Minerva did find other people to stream so Dusk Hollow will have some classes next Sunday.

Between 12 and 1 pm Darb and Frye will be live streaming a paracord belt class. Then starting at 1pm and going till 3pm there will be several 30 minute fighting streams featuring Torg, Kitfox, Indra (my squire) and Vale. You can find the streams on the Dusk Hollow Facebook Group starting on Sunday, March 29th at noon.

Inland Ocean also has some live streams coming up. On March 28th Drusk will be hosting a class about Amtgard classes. On April 4th Unum will be hosting a class on leather working, he is currently narrowing down the specific topic. Currently the poll that was started indicates it will be about tooling but that could change. You can watch the streams and stay up to date on times on the Inland Ocean’s Facebook Page.

Society for Creative Anachronisms, or the SCA is also embracing the online life with several online tutorials and streams. I don’t know any specifics but if you’re interested you can join their Virtual Classroom Facebook Group for more information. I’m sure they have and will have lots of garb videos and tutorials.

One Grind Nation, or OGN, a group dedicated to foam fighting, also plans on doing several streams. In fact I’m listening to one of their streams as I write this blog. They don’t have a schedule, although Dalos did mention that he was going to be doing a stream on March 28th where he will analyze fight videos. Join the OGN Facebook Page to keep up to date.

There are lots of ways to keep engaged with Amtgard and I hope you take advantage of them. I plan on watching a few streams next weekend but I’m not sure which ones. At the very least I want to catch the OGN video, they might be reviewing a video of Darb and Critias that I submitted.

If you like my content consider becoming a Patron on Patreon. You can see my Tier 2 and 3 supporters on my Patreon Supporters page as well as find out how to become a Patron yourself.