Kearney tournament was held on 12th and 13th with two full days of fighting. This event was local for us and only 20 min from our front door! To help grow this local event my husband and I hosted as many fighters as we could stuff into our house. The day before the event was set up for anyone who arrived early enough; they set up tents, a barricade for the fighting arena, and much more. We ended up having 9 women in attendance which is a LOT of women fighters. We were able have two teams with substitutes and get some solid fighting in. As the sport is still growing for women we compete 3 versus 3 instead of 5 versus 5 like the men do. Hopefully in 2017 or 2018 we will be competing at 5s because the dynamics and strategy is very different.Regardless it is an exciting time to be involved in women’s armored fighting!
Tournament Day 1
The fights on day one were scheduled to start at 10am and 2pm. They consisted of 2 or 3 rounds of men’s fighting and then 1 round of women’s fighting. It was nice to have some real breaks and to have an early start rather than waiting in armor for 4 hours.
I fought in 2 rounds in the morning. Both of them I got my butt kicked pretty bad by Lillis and Sandra. Lillis spent most of the fights pulling my head every direction since my kettle helm gave her a pretty nice steering wheel.
During the second fight someone’s weapon hit my foot. In the moment you have so much adrenaline that with padding/armor you can’t feel most strikes but I felt this one. Foot protection is optional since it is an illegal target, that does not mean it won’t be hit accidentally. There wasn’t much I could do with three woman pull on my head and hitting me. Hannah eventually pulled me forward and down.
As soon as I took my boot off it started swelling. I spent all of the time between the morning and afternoon fights icing and elevating my foot in the hopes I could put my shoe back on for the next set.
In the afternoon fights I did two rounds with Lisa and Amanda. The first one I walked up to Lisa and asked “what’s the plan.” We didn’t really have one and just looked for opportunities on the field. Steve usually coaches the Ursus fighters and no one stepped up to take that role. Steve keeps saying “The wrong choice is better than no choice.” But every round thus far I didn’t make any kind of decision and just reacted.
During the second round as Pier said “start fight” I reflected on that phrase and then I heard Lisa’s voice from behind me “Go faster.” I was walking along the right side of the barrier and I decided since I couldn’t see Lisa she must be behind me. All three women on the other team were near each other on the barrier so I decided to execute and strategy Steve had explained earlier that day. I rushed to the rail on the opposite side of all three of our opponents hoping Lisa was following me. My plan was to tie up one or two of our opponents and just stay up no matter what while Lisa delivered some pain. It worked! Before I knew it we won 3-0.
A huge take away from this weekend was how much of a different having a plan makes and that of course Steve is right “The wrong choice is better than no choice.” With many fights only lasting 60-120 seconds you need to be decisive and control your opponent.
Tournament Day 2
Because of my foot being smashed, neck strained, and most of the women leaving I decided not to fight on the second day. We did have a photographer available so I decided to gear up and get a few photos taken for Battle of the Nations documentation just in case (and because they are pretty bad ass)! After taking some photos nearby I got word that there was a new guy that wanted to try out some being in armor. I think we got someone in a loaner kit in record time! Everything fit perfectly except the chest piece but we made it work. I’m was thrilled that my armor still got some use on the second day.
Post Tournament Feels
Thank you everyone who came to Fresno to make this tournament happen. Special thank you to Mark for all the hours and logistics to run two days of great fighting. Thank you USA Broadswords for welcoming me onto the field. Your comradery and friendship mean so much to me. Thank you James, Lora, and David for helping me get into armor. Last but not least thank you Tim for the wonderful pictures from this weekend. Until the next time.