Winning: Practice

14 Oct 2014 by gebhard, No Comments »


A few weeks ago, I was working with some of our new fighters.  While we were sparring, they seemed stressed and were throwing wild shots. I called hold, and suggested we take a deep breath. We’re all friends, and while we are here, we don’t need to practice winning. We are here to work on skills.

Shortly after I said this, memories came back to me of a time when others said the very same thing to me.  In a correspondence to a friend nearly 9 years ago, I had the following to say:

“Sir Diglach (Sir Dilan at the time) continues to advise me to “not try to win at practice” and to focus on building skills.  Winning or losing at practice doesn’t matter, he says. I respect Sir Diglach’s wisdom on this. This advice is all around perplexing to me, and I’m not sure how to interpret it.

I don’t understand how trying to lose will improve skills. I’m already good enough at losing. It’s the winning I need to get better at”.

It’s funny how much my mindset has changed over the years. Past Gebhard had a few things going against him. For one, he was easily excitable.  High energy and bouncing was often interpreted as aggression.

Past Gebhard had something to prove, and it blinded him.  He loved the image of a fully armored warrior using strength and finesse to best his foes.  Finally the opportunity came in which he could participate in this vision. He didn’t need to prove anything to his opponents, he needed to prove to himself that he could handle this.
Every shot to the head or body proved otherwise.

Over time, his confidence on the list grew, not as much from building skills, although that did happen, but from the friendships he made, the advice he gleaned, and the self interpretation.

Now my goal is always to be a good fight to all those I meet.

For those like myself who have felt they needed to prove themselves worthy of being on the mountain, fear not. For all deeds in arms are worthy.  By virtue of being on the list, you have in fact proven yourself worthy.

There is a time to practice to win, perhaps when you’re getting ready for Crown.  Practice each week is meant as a place to build skills.  “What is it you’re working on?” was a question often asked when I would meet someone on the list at practice. I seldom had a answer for it. Today, I plan out what it is I’m working on ahead of time.

The improvements will come over time, I promise. I know it is often a difficult thing to pick yourself back up and get back in there for more.  As long you keep going back, you’ll one day achieve whatever vision it is you have for yourself.

Picture taken by: Count Cellach of Countess Vukasin and Sir Boris practicing short spear at Flaming Gryphon’s Fight practice.

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