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Calibration problems.

Poster: Billy Palmer <baubai@flash.net>

Good gentles of Atlantia,

Although I now reside elsewhere, I find my heart often still in Atlantia,
and find that an age old problem still haunts my homeland.  In this regard,
I would share some thoughts with you.

Several years ago, I was marshal for Hidden Mountain.  I was informed of a
few problems that involved two immortals amongst my fighters.  One was
actually quite skilled, but was forced to fight intermittently due to a new
job, and the other was simply a legend in his own mind.  How do you approach
such fighters without insulting honor and destroying friendships?  Another
problem is that the new fighters (most of them) needed to rise to the level
of the kingdom, which required no a little bit of travel, which was
difficult due to the natures of our barony of the time.
I decided on a course of action that sidestepped the issue and attacked it
from the side:  I insisted that ALL new fighters must calibrate at every
practice with every new opponent for the day.  Silly? Perhaps.  What this
meant was that all of the new guys would realize just how wimpy they were
hitting and learn to choke it up without whining (I hate whining) and the
experienced fighters were put into a teacher's role by having to explain
it----often.  By putting the older fighters into a superior position, I
stroked their ego, thus not insulting them, but also made them articulate to
the new guys EXACTLY how hard to play, or not play for that matter.
Somehow, both problems went away.

I agree that calibration is a combat skill, but it is one that seems to take
constant thought.  Think of it as pell work for the mind.  I do not think
that experienced fighters need to constantly calibrate, but the active
articulation of it with the new guys reinforces what they should already
know.  Not to mention that the initial six months for the new guys
accentuates just how to judge those subjective blows.

Another thought:  Pain is a neurological phenomena that defies precise
memory.  It is difficult to quantitatively judge pressure without constant
reinforcement.  This is not something that you can learn once and put away.
After having lived in several kingdoms, I have found that, subjectively, we
are not much different in our blow calling.  Funny how the war stories seem
to make it so.

Good luck at the war, Atlantia.  I wish I could fight with you this year,
but final exams must come first.  Strike true.

Roland O'Donnell

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