ISMAC 2008

I am now sufficiently rested up enough to feel like sitting infront of
my monitor and giving a recap of the latest ISMAC.

First off, the new location…The Westin Hotel at the Detroit Metro
Airport….very nice hotel and great convention level that we
basically took control of until the wee hours of the morning each day.
Unlike at Lansing where everything was spread out into different
buildings or the Marriot of last year where the roms were fine but we
lacked a central point to sit and talk between and during
classes…this year we were all on one floor and there was a real nice
big area for us to sit, talk, eat and drink, and drink.

The only downfall was the food situation…since this was a Hotel at
an airport the only food available beside the way overpriced hotel
food was either via delivery or going through the TSA checkpoint and
hit one of the many restraunts in the terminal. I foresaw this problem
and brought a good bit of food along with me, one trip to Walmart to
top off my supplies and I ate cheaper this year than I thought
possible.

Thanks to Kirk and Mark, I was actually ontime this year for the meet
and great and the Patri P. charity auction that did very well. I
imagine if there is another one next year it will do even better.

It seems that lack of sleep and alcohol were my demons this time
around. Thursday night after vowing not to touch a drop, Tom Badillo
slipped me a beer with some date rape drug in it and while I kept my
virtue intact, it seemed to open up the beer floodgates.

Needless to say, Friday morning…bad hang over. I was up early but
had nothing until my class on Sambo after lunch (yes i made the
suggestion afterwards, no wrestling right after lunch) The class went
well and was alot of fun but draining for me. Later i had my eye on 2,
1 1/2 hour classes but somehow Jared roped me into the Duelling shield
class which was a 3 hour monster. Very very cool class, if I had more
ambition i might make a pair ( I still might) to play with at home.
Paul Macdonald assited by Jared Kirby did an excellent job at
conveying the power of this unusual weapon/shield. I enjoyed it more
than I thought I would. After 3 hours holding those monster up, I was
beat.

Friday night I decided that rum was a better fit for me than the beer
the night before, I was wrong. DIfferent sort of hangover I suppose
but still an all day bad one. In the first slot were three of the
classes I wanted to attend most, Bob Charron teaching Ligadura, Craig
Johnson with his Unusual weapons class and Sean Hayes with his Italian
Polearms…in the end I decided on Bob’s Ligadura since he was out
here a few months ago and some of the material was still relatively
fresh in my mind. Very good class, 3 hours long but it really went by
quick witha good retention rate for me. I missed Tim’s Passchen and
Petter class due to my inability to read a schedule. By the time my
class, the Fine art of Fibbing rolled around I was nearly asleep but
thanks to Kirk keeping me alert and helping out with some material
from his Banned from Boxing book http://www.lulu.com/content/1374565 I
think it went well.

So Saturday night rolled around and for sure I was skipping on the
drink and I did a good job of that unfortunately Jared had a guitar
and there was much singing and for some reason I stayed up to 5
AM…without even taking a drink to blame it on. But really if you
were having a sing-a-long with James Loriega, would you go to bed
early?

Up bright and early at 7 AM due to my total inability to sleep in
hotels….it was clear that I should have slept in but at 9 AM I went
to Craig Johnson’s Montante class. Excellent class, I had watched it
last year and was looking forward to taking it this time around, sleep
or no sleep. Finally a longsword style that seems comfortable to me.
My intro to savate class was up last and we took it easy but still
covered alot of ground.

I would have liked to take more classes but felt it was better to
concentrate on those I was teaching before blowing out all my energy
on classes that interested me. Regardless of my idiocy, Jared and John
and their whole staff of folks and monkeys did a great job again this
year, making us welcome and putting everything together. They were
unable to fulfil my request for a one legged hooker this time around
but there is always next year.

So it may sound like I am a bit of a lush but to be honest I hardly
ever drink therefore it does not take much for me to over do it. So
next year wine perhaps?

Ken

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