SCA "Combat"

SFC JeffJ

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Several years ago, I used to be heavily involved in the SCA, primarily for the combatives therein. Both the heavy fighting and the fencing.

Now, it was a great experience (I even met my wife on the field and she kicked my butt), but the fighting, especially with "swords" really didn't reflect how to fight with a real sword. I learned a lot about fighting with a stick or other bludgeoning weapon.

I'm curious to other peoples thoughts on this, and also other resources for training in western sword. I have a large library of fighting with the rapier, but I'm looking more for earlier period and more martial weapons.

Jeff
 

Dave Dickey

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Hey Jeff, for starters you should check out www.thearma.com and www.aemma.com also purpleheart armoury for resource material.

You got me with the SCA "combat" topic. I have been "dealing" with it for quite a few years. People constantly ask me "are you guys SCA or Markland?" I say NO, we do it for real. I think the whole concept of what goes on in those 2 organizations can be a lot of fun for some people. You meet a ton of people who for the most part are cool. And like you said you got lucky! :)

I think the systems could be better considering everyone is suited up with armour. I think if the rattan was smaller (not much) in diameter, you could extend the rules to hitting the entire body. Also the shield training needs to be updated to more of a real type of use. You got all that armour, use it and care a little less about getting hit and a little more on technique!

:)
 

lklawson

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SCA Combat: Well, it's better 'n nuth'n and it introduces a lot of people to the idea that WMA was more than just a bunch of yahoos whaling the crap out of each other with sword-shaped crowbars.

WMA Training: Depends on where you're at. Besides the two organizations that David mentioned, there are a number of stand-alone schools/salles out there. Any one of them may (or may not) be near to you and may (or may not) be teaching something that you're interested in.

One useful resource (though not 100% comprehensive) is the WMA map at frappr.

http://www.frappr.com/wma

You might be able to track down someone close to you.

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk
 

Cryozombie

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I'm curious to other peoples thoughts on this, and also other resources for training in western sword. I have a large library of fighting with the rapier, but I'm looking more for earlier period and more martial weapons.

Jeff

I posted on this before in the sword art forum, but I was goaded into a "swordfight" with an SCAesque yahoo at a party... (some offshoot organization like dagohier) he was one of the more experience higher ups in their "nation". He found out ive done some sword work and he took his "padded" sword (those things hurt) and repeatedly smacked me in the thigh saying "come on, duel me" "Come on duel me"

Finally I said, OK. So they gave me a "sword", and we faced off, he did a wayyyy overextended attack, I avoided it and WHAM! to the side of his head. He cried like a little schoolgirl that I broke the rules about hitting to the head. I told him I dont "play sword" I do "sword combat."

I wasnt impressed enough with what the troops better swordsman could do so I never played sword with them again. I admit it looked like fun... but I dunno about all the rules and silly stuff... and from what I have seen, I dunno how real the techniques are for learning western sword. Course, it could have just been that one group.
 

Brian R. VanCise

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I have never done it but I imagine that it could be a fun recreational activity. However, with the growing number of WMA schools I think that you could find some serious training out there if you are willing to look. Plus there is always fencing to really expose you to WMA sword work.

Techno, there is certainly a differance between what you do and what somone does who has little or no training. Definately that was not a fair exchange. (however, I am sure you appreciated your Bujinkan based sword work more afterwards :ultracool )
 

tradrockrat

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I was involved in SCA for a few years, and I have a few friends who are seriously involved (mercenary scum that they are...) and I'll tell you, the biggest laugh I got out of it was their attitude of "Boy, we'll show you MA's how real combat works!" (sound familiar? LOL)

I loved the fun and I considered it a sport and - most importantly - I got to hit people real hard with sticks and not go to jail. All strikes were legal except to the knees and below. It feels good to take a full shot to the ribs in a lorca and keep fighting - too much fun!

My experience goes a little something like this: At first I was most comfortable with the "quarterstaff" and used it as a longstaff. In very short order I was "requested" to do this thing right and start with sword and shield like everybody else. My best friend involved just laughed and told me it was because I schooling the "pros" in one on one combat. I'm not sure that was true, but there was a lot of grumbling. In group work I actually learned a lot from these guys.

It honestly took me two months of real training with the sword and shield before I was able to reliably use the techniques and begin to pick up on the group tactics my friends trained in - It was HARD! Anybody tells you this stuff is easy is too busy "sirah" -ing and bowing to practice like my friends did.

A barely related side topic - Once I was "confronted" by a very opinionated yet respected SCA fighter who proceded to tell me that because he trained "live" he could kill me with a rattan stick even though I had a Kukri in training bag right there with me. I just smiled, said maybe and went to leave but the guy actually got in front of me like he wanted to prove it! Just bizzare. My good friend pulled him aside and explained the situation (I'm pretty decent with a Kukri) and a crisis was diverted. ;)
 

Dave Dickey

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Trad, your experience is not unusual. Unfortunately there are some people from these groups who take themselves way too seriously. It is after all not REAL swordfighting they are doing but the do it for so long and get a reputation in their group, that they actually think they are "all that".

This kind of attitude turns some of us off as to seeing any real skill they may have.
 
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SFC JeffJ

SFC JeffJ

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Thanks for the links and the comments.

From what I've seen so far, I think I'll get involved with ARMA.

One funny thing about the SCA, I'm pretty much persona non-grata in it anymore. At least around here. My wife is the ex of one of the "big" names in the Midrealm. I'm sure some of you who were involved in the east would have heard of him.

Jeff
 

Dave Dickey

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Hey Jeff, Since you are thinking of ARMA I thought I would point something out. If you get a chance to meet John Clements, first tell him I said hi, he has done a couple of articles in my magazine, second, watch him at work. He is FAST. WOW.....small guy and extremely fast....and good....He is very open about his feelings and sometimes appears harsh but that is just his way. I am like that myself.

You can learn a lot from him.

:)
 
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