26 Sep

Running up stairs, push-ups and punching cows

Winning isn’t something I think about when considering whether to participate in a competitive activity. It is either worth doing or it isn’t. 

In competition, my opponent shows me where my faults are.  I adapt and adjust as best I’m able. Either I’m satisfied with the results or I try again to prove my theories, then refine my improvements.

Winning is often dependent on factors you can’t control:

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14 Aug

You Never Know Where Your Path Will Go…

At one of my early Pennsics I wandered out to the list field to watch a series of battles. Being fairly new to the SCA, I was interested in everything but understood very little of what was going on. The list had a large crowd, banners and cheering. It was everything you would want as a spectator.

However, what I saw left an impression on me that I remember to do this day.

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25 Jun

Paper, Rock, Scissors, Sword

One of the greatest things about SCA combat is also one of the worst. Unlike other martial arts, we lack a defined fight style.

We aren’t boxed in, as there is no specific “the way” one must follow when learning to fight. We can figure out what works best for each of us, and our unique body shape, size and mental game. The down side is without a fight system, advice received can often be contradictory and frustrating.

I thought it might be a fun exercise to define some simple fight styles fighters might fall into. This has the benefit of helping the fighter evaluate others in terms of looking for people to learn from by watching, fighting and/training with them.

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18 Jun

Cheat Codes

Up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A, Start. It’s one of the most widely known cheat codes, known as the Konami Code. It’s been used in more than 30 video games, but most notably it gave you 30 extra lives in Contra. This video game was fairly difficult and took a bit of time and practice to complete. Having 30 extra lives certainly expedited that process.

Most of us in the SCA are familiar with video games like these, and are aware of the concept of cheat codes. Sometimes it seems as though we are quick to start looking for the easy codes to let us quickly unlock our goals, without staying the course and putting the time required to develop them at whatever rate is we are able to learn?

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4 Jun

Longswords vs Zweihanders

Recently I was asked what seems like a simple question. Do period sword techniques translate for swords around (48 inches) or great swords (6 feet or longer)?

I asked if they wanted the short or the long version, they said “Long”, So let’s dive in!

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23 May

Always be a Unicorn…

Several times in the past I have fought for Az in Crown. As the spring Crown approached, Az asked if she could for fight me. Why not? It’s certainly a core experience to the SCA, the very idea behind its creation. Why not participate in Crown Tournament? It’ll be fun.

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18 Apr

All in harness are worthy

Image by: TwoRavens.org

The list field should be a place where all fighters are welcome regardless of whatever background they come from. When one group of fighters talks down to another, likely without knowing it, the result can lead to pushing fighters out of our sport.

Often this happens with the best of intentions.

I would like to ask fighters to take a moment to think about this situation and consider their role. This isn’t a call out. No single person is to blame.  We all are to blame to some extent, either by doing it or allowing it. Silence can often look like acceptance.

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24 Feb

Mind the Drop

At a recent event I was talking with a fighter on the side of the list. At a point in our conversation she told me that she enjoys fighting her friend. She wants them to do well, and they are determined, and have a goal. Who is she to stand in their way of achieving their goal?

I can say I have also felt this way in the past, is this a mentality can that leads to the best results in your personal fight?

Before I dive into that, let’s look at another similar example.

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28 Aug

How Getting Peered Works Mechanically

There seems to be a number of questions and confusion about about how getting peered works.
What roles do the King and Queen play?
How do members the orders  play into the process?
What is the poll?

These are many questions we’ll explore together, as we review the mechanical process of becoming a peer.

“How do I become a peer?” is an on going question. It has a complicated and personal answer, but, until you understand this process, any advice on that front will be inaccurate.

What is the peerage process? Read More »

23 Aug

But there is I in PIE

For whom do you fight? Do you fight for yourself? Or for something else?

Tournaments provides an opportunity to gain renown for yourself and your consort. It is a good thing to fight in tournaments.

On the other side of coin, being part of something bigger is what attaches a lot of fighters to the SCA. For a good number of fighters, large melees are the highlight of what we do we in the SCA.

What other sport can you play along with the biggest legends of the game?

At the end of the day back in camp no matter what happened there is always a story of, “No Shit, there we were, and we turned the corner and there they were, at least two hundred of them!”

A lot of people believe in what we do so much, they dedicate many hours attending what I can only think of as the most boring board meeting, at the happiest place on earth. To put together a plan that will hopefully give our side and edge and win the day.
Read More »

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