21 Oct
2014

What are you working on?

doom02

There is a fighter whom I shall call Fitz. Fitz is a figment of my own imagination, however Fitz’s story may sound familiar. At some point, we have all likely been Fitz.

Fitz attends a fight practice with 6ish fighters on a good week. There is a local knight who is semi-active.

On Fitz’s first night, he was taught the basic blows. In a short time, Fitz also picks up wrap shots. Fitz comes every week to practice and fights hard and wants to win every fight. Fitz has some natural speed and after about a year wins a novice tourney.

However, the next few years come and go without Fitz winning any other tournaments or receiving any other fighting awards. There have been improvements over the last some-odd years, mostly in defense since those are automatic responses gained from helm time. But nothing radical. Fitz has stalled, and it seems like Fitz’s skills will forever remain somewhere over novices and beneath GOA level fighters. Read More »

14 Oct
2014

Winning: Practice

vuk

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”. Read More »

8 Oct
2014

Fun for all ages

1962142_10100975806742644_1348592274221194475_oSometime ago, someone told me the SCA is no place for children, that they should be left at home, and the SCA was fun adult time, children get in the way and spoil the fun.

Someone else responded, “Maybe so, but if you have men and woman, then it won’t be very long until you have children.”

The SCA is one of the largest re-enactment organizations in the world.  I think this is because our rules are pretty abstract. We only require someone make an attempt at a period outfit to play. This allows to the SCA to be many things to many different people. To me, it’s always been something I could do with my children.

It is my goal to do what I can to make the SCA fun for everyone of all ages. Read More »

2 Oct
2014

Year One

tirnewydd3In digging around doing research for a different project, I ran into some old writings of mine. They are from what was my MySpace page from year I started in the SCA. For those who do not know, MySpace was once an uglier version of Facebook or G+.  Only we didn’t know it was ugly at the time, since nothing better was out yet.

Within the internets past, I found the words from my very first event, Ceilidh XIX. I wasn’t even authorized to fight yet (that happened at Baron Wars a week later). Read More »

30 Sep
2014

One Year

cupcakeThis blog started roughly one year ago. One week before Red Dragon, Prince Cellach and I held the field at Nigil’s and Adrielle’s Coronation as two of the chivalric virtues. This was one of the best days I’ve had ever had in armor.

Read More »

23 Sep
2014

Opossum and Circumstance

parkI’ve recently found myself between jobs.  This gives me to time to do housework, fix my armor, work on side projects, and take my dogs on long walks in the park in the Fall.

I have two dogs, a Basset Hound named Rufus and a German Shepherd named Alex. I jokingly think of them as my hunting pack, and I have a bayer and a tackler, both critical parts of the team needed to take down large game. If I tried to take them hunting, I’m pretty sure Rufus would just lead Alex to nearest fast food restaurant where he can exercise his centuries’ old skills and breeding excellence by looking adorable and begging for food. Research needed to be done, if I was going to have my own hunting pack. Read More »

16 Sep
2014

Footprints

picketwiretracks_wiki_-cm195902Part of my childhood was spent near Denver, Colorado. While it’s been a very long time, and I no longer remember exactly where, I recall there is a highway along the foothills where as you drive you’ll pass a giant footprints in the side of the hill.  Growing up, I loved dinosaurs and seeing their footprints made them seem like something only recently gone as you heard so much about them, much like WWII, The beatles or Woodstock.

I would often wonder what was it like in their day (the dinosaurs, not woodstock). If I were to go back to their day, could I make it? If they were here now, what could we learn from them? Did they have zebra stripes? Were they blue and hot pink? Fun things for a young man to think about.

I find this an interesting thing about how we keep of track of time. There is what I can remember, and everything before that falls into the same lump of “before my time”.  When looking at a footprint, it’s hard to get a feeling for just how long ago was it left behind.

A short time ago, I was at an event.  Talk turned to events “before my time”.  It seems some old film of early tournaments had surfaced. “I could have won crown then, and you, and you, and anyone. They didn’t throw off side shots then and barely moved.” Read More »

9 Sep
2014

Tournament Of Chivalry

Image3I used to dread TOCs. Some years ago, I skipped a lot of them. Before I get into how I stopped being afraid and learned to love the TOC, I should cover a little history about them.

Before the Tournament Of Chivalry, Unbelts had to gain renown (word fame or name fame) throughout the fighting community if they wished to be considered for Knighthood. This was problematic in the early years of the Middle Kingdom when it could be several hour’s drive to the nearest knight.

The most significant thing an Unbelt could do to gain renown was to fight in Crown Tournament.  The King and Queen invited a list of worthy fighters, and that list was published for all to see in our newsletter, The Pale. Read More »

3 Sep
2014

What are people saying: about you?

Image5Renown (Name Fame or Word Fame) is perhaps the currency of everyone in the SCA (and maybe in life as well). If I asked, what is it people say about you? What would the answer be? Read More »

26 Aug
2014

Winning Renown

joustEveryone wants to be a winner,  After all winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing. In our culture, we have a become accustomed to a winner-take-all attitude. It hasn’t always been this way.  In the SCA, this isn’t really our collective attitude. It is something often seen in sports, games and Business Weekly.  Any time I do run across it in our sport, it seems as out of place as a pink lawn chair at a Rose Tournament.

In period, all deeds of arms came at some risk to your person. Without modern medicine, even a small cut, or a sprain could escalate to the point it would end your career or your life. Those bold enough risk their very person for a cause were worthy of admiration. Taking part in such deeds built your renown (word fame or name fame).  This resulted in accolades and appreciation by your local authorities and/or crown.  Renown led to promotions, lands, or better marriages.  More comes to those of high renown. Those who do more are more worthy.

How was renown built in period? Let’s take a brief look at a period example. Read More »


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