Having a Grand Day

12 Jan 2016 by gebhard, No Comments »

12265945_1642982065984149_8890926099617996510_oI think Grand Day of Tournaments may have been the most fun I’ve had at a tournament event to date. I know that it’s a few months overdue, but sometimes it’s good it let things settle out before making your “Best Of” lists.

First, I should start by thanking Jason Ironfist. I had forgotten my elbow cops at home, and he loaned me his. Jason has been an unbelt I’ve admired for a long time, someone really should knight that guy.

I, as I always do, had a great time in the Tournament at Grand Day. I love the betting pools. I think they are a great way for non-fighters to get engaged with the fighting, and even to learn the names of the fighters.

I had a whole day of great fights, all hard but clean. You can’t ask really ask for better.  
12240361_1642981969317492_2637471114645233754_oBut what made a great day an amazing day was getting to geek out over fighting with Sir Jocelyn.

Sir Jocelyn has always been a bit of a legendary figure for me. Back in the fall of 2007 my Barony hosted Fall Crown.  It was the first Crown I ever attended. I was on staff but I think it was clean up or something that didn’t interfere with watching the fighting.  


I don’t remember a great deal, other than I was really impressed with the day overall, and there was one fighter I was really impressed with. It was mostly because he had a really awesome kit and wore a lot of plate. Part of the reason I joined the SCA was to wear armor. Armor is, in fact, awesome. It wasn’t until late in the tournament I learned the fighter was female. I can be a little thick sometimes, I do get hit in the head a lot.SirJoscelynleJongleur

When they were announcing the finals, a voice came from behind me. “If she wins, we’re going to have a problem with Pennsic this year.”

I’ll be honest, I expected some sort of sexist comment.

“Oh?” a second voice asked.

“We’ll have no one to fight.  Who wouldn’t rally to the banner of a Warrior Queen?” said the first voice.

This made me realize a number of things.

1.)What’s printed on the most badass business card of all time.
B.)That the SCA was the accepting place that it appeared to be when I joined

1680282653_d683727245Even though Sir Jocelyn did not win, not very many people win their first time in the finals. I went to Spring Crown the following year with my big dumb smile, doe-eyed, and a “Sir Jocelyn #1” large foam finger and jersey to sit near the list and cheer on my now-favorite crown participant. Real life had pulled her away, she didn’t fight in the following crown. Our paths didn’t cross again for a long time.

Fast forward eight years.  I was at Spring Crown after the reign of Cellach and Vukasin. I was talking with one of the greatest fighters in our game, Duke Brannos, about fighting.  He told me I had a similar problem with a certain fighter he worked with in past, Sir Jocelyn. I don’t know if I lit up like a Christmas tree on the outside, but I certainly did on the inside. Who knew having a similar problem could be such a compliment. But it was. If I’m doing something wrong like her, and she made the finals of crown…I must be doing something right!

I’m not saying that’s the most sound logic.  I was little star struck with the idea that she and I could be doing anything alike.

Another six months later, she and I got to talk a little in line at Coronation Tournament, but I didn’t get to speak with her at length until Grand Day.

It turns out we do we have a lot of in common: an endless enthusiasm for the fight, for armor, and for the great joy that fighting brings.

The SCA is amazing place. Newbies get to play alongside our biggest stars. Imagine being a high school basketball player and getting to play on the same team with Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan or Larry Bird. Yet, this is what our game allows to happen. The SCA allows us to not only have heroes, but fight alongside them. And by our deeds, maybe even become one ourselves.

You never know who is watching.

crown2007

2007 Midrealm Fall Crown Final

Congratulates to Jason Ironfist who was placed on vigil for the Order of Chivalry at Grand Day of Tournaments 2015.

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