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Re: [Authentic_SCA] War and Tournaments

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  • atterlep@cs.com
    ... I have been told that although our wars bear little resemblance to medieval wars, they re not that different from medieval tournaments. Obviously people
    Message 1 of 6 , Mar 30, 2001
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      Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com wrote:
      > A Friend of Mine Baron Garalee (on whom be Peace)once
      > suggested we change the rules of Fighting and have a
      > person once killed in Battle to start over with a new
      > persona. He didn't like Rez battles, as they take away
      > from the finality of death.

      I have been told that although our wars bear little resemblance to medieval wars, they're not that different from medieval tournaments. Obviously people engaged in mock combat in period--and, as yet, I can't think of any disputes between kingdoms that medieval kings would have resorted to real wars to resolve.

      Fairfax
      Some in Caid may have
      > known Garalee (He was a member of the Templars in the
      > LA area). I would also like to See Archery shoots in
      > Calontir be more period than the Royal Rounds and
      > other non period shoots we do.
      >
      > Thorbjorn
      >
    • J. Badgley
      ... How about who owns certain lands in France? Or who is the rightful heir to the throne? Now, granted, I don t think that the kings got together and said,
      Message 2 of 6 , Mar 30, 2001
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        On Fri, 30 Mar 2001 atterlep@... wrote:

        > I have been told that although our wars bear little resemblance to
        > medieval wars, they're not that different from medieval tournaments.
        > Obviously people engaged in mock combat in period--and, as yet, I
        > can't think of any disputes between kingdoms that medieval kings would
        > have resorted to real wars to resolve.

        How about who owns certain lands in France? Or who is the rightful heir
        to the throne?

        Now, granted, I don't think that the kings got together and said, "So,
        Henry, what say you bring your boys down for a bit of rumble, and whoever
        wins gets the kingdom, alright?"

        Now, I have heard of ancient tournaments where a dispute would be
        mitigated by two sides engaging in combat, but I can't find any first hand
        sources for this; at least as to whether or not it actually resolved
        disputes. Granted, I haven't looked too hard.

        Okay, I say that and then look for what books I have around me. In "An
        Historical Guide to Arms and Armour" by Stephen Bull:

        "Tournaments had existed as early as 1100, but at that stage normal
        fighting weapons were employed and the whole thing was regarded as a
        realistic training for war. In the words of Roger de Hovenden, 'A youth
        must have seen his blood flow and felt his teeth crack under the blow of
        his adversary, and have been thrown to the ground twenty times' before he
        was ready to see a real war!"

        Hmmm, hardly sounds like SCA combat there. Going on:

        "By about 1250 it had become established practice for two knights to run
        at each other with blunted lances in a 'joust of peace'... . Foot combat
        or melees often followed mounted jousting... . In a fifteenth-century
        German version--the Kolbenturnier--the knights fought with clubs and wore
        large globular helmets."


        IMHO, there are several parts to SCA combat, but none of it can truly be
        called 'real' combat any more than kendo or fencing could be called
        'real'. We even fall short of most classifications of a 'tournament'.

        For one thing, SCA combat has--as someone has already pointed out--no fear
        of death. BTW, I believe that this is a Good Thing for the Society--we
        don't need to be subjecting ourselves to full-on gladitorial style combat
        to obtain our goals here. Nonetheless, it removes one sense of realism
        from the mix, as is the case with most martial arts.

        Also, a tournament, from what I've read, seems to have had more in common
        with a boxing match--two people went at it until one of them gave in to
        the stress. Strength, endurance, and technique all play a part in such a
        struggle. Also, your weapons and your armour would have helped you in an
        actual tournament.

        In SCA combat, it is often the case that fighters will give up the
        authentic arms and armour for that which is suited to the rules of SCA
        combat. You don't have to worry about a metal sword chewing the edge of
        your shield to pieces, so it can be wood and you are willing to catch the
        blade with the edge, rather than try to catch it with face. Many people
        fight without shin and lower leg protection, because it is not needed to
        win in an SCA tournament--you shouldn't be hit there, anyway.

        Furthermore--and this is a part I have a large problem with--it doesn't
        matter how good your armour is because a killing blow against a suit of
        leather is a killing blow against a full metal breastplate. Granted, the
        reason I am loathe to finish my Japanese armour is because I will then be
        getting out of the nice, safe confines of the plate that I am currently
        wearing, but many people are willing to take the blows in exchange for the
        better mobility.

        Hockey gloves, bar-cages, ABS (called by the local armourers "Awful Black
        Stuff"), and more. In some cases safety dictates anachronisms; in other
        cases, people want something that will give them an advantage. I have
        seen many historical accuracies fall to modern 'improvements' for use in
        SCA armour.

        Still, SCA Combat does several things for us. To begin with, it gives
        us at least an approximation of what it was like to fight in the Middle
        Ages. It may not be 100% accurate, but there are those people out there
        who take the extra step and are trying to recreate actual fighting styles,
        not just what will earn them a crown (although sometimes it leads to
        that). Groups have grown up inspired to delve deeper into the arts of
        combat--be it weapons, armour, fighting, or a combination of these.

        Also, SCA combat is about the pageantry of the Society. It gives us an
        excuse to fly our banners, to cheer for our heroes, to watch drama unfold,
        just like the spectator tournaments of old. If we were simply fighting
        for ourselves, then chivalry would really have little or no place on the
        battlefield. However, we are fighting for everyone. We, the
        fighters--from the greatest to the least--are there to entertain and
        enhance the general enjoyment of the event.

        Why else should someone give a dramatic death, falling to their knees and
        crawling to the sidelines, gasping for breath, only to fall in their
        lady's lap? Why else would we recite our lineage and the battles we have
        won in a hearty challenge to our foe? I think that too many people miss
        out on this point.

        And it is here, that I believe authenticity comes back around full circle.
        What is more pleasing to watch: two men in full plate armour, flailing at
        each other, or two men wrapped in carpet and ductape with hockey gloves,
        multicolored swords, and a smiley face on their shield?

        There are changes I would like to see in SCA combat. Let me see if I can
        put them down in words.

        1) Multiple blows, rather than a single 'killing' blow.
        2) No loss of limbs. If a limb is so affected as to be useless, the
        combatant should no longer be on the field. If someone 'loses' a leg they
        should not be made to kneel: they are either defeated or allowed to
        continue, still standing.
        3) Training. This may just be up here, but I wish that there was more
        formal training, as in boxing, fencing, or in the other martial arts.
        4) Higher armour standards. I would like to see more people in good,
        safe armour. I have seen too many people get 'bit' by poorly made armour,
        and too many people who have fought with the 'bare minimums' that I do not
        think were adequate protection.

        The idea about no-res battles is interesting. It might encourage people
        to take it a bit more seriously. However, with only a single blow to
        kill, I don't know that this is really going to help as much as it could.

        I remember reading about one particular battle in England's civil war.
        The losses on one side were 25% and they were considered to have been
        decimated. Granted, that's probably because most of the army would
        eventually flee, or simply were not killed--perhaps only injured. I doubt
        you'd ever see people running away from an SCA combat, though--at least
        not because of their fear of losing their life.

        Well, I guess I've gone on enough. My stomach is telling me that it is
        going to start into melee with me if I don't get something in it soon, so
        I best end this soon.

        Sorry if this has been long. This is something I've been thinking lots
        about lately, and the ideas are still coming somewhat slowly to my head.
        My apologies if I am somewhat incoherent as well--it has been a long week.

        -Ii
      • wally meeker
        ... What would you do about those fighters who are confined to a wheel chair to fight. We have at least one in Calontir who is a Fyrdman (AoA level Martial
        Message 3 of 6 , Mar 31, 2001
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          --- "J. Badgley" <fsjlb4@...> wrote:
          > On Fri, 30 Mar 2001 atterlep@... wrote:
          >
          > 2) No loss of limbs. If a limb is so affected as
          > to be useless, the
          > combatant should no longer be on the field. If
          > someone 'loses' a leg they
          > should not be made to kneel: they are either
          > defeated or allowed to
          > continue, still standing.

          What would you do about those fighters who are
          confined to a wheel chair to fight. We have at least
          one in Calontir who is a Fyrdman (AoA level Martial
          arts award here) The Chivalrous fighters here go down
          on a knee to engage him. So what would you do here?

          Thorbjorn

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        • J. Badgley
          ... This is a different case entirely. I would, to play the game, be willing to go down on my knees to fight if he wished. This is one of the ways in which
          Message 4 of 6 , Mar 31, 2001
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            On Sat, 31 Mar 2001, wally meeker wrote:

            > What would you do about those fighters who are
            > confined to a wheel chair to fight. We have at least
            > one in Calontir who is a Fyrdman (AoA level Martial
            > arts award here) The Chivalrous fighters here go down
            > on a knee to engage him. So what would you do here?

            This is a different case entirely. I would, to play the game, be willing
            to go down on my knees to fight if he wished.

            This is one of the ways in which our modern society does not reflect
            mediaeval reality, as far as I've seen. Would people who are now in
            wheelchairs have been fighting in tournaments in the Middle Ages?

            Nonetheless, I believe that going down and fighting from the knees or
            fighting with the one arm behind your back because it was lost is a silly
            rule. This is something different: this is someone with a handicap to
            begin with. My main aversion to the former is that someone in such pain
            as to make their limb useless would hardly be in a condition to keep
            fighting. This latter is a case of someone who is not dealing with that.

            And, I hate to say it, but mediaeval tournaments were _not_ equal
            oppurtunity events.

            -Ii
          • wally meeker
            I totally agree with your reasoning. I just wanted to know how you wanted to deal with wheelchair fighters. Thorbjorn ...
            Message 5 of 6 , Mar 31, 2001
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              I totally agree with your reasoning. I just wanted to
              know how you wanted to deal with wheelchair fighters.

              Thorbjorn
              --- "J. Badgley" <fsjlb4@...> wrote:
              > On Sat, 31 Mar 2001, wally meeker wrote:
              >
              > > What would you do about those fighters who are
              > > confined to a wheel chair to fight. We have at
              > least
              > > one in Calontir who is a Fyrdman (AoA level
              > Martial
              > > arts award here) The Chivalrous fighters here go
              > down
              > > on a knee to engage him. So what would you do
              > here?
              >
              > This is a different case entirely. I would, to play
              > the game, be willing
              > to go down on my knees to fight if he wished.
              >
              > This is one of the ways in which our modern society
              > does not reflect
              > mediaeval reality, as far as I've seen. Would
              > people who are now in
              > wheelchairs have been fighting in tournaments in the
              > Middle Ages?
              >
              > Nonetheless, I believe that going down and fighting
              > from the knees or
              > fighting with the one arm behind your back because
              > it was lost is a silly
              > rule. This is something different: this is someone
              > with a handicap to
              > begin with. My main aversion to the former is that
              > someone in such pain
              > as to make their limb useless would hardly be in a
              > condition to keep
              > fighting. This latter is a case of someone who is
              > not dealing with that.
              >
              > And, I hate to say it, but mediaeval tournaments
              > were _not_ equal
              > oppurtunity events.
              >
              > -Ii
              >
              >


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            • caoilte
              ... Besides, If you lost an arm or a leg, your life is about to be measured in very short minutes unless someone gets a tounaquite on quick. Most sword
              Message 6 of 6 , Mar 31, 2001
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                "J. Badgley" wrote:

                > On Sat, 31 Mar 2001, wally meeker wrote:
                >
                > > What would you do about those fighters who are
                > > confined to a wheel chair to fight. We have at least
                > > one in Calontir who is a Fyrdman (AoA level Martial
                > > arts award here) The Chivalrous fighters here go down
                > > on a knee to engage him. So what would you do here?
                >
                > This is a different case entirely. I would, to play the game, be willing
                > to go down on my knees to fight if he wished.
                >
                > This is one of the ways in which our modern society does not reflect
                > mediaeval reality, as far as I've seen. Would people who are now in
                > wheelchairs have been fighting in tournaments in the Middle Ages?
                >
                > Nonetheless, I believe that going down and fighting from the knees or
                > fighting with the one arm behind your back because it was lost is a silly
                > rule. This is something different: this is someone with a handicap to
                > begin with. My main aversion to the former is that someone in such pain
                > as to make their limb useless would hardly be in a condition to keep
                > fighting. This latter is a case of someone who is not dealing with that.
                >
                > And, I hate to say it, but mediaeval tournaments were _not_ equal
                > oppurtunity events.
                >
                > -Ii

                Besides, If you lost an arm or a leg, your life is about to be measured in
                very short minutes unless someone gets a tounaquite on quick. Most sword
                strikes to the extremities would have ended a fight quickly. If it is a
                tournament instead of a battle, wouldn't yielding be apropriate?

                Caoilte
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