Definitional arguments are always a morass.
Definitional arguments are always a morass.
I hear what you’re saying, but I still love paintballing despite having been a Marine, and on an SRT team as an LEO.
There are definitely differences...and I do make fun of myself all the time for being a Larper, but I still get a degree of usable training out of it. Not to mention its fun.
I guess the same could be said for the SCA or any other weapons re-enactment fighting group...I still think the 2chux sparring looked good, and being on the field with that many people hitting each other would be pretty intense as well.
I would imagine with being on the field with that many players fighting at one time you would have to learn not to fixate too much on one opponent/target for very long or you may find yourself wacked hard and on the ground? I think this is somewhat useful in real world situations. I have heard many LEO and military trainers warn that during stressful combat situations it is easy to get tunnel vision, and/or experience both audio and visual exclusion. I could see this being useful if in a crowded bar/nightclub or sporting event that gets violent.
And again, if it’s fun who cares? As I said in the 1st thread…larping at its finest. I generally don’t like to debate the merits of anything like this for self-defense because (and this is just my opinion from life experience) the best self-defense for me has always been situational and environmental awareness, avoiding problem area’s when off duty, and sometimes carrying a fire arm.
And lord, I could tell you stories about the training some people put into this game. Heck, I could tell you about the training I have put into this game. The people who put that kind of training and dedication in are the kind of people who wind up becoming knights and kings and dukes.
I think part of the problem might be in the presentation and perception. Since the SCA is by tradition an inclusive organization, everyone who passes the basic authorization test is allowed to take the field against everyone else.
For every SCA fighter who just does it as a "fun sport," I"ll bet there's someone in a gi in a McDojo putting in no grater effort. And for the percentage of people who reach the top levels of what you consider martial arts by training and studying as hard and seriously as you say one should to be considered a martial artist, I would say the same percentage of fighters in the SCA train and study just as hard.
I'll go out on a limb here and say an art is an art, and it is up to the individual how well they want to practice it, and how much they want to become an artist.
YouTube- Bellatrix on 2H Sword
Incidentally, the guy in white is a Marine sergeant, Gulf War, front line vet.
YouTube- Gryffith and Ice Falcon EK finals Oct 08
Fighting in the rain. If their helmets weren't stainless, it would be called "rust chicken."
When I was young, and first started getting interested in "martial arts", it's fair to say the term was generally applied to Asian fighting systems: judo, karate, TKD, etc. If someone had suggested wrestling or boxing was a "martial art" they would've been looked at funny. Wrestling and boxing were clearly sports. At best the claim would've gotten a "well, in the broadest sense, yes wrestling and boxing are martial arts." Now, at least among most serious martial artists if not the general populace, that inclusion of wrestling and boxing under the umbrella of "martial arts" is practically a given.
One term I always liked, but never seemed to catch on in the States, was "combat sport." Would you prefer to consider SCA fighting a combat sport? Why or why not? If so, then I would ask you to consider the real differences between terming an activity a martial art versus a combat sport.
This is why definitional arguments are always a morass.
Is Sumo a martial art? Is capoiera a martial art? Is Mongolian wrestling a martial art? Is kyudo a martial art? Is Olympic TKD a martial art? Is fencing a martial art?
Is kendo a martial art? I ask this specifically because I see many similarities between the videos posted above and a kendo match. It's not 100% the same, but there are many similarities. Kendoka wear armor. Kendo uses sticks in place of swords. Kendo strikes full force with the sticks. Kendo has rules for safety to restrict targets and prohibit certain behavior (e.g. no trips, sweeps, or throws). Moreover, it exists in an artificial environment: most kendo matches do not occur in a muddy field with uneven terrain.
Please note: I do think all of the above are martial arts, but I'm not saying all of the above are equally effective methods of killing people. I don't believe that is the sole arbitrating factor in declaring a physical activity a martial art. And the question of whether or not a particular art is a worthwhile martial art is another analysis entirely.
In these videos, I see a full-contact competition involving two or more actors in which the sole objective is to directly and physically dominate the opponent(s). Sure, the costumes are a little "out there" and the Monty Python-inspired rule about fighting on your knees seemed strange: but -- at this point -- it sure looks like a martial art to me.
Not to be rude, but: I don't think your argument has risen above the level of "I don't think SCA rules fighting is a martial art." And you avoided answering two of Zorikh's questions:
Perhaps trying to provide the analysis that Zorikh requested would help clarify your ideas for the rest of us.Quote:
And then tell me what it is about SCA combat that makes it different.
Also tell me if you see anything that makes it similar.
I look forward to you two gentlemen persuading me which position is correct.
I think of it as martial practice. Swat Teams use simunition or paintballs, real bullets...well, I'm alergic to them lol. And a live blade would suck also. Think of it as fun with practicle benefits...that is if you like the rule set.
As I said Dagohir wasn't for me...SCA looks good though.
I will not go too deeply into this topic, since it has been discussed more than enough on other forums.
BUT, I will say this. No, SCA Heavy Fighting or Single Combat is not Martial Arts due to the following reasons.
There is not a single style or defined set of techniques.
It is not designed for killing or maiming.
The fighting style is heavily and unrealistically affected by both equipment (weapons and protection) and the rules.
There are more reasons why I think so, but these three are quite enough. Counted together I can see no justification for calling it a martial arts.
Combat sports I am fine with. Possibly even modern Martial Sports, just as I regard Kendo and sports fencing.
Finally, SCA Cut & Thrust is interesting since many of them actually try to study the old masters and some are doing a good job.
I also know that there are HC fighters who do likewise and are very good at what they do. But, as a whole no, SCA HC is not martial arts. TuChux and EMP are closer though.
I should perhaps mention that I have no experience of SCA myself, but I have talked more than a little, and quite deeply with SCA fighters and I can certainly respect what they do. However, even amongst them there seems to be little consensus on what to call what they do. Many of them would not like to call what they do martial arts or historical. SCA fighting simply cannot be defined easily, since it consists of so many styles and little is defined in larger contexts.
And, there is nothing wrong with martial sports. They are just as old as martial arts, but different in its goals. Comparing HEMA to SCA, Hema fencers actually practices techniques that are forbidden in sparring but nevertheless considered important from a MA perspective. I doubt many SCA fighters do the same. That is a very important difference.
At first glance, this argument makes sense because you want to be able to point at something and say "this is the art of X." But I don't think a universal style or curriculum (a la Judo) is necessary to call something a martial art. While there may well be different methods of SCA HC, they probably are all broadly similar. This is speculation,
Certainly there is an argument that the more an art drifts from deadly application to sporting concerns, the techniques become less optimum for killing. But the athlete is trained in those underlying principles that Polar Bear mentioned that govern all martial arts by virtue of being human beings living in a world ruled by one set of physical laws.
The only universal I can see in martial arts/combat sports is what I mentioned before: "Contact competition involving two or more actors in which the primary objective is to directly and physically dominate the opponent(s) using techniques applied to the human body."
Some sports compete against the clock, races for example. Others try to get an object into a goal, like soccer. You might have incidental contact in these sports, like basketball. You might even have considerable full contact, like football. But in martial arts/combat sports, you are pitted directly against the opponent and the winner is the clearly dominant person.
All of which is also different from dance, in which the participants cooperate fully. This is why I would, as a general rule, not consider Pro Wrestling as a martial art -- though it does exist in a very grey area.
You raise some very good points. I will study on them more.
I'm not tied to the idea that SCA HC rules is a martial art. I don't have a dog in that fight. But it seems to meet my criteria, so I'm road-testing MY definition.
I have no problem defining what's done in the SCA as a combat sport. From what I've seen, I'm not impressed much by the technical syllabus or the training methods, but I'd hazard a guess that what they do works well enough for the purposes of their contests. My only real objection to it comes from the idea that it somehow relates to Medieval combat. There are many period manuals that detail how warriors fought in the Medieval period & I do not see the SCA using a rule set that supports those combat strategies, nor do I see those principles being trained. I'd say it's as legitimate as sport fencing or La Canne, but it's no relation to the historical martial arts of Medieval & Renaissance periods.