I got into the SCA a while back. While some people do just walk out there and wail around, they usually don't do very well. A lot of the guys in my group have done extensive research into the history and have studied the old manuals quite a bit as well. Plus, it's always full-contact (wooden weapons of course) all the time, so you're bound to figure out what works and what doesn't over time. I've already learned a lot of cool things you can do with a center boss shield. Some of the people who have been fighting for years upon years really do just become ridiculously good. There's a guy in our local chapter that's been doing it for I think over 15 years, and I've seen him take on 4 people at once. I've heard tell that he's fought 10 before and won.
I'd love to try out something like ARMA or AEMMA, but there's just not anything like that near here, so SCA is the next best thing. It's a lot of fun and a lot of the principles I've learned in studying other martial arts do apply and help out tremendously (especially footwork from Krav Maga and Aiki-Jujutsu).
I know a lot of people think "oh well what good is learning how to fight with medieval weapons, who carries around swords in today's world?" but there is room for practical application. If you're used to fighting with a weighted wooden weapon (or weapons of various types: polearms, single hand, two hand, etc), then it's much easier to take up any random object if you would need to and defend yourself (pool cue, broom, table leg, small table, trash can lid, etc). Having a weapon usually gives you a leg up against virtually any untrained attacker and even most trained attackers, let's be honest.
Last edited by Arthyron; 1/15/2008 1:56pm at .
The problem with SCA sparring is that the rules exclude a huge range of techniques & strategies that were advocated by the old masters of defense. In all the SCA sparring that Iíve seen: you canít hit your opponents with a shield, you canít hit your opponents with the pommel (butt end) of your sword, you canít hit your opponent with any part of your body, you canít grab your opponentís weapon, you canít grapple (& so obviously canít use your weapon as a tool in grappling) & then thereís the whole farcical ďMonty Pythonís Black KnightĒ routine that goes on with leg shots.
It is (to make a very charitable comparison) like comparing boxing to MMA (except SCA guys donít tend to be as good with a sword as hard fighting historical swordsmen & SCA guys canít grapple either). The SCA does very well within itís rule set; which emphasizes striking with the sword. The problem is they have no idea how to grapple with a sword so in a situation where thatís allowed they face the same challenge as a boxer in MMA who canít wrestle.
As for SCA guys reading the fightbooks, good for themÖbut it will only do so much good. The blade work shown in the fightbooks is great but a lot of the material thatís out there is addressing scenarios that simply arenít relevant to the SCA ruleset. To go back to the basic metaphor of this post: itís like a boxer reading how to adapt his footwork to defend against takedowns, itís a good thing but pretty irrelevant if heís just doing boxing competitions.
Certainly, and I realize it has its shortcomings. There is another division that's in the works in SCA that's going to have different rules (last I heard, the name for it was "cut & thrust"), so hopefully that'll open up some more of that good stuff.
One of the guys that's been teaching me the most has talked about doing our own thing sometime, allowing weapon grabs, grappling, etc, so I hope we get the chance to do that and make it feasible.
Again, if ARMA or AEMMA was available here, I'd join it in a heartbeat, but SCA is the next best thing.
As far as rules go, you can hit them with the pommel if you have it padded appropriately (i.e. a stabbing tip), there is some body contact allowed (i.e. plowing into the other person), and yeah, the leg thing is kinda dumb.
They used to have some tournament matches that were submission based and things of that nature, but one guy literally almost got his head blasted in (he has permanent brain damage and can't fight anymore), so I think a lot of the dumb rules are due to people getting injured.
I don't know if "Uhlan fighting" is even a martial art... As a proud, pale, and registered Polak, I can tell you I NEVER heard of Uhlan fighting... I even googled the Polish spelling (Ułan)with 'combat sport' and 'martial art' after it (in Polish) and never found any evidence of such a MA existing. My guess some over-nationalistic Polak with some possible Tatar, Uhlan, or other 'Turkic' blood added it onto wikipedia.
Originally Posted by Lebeke1
As for European MAs in general, they've been shown to be effective.
BTW, how can you claim jogo do pau is not something you couldn't use? Aren't their sticks laying around in parks and outside of cities? Couldn't you use a substitute for sticks?
I understand perhaps doubting historical fencing, but those are meant more as sport and not defensive martial art.
Same reason as people would wish to revive ancient mediation techniques, or study the original scriptures of Chinese medicine....
Because it is something they are passionately interested in...
Because most of what we know - alway has an earlier point of origin...
Because they enjoy it...
And nothing really gets you to understand the importance balance and footwork whilst trying to move quickly holding a broadsword to avoid an opponent doing you some damage...
Try jogging on the spot holding a good sized crowbar and you'll get the idea.
And if you think it's BS try sparing with someone who's gone from doing something like fencing and look at their footwork - it's usually pretty tasty....
BTW - you are aware that many MAs are evolved forms of what we had found out as a species about unarmed combat over many centuries ago... right... surely that thought's must have popped in there....
Not sure broadsword is the term to use and the weight of a long sword, bastard sword or great sword isnt really that heavy, well not as heavy as my 3 foot pry bar that is..
Originally Posted by TheMarquis
'A term popularly misapplied as a generic synonym for medieval swords or any long, wide military blade. The now popular misnomer "broadsword" in reference to Medieval blades actually originated with collectors in the early 19th century'
Taken from the ARMA website.
weight of greatswords.
I was thinking more along the lines of something like a lowlander's sword or The 'Grosse Messen' which was of German origin if I recall correctly, and had a fairly wide blade with a little more weight at the tip than the hilt....
Originally Posted by Bran Lydster
Although - to be fair the lowlander's sword was more to get distance between you and your opponent, but it was still a big lump of metal....
either way - good footwork and a keen understanding of the physics of keeping your balance whilst moving lots are still dammed hard things to learn...
So then anything that can teach this branch of combat can only be a good thing (unless you get bad technique/unrealistic training)...
Adam des Forges at Leeds armouries had us do a couple of footwork exercises with the weapon held in a fixed postition, then once you had that sorted he would introduce the cuts static and when both parts were ok ish he would start us on cutting while moving, even with the other exercises sorted this producing interesting results.
The timing of the cutting motion and the leg/hip movement really threw a lot of peoples balance out wildly we used wooden wasters or Del Tin copies of great swords for the training, not sure which text we were using as Adam was working for Leeds Armouries as an interpreter anyway so it was moot to me which method we were trying to follow.
The metaphor of SCA::boxing is a good one, I think. I've had a blast doing SCA fighting, but I'm not fooling myself into thinking it makes us super-realistic sword masters or anything. It's full speed and full contact and free sparring, so it's fun, but the artificialities that prevent us from breaking our toys have seeped into the techniques. I think of rattan fighting as something that's evolved into its own, somewhat odd, sport. So many of the good shots that can help you own an SCA fight (i.e. offside head) would be really low-probability techniques if the sword had an edge and you actually had to cut somebody.
Originally Posted by SBG-ape
I especially like fighting great weapons in the SCA, because footwork and finesse and skill are really important and it's more of a dance than a wooden bash-fest. A fight between two really good greatsword fighters can be so much fun. And you have all those cool manuals to play with, and if you put padding on the quillions you can strike with those, and, hm, now I'm homesick...thanks...
Why, yes, I do suck at sword and shield, why do you ask? :icon_cycl
I admit I've never actually played with them, but watching the Kindgom of Adria guys tinking away with their live steel is like watching Rock-em Sock-em Robots. I think it's basically a trade-off: you either get the live feel of steel in your hand but you have to keep the speed and power down, or you get to go full speed and contact but you're basically using a club.
Originally Posted by Dirty Rooster
ARMA ond other "real" re-enactment groups mostly think the SCA is a bunch of Hollywood LARPers, and there's some truth to that, but SCA can be great if you don't fool yourself about what you're doing. And anything that gets people getting together on a regular basis to do reasonably alive training can't be all bad.
Great thread! I can't believe I missed it.