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  1. BackFistMonkey is online now
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    Posted On:
    8/14/2010 9:22pm

    supporting member
     Style: Recovery-Fu

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by captainzorikh View Post
    I will have limited internet access for the next week. But I am seriously considering starting two new threads, one for "SCA bashers & defenders" and one for "Serious SCA questions and discussion only."

    I just hope you didn't mean that "apishly clubbing people into concussions" is what is done in the SCA ;)
    You could always make things polar and be like LAPRING SCA'ers VS Common Sense.

    I kinda like SCA Combat tho. Less... hostile and dickish. Even less harsh than "SCA Bashers and Defenders" which is just a really queer title for anything.

    If you really find a post disruptive and not contributing the hit the report post button. The traditional Martial Arts forums are all tightly moderated and a mod or forum leader will check on things,
    Quote Originally Posted by Bodhi108 View Post
    Nuke a unborn gay whale for Christ.
    “I don't mean to sound bitter, cold, or cruel, but I am, so that's how it comes out.”
    BILL HICKS,
    1961-1994
  2. SBG-ape is offline

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    Posted On:
    8/14/2010 9:45pm


     Style: Jiu-jitsu & HEMA

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by captainzorikh View Post
    I will have limited internet access for the next week. But I am seriously considering starting two new threads, one for "SCA bashers & defenders" and one for "Serious SCA questions and discussion only."

    I just hope you didn't mean that "apishly clubbing people into concussions" is what is done in the SCA ;)
    You've already explained that the SCA is a very big "we". The particular poster I was criticizing has stated that his (or, I suppose it’s possible, her) approach to new training partners (admittedly individuals who are likely over impressed with themselves & annoying) is to pummel them until they “go home discouraged”. “Thunderstick” also brags about giving people concussions & causing prolonged unconsciousness with blows, something that seems excessive to the point of being asinine given the basically friendly nature of the SCA contests as you’ve described them. My criticisms where directed specifically at a single individual & not meant as an indictment of the SCA community as a whole. Communities are made up of individuals after all. I would hope that no institution would be judged by either its worst or its best member, but by the general quality of the majority of its membership.

    Also, while the defending & bashing of the SCA has been more heated & less civil then other parts of the conversation I do think it has been of value. It made it necessary for critics to clearly articulate their criticism rather then just slinging insults & I believe it made both sides of the debate think more critically about their values, beliefs & biases then they might otherwise have done. While I disliked “Thunderstick’s” posting style I did appreciate that it attempted (somewhat ineptly) to level criticism at members of the HEMA community. So, I’d suggest this discussion be taken in 2 directions. First, a simple quiet thread to peacefully answer clarifying questions about SCA combat for those seeking greater knowledge of the subject without attempting to criticize it. Second, a lively debate as to the relative merits of different sparring rule sets & styles of competition with historic weapons/fighting styles or weapons & styles of fighting that are historically inspired.
  3. captainzorikh is offline

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    Posted On:
    8/14/2010 10:02pm


     Style: grappling, swordfighting

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    So long as I'm avoiding studying my lines in the Faux-Real Theater Company's version of "Oedipus Rex," I thought I might re-post these vids. Caveats: Neither of these are official SCA videos. Neither of them explain everything there is to explain about SCA combat. Both of them are an individual's theories, through years of practice and experience, about ways to fight under SCA rules. Both of them leave out things that I am sure practitioners of other martial arts, including HEMA, would think are important.

    But both give some interesting insight into some ways to use certain weapons in SCA combat.

    YouTube- Bellatrix on 2H Sword

    YouTube- Duke Brannos Training Video
  4. captainzorikh is offline

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    Posted On:
    8/14/2010 10:07pm


     Style: grappling, swordfighting

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Thanks for your explanation and suggestions, SBG-ape.

    And oh yeah, I just re-read the first 10 pages of this thread. It was a very good refresher. It reminded me of some things that I had forgotten had been said, including a few things that have since been said more than once again.
  5. SBG-ape is offline

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    Posted On:
    8/14/2010 10:28pm


     Style: Jiu-jitsu & HEMA

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I think many of us have a few favorite speaking points & we tend to repeat them once we forget that we've said them already.
  6. SBG-ape is offline

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    Posted On:
    8/15/2010 12:17am


     Style: Jiu-jitsu & HEMA

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    To be clear, my primary criticisms of the SCA are as follows:

    First, that they have no consistent system of training fighters & so to my mind cannot be considered a cohesive art. I also tend to credit the lack of a structured curriculum with the consistently bad footwork displayed in SCA videos. Often, when people are left to their own devices they train what they consider the cool flashy stuff & skip over the boring fundamentals that actually make the flashy stuff possible.

    Second, that the rules of SCA combat present unnatural fighting conditions & as a result promote the use of techniques that do not effectively translate to less rule restrictive combat. In particular the ban on the use of a shield as an offensive weapon, the ban on grappling & by extension the ban on grabbing an opponent’s shield, also the restricted target areas & the tendency to attack armored targets without the use of techniques designed to defeat armor (half-swording), & that kneeling business. The ban on grappling in particular seems to discourage or distort close fighting, fighting in the bind & half-swording while allowing the popular use of things like the wrap shot which are highly inadvisable in a fight in which grappling is allowed.

    Now, I know that there are other martial arts & combat sports that limit the range of their focus. Boxing has no kicks & to throws, certainly no ground game. Judo theoretically has striking, but in practice is limited to the clinch & ground phases of the fight. Wrestling has no submissions & so teaches ground habits that can cause trouble to wrestler’s trying to transition to submission grappling or MMA. Jiu-jitsu is obviously perfect & without any exploitable gaps or areas that would benefit from cross training…Anyway, the question has been asked why such limited styles are generally respected while the SCA is criticized for the limitations of it’s rule set.

    It’s a fair question. Answering only for myself I think the reason is that while the arts I mentioned do have limitations & blind spots they are not in the areas they’re known for. Boxing being an example: the footwork & stance used in boxing can leave someone vulnerable to leg kicks & takedowns, the bob & weave needs to be modified if knees are allowed & so on; but the thing boxing is known for is quick, precise & powerful punching & that translates very well to MMA & self defense. Likewise Judo is known for subtle trips & big throws & they have proven to be easily adapted to a variety of settings. In contrast the things that are held up as the most indicative of the SCA style are the very things that are most controversial/criticized by the HEMA community & others. I feel like we’ve talked the wrap shot to death, but it’s the most prominent example of this. The wrap shot is a commonly acknowledged feature in the arsenal of SCA combatants & many HEMA practitioners (myself included) feel that it does not usefully translate outside the context of a grappling free environment.

    The SCA thing of dressing up in historical clothing, having a big party, beating the crap out of my friends in a giant free-for-all, & then getting drunk sounds great & I’m all for that. I’m not really comfortable pretending to be another person & using a pretend name though, unless it’s Shakespeare; in which case I call dibs on being the Scotsman...I'd also accept Prince Hal.
  7. odysseus_dallas is offline

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    Posted On:
    8/15/2010 4:24am


     Style: ARMA Scholar, Longsword

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by captainzorikh View Post
    I will have limited internet access for the next week. But I am seriously considering starting two new threads, one for "SCA bashers & defenders" and one for "Serious SCA questions and discussion only."

    I just hope you didn't mean that "apishly clubbing people into concussions" is what is done in the SCA ;)
    No, but what SBG-ape so aptly explained, is what Thunderstick actually seemed to relish in.
  8. captainzorikh is offline

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    Posted On:
    8/15/2010 6:09am


     Style: grappling, swordfighting

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by SBG-ape View Post
    To be clear, my primary criticisms of the SCA are as follows:

    First, that they have no consistent system of training fighters & so to my mind cannot be considered a cohesive art. I also tend to credit the lack of a structured curriculum with the consistently bad footwork displayed in SCA videos. Often, when people are left to their own devices they train what they consider the cool flashy stuff & skip over the boring fundamentals that actually make the flashy stuff possible.

    Second, that the rules of SCA combat present unnatural fighting conditions & as a result promote the use of techniques that do not effectively translate to less rule restrictive combat. In particular the ban on the use of a shield as an offensive weapon, the ban on grappling & by extension the ban on grabbing an opponent’s shield, also the restricted target areas & the tendency to attack armored targets without the use of techniques designed to defeat armor (half-swording), & that kneeling business. The ban on grappling in particular seems to discourage or distort close fighting, fighting in the bind & half-swording while allowing the popular use of things like the wrap shot which are highly inadvisable in a fight in which grappling is allowed.

    Now, I know that there are other martial arts & combat sports that limit the range of their focus. Boxing has no kicks & to throws, certainly no ground game. Judo theoretically has striking, but in practice is limited to the clinch & ground phases of the fight. Wrestling has no submissions & so teaches ground habits that can cause trouble to wrestler’s trying to transition to submission grappling or MMA. Jiu-jitsu is obviously perfect & without any exploitable gaps or areas that would benefit from cross training…Anyway, the question has been asked why such limited styles are generally respected while the SCA is criticized for the limitations of it’s rule set.

    It’s a fair question. Answering only for myself I think the reason is that while the arts I mentioned do have limitations & blind spots they are not in the areas they’re known for. Boxing being an example: the footwork & stance used in boxing can leave someone vulnerable to leg kicks & takedowns, the bob & weave needs to be modified if knees are allowed & so on; but the thing boxing is known for is quick, precise & powerful punching & that translates very well to MMA & self defense. Likewise Judo is known for subtle trips & big throws & they have proven to be easily adapted to a variety of settings. In contrast the things that are held up as the most indicative of the SCA style are the very things that are most controversial/criticized by the HEMA community & others. I feel like we’ve talked the wrap shot to death, but it’s the most prominent example of this. The wrap shot is a commonly acknowledged feature in the arsenal of SCA combatants & many HEMA practitioners (myself included) feel that it does not usefully translate outside the context of a grappling free environment.

    The SCA thing of dressing up in historical clothing, having a big party, beating the crap out of my friends in a giant free-for-all, & then getting drunk sounds great & I’m all for that. I’m not really comfortable pretending to be another person & using a pretend name though, unless it’s Shakespeare; in which case I call dibs on being the Scotsman...I'd also accept Prince Hal.
    While I'm waiting for a video to render and the car to pick me up, I'll answer.

    Thanks for noticing that there are other fight sports with limited real-world applicability due to their ruleset. Much of the criticism and "It's not a martial art"ism comes from that angle.

    On that note, while the wrap shot may not be the most applicable in its use as a close-up fighting maneuver, if someone is dumb enough to stand at distance and try to trade shots at you with a pool cue and a trash can lid, it has its uses.

    The "flat snap" is a great way to hit someone in the head with a stick, a useful skill in any street fight. There is an excellent, quick, powerful method for striking with a greatsword that is very applicable for a broomstick. If the SCA can be said to be an organization known for being people hitting each other with sticks, after 40+ years, we've developed a pretty good repetoire of stick-hitting methods.

    And then of course there's the whole melee thing. I'd say the level of sophistication with regards to battle tactics, regardless of whether grappling is allowed, is pretty good.

    I've not seen much armored HEMA fighting outside of the SCA, but what I have seen (posted on another thread here) showed almost no striking to the lower leg or the hands, the only areas that are illegal targets in the SCA. Others have argued that skill with a weapon has a way of limiting the opportunity for grappling (that video that Odysseus keeps posting shows only one match go to the ground).

    It might be interesting to analyze moves used in SCA combat and their applicability to real-world fights (assuming, of course, you had access to a stick in a real-world fight).

    As far as consistent system of training/structured curriculum goes, that's more an issue of definition. The SCA, Inc. (http://www.sca.org) is an organization that exists to administer activities, not be the authority on them. The UFC, for instance, does not have a structured curriculum, rather, each team is left to its own devices with regards to training. Nor does the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, NAGA, Grappler's Quest, etc, etc. What's more, an argument could be made that the differeneces between the styles of fighting in different areas of the county, or even between different households, are as different from each other as karate and kung fu, or savate and muay thai, or judo, brazilian jiu jitsu, and sambo when training for competition. You are basically allowed the same tools for the same objective, but may have different philosophies and approaches towards building them, using them, and how to get there.

    So it might be more useful to critique specific techniques and styles used in SCA combat than to generalize the whole sport.

    It's been my experience that rather than bypassing the basics for the flashy stuff, the majority of the training starts at the basics, and only a small percentage move beyond it to get to the "flashy stuff." Most everyone who fights with sword and shied (once required, now recommended to be the first form anyone should fight with) has an onside head shot, an offside shot, a leg shot, a wrap to the head, and a wrap to the leg. Those who put thrusting tips on their swords have a couple of thrusts. Those who try fancy, flashy maneuvers without good basics their first time out find that they get pounded like a harp seal, and then the more experienced fighters will come over to them and say "now this is a sword..."

    Footwork, footwork, footwork. People who work on it are good at it, people who do not, are not, and as Harlan Ellison said, "90% of everything is crap." Every other sport in the world has skill divisions and "pro," "collegiate," "amateur," and "recreational" levels, and only shows their best on TV. The SCA has no such divisions, everyone fights everyone, and everybody puts up their home videos of their fighter practices and first tournament. If you want to see the best, look for crown tourney finals and kingdom championship finals.

    Now I gotta pack.
    Last edited by captainzorikh; 8/15/2010 6:15am at .
  9. odysseus_dallas is offline

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    Posted On:
    8/15/2010 7:00am


     Style: ARMA Scholar, Longsword

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by captainzorikh View Post
    Thanks for noticing that there are other fight sports with limited real-world applicability due to their ruleset. Much of the criticism and "It's not a martial art"ism comes from that angle.
    I thought that was a given, honestly.

    On that note, while the wrap shot may not be the most applicable in its use as a close-up fighting maneuver, if someone is dumb enough to stand at distance and try to trade shots at you with a pool cue and a trash can lid, it has its uses.
    But in this way, you are limiting your responses by assuming something for an opponent. While it stands true in the context of SCA fighting, it's limited to that only.

    The "flat snap" is a great way to hit someone in the head with a stick, a useful skill in any street fight. There is an excellent, quick, powerful method for striking with a greatsword that is very applicable for a broomstick. If the SCA can be said to be an organization known for being people hitting each other with sticks, after 40+ years, we've developed a pretty good repetoire of stick-hitting methods.
    Nobody said the opposite. What we said is a stick is not a sword, and training exclusively with it while pretending that techniques are transferable to a real sword is simply short-sightedness. Heck, I've trained with wooden wasters a lot and steel still throws me off sometimes, because I'm not THAT used to it.

    And then of course there's the whole melee thing. I'd say the level of sophistication with regards to battle tactics, regardless of whether grappling is allowed, is pretty good.
    Group tactics are not all that different, to be frank. Nobody judged the SCA's tactical acumen, but its one-on-one fighting tactics and skills. Personal skill is nowhere near that important as tactical when fighting en masse (and that is, to be honest ,something that almost all HEMA don't train for. Some say it's outside the scope of HEMA, but I, along many others, vehemently disagree).

    I've not seen much armored HEMA fighting outside of the SCA, but what I have seen (posted on another thread here) showed almost no striking to the lower leg or the hands, the only areas that are illegal targets in the SCA.
    The point is that armored HEMA fighting consists almost exclusively of plate harness against plate harness. If we were fighting with what the SCA suggests (iron helmet + mail shirt), then you'd see a lot of both, just like in blossfechten.

    Others have argued that skill with a weapon has a way of limiting the opportunity for grappling (that video that Odysseus keeps posting shows only one match go to the ground).
    Actually it enhances the opportunity for grappling if you want to go for that, especially when they're both armored.
    I'm sorry that I don't have many videos to post, but they're not really prolific with public videos. Here's one of armored fighting where grappling is much more prominent:

    Requires Flash Player

    (It also has a blow-by-blow account too)

    It might be interesting to analyze moves used in SCA combat and their applicability to real-world fights (assuming, of course, you had access to a stick in a real-world fight).
    You can get a combat umbrella (http://www.real-self-defense.com/umbrella1.html). I wanted to buy one of those, never got the chance when I got the money- and now it's the opposite.

    As far as consistent system of training/structured curriculum goes, that's more an issue of definition. The SCA, Inc. (http://www.sca.org) is an organization that exists to administer activities, not be the authority on them. The UFC, for instance, does not have a structured curriculum, rather, each team is left to its own devices with regards to training. Nor does the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, NAGA, Grappler's Quest, etc, etc. What's more, an argument could be made that the differeneces between the styles of fighting in different areas of the county, or even between different households, are as different from each other as karate and kung fu, or savate and muay thai, or judo, brazilian jiu jitsu, and sambo when training for competition. You are basically allowed the same tools for the same objective, but may have different philosophies and approaches towards building them, using them, and how to get there.
    While that is true, I have yet to see one of those curricula rising up to any serious standards. If you have one in mind (except Bellatrix's one, which I recall you already proposed, and I will check it out), I'd like to see it.

    So it might be more useful to critique specific techniques and styles used in SCA combat than to generalize the whole sport.
    Well, I did critique specific videos of specific fighting styles that you considered "pro".

    It's been my experience that rather than bypassing the basics for the flashy stuff, the majority of the training starts at the basics, and only a small percentage move beyond it to get to the "flashy stuff." Most everyone who fights with sword and shied (once required, now recommended to be the first form anyone should fight with) has an onside head shot, an offside shot, a leg shot, a wrap to the head, and a wrap to the leg. Those who put thrusting tips on their swords have a couple of thrusts. Those who try fancy, flashy maneuvers without good basics their first time out find that they get pounded like a harp seal, and then the more experienced fighters will come over to them and say "now this is a sword..."
    I believe the core stuff he implies are not "maneuvers" but footwork, timing, range, distance, leverage, intent... to name but a few. Though I'll give it to you that the SCA has plenty of intent.

    Footwork, footwork, footwork. People who work on it are good at it, people who do not, are not, and as Harlan Ellison said, "90% of everything is crap." Every other sport in the world has skill divisions and "pro," "collegiate," "amateur," and "recreational" levels, and only shows their best on TV. The SCA has no such divisions, everyone fights everyone, and everybody puts up their home videos of their fighter practices and first tournament. If you want to see the best, look for crown tourney finals and kingdom championship finals.
    And yet I saw awful footwork in all videos you showed me, from recreational to pro. I have yet to see good footwork in an SCA video.
  10. Thunderstick is offline

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    Posted On:
    8/16/2010 10:41am

    Bullshido Newbie
     

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by captainzorikh View Post
    I will have limited internet access for the next week. But I am seriously considering starting two new threads, one for "SCA bashers & defenders" and one for "Serious SCA questions and discussion only."

    I just hope you didn't mean that "apishly clubbing people into concussions" is what is done in the SCA ;)
    Nope not at all. I don't feel thats what we do. Maybe in comparison to what ARMA does. I generally keep my shots just on the right side of good or crisp. Unless somebody starts to rhino. In which case they are asking to get hit harder.

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