Styygens, the reason why I brought up conformity in style as one of several key features of Martial Arts is that looking broadly SCA fighters pick up techniques from many different martial arts/sports and try to fit them into their system with equipment and ruleset, some pick stuff from Aikido, some from Kendo, some Escrima, some from Hema and some just improvise, although I believe there are certain common ideas regarding SCA fighting.
As for comparing to karate, aikido and so on, any given system can be both a martial art and a martial sport depending on how they are practiced and for what purpose. I strongly believe that sparring and freeplay with as few restrictions as possible and combination with practice of "forbidden" techniqes are vital for martial arts, which is why I believe MMA is more effective than the modern JMA that do not allow sparring.
Also, a multi-weapons martial art often relies on certain principles that run through the whole system, no matter what weapon. With Hema this is absetzen/versetzen/nachreissen, vor/nach/indes. There may be differences within this system, but it is more a question of dialects rather than different languages.
Once again, looking to Hema, Ringeck's interpretations of Liechtenauer is clearly a martial art with a truly martial intent. Roughly a hundred years later, about 1570, Joachim Meyer's interpretations of the same are aimed at fechtschulen where it is practiced for fun, although with a self-defense angle. Thus it is both a martial arts and martial sports at this time. The sports aspect can clearly be seen with the flat-strikes like prellhau and others. There are differences between many masters, but they all rely on the same principles given by Liechtenauer. Most of it is still martial in intent.
Comparing MMA to Aikido is a valid point and I should probably clarify that I don't regard much of Asian "martial arts" as martial arts any more, since they have strayed quite a bit from their origins. Much was lost during the period of 1854-1915 roughly and the rigid practice we often see today, involving no freeplay or sparring or very restricted sparring, really is more of stage fighting or martial sports, depending on what you look at.
MMA is of course quite effective and I am sure I would be taken down quite quickly, but the fact remains it isn't designed for killing or maiming. The fact that it can be used for that doesn't necessarily contradict it being defined as sports. You do not practice techniques that are effective but not allowed by the rules. You practice only what is allowed.
Kendo is very much a martial sports in my book. Of course equipment affects your practice, but there are variations here that sometimes have large impacts. The only difference with SCA is the use of roughly 20kg of armour that is supposed to symbolize much lighter armour, with helmets that often restrict vision and breathing much more than the symbolical spangenhelm. Combine that with weapons that often do not have the proper weight or balance with a ruleset that stops you from doing several obvious forms of attacks and it becomes quite obvious that the style is severely affected by this. This is a problem for all weapon martial arts, but is handled differently depending on where we look.
Much of this is more important from a historical pow, but it also explains why SCA fighting looks the way it often does, with little footwork and sometimes a too strong reliance on the armour protecting you. I know quite a few good SCA fighters though, so it should be noted that you really can't speak of all SCA fighting in such general terms.
Finally, I think there is not one single difference that changes how we should regard for instance, SCA fighting, but rather several in combination. The three I suggest may by themselves not be enough to classify something as a sport, but combined I think they do. All three are vital for a Martial Art, the way I see it.
Last edited by Grimnir69; 3/05/2010 2:30am at .
YES THIS IS A LOAD OF ****. Sorry but it just guys playing not martial arts. Do that without the armour and shield I'll maybe rate you. **** sake I do single stick fighting (which is 40" of 1" thick ash) with only a fencing mask. I wear less armour fighting with a semi sharp steel sword. This is the level that you expect your kids to play at not grown adults who claim to be martial artists.
Originally Posted by captainzorikh
Here are a couple of more interesting videos though:
Cut & Thrust
YouTube- Sword Fighting Demo
Various SCA, EMP and TuChux clips:
YouTube- Clinton 09 SCA EMP tourney 2
YouTube- Clinton War09 EMP with Magnus's Kick
YouTube- Clinton SCA EMP Tourney1
YouTube- Pennsic 38 - Full Grappling -TuChux Tournament - Mixed Weapons
YouTube- Tuchux finals Pennsic 38
YouTube- Duncan the Brawler
YouTube- Empire of Medieval Pursuits
YouTube- Cynagua Spring Coronet James vs Marc (Marc has some pretty good strategies within SCA rules, I believe. Btw, the greatswords can weigh up to 2.73Kgs so when used with force, they can pack quite a punch, given their length)
Looking at Cut & Thrust, TuChux and EMP I do believe that SCA can develop into something that will interest more martial artists, but SCA is a large and slow organisation so it will take a lot of time before it happens, if it ever will.
The whole point of SCA fighting is that everyone can join in without too much risk of being injured and I believe for the majority it will remain the same, apart from smaller subgroups, just as it is today.
Exactly and no-one is disputing that. Honestly, 90% of HEMA groups don't rate that much higher as martial arts than SCA. Hell I was at SWASH in the royal armouries a couple weeks ago and we only one found one person willing to fight with us. HEMA is in a **** state full of people not willing to train out of their comfort zone. The safety obession has pervaded so badly that any form of meaningful sparring is falling away. I am just not willing to let things slide to the level of backyard ninja. SCA might be fun but for any meaningful martial training it has almost no value. If you came out of only SCA training do you think you could hold your own in a Dog Brothers gathering? If you think so then go try it and take a camera.
Originally Posted by Grimnir69
Last edited by Polar Bear; 3/05/2010 5:25am at .
Polarbear, I really don't have enough practical experience of the whole Hema community to comment on this. Thus far I have only participated in Swordfish in Sweden a couple of times. I will try to participate in a few more international Hema events though.
My experience is that Hema is no worse than most other martial arts, but sparring, force and intent is a complicated topic... Punching, wrestling, armlocks and submissions are somewhat complicated with the protection we often use.
As for how much force should be used in blossfechten I know we have a bit of different perspective, judging from other posts you have made. Although I appreciate using considerable force in cuts, slicing and thrusting is a bit more complicated to judge and can easily transform into more symbolical attacks, since thrust can be quite dangerous even with simulators.
I have no problems with the pain and bruises and smaller fractures are fine, but I prefer to avoid injury that keeps me from training. So there is a complex balance between protection, skill and level of force here. Practicing with blunt steel and no gloves is a certainly scary and I would hate to break a couple of fingers no matter whom they belong to. But it is a valuable experience and does keep you very focused. The same goes for sparring without more protection than mask, gloves, cup and throat protection. You quickly become very aware of where you expose yourself...
I can appreciate that people work with these variables and more protection and force or little protection and more control and somewhat less force. I really can't say that one is better than the other, although I think you can gain from using BOTH approaches, just as you can become a better martial artist from participating in martial sports competitions.
Btw, was there no tournament at Swash, or was that backsword only?
Oh, and I know about your policy regarding posting videos of your fighting, but wouldn't it be possible to email me something? I have been very curious about your school and there are so many interesting clubs around the world with different approaches. I really would appreciate getting a glimpse of how you practice, but it is a bit too far to travel right now!
Last edited by Grimnir69; 3/05/2010 6:07am at .
Originally Posted by Polar Bear
This I Difinately agree with, but I think the top ten percenter's in SCA probably train other MA's as well (Tuchux maybe) so I believe they would fair better at a Gathering.
It was actually just a singlestick tournament.
Originally Posted by Grimnir69
Sorry, I don't take vids of training. All I can offer is to freeplay with you if we meet at an event or train with you.
As for damage, with proper discipline and control. small cuts and bruises are all your going to suffer. I have a couple of scars from people getting alittle too hyped up in blossfechten. Also the problem is that re-enactment swords are just too heavy to be good in freeplay. I've discovered that using semi-sharp swords have increased the speed and technical proficiency in freeplay while reducing injury rate. We also include punching, throws, locks and sweeps in freeplay.
The force of the cut doesn't have to be high as long as you have the speed. Since you are cutting with the body and controlling with the arms. With a properly weighted sword you can cut full speed with restricted power. However, I've never been able to do this with re-enactment swords only semi-sharp. The only thing I would recommend is to leave alittle more flex in the blade so thrusts don't penetrate easily.
This is my latest design.
Yes because they may have trained properly elsewhere not because of what SCA participation gives them.
Originally Posted by thorthe power
remember the saying.
"in battle we don't rise to our expectations we fall to the level of our training"
Well see in the future then, if I can make a trip. Or if you join us at Swordfish some year. :)
Blunt steel can be a problem although I do like my Pavel Moc swords there is quite a difference between my blunt and sharp Violets. I also have an Ensifer feder that is OK, although a little bit too point heavy. Albion's Meyer is also highly appreciated by many club members and it certainly is a lively and quick sword that offers great control.
Regarding speed, control and power I completely agree with you.
I know you are not so happy with nylon swords and I agree that there is a big difference between nylon and steel, but mainly so in the bind, where you tend to remain in the bind more with steel. For cutting there is less difference and my nylon is actually closer to my sharp blades.
Also, problems with flex can be lessened by using the edge and flat with more awareness. It will be interesting to see how far these simulators can be improved. A lot has happened since the early "With Intent" wasters and the new line. And as you know practice swords have existed in may forms in our history.
In my opintion the nylons are a logical continuation of that line. As I have said earlier, combining various forms of practice makes you more complete, so nylons and steel complement each other well, since they both have strong and weak points. I would love to try out your new sword though. Do you feel that they can be used without upper body protection?
Your new sparring sword looks great and I was actually talking with a club member about that exact hilt design yesterday. Would you mind telling me who made it and what the price was? The finger protection looks excellent. It looks like you can have excellent point control with that blade...
Should have noticed myself, but the swordsmith is of course Armour Class... The hilt looks like it balances the blade very well. What is the length of the hilt and blade?