Originally Posted by JimDesu
Well, he did say the main difference was fuhlen (I don't have the two little dots over the u, so bear with me). While it's true that balance and weight are not too different (at least with the awesome New Stirling ones), but yeah, feel and to a certain extent behaviour is much, much different.
Originally Posted by Ningirsu
You can use a longsword under the SCA cut and thrust rules - I've done so many times.
Originally Posted by odysseus_dallas
There's no kneeling. In my area most folks using that ruleset take any hit as "I screwed up, I lose" (or they did - I'm not real active in the SCA, haven't been for some time). I think if you go to sca.org you can find the rules there somewhere.
That's different, then. I think I'll check that out.
Originally Posted by misanthropic777
Some more SCA clips
I'm a bit hesitant to re-enter this discussion since the tend to get a bit repetetive and go around in circles. I am a Hema fencer, but have talked quite a lot to local SCA-fencers. I have grown to understand SCA a little better through that.
I still regard SCA single combat as a combative sport and not art, for reasons I have already listed much earlier. But, having said that I do think there are both good fighters and interesting aspects of SCA fighting like certain forms of Cut&Thrust and TuChux and EMP.
So, I thought I would just add a few interesting clips. Some have two good SCA fighters, and some just one. They do stick out a bit in the massive flood of SCA clips that are available.
As has been said earlier, several times. It is important to keep in mind that the majority of HEMA focuses on blossfechten, unarmoured fighting. That is very different from fighting in armour. The less common armoured fighting, harnischfechten, is done with a focus from late 14th cent and onwards, which means plate armour. Striking directly at armour is not advised in the manuscripts. Instead you are told to thrust into the gaps and weak points of armour.
SCA on the other hand, focuses on lightly armoured fighting with a spangenhelm and maille and 12th century fighting, for which there are no proper manuscripts. Also, as the acronym says, SCA has an anachronistic approach and thus can fight in gothic 16th century plate armour, while "pretending" that it is lighter 12th century maille armour. Also, mixing armour and weapons of very distant time periods is common. This has many side effects, including effects on stamina, foot work, agility, fighting tactics and more.
I fully respect SCA fighters as they do work hard and often have intense fights. Still, I believe it is quite common to see how the ruleset and equipment affects the fighting in ways that differ from what would be seen in a "real" fight. Not that it can't be found in HEMA fencing as well, but, it is different and in some ways more common, especially with regards to distance management.
Anyhow, what I intended to write shortly quickly grew and I have to run off. :)
Here's a bunch.
YouTube- Sword Fighting Demo
YouTube- Nordmark Principality Tournament - Part 3
YouTube- Pennsic 38 - Full Grappling -TuChux Tournament - Mixed Weapons
YouTube- Calontir Crown Final with Spear
YouTube- Clinton SCA EMP Tourney1
YouTube- Duncan the Brawler
YouTube- Empire of Medieval Pursuits
YouTube- Magnus fighting EMP
YouTube- The Seven Swords January 3rd, 2010
YouTube- Clinton 09 SCA EMP tourney 2
YouTube- CODII teaser SCA heavy combat
YouTube- La Prova Dura 2008 Leohtulf vs Marc
YouTube- Cynagua Spring Coronet James vs Marc
I haven't checked the board in a while due to our new baby. It seems things took a bad turn for a bit.
Originally Posted by Thunderstick
As we're dozens of pages into this and my opinion is buried somewhere back there, I've been in the SCA for 5 or so years. I don't consider it a martial art due to the lack of organized curriculum, I do consider it a martial sport. I don't think it's perfect, I do participate in the Tuchux tourney and practice with expanded rules outside of mainstream events. I feel that there is a huge variance between the skill level and training at local practices, and this makes for a number of problems when trying to discuss SCA combat.
The discussion in this thread has been respectful on a level rarely seen with this topic, and opinions have been mostly well supported, often with vids, the most powerful currency of internet debate.
@Thunderstick: You shat all over this thread and made the SCA look bad. The contributors to this thread have been a restrained crowd as far as bullies go. By bullies, I mean members of Bullshido. I mention this because I don't think you are familiar with the culture of Bullshido. In other forums, with other members, you would have been mercilessly insulted until you were overcome by internet rage, then taunted and used as an example of what idiot mouth-breathers SCAdians are. Your proposed SCA v. HEMA fight tells me that you are unfamiliar with the culture of Bullshido (see: Gong-Sau). Challenges happen, and they lead either to a fight under agreed upon rules, or the challenger punking out and being ridiculed with an accompanying loss of credibility. You do not speak for the SCA, please do not issue challenges around these parts for anyone other than yourself. The quote above where you allude to real fights is one of the fastest ways to ruin your credibility, it is childish, and when you use caps on the internet you are yelling.
For everyone else, please consider Thunderstick and captiainzorikh to be a personification of the drastic difference in SCA local practices.
Earlier when someone made a reference to the fact that the anachronism part included dressing up in Gothic plate mail and fighting some dude in 12th century armor and pretending you're both in 12th century armor made me giggle. Not in a derisive sense because I acknowledge my Byzantine cataphract kit and Spanish diestro kit can be quite out of place sometimes, but it just gave me the idea to show up in a tri-cornered hat, long powdered wig, and ruffled clothes, smallsword at my side challenging ruffians to bouts of fence. Now THAT's anachronism.
Well, I made that reference and I actually saw something like that during a local Medieval festival, with a late 17th Carolean drummer with a three-cornered hat, wig, rapier and great coat, escorting queen Queen Margerethe of Denmark and Sweden (1353-1412), alongside of 13th century maille-armoured knights and 16 century Teutonic Knights. The horror, the horror... ;)
I'm in a middle of the road opinion about the SCA, for a number of reasons.
Let me qualify that I have never participated in an SCA event, thus my knowledge is all from books, word of mouth, distance research, and the like, and may be disregarded in kind.
However, from what I have seen - SCA combat is more akin to Olympic fencing than martial fencing. Its aim is to entertain with a vigorous content, rather than provide skills that can be applied to a duel with intent. As an example I have heard (again, this may or may not be current, and I will retract if it is not) that certain SCA groups have a leg-cut rule that if your leg is struck, you have to kneel to fight. This has lead to the bizarre circumstance that some people are better fighters on their knees than on their feet, because they can take advantage of a smaller target area. This rather belies the spirit of a genuine martial art, at least as far as I understand the term. A genuine leg strike wouldn't in any sense lead to the wounded man suddenly becoming more capable. If anything, it would lead to bleeding out quickly (lots of blood vessels in those big thighs).
That said, there is a lot I admire in the SCA. I've seen some SCA combat via youtube, and those guys often fight hard. There's an intensity to the fights at times that is enjoyable to see, and I can imagine that even within the ruleset limitations imposed for safety's sake, one could get an appreciation for the speed and force of a forceful duel with a strong opponent.
Equally, their commitment to developing a culture all their own is entertaining and inspiring. They have taken all the best ideals of an age and elevated it to something that is the best of human accomplishment - pure joy and celebration, for no reason but the fun of it.
I hope someday to have an agreeable bout with some SCAdians, to test my skill at the longsword against them. It may not be how I train, but I'm sure I could learn something from it all the same.
HI. I'm back, and let me say, this version of Oedipus Rex that I'm working oin with the Faux Real Theater Co. is quite fascinating!
William, thanks for your comments. Just to clarify (which is the main reason I started this thread) the Society-wide rule is not that you have to go to your knees if you get hit in the leg, but that you can;t use your leg if you get hit on it. Most people find it is easier to fight from their knees than hopping on one leg ;)
From the Conventions of Combat...
"An effective blow to the leg above the knee will disable the leg. The fighter must then fight kneeling, sitting, or standing on the foot of the uninjured leg. Kingdoms may place limitations upon the mobility of such injured fighters."
The hip is considered a part of the leg, except...
"An effective blow from an axe, mace, polearm, greatsword, or other mass weapon, which lands on the hip above the hip socket or strikes the shoulder inside the shoulder socket, shall be judged fatal or completely disabling."
...and yes, I do know a few fighters who are harder to kill on their knees than on their feet. But in most cases, the lack of mobility of being on one's knees is a disadvantage.
I did participate in a tournament where someone who lost a leg would "bleed out" and die, after a certain time, but most fights ended before that moment. Heck, most fights in the SCA are over within the first minute.
Odysseus, I recently had a discussion with some Spaniards about American football. No matter how much I tried, they could not understand why you punt on 4th-and-1. They thought that American coaches were just stupid and cowardly to not go for it every time. Kind of reminded me of our discussion about the Duke Palymar-Duke Gregor fight here.
I have just a few questions about the armored fight you posted up, but I figured it would be more appropriate to attach that discussion to the thread at Collection of HEMA Armored Combat videos - No BS MMA and Martial Arts
You know, I should have posted this the very first day...
The Rules of the List and Conventions of Combat for the SCA:
II. RULES OF THE LISTS
A. The basic rules for SCA combat are contained in the Rules of the Lists. While these rules were not originally designed to cover non-tourney field activities such as wars, combat archery, and period fencing, they have been extended to include them. The observance of honor and chivalry and the safety of the combatants are the overriding goals of these rules. The following is intended to bring together the appropriate rules for conducting both tourney field combat and other SCA combat activities.
B. The Rules of the Lists are reprinted from section IX.B. of the Corpora of the SCA.
1. Each fighter, recognizing the possibilities of physical injury to themselves in such combat, shall assume unto themselves all risk and liability for harm suffered by means of such combat. No fighter shall engage in combat unless and until they have inspected the field of combat and satisfied themselves that it is suitable for combat. Other participants shall likewise recognize the risks involved in their presence on or near the field of combat and shall assume unto themselves the liabilities thereof.
2. No person shall participate in Official Combat-Related Activities (including armored combat, period fencing, and combat archery) outside of formal training sessions unless they have been properly authorized under Society and Kingdom procedures.
3. All combatants must be presented to, and be acceptable to, the Sovereign or his or her representative.
4. All combatants shall adhere to the appropriate armor and weapons standards of the Society, and to any additional standards of the Kingdom in which the event takes place. The Sovereign may waive the additional Kingdom standards.
5. The Sovereign or the Marshallate may bar any weapon or armor from use upon the field of combat. Should a warranted Marshal bar any weapon or armor, an appeal may be made to the Sovereign to allow the weapon or armor.
6. Combatants shall behave in a knightly and chivalrous manner and shall fight according to the appropriate Society and Kingdom Conventions of Combat.
7. No one may be required to participate in Combat-Related Activities. Any combatant may, without dishonor or penalty, reject any challenge without specifying a reason. A fight in a tournament lists is not to be considered a challenge and therefore may not be declined without forfeiting the bout.
8. Fighting with real weapons, whether fast or slow, is strictly forbidden at any Society event. This rule does not consider approved weaponry which meets the Society and Kingdom standards for traditional Society combat and/or Society period rapier combat, used in the context of mutual sport, to be real weaponry.
9. No projectile weapons shall be allowed within the Lists of a tournament, nor shall any weapons be thrown. The use of approved projectile weapons for melee, war, or combat archery shall conform to the appropriate Society and Kingdom Conventions of Combat.
C. Applications of the Rules of the Lists
Application of Rule 1: “Other participants” include Marshals and support personnel whose activities bring them close to fighting in a situation where boundaries are not clearly defined. Heralds, List Pages, and similar officers who leave the field entirely before combat begins are exempt from this requirement, as are water-bearers and chirurgeons who remain in fixed support points outside the tournament field or battle area. Water-bearers and chirurgeons who take part in mobile support groups within the overall boundaries of a battle area must receive a basic orientation in field safety.
Application of Rule 2: The Crown and/or Marshallate of each Kingdom shall establish standards and procedures for the authorization of fighters to participate in combat. These procedures shall adhere to the Combat Authorization Procedures in this handbook. At Kingdom option, these procedures may involve either a general authorization to participate in armored combat or a set of separate authorization procedures for the use of (or for combat AGAINST) specific weapons or classes of weapons.
The Crown and/or Marshallate of each Kingdom shall establish standards and procedures for the authorization of combat archers and missile users to participate in combat. Kingdoms may establish such additional limitations on the participation of minors as may be deemed necessary. It is usual for authorizations from other Kingdoms to be accepted, although exceptions may prove necessary in the case of specific individuals.
The Crown may not simply grant an authorization, unless the recipient has successfully completed the authorization process as delineated in Society and Kingdom law.
Application of Rule 4: Kingdoms may apply armor and weapons standards that are stricter than the Society standards, should they be deemed necessary, but may not reduce or waive any Society standard.
Application of Rule 5: If a fighter regards an opponent’s weapon or armor as unduly dangerous to self or opponent, he or she can request that the Marshal on the field re-inspect the item. Either fighter has the option of appealing the decision of the re-inspection Marshal to the Marshal in Charge and ultimately to the Sovereign.
Application of Rule 6: Engaging in any Society combat activity with the deliberate intent to inflict bodily harm to an opponent is strictly forbidden.
Application of Rule 7: No one is required to engage in SCA combat should he or she prefer not to do so.
Application of Rule 8: Since fighting with real weapons is forbidden at any Society event, threatening the use of such weapons is likewise expressly forbidden.
At the discretion of the Sovereign and the Marshal in Charge, recognized experts may be permitted to present choreographed demonstrations with real weapons under strictly controlled conditions.
No one may wear any real weapon onto the field while participating in combat or present during combat. At the discretion of the Sovereign and the Marshal in Charge, an exception may be made for marshals or other noncombatants to wear knives bonded with peace straps.
Posing for still photographs with real weapons is permitted.
Application of Rule 9: The prohibition on thrown weapons refers to weapons thrown in combat or thrown in a hostile manner. It does not apply to “tossing,” defined as a gentle, short-range method of transferring or removing a tournament weapon or item from the list field or area of combat. The use of bows and arrows, firearms, slings, javelins, throwing axes, throwing knives, or any other projectile weapon is forbidden within Tournament Lists, or in any other situation where spectators cannot be separated from the potential line of fire by more than the effective range of the weapon.
III. CONVENTIONS OF COMBAT
A. General Information
1. All traditional SCA armored combat at SCA tourneys, wars, and other events shall be conducted in accordance with the Rules of the Lists of the SCA, Inc., these Conventions of Combat, and such weapon and equipment standards and event rules as are established by the Marshallate of the SCA, Inc., and individual Kingdom Marshallates.
2. All Kingdoms shall have as their minimum armor and weapons standards those criteria established by the Society Minimum Armor and Weapons Standards. Each Kingdom may require additional, more extensive, and/or stricter standards.
a. All fighters, prior to combat at each and every SCA-sponsored event or fighting practice, shall ensure that their armor and weapons are inspected by a warranted member of the Kingdom Marshallate.
b. Even though a warranted member of the Kingdom Marshallate has inspected the armor and weapons used by a fighter, each fighter shall accept full responsibility for the condition of his or her own equipment. Each fighter has the obligation to his- or herself, the marshals, and all opponents, to see that his or her equipment meets all Society and Kingdom requirements.
c. Combat Archery ammunition each must be inspected individually before every use.
i. Siloflex equivalent and Tennis Ball ammunition may be inspected by the archer and used again immediately.
ii. Fiberglass shafted ammunition must be taken off the field and reinspected under the supervision of a Combat Archery Marshal before being used again.
3. When not otherwise directed by the Sovereign, the Sovereign’s representative upon the field and in all matters dealing with Society Combat is the Earl Marshal, and, by delegation, warranted members of the Kingdom Marshallate.
B. Behavior on the Field
1. Striking an opponent with excessive force is forbidden.
2. All fighters shall obey the commands of the marshals on the field or shall be removed from the field and subject to disciplinary action. Disagreements with the marshals on the field shall be resolved through the established mechanisms outlined in the Procedures for Grievances and Sanctions of the Marshallate Procedures of the SCA, Inc.
3. Each fighter shall maintain control over his or her temper at all times.
4. Upon hearing the call of “HOLD” all fighting shall IMMEDIATELY stop.
5. A fighter shall not enter the lists or participate in any form of SCA combat activity while impaired by alcohol or drugs (including, but not limited to: drugs prescribed by a licensed health care provider, over the counter medications, and illegal controlled substances.)
6. Any behavior that takes deliberate advantage of an opponent’s chivalry or safety-consciousness, or that takes deliberate unfair advantage of an opponent, is prohibited.
7. A fighter shall not deliberately strike a helpless opponent.
8. Any fighter who obtains an unfair advantage by repeatedly becoming “helpless” (for example, by falling down or losing their weapon) may, after being duly warned by the marshals on the field, be forced to yield the fight at the next occurrence of such behavior. The onus of this is on the marshals, not on the opponent. However, the opponent may ask the marshals to let the fight continue.
9. Prolonged overt contact of a fighter's person (hands/feet/limbs/body/head) to an opponent's person is prohibited. Brief incidental contact is expected and acceptable during engagement.
10. Deliberately striking an opponent’s head, limbs, or body with a shield, weapon haft, or any part of the body is forbidden.
11. Intentionally tripping an opponent is prohibited.
12. Grasping an opponent's person, shield, weapon's striking surface, or bow/crossbow is prohibited.
13. Intentionally striking an opponent outside the legal target areas is forbidden.
C. Target Area
1. Torso: All of the body above the points of the hips, excluding the head and arms and including the groin, shoulder blades, and the area between the neck and shoulders.
2. Face: the area between the chin and the middle of the forehead and between the ear openings.
3. Head: The whole head and neck except the face as defined above.
4. Thighs: The leg from one inch above the top of the knee to a line even with the bottom of the hip socket.
5. Hips: Area between the bottom of the hip socket to the point of the hip (iliac crest).
6. Shoulder: From the point of the shoulder down to a line even with the top of the underarm.
7. Arms: From the shoulder to one inch above the wrist.
8. Blows that land outside the legal target areas shall not be counted, unless an illegal target area has been intentionally placed in the path of an impending blow.
D. Combat Archery Conventions
1. Upon a hold being called, all archers must unload their weapons (crossbows may remain cocked).
2. Archers may have a backup weapon on them, but may not draw it until their bow has been safely disposed of (taken off the field, discarded in a low traffic area, handed to another combatant, etc). Upon drawing a backup weapon to enter combat, hands must be appropriately armored.
3. Archers may carry and use thrown weapons without need to discard their bow nor change hand armor.
4. Archers need to be aware of what is beyond their target to ensure that errant shots do not endanger anyone.
5. An archer's minimum range is dictated by ensuring that the ammunition completely clears the bow before contacting the opponent.
6. Ammunition dropped onto the ground is considered dead as if it had been fired, and needs re-inspection.
7. Live combatants may pick ammunition off the field for reinspection and reuse during the same battle. Dead combatants may clear ammunition from the field for use in future battles if scenario rules allow.
8. Within scenario limits, ammunition may be taken from caches stored on or off field, and from other combatants (dead or alive) with permission of the owner.
IV. THE USE OF WEAPONS AND SHIELDS
A. Weapons shall be used in accordance with their design. For example, spears may only be used for thrusting, axes for striking along the edge of the blade, etc..
1. Only weapons approved for thrusting may be used for that purpose. Feinting as if to thrust with a weapon not approved for that purpose is prohibited. Before any bout where a thrusting weapon is used, the opponent and marshals shall be informed that such a weapon is on the field, and the thrusting tip shall be shown to the opponent.
2. The blade of an opponent’s weapon may not be grasped at any time, nor may it be trapped in contact with the fighter’s body as a means of preventing the opponent’s use of the weapon. Armored hands may grasp the haft of an opponent’s weapon.
B. The striking surface of a weapon in motion may not be grasped or blocked by the hands or limbs as a means of impeding a blow.
1. If a combatant intentionally places an illegal target area (e.g., an empty hand and or lower leg, including the knee and foot) in the path of a blow, the combatant forfeits that attached limb as if it had been struck in a legal target area.
2. Inadvertently bringing the hands in contact with the striking surface of a weapon in motion, as when attempting to block a blow with another weapon, shall not be considered to be in violation of this convention.
C. Blows repeatedly blocked by a weapon in contact with a fighter’s helm, body, or shield at the moment of impact may, at the Sovereign’s or Marshal’s discretion, be considered to have broken the blocking weapon. This will force a fighter to forfeit the fight, unless a secondary weapon is carried or the opponent chooses to allow the fighter to rearm with another weapon.
D. A shield or weapon may be used to displace, deflect, or immobilize an opponent’s shield or weapon, so long as such use does not endanger the safety of the combatants. A shield or haft may be safely placed against the opponent's body to restrict his ability to strike or defend.
E. Shields must be controlled by the hand; use of passive shields (not controlled by the hand) will be treated as decorative armor and subject to effective blow acknowledgment.
F. A combat archer may carry and use shield or pavise; however, as long as they are carrying it, they cannot span nor fire their weapon.
V. ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF BLOWS
A. Judging the effects of blows is left to the honor of the combatant being struck by the weapon, unless he or she relinquishes this responsibility, with the exception of clear violations of the Rules of the Lists or the Conventions of Combat. Effectiveness of a blow may not be judged by the opposing combatant, the Marshal, or other observers. Information unavailable to the combatant being struck may be supplied by the opposing combatant or the Marshal, including blade orientation upon impact, apparent force transmitted, or apparent location and angle of the blow’s impact based upon the observer’s angle of observation.
B. When judging the effect of blows, all fighters are presumed to be fully armored. Special tournaments or combat rules may redefine what areas of the body are armored, and to what extent, so long as all the participants are made aware of the special conditions prior to the start of combat.
1. All “fully armored” fighters are presumed to be wearing a chain hauberk over a padded gambeson, with boiled leather arm and leg defenses and an open-faced iron helm with a nasal. The helm may be presumed by Kingdom convention to include a very light chain mail drape, permitting vision and resisting cuts by the mere touch of a bladed weapon.
a. Under this standard, an acceptable cutting blow to the face would be lighter than to other portions of the head or body. Areas deemed illegal to strike (the wrists from 1 inch [25.4mm] above the hands, from 1 inch [25.4mm] above the knees and below) shall be considered safe from all attack.
b. The minimum effective thrusting blow to the face shall be a directed touch and the maximum shall be substantially lighter than to other parts of the body.
C. An effective blow will be defined as a blow which was delivered with effective technique for the particular type of weapon used, properly oriented, and struck with sufficient force.
1. An effective blow to the head, neck, or torso shall be judged fatal or completely disabling, rendering the fighter incapable of further combat.
2. An effective blow from an axe, mace, polearm, greatsword, or other mass weapon, which lands on the hip above the hip socket or strikes the shoulder inside the shoulder socket, shall be judged fatal or completely disabling.
3. An effective blow to the arm above the wrist will disable the arm. The arm shall then be considered useless to the fighter and may not be used for either offense or defense.
4. An effective blow to the leg above the knee will disable the leg. The fighter must then fight kneeling, sitting, or standing on the foot of the uninjured leg. Kingdoms may place limitations upon the mobility of such injured fighters.
5. If a wounded limb blocks an otherwise acceptable blow, the blow shall be counted as though the limb were not there.
D. Changes to blow acknowledgment standards may be made on a per-combat, per-scenario, or per-tournament basis, but will revert to the standards above thereafter. Alternate acknowledgment standards do not alter the allowed target areas, nor do they increase the basic force level for a telling blow. All combatants must be informed of any changes to standard blow acknowledgment before they participate in the combat.
E. All fighters are expected to take into account the nature of the weapon being used by their opponent and the location of the point of impact of that weapon when judging the outcome of a blow delivered. A blow that strikes with sufficient force and proper orientation shall be considered effective, regardless of what it hits prior to striking the combatant.
F. Sometimes a blow that would normally be accepted occurs at almost the same moment as an event that would cause the fight to be stopped (a “HOLD” being called, the fighter throwing the blow being killed, etc.). If the blow was begun before the occurrence of the event that would cause the bout to be halted, it shall be deemed a legal blow and acceptable, if of sufficient force. If the blow was begun after the occurrence of the event that would cause the bout to be halted, it shall be deemed not legal and need not be accepted.
G. A blow that includes the dropping of a weapon at the moment of impact need not be counted. (Note: If the force of the blow causes the weapon to be dropped, the rule shall be suspended.)
H. Due to safety limits placed on combat archery equipment and the low mass of the ammunition, arrows and bolts strike with less force. They need not strike with the same force as hand-held weapons to be considered killing blows.
YouTube- Pennsic War Woods Battle SCA Combat Fighting Video documentary