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Liquid Communism
Mar 9, 2004


Out here, everything hurts.




BirdOfPlay posted:

Including how a blow with the guard is "Brutality."

Subjectivity is involving in all refereeing, from foil to baseball. Just be careful about telling epeeists, some of them can't handle that. The trick is to make it so that you can align yourself with what others are, mostly, doing.

In SCA heavy combat, back when I was still active, we'd refer to calibration. The goal being that since force of a strike that was accepted as a 'good' hit was on the receiver to judge, it was best policy to take as good the lightest hit you would want to deliver to an opponent and have taken. Otherwise, things tend to escalate, as the solution to someone calling every blow light is to simply hit them harder, and experienced fighters generally have a mile or two of body mechanics and leverage in reserve in case a harder blow is needed. So any given group would tend toward a middle ground as far as what was considered a good strike, and thus be locally calibrated on what was acceptable.

Also, hi, fencing thread. Did some sabre way back in the stone age, but my knees and ankles are too wrecked to be any good at it anymore. Glad to see a bunch of people interested, though!

Liquid Communism fucked around with this message at 01:03 on Feb 4, 2015

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Liquid Communism
Mar 9, 2004


Out here, everything hurts.




Siivola posted:

Alright so, uh. Would you accept that speed and power are connected, but the fastest hit might not be the strongest? A jab is faster than a cross, right?

That's the magical thing about swords: You don't need maximum power, but maximum speed is super handy for both offense and defense. And not just the velocity at the tip of the blade, but the time between going "oh poo poo" and the blade moving. A jab's worth of power is enough to cut a dude up, so taking a full back-foot-to-front step (which is what I mean when I say "leading with feet") while keeing your sword behing you is just kind of dangerous.

More of a funny thing about fencing specifically. It'll depend on the sword and the target otherwise, but generating more force is generally preferred when you have to worry about penetrating armor, or being able to fight for more than a 5 minutes at a time because your arm muscles are going to give out a lot faster than your back when it comes to generating swings with sufficient force to hurt an armored opponent.

It's looking like I may get to pick up some historical fencing soon, my local SCA chapter is making a few noises about picking up cut and thrust, which would be nice. I'd like to spend time working with something that handles more like a blade than rattan, even if I can't go full force with it.

Liquid Communism fucked around with this message at 09:46 on Feb 13, 2015

Liquid Communism
Mar 9, 2004


Out here, everything hurts.




That's a nice Wikipedia assertion you've got there, but I wouldn't take it as any sweeping evidence of greater effectiveness. Remember, most of the swordwork that survived into modern sport fencing came through the aristocracy, and thus has as much to do with what was fashionable as what was most effective outside of the salle.

This is something to always keep in mind when judging any historical work. Our records in many places are fragmentary at best, and research into them has moved in leaps and bounds over the last few decades alone.

Liquid Communism
Mar 9, 2004


Out here, everything hurts.




It makes a lot more difference when you're not fighting in a flat, completely empty open space, too.

Liquid Communism
Mar 9, 2004


Out here, everything hurts.




Oh, sure, I'm just pointing out that sport fencers not being good at using lateral movement has more to do with the rules of the game they train for than the utility of the movement in swordwork in general.

Liquid Communism
Mar 9, 2004


Out here, everything hurts.




ScratchAndSniff posted:

Anyone else know people who legitimately believe fencing/swordfighting can be used for self defense?

I've known a few SCA fighters who've used their skills in self defense, but they train in how to effectively and forcefully hit someone with a stick. It's handy in a lot more situations than knowing how to flick for points in foil, and in any case is a last resort for anyone with a bit of common sense.

Replacing your wallet and credit cards is safe and cheaper than hospital bills or what the lawyers will want to defend you. Engage in the poor man's martial art, the 100 meter dash.

Liquid Communism
Mar 9, 2004


Out here, everything hurts.




ScratchAndSniff posted:

Another big difference is that SCA has a much different definition of a "cut" than the historical manuals do. For safety reasons, they encourage more gliding cuts, rather than forceful whacks which would actually do damage. They also do the whole "hit person in the leg, then they pretend they can't walk" thing.

SCA fencing isn't "suicidal" in the same way sport fencing is, but it's still a game, and people treat it like one. To me it felt more like a non-electric "4th sport weapon" than a historical fighting style.


Depends on which system. SCA has three separate ones, Light Rapier, Heavy Rapier and Cut and Thrust, with similar rules but important differences. By standard the scoring strikes are thrusts and draw cuts, although the regional organizations (kingdoms) can opt to allow push cuts as well. Cut and Thrust allows percussive strikes. Leg shots are 'take a knee' in Light or Heavy, and a kill in C&T.

The rules they use are actually quite simple.

Liquid Communism
Mar 9, 2004


Out here, everything hurts.




Don't forget the two parrying daggers in there as well. The on the left appears to be in the swordbreaker style.

Liquid Communism
Mar 9, 2004


Out here, everything hurts.




curious lump posted:

Since we're still tangentially on the discussion of cuts, how fatal/dangerous would a rapier's draw cut to the side of the head be? They always seemed like bullshit to me, especially when someone was landing them right before a wheel cut to the face, or a point to the chest.

Period rapiers weigh in about the same as a single-handed sword of their day, 2-3 lbs. They don't really have stiff enough spines for a percussive blow to shatter bone like a broadsword's will, but they'd be plenty nasty. Not to mention how badly headwounds like that bleed.

Liquid Communism
Mar 9, 2004


Out here, everything hurts.




HEY GAL posted:

Check out this guy's arm:

From the Battle of Luetzen mass grave excavation

Interesting, although it doesn't say much about rapiers given that it's pretty much in the perfect place to have been caused by a strike from above by a cavalry sabre.

Liquid Communism
Mar 9, 2004


Out here, everything hurts.




Verisimilidude posted:

It's an issue we deal with constantly. How do you learn to fence "for real" without that inherent risk of real injury?

My battodo teacher's teacher hates double hits with a passion. He will punish you very hard if you land a double hit, if only to help spread that fear. Anyone who doesn't care about their own life can kill even an experienced fencer, which is why it's important to at least try and fence as if your life depends on it.

This is, idly, one of the things that I think results from what the Martial Arts thread preaches against as well. Not sparring full contact. Pain is a great teacher, and you will never learn to defend yourself the way you will if failure hurts by playing for points. It's one of the things SCA combat does well, although pretty much everything else about it is nothing like real swordwork. A lovely guard or overextension is punished by getting hit with enough force to let you know you've hosed up and not want to do it again.

Until I got around to building better cuisses (and building up better arm strength and speed) I used to come home with zebra-stripe bruises on the outside of my left thigh because my shield side was too slow and wasn't getting down to catch leg shots.

Liquid Communism
Mar 9, 2004


Out here, everything hurts.




DandyLion posted:

I only mention it because in my local group the knife fights are by far the hardest to win unanimously with. Even the best members in the group win no more than 50% of the time, and usually you end up being cut/stuck a half dozen times even when you 'win'. We felt the correlation in the aforementioned quote related to how difficult it was to isolate/limit your opponent before they injured you, and since injuries could mean death a while later, the context seemed to our eyes to imply that Tallhoffer was mentioning it because even with the instruction /proper training, there was a good chance one would die anyways.

This seems likely to me, because knife fights are nasty like that. The first rule of knife fighting has always been that you're going to get cut, win or lose.

If only because it's really hard to do enough damage to instantly incapacitate an opponent with a single knife shot.

Liquid Communism
Mar 9, 2004


Out here, everything hurts.




Rodrigo Diaz posted:

So hey any of y'all seen this guy?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pLTcVJGMBkQ

Anybody familiar enough with tulwar or other South Asian martial arts to tell whether he's full of poo poo? because it seems like he is but idk for sure.

It's interesting, but if any of his opponents actually knows how to use a buckler (hint, punch his dumb rear end with it), then he's going to have trouble.

That said, with the beard and turban I'd guess he's Sikh, and they had a pretty fearsome reputation as swordsmen back in the day. This could be historical, I'd have to see sources.

HEY GAL posted:

the difference is because americans, in my experience, are huge babies about getting hit on the hands

Hands, eyes, throat/spine. None of these things are optional to have protected.

Liquid Communism
Mar 9, 2004


Out here, everything hurts.




I actually got knocked loopy in a SCA match one day and it reminded me why I love proper protective gear. Total my-fault accident while training with 4 foot axes, I was new with them and ducked just wrong into a shot that was headed for my shoulder. Instead I caught the haft square between the eyes about a foot above his hands, and got my bell rung. He tried to pull it but I basically headbutted his stick.

Safety gear isn't to keep normal practice hits from hurting you, it's to keep one-off dumb accidents from hurting you.

Liquid Communism
Mar 9, 2004


Out here, everything hurts.




Verisimilidude posted:

You can duck slightly if your sword is in place to defend yourself from immediate counterattack. A drill I learned from JSA utilizes a very minor duck: one person has a padded gekken, and one person has nothing (hand/arm takes the place of a sword, or you can use a sword if you like). The goal of the drill is to not step backwards, which is the typical movement people tend to make when being attacked. You want to step towards your opponent, preferably off to their side (and within the reach of their sword), such that they need to turn their head to see you. Using your sword to shunt their blade (with longsword you can do this safely down to the crossguard or schilt). This teaches you to intercept a blow as it's coming towards you while simultaneously putting yourself into a very advantageous position to either strike or use a takedown. It also embodies the JSA concept of "seme" or pressure, part of which requires your defensive actions (blocking the sword) to be inherently offensive in nature (putting yourself into a strong position).

In practice (unless your opponent is much larger than you) you typically need to duck slightly in order to get your sword underneath theirs to protect you from an immediate counterattack. Better timing requires less of a duck as your sword is safely blocking theirs (and your form is strong enough that your weapon doesn't collapse).

Yeah, as I was taught it, the drill is to step in and to their weak side, shunt the attack past your weak shoulder, and throw the snap cross to their face. Unfortunately I failed at it.

Liquid Communism
Mar 9, 2004


Out here, everything hurts.




curious lump posted:

If you wanted to go defense with a shield, you can just shift so that your left foot (and thus your off hand) is forward, which makes it easier (?) to defend, and keeps your weapon in your main hand.

That's... pretty much standard shield fighting, yes. Shields are for hiding behind, not throwing out dramatically behind you.

Was this somehow in doubt? I mean, the whole point of a shield is that you have an object to block your opponent's lines of attack and lines of sight. I suppose the rapier-and-buckler set sometimes fence sword forward and mostly use the shield to stop simultaneous hits when they strike.

Rodrigo Diaz posted:

This is correct. I.33 shows striking with the buckler, and Stephen Hand has shown a pretty good interpretation of attacking with a centre-gripped shield, some of which probably translates over into the flatter kite shapes and other strapped forms.

You can punch with a center grip shield, and bosses are good for that, but using the edges to foul your opponent's strikes is better. I fought most of my time in the SCA with an 18" center grip round shield, and it served quite well despite being a 6'5" large guy.

http://www.bellatrix.org/school/section05.htm

There's a few examples of the 'classic' Bellatrix shield form from the SCA. Not historical, but effective practical technique if limited by the rules of the SCA's game. The annoying bit is that, at least when I last researched it some years ago, the paper trail on historical European weapons use doesn't really pick up until the 14th century, when larger shields were falling out of fashion, and mostly only covers sword and target.

Liquid Communism
Mar 9, 2004


Out here, everything hurts.




Perestroika posted:

So this is a question that probably goes more towards the historical end, but of course all perspectives are welcome. In many movies or novels that feature swordfighting, there's often that moment where one combatant will step close, do some twirly thing with his sword, and suddenly his opponent's weapon goes flying. Now, I've wondered whether that has any basis in reality. Are there any treatises or schools that feature techniques specifically focused on disarming the opponent? If so, how common and effective are those, would they be a reasonable choice in any given fight or only something very situational?

It's very difficult against anyone with a decent grip, but disarming someone from a bind is doable.

Liquid Communism
Mar 9, 2004


Out here, everything hurts.




I have never, ever, ever sparred with anyone I would trust enough to spar with sharps against.

Or who I hated enough to wish a manslaughter rap on if I failed to block a cut.

Liquid Communism
Mar 9, 2004


Out here, everything hurts.




tirinal posted:

The first is understandable, but if you're lacking candidates for the second then you really need to spend more time in the world.

Nah, I just don't spar with people I want to hurt. It leads to bad form.

Liquid Communism
Mar 9, 2004


Out here, everything hurts.




That sounds like a great way to disarm yourself if your opponent is in any way faster than you.

Liquid Communism
Mar 9, 2004


Out here, everything hurts.




The Rawlings plastics are actually pretty good too. I have been using a Rawlings basked hilted broadsword sim for solo work and pells and it's a lot sturdier than you would expect for a plastic. Weight's not bad either, I'd happily spar with it, although not against a steel feder as squared edges would mar it pretty badly.

Liquid Communism
Mar 9, 2004


Out here, everything hurts.




I'm one of those six and a half footers of German extraction, and my endurance is fine. It's just that I'm fat, and fat is a good insulator so I overheat like a motherfucker.

Liquid Communism
Mar 9, 2004


Out here, everything hurts.




Sounds like someone needed better hand protection and/or to not try to block with their hand.

Liquid Communism
Mar 9, 2004


Out here, everything hurts.




your friend a dog posted:

this is not the answer

No, the refs pulling that dude's card because he's clearly not controlling the force of his strikes is the answer, but at the same time I'm big on overbuilding protective gear a little.

Liquid Communism
Mar 9, 2004


Out here, everything hurts.




your friend a dog posted:

Agree but I'll effort post when I get back from work on why the culture leads to it happening

Please do. The HEMA tourney scene is a mystery to me.

Liquid Communism
Mar 9, 2004


Out here, everything hurts.




Those I am pretty familiar with, but generally you see the macho over-swinging and shrugging off good blows as 'light' in SCA heavy, not C&T.

Liquid Communism fucked around with this message at 01:26 on Aug 6, 2018

Liquid Communism
Mar 9, 2004


Out here, everything hurts.




your friend a dog posted:

Warning: effort post incoming



Alright. So, a little background - I don't know a whole bunch about HEMA either, as I'm not even sure there's an overarching governing body that specifies rules and judging standards. I'm coming from the perspective of someone who's done SCA (despite being outside the SCA) rapier fighting who's done a few HEMA tournaments. I'm going to discuss why I see HEMA has blow problems, and also why I dislike HEMA rapier fighters (as fighters, not as people), and think they're lovely fighters.

As a brief recap of the differences:

Blows:
HEMA: Blows halt the action entirely. Blows give points, with the least being limbs and then the body, and finally the head. Blows are entirely called by judges, HEMA fighters are expected to fight until the judges call a halt. In other words, they do not call their own shots.
SCA: Blows do not halt the action, although it's considered honorable to give your oponent time to reset if you've taken an extremity. If you make a legal blow to their arm, they lose that arm. If you make a legal blow to their leg, they lose all mobility. Head and body shots are created equal, but taking a head shot usually means you forfeit your after blow. Stop thrusts are a thing, so if I stick my point in your bicep as you're throwing a shot at my body, your shot wont count (probably). Shots are expected to be called by the individual fighters as they feel them. Shots may also be called back by fighters as they feel. If you ignore shots, everyone will know, and you will find yourself taking harder and harder shots until someone eventually decides to get you kicked out.

Protective equipment
This is a big deal.
HEMA: (Copy pasted from their combatcon rules). Appropriate Head protection: Masks with back of the head protection. This is HARD back of the head covering. Not soft. Trachea protection, that protects the throat from a direct thrust. Heavy padded HEMA jackets or Padded Gambeson. Hard elbow protection, that covers the 3 points of the elbow. Hard Knee protection that covers the knee. Hard shelled hand protection. Groin protection for male fighters. Breast protection for female fighters. Shin and forearm protection are not essential but recommended. No exposed skin will be allowed.

SCA: No skin showing. Must have gussets to protect the arm pits. Doublet must pass a punch test to stop you from getting gutted by a broken blade. Cups for men, breast protectors recommended but not required for women. Only requirement for back of the head protection is that no skin is showing, eg, a soft hood. You can wear more protection if you want, but it's not required, or expected that you'll need it.

I've bolded the important parts of the HEMA stuff.


Remember that hullaballoo a while back about how football injuries were actually increasing because the players were wearing more protection? In other words, once they thought they were safer, they started playing a lot harder - and injury rates climbed.

In both HEMA and the SCA, you have people worried about getting hit too hard. Each group tackles this problem in their own separate ways. In the SCA, people will complain about 'stiff' shots and expect you to modulate your blows so you're not hurting people. You won't actually get in trouble, however (although people might start trying to hit you back harder), unless you straight up hurt someone, in which case you can end up getting your fighter's card pulled and banned from fighting. So people try to control their blows out of respect for their opponents and a desire not to get kicked out. That being said, you're also expected to understand that it is a martial art, and a fighting sport, and that you will get hit. You will get bruises. Protection is as much your responsibility as it is your opponents. You can wear more equipment, but it's expected that you won't be taking hits that you'll actually need it on, and the stiff hits you do take occasionally are all part of the game. ("Learn to parry", as my old fencing master used to say) It's like MAD, but the opposite. Mutually assured protection.

In HEMA, they just pile on the equipment. Notice the differences in gear, especially the parts I bolded? They're wearing like 5x as much protective gear as the SCA fighters. Yet, in the few HEMA tourneys I've been to, multiple people have gotten hurt. As in, multiple people each time. In the dozens of SCA tourneys I've been in, I can't remember a single person getting seriously hurt. The over emphasis on protection leads to people assuming people won't get hurt (or at least they wont get hurt). And yet, it keeps happening anyways. So... why is that?

The first HEMA tourney I went to, after doing some rapier, I jumped into a saber tourney as well. Multiple people's tips started coming off of their sabers. In the SCA, if a single person's tip came off, they would halt all combat that person was involved in and make them leave until they fixed their poo poo. Lose your place in the rankings? Tough luck.
It didn't seem to phase the HEMA guys one bit. Normally I would've said something, but I had so little faith in their ability to hit me with their tips that I didn't bother. Anyways, in one of my matches, I saw an opening in my opponent and balestra'd forward. Not only did he lunge into my attack (and missed, but nevertheless) my saber came up at such an angle that it was impossible for it to flex.

To recap: He got hit by an uncapped tip (and they were shaped pointed too!), backed by a lunge backed by the momentum of my jump, AND he lunged directly into it. I immediately asked him if he was okay, and he patted his heavy gambeson and said that he had barely felt it. Hmm.

I've been hosed up a couple times by doing exactly what he did in the past, and getting punked in the gut by a tip hurts enough that you learn not to do it again. Nothing improves your form like the risk of going home with a fresh bruise or a headache from getting popped in the head. I guarantee you that HEMA fighter didn't learn a thing.

In the SCA, you're expected to control your sword. While sometimes it can get hurt to get hit, and sometimes you just get blasted, both you and your opponent are expected to remain in control of the weapon at all time. Cuts should be delivered with the intention of drawing, not bashing, and your thrusts should be hitting them from far enough away that they would've penetrated that fatal three inches - not go through them and come out their back. These are basic safety expectations, but nevertheless manage to breed good fighting and control as a byproduct. In HEMA rapier, they have none of that.

They fight like they're doing cut-and-thrust, with wild, out of control swings that you can see a mile away, delivered with percussive force and no thought for control before, during, and after. As I mentioned before, cuts in the SCA are expected to draw - preferably with the last six inches of your blade. (If you sit there trying to saw at someone with your forte, no one's going to take it.) In HEMA, if the judges see one of those cuts that look like they'd fit in better with a fantasy movie, they still call it good. There's no expectation of either realism or control.

Lastly, the judging is terrible. This sounds like a tangent, but it ties into the whole problem with safety they have. There's a reason why you're expected to call shots that hit you in the SCA - it's hard to see what fighters are doing, even when you're on either side of them. Not to puff myself up, but I've fought and trained under two men that I would consider #1 and #2 in the world in terms of sheer competitve and combat skill with a rapier. (Note - not sheer accuracy to specific historical style.) I've fought with my fellow class mates for years. If there's anyone who should be able to see and accurately judge their blows, it should be me. And yet - I still can't do it. It's hard as poo poo to tell who's hitting who, and if that blow actually hit his hand or if it just scuffed by the lining of his glove, or if that guy got popped in the head or if it was a max range extension that barely tickled his bib.

The HEMA judges are - at best - fighters so far below me I'd rank our first year students above them, and - at worst - not fighters at all. So how can they be expected to see blows? Every HEMA competition me or my buddys go to, we'll be hitting them in the arms, in the legs, in the torsos, sometimes over a dozen times before the judges notice a single hit.
I remember in my first HEMA tourney - I might've mentioned this earlier in the thread - stabbing a guy squarely in the stomach. The judges say nothing as he retreat, me following after him, with my sword still buried in his stomach. I won shortly thereafter. Was it because the judges finally noticed that I had stabbed him? Nope. He ended up tripping over himself as he retreated and falling on his knee. Never seen a knee twist out of position like that before. The dude nearly passed out. Could've been entirely avoided if he had just called the shot.

The need for these super obvious blows that even an untrained judge can see leads to all this wild, uncontrolled charging and large, swinging blows. In a normal sword fight - in the SCA - if you charge a better swordsman, you're going to get popped in the legs, in the stomach, in the head, long before you get in cut range. In HEMA, you can be hitting the dude in every part of his body and he'll keep berserker charging you as the judges stand there, oblivious.


So, to recap:
HEMA puts an over emphasis on protective equipment. Because they cannot feel hard blows, they never learn to modulate their shots. Their bitching about hard blows and demanding people shove on more safety equipment just means they fight all that more unsafely because they think their protective equipment will keep them 100% safe. Unfortunately, sometimes it fails or something sneaks through.

Their inability to call their own shots means they never learned to fight cautiously. The system rewards over the top, uncontrolled blows because those are easy for the judges to see. They don't worry about charging in because they expect their equipment to stop injuries and because subtle stopping shots are too fast for the judges to see.
They also have a bit of a macho attitude (and considering I bitched at people for complaining about hard shots, this should tell you something) when it comes to blows and injuries. They seem to think 'tougher than thou' is a thing, and how hard you can swing your blade at someone is a measure of skill. It's a clusterfuck of poor attitude and bad training.
(SAFETY RANT FINISHED HERE)


Addendum: (aka, the HEMA fighters suck rant)
All those things also contribute to HEMA fighters being such lovely fencers. If anyone ever introduces a post with being a HEMA fencer and then prepares to share their opinion, I give it a little roll of my eyes and immediately discard it. I'm not particularily fond of SCA fencers either - I think they train poorly, have poor motivation, and the wrong attitudes 90% of the time - but even their newbies of a year or two tend to be leagues better than HEMA fighters who've been doing it for half a decade. And when I say 'tend to', I mean 99% of the time.

Their point system discourages any sort of actual defense of the extremities. In the SCA, a good hand shot is literally right below an actual killing shot. Taking away the hand someone's been training with for years is a brutal setback for a fighter. In the SCA, people learn how to defend their hands - and after that, they learn how to turn a hand into a bait for an overeager opponent. Got a mobile opponent who's mastered distance, or simply outranges you? Take out his legs to ground him and give you a chance to finish him off. In HEMA, they don't give a poo poo. It's hard as hell for the judges to see a quick hand or knee shot, and even if they do somehow notice it, it's worth as little as 1/3 of an actual kill.

The judging system leads to lovely fighters being rewarded by worse judges, when their opponents blows somehow manage to go unseen, and their over the top swings being called immediately. I've had shots called on me when their sword never came close. Once, I had my opponent's dagger parried outside my body, my sword tip in his stomach, and the judges, watching, with his sword still outside on my dagger, called a double kill. HEMA fighters just rhino hide their way through a better fighter's skill and force them to hit them again, and again, and again, until they gently caress up and finally get chopped. HEMA fighters are not forced to take responsibility for their shots, and have zero sense of sportsmanship or competitive honor instilled into them. It breeds a bunch of poor, unchallenging fighters that are zero enjoyment to fight.

In short - HEMA is bad. Bad fighters, bad system, unsafe practices. At least, HEMA rapier is. I don't know about their other disciplines, but considering my old fencing master - who had never held a longsword in his life, who solely devoted himself to mastering the rapier - has gone undefeated in both steel and synthetic longsword, I'm guessing their other disciplines are just as poo poo. Sorry to rag on those of you that do HEMA and post in this thread, but as a word of advice: if you want to learn how to fight well, go do SCA. Do both if you want, but I guarantee you that if you find a decent teacher in the SCA to guide you, you'll find your skill level 'magically' improving.

Thanks for this! Makes a lot more sense now from my angle as an ex SCA heavy guy looking to maybe come back and do C&T.

That said, yikes. I had immediately assumed it was an equipment failure, but that sounds pretty unfortunate. One of the cardinal rules of any kind of martial sport that was beaten into me is that you have absolute responsibility for the safety of your strikes. If your opponent does something dumb and hurts themselves, that's on them, but if they get hurt because of you, woe and shame on you for not having proper control of your weapon. The vast majority of more than a bruise SCA injuries I've ever seen were the result of falling down, usually related to rolling an ankle or tripping on someone in combination with heat stress.

Liquid Communism
Mar 9, 2004


Out here, everything hurts.




your friend a dog posted:

Why are the two mutually exclusive? It's not like karate, where it devolved into a bunch of useless katas and meditational exercises. The rapier was a dueling weapon, the treatises and manuals written about it aimed to teach students how to effectively use it. Learning rapier properly means being good at it and being able to use it effectively. And that's why when HEMA fighters come up against SCA fighters they get beaten into the ground.

Just remember, bitching about suicidal rapier fighters is period, if a bit late period. George Silver goes on at length.

Liquid Communism
Mar 9, 2004


Out here, everything hurts.




bessantj posted:

I don't get people who seem to go psycho at tournaments. I don't really fight in tournaments but I did fight in one unofficial tournament put together by my school and a few others in the local area. We were using bespoke rules because HEMA rules can be a bit poo poo. In a match that was first to ten I was nine - one up and my opponent charged me so I just thought he'd given up and I hit him with a thrust to the head. Only he didn't stop and kept on charging eventually colliding with me and we both went over where he held my head down and stabbed me in the side of my neck. I didn't react too well and we got into a fight. But I'll never understand why he decided to do what he did (beyond him being an arsehole.)

I think the real question there is if he got his card pulled. Because that's pretty unacceptable behavior for any competitive sport.

Liquid Communism
Mar 9, 2004


Out here, everything hurts.




At least he apologized, I suppose, but still not a good look.

Liquid Communism
Mar 9, 2004


Out here, everything hurts.




Ravenfood posted:

Ok, all joking at the expense of foilists aside though, you really need to calm down on this one since it's clear you're not really listening to what I'm saying either. You've decided there is some ideal of "good technique" that everything else, like scoring etc, should be in service of. You could presumably design a sport that enables that, but my theory is that, in a sport context, good technique is defined by what wins the sporting event. You even talked about the fact that HEMA's ruleset encourages "sloppy" technique. Ideal foil parries are different from ideal epee parries because they're what work under the terms of sport, and bear little resemblance to some kind of idealized historical parry because that's not the point of either sport. And if HEMA wants to move that way, then they have to accept that, just like every nerdlinger who comes to an Olympic fencing club needs to be slapped until they stop saying things like "realistically..." It's simple: what is the role of competing against another person? Is everything in service of that? Or is it a fun way to identify problems in your technique? Olympic fencing has occasional honor code bouts too: in practice, to work out problems or to test out drills. They are in service of winning competition, though. Good technique is defined by what wins the sport. It's not possible to say "i lost the match but at least I fought better" (if you define technique really tightly and don't include distance, timing, and application then i suppose the sentence "i lost but at least my technique was better" is...at least possible) because there isn't some platonic goal of fighting better. Hell, it's a given part of Olympic fencing that if the judge didn't think you parried, you didn't regardless of what everyone else thinks. It's an expected and understood part of the sport to learn to adapt to the judge while on the strip, and part of being a good fencer.

If HEMA is a sport, then wild swings designed to hit so obviously that judges can't miss them are good technique, not bad. Dangerous and stupid ruleset, sure, but playing to that ruleset is what they should be doing. If it is a martial art, then the competition is secondary tk, and in service of, the form and technique. Is competition the goal, or is it a tool in service of improving an art form?

If the purpose of studying HEMA is to recreate historical martial arts in a functional manner, then yes, there are objective standards of what makes good technique. Translating that to a tournament-capable ruleset is an art that is still developing, and as such relies heavily on fighters self-policing and behaving in an honorable manner on the field.

The example YFAD illustrates (charging though a face thrust to grapple and get an afterblow for a 'double') is, so far as I can tell, bad technique from the perspective of recreating a historical martial art because it would be suicidal with sharps. That is, in theory, why HEMA (and SCA) fight with feders and schlagers as opposed to foils or epees, as these more accurately behave, weigh, and balance like a sharp.

Liquid Communism fucked around with this message at 13:16 on Aug 7, 2018

Liquid Communism
Mar 9, 2004


Out here, everything hurts.




Ravenfood posted:

Right, which is why I said that deciding whether you're an art or a sport is pretty important. I think that the two goals are mutually exclusive.

E: you can even be a sport that tries to be really close to recreating a martial art, but there are aspects of the martial art that will not easily translate, if at all, to a nonlethal competitive environment, and those edge cases will continue to be an issue in the community unless there is consensus on what the goal is.

The thing is, there will not be that consensus any time soon if ever. There is in the SCA, in that the organization as a whole has standards, practices, and rules of the list set by the organization. However those standards in the SCA are intentionally very loosely defined as far as practical intent and limited to speaking to safety practices, because their goal is to have the greatest number of participants able to get into their game with a minimal investment of preparation and gear to get started.

HEMA as a whole is a loose label for any number of individual clubs, individuals, and organized schools with very different takes on how their various arts are to be practiced, and what sort of rules of engagement are appropriate and necessary to compete. There's no sanctioning body to even take up the question of art versus sport, and no general agreement on things as simple as 'is playing with sharps okay as long as we promise to be extra super careful?'

Liquid Communism
Mar 9, 2004


Out here, everything hurts.




Hands, eyes, and throat/cervical spine, man. The three things that must be properly protected if some dumbass is going to be swinging a sword near you, no matter how good their intentions. Groin is a close fourth but that won't cripple you for life.

Liquid Communism
Mar 9, 2004


Out here, everything hurts.




Verisimilidude posted:

I'm actually looking to get some SCA gauntlets since they seem to get the job done and have full mobility. Do you have any recommendations? I tried a pair of these from Darkwood Armory and they're great, but I'm looking for more options.

A bunch of the C&T folks locally bought these in a group buy for doing longsword because the new rules require hard hands.

DandyLion posted:

Why do y'all think so many of the old artwork and images show knights in full harness but without gauntlets on?

I seem to recall some quote by King Louie to the effect of "there is no gauntlet in the world that can protect the hands from a full force longsword strike"....


<----has had many fingers broken through all the most robust gloves/gauntlets on the market.

I would wager that anything sufficient to break your hand through a good SCA heavy rated mitten was probably someone actually trying to kill you. 16GA stainless properly arched to ground out on the weapon hilt is exceptionally strong, to the point that without padding them hand shots were painless for me. It's a lot more, and a lot better, metal than was used in period gauntlets.

Liquid Communism fucked around with this message at 06:42 on Sep 21, 2018

Liquid Communism
Mar 9, 2004


Out here, everything hurts.




If there's one thing on that list that bears repeating, it's do squats. Most of the positions you'll fight from are a lot different than anything you do in your day to day life if you're a desk dweller, and strength and flexibility in the hamstring/glue/lower back chain will be rewarded with much better movement in the fight.

Liquid Communism
Mar 9, 2004


Out here, everything hurts.




I'd be interested as well.

I know very little about longsword.

Liquid Communism
Mar 9, 2004


Out here, everything hurts.




EvilMerlin posted:

Well said.

Feder = feather sword.

And nothing binds properly without an edge. I've tried a bunch of stuff but nothing really lets you understand fühlen without a true edge.

I start my students with feders. Once they reach level two (I call them red shirts, you start with nothing, get a blue shirt after your 9 week intro class and 2 years later or so can go for your red shirt), you are required to do all but contact drills with blunted longswords, but you will also do paired drills with sharps. I cut down the tip so no accidental stabbies, but the blades are still pointy and sharp and the first time you do a binding drill with a sharp you KNOW. I cannot say it much better than that. You understand so much more about how a blade works and why blade to blade contact was vital when you can do it.

Almost all competitions use feders so we don't kill each other. Feders do hurt can break bones etc, but not like a blunted longsword can. Hell I can cut tatami with a blunted longsword (I use the Hanwei Practical Bastard Sword, which I call Bertha). If I do a standard zornhau, I'm going to break your collar bone if I hit you. A zorn-ort is going to dent your mask well and good. With a feder? Not so much. Thats not to say people don't break other people with feders... they do...

Paired drills with sharps make me nervous. What level of armoring do you require for them?

Liquid Communism
Mar 9, 2004


Out here, everything hurts.




Yeah, I'd want steel, myself, out of a strong respect for both leverage and idiots.

Never know when someone new to swords is going to make that one big dumb mistake, usually out of pure nerves. At least with feders that usually doesn't mean permanent injuries.

Liquid Communism
Mar 9, 2004


Out here, everything hurts.




Oh, speaking of which, Castille Armory is doing a Cyber Monday sale. 10% off any of their production designs, including their very reasonable economy clamshell rapier/side ring dagger set.

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Liquid Communism
Mar 9, 2004


Out here, everything hurts.




I've been really tempted by their basket hilts. I'd like something in a broadsword for SCA use that's roughly late-1500's, and the other option I've seen, Alchem's Mary Rose find based half basket isn't really my jam.

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