Fighting

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New Dog Toy Thrusting Tip

dog toy thrusting tip
This is something Thjora discovered at Target. It's a dog toy but makes a great butt spike thrusting tip. It has a bit of heft to it, folds over without pinching, and probably works really well to move shield edges and such around. Roland, the Atlantian Earl Marshal, has approved this for use.

I attached mine with contact cement.

A visit to my local target today proved fruitless. While Thjora got them for about $4 each, that was apparently the sale price on the pink ones. At PetSmart today, I paid $12 for one. Which is still a deal compared to the SCA specific molded thrusting tips.

I also picked up another dog toy that looks like a giant blue rubber caltrop, which I plan to mount as an X bar crossguard if I can make it fit. No pictures of that yet.

Hey I just found that Amazon sells these cheaper than Target or PetSmart.

More pictures of the thrusting tip below.

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Where are the Future Squires?

I've heard through the grapevine now and then that, apparently, I'm scary.

I've learned to remember this on an intellectual level, but my emotional self still doesn't take this into account. That is, I have to think about that fact in my interactions with people–my emotional self doesn't deal with interpreting my relationships with strangers anywhere along the lines of "that person may be acting that way toward me because they're scared of me."

In part, I suppose it is because I don't ever ever recall, twenty years ago, being scared of any of the knights. I respected them, yes, but I still recall Baroness Caitilin advising me "I wouldn't call him 'Diccon'." when I asked her for advice on how to approach Duke Richard for instruction. 'Cause I was already going to call him by that familiar name–everyone else was!

Five people have approached me to be squires over the years. Only Colin and I actually came to agreement. Yes, there are people I"ve asked who didn't work out too. About the same numbers, actually. Perhaps tellingly, those who asked me mostly did it in the first few years of my knighthood. In the last 7 years, only one guy. Who promptly was swallowed back into his regular life.

Everyone I've taken besides Colin has been asked by me: Susannah, Edwin, Evja, Philip. When I asked him, Philip's second or third reaction was "Gee, I didn't think you liked me very much."

So there's some sort of PR problem out there, which I'm in part trying to deal with here.

I think the folks I regularly practice with know I'm not scary, but by and large those guys are all younger than I would consider taking as a squire. Like Anton, I want people who are grown ups, who know what they want in the SCA, whose lives won't be turned inside-out the week after they graduate. As highly as I regard the great bunch of 18-20 year olds at Thursday practice, I've seen twenty-five 18-20 year olds jump enthusiastically into the SCA, build armor, fight for a while...and disappear.

So while I could probably have 4 new squires out of the UVa practice, that's not right for me. I'll talk about that with them after graduation.

Over the 12+ years I've been a knight, I've seen many people I thought were a good match for our household go to other knights. By and large, that's fine. A few have become less than they could have been, but that doesn't necessarily reflect on their choice of households. Other things besides who's training you affect your SCA career.

Sometimes a fighter has gotten messed up in fealty problems. These guys are bound to be sensitive. They may have had a messy end to their fealty and be belt shy. Well, all I can say there is that no one I've ever taken in to the house has had that sort of problem with me. To these guys, all I can do is say "Sorry things are as they are. Let me know if I can help in any way."

These days when I look around at practices and events, I don't see a bunch of people obviously ready to enter a formal fealty relationship in order to progress in their fighting. In fact, scouring my mind and actually doing research, I've only thought of two, maybe three, all a long way into North Carolina, one of them a woman. And she's probably not squired yet only because I think I take women's potential more seriously than most of my brothers do.

All of this is, I suppose, a very long way of paraphrasing the masonic bumper sticker "2B1 ask 1". If you think you're a good match for my style of managing a house, a practice, a training path, then talk to me. 2b1 ask >|<. I don't bite. I'm not scary.

Update: an old article of mine on squiring at this link.

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Corby's Flickr Slideshow

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Short Notice Practice on a Beautiful Afternoon

Ridiculous short notice I know, but Philip and I are getting together at my place after work today to armor up and fight until it gets too dark. I've got a new polearm to try out and maybe a new shield too. Anyone nearby interested in coming by is welcome, and we'll feed you after if you're hungry.

Crown's only 6 weeks away!

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Marshal Instructions

I hope to minimize the need for marshals to say things that translate to "You can't do that." I hope we can set every site up somewhere that makes sneaking around to avoid the test impossible or really really difficult. For example, if the questers want to try to steal a goat from cyclops rather than stand up fight him, well, then they have to cope with bleating goats warning cyclops.

Stealing a goat should be hard, meaning we want to put it somewhere that makes it hard for questers to sneak around. Not have the marshal's say "You can't sneak around back."

But there will be some things we have to explain to the questers, much of it about how fighting will work. I'd like to put this to them "in character" rather than a dry reading of the rules, and I don't want each of the escort-marshals to have to run down these. (And we need a better name than "escort-marshal." They are the Eye of the Gods upon the team, among other things.)

So here's what we need to explain to the questers at the start. This list may grow.

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Omens of Dread for the Coronation of Valharic and Arielle

Respectful of the traditions of His ancestors, Prince Valharic has called on an Oracle to speak of His upcoming coronation. Those auguries speak of a glorious reign to come, with great things to begin at the coronation of Valharic and Arielle. Yet they also hint at some darker, alarming event on the heels of that joy:

No doubt in the strength of a chain's bond, those unproven prove the day.

Mars and Vulcan strive, so must the brave as a strong hand's fingers.

Ever mindful of the welfare of Atlantia, Prince Valharic asks that teams of five ("as a strong hand's fingers") stalwarts apply to him and be prepared for a quest into the very realm of the Roman Gods. Teams must include at least one armored combatant and at least one non-combatant and must be captained by a non-peer ("those unproven prove the day"). One peer per team, but you may include a multiple peer. List as many of your five and their titles as you have worked out when you apply to HRH Valharic. Email prince [at] atlantia [dot] sca [dot] org to apply.

Valharic handed out many of these this weekend, and it is also now online a the Atlantian Combat Board and on Armor Archive.

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Warm Ice

Saturday was the warmest Ice Castles I can recall. Since I'm pretty sure I've been to every Ice Castles since 1987 that didn't have a frightening weather forecast, that means the warmest one in two decades.

Philip and I rode together, mostly discussing polearm technique along the way while I refurbished my gauntlets.

It seemed to me that the event staff forgot that a Warlord tourney goes really fast, and didn't have anything else planned for after. So there was lots and lots of pick up fighting, which was good.

At the start of the day I mentioned that it was the 20th anniversary of my first Ice Castles and asked everyone on the field to please take time to fight with me, either during or after the day. I think I fought almost everyone at one time or another, though I had to stop earlier than I wanted because my right vambrace finally blew up.

I have got to get some maintenance done on those vambraces! (Which is another way of saying I'll be in the shop all of this coming weekend, if anyone wants to come work on gear too. Thjora is off to Winter University while I watch the dogs, learn how to repoussé and fix my armor. You know I like company while I work!)

Susanna also made it out and fought, which was great to see. Because of the nature of the tourney, we barely ran into each other on the field all day, unfortunately.

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Get the Good Stuff to the Top

Hey friends with web sites,

Do me (and every clueless newbie hunting for SCA info on Google) a favor.

Put a couple of links to this site on your site. In your "links" area, if you have one, link to the main page.

Find some article or blog post here and link directly to that in some post of yours. There are almost 600 entries of one kind or another from which to choose.

It pisses me off that that kooky "Trick of the Eye" manual is on the front Google page  for "SCA combat" and this site isn't.

Thanks. Here's some example code, if you need it:

<a href="http://delaflamme.org/site">House de la Flamme is one of the few SCA Combat Blogs, and a resource for all kinds of SCA info.</a>

And to those of you who have already linked once to me, much gratitude.

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Ponte Alto Practice

Regardless of Kevin's inability to show up to "dispense the rattan shampoo" the turnout at Ponte Alto yesterday was pretty good. (I think of Kevin more as someone who receives the shampooing anyway.) Sir Thomas, Grendel, Ansel, Joscelyn, Matthew, Brath, Matthew Dredge, Abel and several other people whose names I didn't get were there. I think I fought or at least worked with everyone who armored up, and worked with several people who didn't armor.

Matthew put a couple of nice bruises on me from greatsword, always a shoulder punishing form. I'm glad Thjora is making me a new gambeson with some of that hard felt in the shoulders.

Brath, a new-ish guy who isn't particularly big or strong looking, hit me so hard in the rib under my right arm that I felt it where the opposite rib attaches to the left side of my sternum. With his off hand. Fighting two sword. The bruise will probably be a foot long when it emerges. Damn.

Atlantian Crown Tourney 11/06 - 179Colin and I argued politics and discussed his emerging round shield style. I'm going to see if Duke Richard and Sir Torvald can get with him to give him some direction and guidance.

He's attempting to discover if the stuff he's doing is a new style, or just some bad ideas he's getting away with. Though that's probably not how Colin would put it.

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Worst top SCA link

Can anyone explain why "Trick of the Eye" is the top link when you google "SCA Heavy Fighting"?

Are there that many nuts who think it is a good guide to fighting that they link to it? Hard to believe. "CONTRARY TO POPULAR BELIEF, THE ARM IS ACTUALLY MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE BODY FOR THROWING A FAST AND FORCEFUL SCA BLOW!" Sheesh. What junk.

I sure hope it is because Patrick paid google for it.

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