Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Knights, households and longswords, oh my

I was asked to join the chivalry in the SCA, and on Easter Sunday I was dubbed a knight with my grandfather's sword. Since then I have prioritized my medieval efforts slightly differently, and made sure my broad attention was on the whole of the Politarchopolis fighting community, and that my narrow focus was on building up the knowledge and combat capacity of my household, and my personal fighting goal was to develop a greater understanding of medeival combat techniques.

Politarchopolis has had a training revolution brought to it by appreciating and appropriating methods from two main sources: Sir Gemini's combat school, and ANU Kendo.  Duke Cornelius (Corny) has been in contact, and has studied the Gemini method. ANU Kendo has a 10 week beginners course, where you wander in clueless, and at the end you are able to throw the basic shots, put on armour, and see if Kendo if for you. These two were melded, and Corny has run beginners course three (?) times now, and one of my aims is to pick up this method well enough to be able to teach it independently next course. We have lots of new blood who have come through the course, and the mid-rankers are all improving in technique and teaching capacity.

My household has grown since my knighting, and at the fields of gold event later this month, I intend to take squires, and present belts to those who will stay as man-at-arms. Each is equally important to me, for different reasons. Aedwyn had faith in me way back when, and I have faith that she will sort out that getting cash in, and having free time thing enough to find time and fight more. Angus is an accomplished combatant, quite skilled, and needs to work on his temperament, calibration and training. Angus will be key in making sure the next two get authorized and have a good foundation of armoured combat. Urbana and Krieg are both sixteen, and are both learning the Gemini method. They are both high school students, and we are working on getting them armoured and ready to fight, as they have gotten their 'perfect circle' drills down pat, and need armour time to see where they go next. Urbana is academically gifted and a deep thinker, Krieg is charismatic and warm, both are figuring out that teenage thing pretty well. Gunter has a hard path, away from a major fighting community. He will need to find local combatants to train with, and I will be here to answer his questions as best I can. My mystery man-at-arms is suffering most deeply from work-life imbalance: I hope he can find a way through that issue.

I love co-incidences: I love that I can go to an ABS work function, find this guy who works in the ABS, and is an incredible teacher of the study of longsword. I love that we met just as I was knighted and bringing my head up to look around at the broader re-enactment world. I love that we had free alcohol as we figured all this out.

Lucas/ Matt is doing some super cool stuff. HEFT & The Company of Saint Christopher are going great guns. HEFT is a school of medieval combat methodologies studying existing manuals and other modern teachings. The Company is more of a living history group, with a focus being a tournament company around 1450-1500.

I recently had just over two weeks in Tasmania, and I made it to three HEFT lessons. They have a great crew, about 20 participants divided into beginners and advance, all learning and doing drills developed from the medieval manuals. Saint Christopher's had their first outing just after I left: My contribution was in the calligraphy field, and my gain was in finding sources to prepare an improved 15C persona.

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