The Opposite of Rhino

Is me.

Oh crap. Does that actually make me a bunny then (see below for sword bunny reference).

What is a rhino you say? In SCA fighting a rhino is someone that does not acknowledge/take shots (hits to them by their opponents sword). So if I hit you and it connects and you shrug it off you are in jeopardy of being known as a rhino. I’ve seen rhinos at fighter practices and I’ve seen rhinos at events.

The worst case was at Ursulmas a few years ago. A squire was fighting a Knight. He would not acknowledge the Knights blows. A couple of times the Knight kind of paused and looked at him as if to say, “you’re really not going to take that? OK how about this” and the Knight would hit a little harder. It got so bad the Knights along the sidelines were getting riled up. At the end of the fight several fighters swarmed the squire and the squire’s own Knight was brought into play.

What I and others over heard was no less than the worst verbal dressing down you could expect to get as a fighter. He had shamed himself but worse, he had shamed his Knight. You could see the effect when those words were spoken. I heard later the squire sought out the Knight and they had a very long talk and all was well.

I’ve seen rhinoing at a Crown event. That was a little harder to watch. So much was on the line. You could tell the spectators were getting flustered. Where was the honor in this fight. The fight eventually ended. Not in the manner that the majority of us watching had hoped for. Getting a reputation of a rhino is not one you want following you. I learned this early on.


Which I think has found me on the opposite end of a rhino – some sort of fluffy critter (I’d really prefer it not to be bunny!). I take a hit that I think is valid to be told by my opponent that it was not a good hit. I think about it a bit and say, but I felt it, and they say, so did I and it did not correct. I’ve irritated more than one opponent, especially Knights working with me, because of taking shots. But I think I’d rather take a shot that wasn’t quite there than not take it and risk the worse fate of being a rhino.

There is probably a happy medium. I’ll have to find it when I get back into armor and get back to practices. I know that fighters really really really dislike this kind of fighter (read numerous forums/email lists/websites) so, I want to avoid it all costs. Here are some really cool videos to watch (not examples of rhinos!!).  I want to try and share some of my fave fighters in each blog post.

Sir Tiernan and Duke Sven fight in the Crown finals.



Someone sent this to me a long time ago. I believe it
was from Estrella War, I don’t know the fighters though.
Just think its a pretty cool looking picture!


About Livia Tasia

I love horses, fantasy, writing, the SCA, swordfighting, Mercedes Lackey.

Posted on February 9, 2011, in Heavy Fighting, SCA and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Calibration needs to be accurate and consistent to be worth anything.

    Taking shots too light does neither you or your opponent any favors, nor does taking too hard. It needs to be within the right range +/- a small degree.

    Expect that of yourself and others and it improves the game. Do not flex it for your or anyone else’s ego either.

    Weapons and armour are heavy and it takes time and muscle memory to get it down. Be kind to yourself: give your self that time. There’s no rush. Yes, it’s heavy today, and you are winded, but tomorrow you will be a fraction better, and so on till it becomes second nature.

    Don’t cheat yourself the privilege of gaining proper xp. This is about the journey, not the destination.


  2. I never thought about how taking a light shot would be bad for the ‘other’ guy and that makes absolute sense now. I’ve heard rumors that calibration issues were starting to become a problem in An Tir, but I have no idea if there is any truth to that. The only real problems I had were fighting new guys like myself.

    I wanted to not fight the new guys and Sir Octamasades told me that would be a mistake because I could still get good experience from them as well.

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