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There was a discussion several months back about putting Knights on pedestals. Some felt it was unfair to do. They said that Knights were like anyone else. I both agree and disagree with that. Knights to me are what your favorite rock start or actor would to be people who aren’t SCA/swordfighting inclined. They are the ones those like me strive to be like. They are the role models that you think about when you think your dream is not going to happen.
So honestly, it’s hard not to put them on a pedestal. They are human. They will make mistakes sure. And I’d never want to put someone in a tough position of having people look up to them. And not in stalkery sort of way. I mean genuine, honest flat-out respect for what they have achieved. And really it doesn’t pertain just to Knights. There are many fighters who have yet to get the accolade that are also great role models.
I remember at Crown last year when Sir Duncan took time out to talk to me about fighting. Some of it I don’t remember sadly because I was just in awe that such a high level fighter was talking to ‘me’. Now, please don’t let that sound like our Knights are a bunch of snobs that only keep to themselves. It’s 100% the opposite! These guys do go well out of their way to help people of all fighting levels.
But, it’s still that ‘rock star’ sort of thing of, wow… look at who ‘I’ am talking too right now!!!! You want to be like a schoolgirl that just got asked to the prom but you have to maintain. Believe me it is NOT easy.
And then there are those role models that you’ve never ever met that make a huge impact on you. Of course I cannot forget my mentor Sir Johnathon. He would not be happy with me that I have strayed from my Path since he passed away. I promised him I would continue on and honor him and I will do just that. He made a huge impact on me and my Path. And Duke Thorstenn who is a great Knight from Trimaris. He’s been helping me a lot with strength training. I’ve learned a lot about the Philosophy of the SCA Chivalry and the technical ins and outs of fighting from him too.
I struggle often about this Path I have chosen. Can I do it? I have all these knee/joint injuries and another likely surgery looming on my left knee. And I think about ALL the Knights that have similar issues and how they have overcome and I think I want to be like them. And I push forward.
I don’t ever want to put someone on the spot with my hero-worship. But I also hope those on the receiving end have an understanding of why people like me do it. It’s for inspiration, it is to get us to our own goals. And one day, I hope there is a way I can inspire someone. And when that happens, I want to be like Sir Duncan, who took time out to talk to me and literally made my day.
At Sport of Kings I took the “Art of 3D Fighting” by Viscount Sir Donnan. When Sport of Kings comes around in a couple of years and if Sir Donnan so graciously teaches this class again, or, you have the opportunity to take it at some other time, you must must must take it. This is a top line, mental game sort of class. Remember the Monkey See Monkey Do blog?
It is as important to learn the mental game as it is the physical. I had not realized this prior to taking his class. There are things that a fighter will do to get to you, whether consciously or not. Like Sir Tiernan smiling, or Sir Torfin standing there waiting until you cannot wait and you attack first.
Watch this fight. The cool grace of Sir Torfin. It’s unnerving!! Watch how as Sir Octamasades moves, Sir Torfin just barely shifts his direction – almost unnoticeable. Then he busts out in a fight and goes right back to that stance of just waiting. That is cool.
So here are the words directly from Sir Donnan on the Rule of Three. Very good information for all fighters. I know I’ll be putting them to good use. If you would like to receive Sir Donnan’s “Booster Shots” you can email him and ask to be put on the distribution list. SirDonnan@gmail.com
- Never stand within range for more than 3 seconds. What happens if you do?… You give your opponent a chance to focus their targeting mechanism to pick which rivet they want to hit. Second 1 ~ “A head shot looks like it might work” Second 2 ~ “The right temple looks like a nice spot” Second 3 ~ “The second rivet over from the dent on the right temple… the angle is about 22 degrees with the tip low…” WHAM!Another thing to consider is there is no rule that says you have to stay in range. If it’s doesn’t feel right then move out and come back in a couple of steps over. Listen to your spider sense. (Yeah I’m a comic book geek too). Another example would be we probably all have seen demonstrations of a karate master breaking bricks. They walk up to a pile of stacked bricks and go through motions to focus and.then.strike. If you stand in range ~ don’t be the brick.
- Never do more than 3 shots. A better opponent will wait you out knowing that your shield slightly moves out of place with every shot. Think about it. Someone only needs an 1.5″ gap to get a shot in.
- Never let them throw 3 shots. A common tactic is setup shots. Meaning a setup shot is intended to pull your shield or body out of it’s maximum defensive position. In a multishot combo’ the first one is usually the setup. The second is kind of a setup but if they can sneak it in they will. The 3rd, 4th or 5th shots have every intention of taking advantage of the openings created by the shots before.
I wrote this a few years ago. Solon, my warpony, really reminds of the horse that Bucephalus must have been.
Ballad of Bucephalus and Alexander
It was a bright sunny morning when you found one another. You were twelve years old, the pride of your father. He was just a young stallion, afraid of all the moved in his world.
There were many in the herd, but you picked him out immediately. Perhaps it was the brilliance of his black coat, or perhaps, that his head was shaped like that of an ox. It mattered not to you that the others made fun of him. You knew he was destined for the same greatness as yourself.
You watched the stallion and your father noted your interest. He beckoned to another to catch the unruly sprite and show off his paces. Rider after rider was thrown to the ground and it was you, a twelve-year old boy, who realized that the stallion was only afraid of his shadow.
Without a word you moved forward to grab the young horse. Your father watched intently as the others around laughed at your boldness. The horse snorted, blowing warm air across your face. You took the reins gently and turned him into the sun. In the blink of an eye you swung upon his back.
And so began the bond that no other could break.
Your father laughed aloud, so proud of his son! “Son, find another Kingdom because Macedonia is too small for you!” When asked what he was to be named you shouted out, “Bucephalus!” Your father shook his head with a smile, knowing something special had happened that day.
Though others could care for him, only you could ride. Soon your adventures took you to far away lands. Among them your trip to Gordium where you cut the Gordian Knot as Bucephalus stood quietly by your side.
There were the battles of Granicus and Issus, Chaeronea and Gaugamela. In all, Bucephalus carried you swiftly through the hordes. There was no man, no cavalry horse that could match your grace and speed. And when you rode, you were one.
Bucephalus fought as bravely as you.
At Jhelum, Bucephalus did not bolt when the trumpeting elephants stormed forward. He held his ground and did his best to keep you protected. As a soldier lashed out, he maneuvered himself in between you and Death itself. But it was Bucephalus who received death’s blow. In the frenzy of the battle, Bucephalus carried on. It was not until you reached camp that you saw the damage that had been done.
Bucephalus gave a brave front, but there was nothing your doctors could do. He went to his knees and you cradled his head. And as it had begun thirty years ago it ended, with a warm breath across your face.
You had become Alexander the Great because of the love and trust of an ox-headed horse. You gave Bucephalus a funeral worthy of the most important member of State. In leading the procession you declared that a city would be named to Honor the greatest of all horses.
And in your dreams, for many years later, you would ride across green valleys on the back of Bucephalus who as he had in life, so he did in death…never left your side.
Dedicated to the memory of Bucephalus, the greatest of all warhorses.
Bucephalus and Alexander
This is my much delayed recount of Autumn War!
To war! The drive up was full of anticipation. I was so excited to get back in the company of my new friends from Fire Mountain Keep. Got the car loaded, said by the dog, piggie and pony and headed out for five days of awesomeness. Got to the site and headed down the road.
Gate… or… really? Gate wasn’t that great of an experience. It started out okay – I gave my name and that’s were the fun ended. Some other folks – likely more important Society members from what I could figure showed up and the Gate person turned her attention toward them. And I waited, and more people showed up, and I waited. Finally I asked if there was anything else I needed – other than the fact that I hadn’t gotten my site token or event copy. I got shot a not so friendly look then handed my token and not my copy. At that point I just walked off.
Gate really is a point where you can set the tone for people arriving. They did not do a good job. But I wasn’t going to let it bother me and went on to find the encampment. There was some tents set up from the previous day and I found a corner in the back and set up there.
Here they come! The Fire Mountain Keep folks started arriving and setting up. It was great to see them again. Excitement for the event was definitely in the air! After helping with unloading I decided to walk the grounds. The period pavilions had already been set up the day before.
There were some really great period encampments. You could tell that people really did their work in putting them together.
Merchants Row or the place to get really cool stuff! I got some great things on Merchants Row – a tankard (a very simple one, but period looking!); a wooden bowl and plate; I got a portable hole to hold my device pole from Master Grendal (I figured I was hanging out around his booth enough I should probably buy something!); a very nifty neck cooler that I used with much happiness at Sport of Kings; a game board that has to do with rocks or something… actually – I have no idea but hope to learn it when I go back up there for Crown and a really cool Autumn War 3D shirt.
Torchlight Tourney: This was the first time I had seen a Torchlight Tourney. I thought initially – how are they going to see? But the torches seemed to give enough life. They had two sides of the Eric. One they could challenge fighters, the other was a more specific type of challenge occasionally over a barrier which was really interesting to watch.
Livia eat! It’s hard to remember to eat when you’re so busy looking around and doing things! But thankfully Tracy kept reminding me and in turn so did Fe, her son, which I thought was cute. It was the Kitchen again like at Dragon’s Down and there were all sorts of noms cooked throughout the event. And Lord Kirill and Lady Alanna were able to show up for Siege Cooking (by the way which the Shire won!). Nom heaven!
Full Moon over the Field: The full moon was so beautiful. It shone over the event with such brightness you didn’t need to have a flashlight to walk around. It made for very nice moonlight walks, dancing, drumming and singing.
First Court: The First Court of the event was very short but full of the local Barons and Baronesses. The War was discussed as well as other event business. It was with great sadness that it was announced the Baron of Wastekeep had passed away a few days earlier and the Barony was in deep mourning. The Baroness made a very brave front as she told the populace they would not be participating in the War. My heart goes out to them.
War!! This was my very first war although I’d seen clips on YouTube. I wasn’t sure what to expect and boy was I not disappointed! It was pretty amazing and it all started out with the Procession of Clan Carn. And it kept going and going and going and going….
It was cool because the day before Baron Alexi of Blatha an Oir had gone into the Clan Carn encampment and started baiting them about the upcoming war. He really played it up! The only downside to the whole Procession was that Blatha an Oir and Glym Mere did not do one! That would have been the icing on the cake of awesomeness!
Thunder Fighters do it THEIR way! The fighters both and Clan and hired made their way to their side of the field and Baron Alexi called his fighters to him and still standing aside were the fighters of the Thunder Household. It was really awesome to behold. I think both sides were awaiting on Fergus’ decision about which side they would fight.
Sir Tiernan came up to Fergus as the Thunder Fighters descended onto the field to ask “So who are you going to fight for?” and he had a big smile when Fergus nodded to Baron Alexi.
Battle On! The battle was intense. First it was the open field, then the winners moved to the Bridge, then to the Castle (or maybe it was the Castle then the Bridge – it was all too exciting to keep track!).
The Bridge Battle was pretty amazing. It was a bit of a stand-off at first as pole arms tinked the other end of pole arms. Then as if by some silent command it was ON!
When it got to the Castle it got all kinds of crazy! People were throwing other people over the Castle Wall, fighters were defending the the main entrance with the very fiber of their lives and the siege weapons got taken out pretty darn quickly!
Bardic Awesomeness – Bardic Competition was full of people telling stories, singing and even a comedian leper who was hysterical. But my friends of the Shire played the beautiful Sheep song and won the day. They won a most beautiful handmade scabbard and knife. And since they had to play instruments – they did it by only the light of the torches at dark and they ROCKED it! Huzzah!
The beautiful knife won by Hibachi’s Harpers of the Shire of Fire Mountain Keep!
Drumming and singing and stories: Each night there was drumming and singing and stories. Hugh Piper and Fyrsinger joined in for some great songs. The drummers were in great form. And it was just magical around the fire.
Going to sleep to the sweet sounds of the drums, doesn’t get much better.
Final Court and the winners are…: The Final Court to announce the winners was held and Fire Mountain Keep won the Siege Cooking! Huzzah!
Baron Alexi also made great thanks to the Shire for allowing the event to be held on their lands. The Shire was also recognized for their hard work during the set up of the event. Huzzah!
It was all in all a very cool and fun event!!!! I cannot wait to go back! Thanks to the Shire for their generous hospitality and great friendship!
I will be away for a bit. My Gram passed away on Friday and I’m working through it all. I’ll respond to comments later. I appreciate your interest.
My best to you.
I’ve been asked a few times on how to comment on the blogs. At the bottom of each blog there are a bunch of tags. They will say ‘SCA’ ‘Kingdom of An Tir’ etc. Right after them there you can click on ‘Leave a Comment’ or if there are already comments it will say, ‘2 comments’ or however many comments there are. Click on either one and it will take you to a new page where you can make a comment if you desire.
I have set this that anyone can comment and I welcome the feedback. Thanks for reading.
I was told WordPress is better than Blogger so I moved everything here. Little harder to use, but will manage.
Where I was:
I am Livia Tasia, 140 AD Greek/Roman. I live in the Kingdom of An Tir, Barony of Three Mountains, though I mostly had called Barony of Stromgard my home. I first started going to fighter practices. Then eventually a few events. With the help of Baron Rognvaldr, Sir Kjartan, Sir Tiernan and a several others, I got my kit together quickly.
I found a mentor Knight in Sir Caius Livius Germanicus and was well on my way when at practice I stepped to the side to avoid a hit by Sir Caius and I tore my ACL in half and cracked the meniscus. It was horrible. I had surgery and it was a slow nasty recovery. I tried to come back to fighting again a year later and was sidelined again with personal baloney. I haven’t participated in person for quite a long time, however, I’ve stayed involved online.
Where I am:
Several pounds heavier, out of shape, recovering from elbow surgery (on my sword arm no less) and trying to get back into a fitness program. I just gave up the last couple of years of ever participating again. But screw that. I know Sir William came back from a broken back and many fighters have had similar problems. There’s no reason I can’t overcome my issues. And I want it badly now.
So, I will read Armor Archive daily, I will start working slowly with my sword (left handed if I must – and that wouldn’t be a bad thing to be able to fight left handed), get going on a healthy fitness program and get my shit together!
I know the fighters have said go to practices even if you don’t fight – but not ready for that just yet. Don’t ask – it’s a stupid reason.
I’ll work on my very cool (to me!) sword book and keep inspired by that. The sword book is a book of pictures and sayings from Armor Archive and An Tir fighters.