Monday, September 20, 2004

Period Techniques, Sidesword, and a thank you to John

First off, thank you for actually having an opinion and sharing it with me and anyone else who reads this thing. If more people actually thought about things like you do then the issue of period techniques would not be an issue. You actually think about this stuff, and I think that is great. You also study them for the best reason I've heard anyone say.

People do what they have to do to survive a fight. I study period manuals because a: I enjoy it, and b: using a coherent, fully developed system of swordsmanship based on solid biomechanics, geomtry and relaitvely universal principles makes more sene to me that re-inventing the wheel. Not to mention that it works really, really, really well for some of us. *g*
The problem is that many people aren't as smart as you are. These are the dolts that I get annoyed with. There are people out there that like you said tend to think that by looking at the woodcuts they will be able to string together what was actually done in period. Perhaps, but that is like looking at Graecan urns and seeing them in lewd sex acts and trying to recreate them, which even the Cirque du Soliel performers would have issues with. (By the way... saw Varekai last night and it was Friggin amazing. Go see it! Go see any of them, but this one was truly magical)

Like any marshal art that has katas, those katas work great if someone were to attack you in just the same way as your kata told showed you, but lets face facts it don't work like that. You are supposed to use that knowledge and adapt. Period manuals do just that as well. The thing that constantly irks me are those that think that if it isn't written then it isn't period and I just have to smack them in the head. If you find a real cure for them, then please let me know.

I had a great conversation with someone this past weekend about sidesword. He wanted to know what was happening with the whole "sidesword experiment." I really don't have the facts of what will happen even though I talk to the Society marshal quite a bit. I do know that there will be some updates to the society marshallate pages very soon. Mainly dealing with blade allowences. (My guess is that more will be allowed, nothing will be removed so its good stuff)

Anyway, getting back to the sidesword question. There are 2 main schools of thought. One says that it will be made legal soon, and this will be great for the style. Another says they hope it doesn't leave the "experimental" stages. I can see both sides of the argument. On the one hand it would be great to actually have competitions where sidesword techniques can be used, and thus tounies won. On the other hand it would take away from the research aspect that people are doing on it, and focus it more on the lets just see who can hit who first.

Both are valid arguments, but I think that it woul dbe good to at the very least have some tournaments that are sidesword so that we can see what does truly happen, even if it is a "sidesword demo" After all, if you don't like the form, you don't have to do it.

I may have more to say, but I'm not really ina rant mood about this one, because I think it is actually going well. I do however want to rant about something else, so I will go back to this soon.

Jumping back one more time, to John.

I'm surprised it was only 3 times before I woke up. I generally don't like to do that. However if you made me pay attention then you've done something that many have tried, but often fail at. I will try to make it out to Estrella this year, In fact I am looking to get to AZ sometime in November to visit family. I would love to go to an event on that side of the country if you know of a good one.

Catch ya later.
-Gypsy Boy

Monday, September 06, 2004

More on the Period Techniques

Once again I hear this term thrown about like it is some sort of gospel. Lets face facts. We in the SCA fight a sport; a fun sport, but a sport nonetheless. We have rules. We are not really fighting, as much as I'd like to think so. My period technique being the good gypsy that I am would have me win every duel. You simply wouldn't make it. I have friends and family. Lets just say I'd be richer for your challenge. If I have to fight you then my technique is to hit you before you hit me. Period. That's it. How much more simple can you get. But you know you won't find that in the Gypsy training manual. Why? Cuz they couldn't read, or write. So now you're going to tell me that they didn't fight? If they didn't fight then why would it have been outlawed for them to do so? They were the blacksmiths, the Tinkers, the ones that took in the military that had to leave their own groups.

So what is this that I hear tell of in the MK? They may decide to take tip cuts and percussion tip cuts, because they are more period. Have you given thought to the repercussions of that you dumb fucks? If you are going to do a demo of a percussion cut do it to something other than the helmet. How about to your elbow. Your knee cap. While you're at it show me what it would look like if I made a miscalculation and hit a little too hard.

Our rules are in place so that we don't hurt each other. Just like in epee we don't allow blade breakers on the swords... Why? cuz they work. We have too many idiots on the field to allow some of these things to happen. I have another friend that wants to build a boot knife so that he can kick people to kill them. For him, I'd trust him.. For Joe Schmo that thinks that is cool, and tries to do it. No. Period. So guess what my lil' Ronin. Can't do it. Now in our back yard fighting matches??? Bring it buddy.

Okay... More when I have slept maybe.
-Gypsy Boy

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Period Techniques

Fuck them.
Let me point out something very important to you. If you can do it now, with a representation of a weapon that was done "in period" it is a period thing.

Why is it that so many people tend to think that for something to be period it has to be written down in a book, manual or something else. Like I'm supposed to think that Saviolo is the end all be all. What about Silver? He was an ass. Capo Fero ... Ohhh should I be scared? How about Fabris??

I've seen people using their techniques that they think they understand from the glyphs, manuals, sketches, and more. You know what? I've beat them all. All with my period technique of "Hit them first"

Complex huh?

Let me put it to you in another way.

Each of these period masters have one thing in common. They are all dead.

What we do is a game now, we can't focus so much on the period moves because we aren't allowed to do a lot of the moves. Many of the moves are followed up with a bash them in the face, Give them the Green Boot swiftly between the thighs, cleave them in two... etc. We don't do that.

We do a sport. It is a great sport, but it is a sport. We are not fighting per se because we have rules attached to it.

Here is another thing to sit on. Most people in period could not read. So who were they writing these books for? The rich aristocrats that liked to think they knew what they were doing. How many of them made it through the back alleys of London safely? I'd trust the scrappers to make it longer.

Here is another couple of examples.

You are having car troubles. Will you take your car to the man who wrote a book on car maintenence or the grease monkey that has actually rebuilt engines.

Of course the best example... You could rread the Kama Sutra and think you are the end all be all, or you could actually have sex and find out what you really like and what turns your partner on.

Read or do.. your choice.

That's it on this one... but trust me I've got more shit to say.

-Gypsy Boy