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


At September 3, 2004 at 2:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well...I suppose there is a third option. Lord knows, you're not gonna win a fight by reading a book. However, if you've been fighting, and you're stuck, or if you've been having sex and you wanna branch out, there's a decent amount of information out there in the form of books. Surely it's a period technique to watch those better than you, and modify their techniques. Well, we don't exactly live in a culture with a prevalence of public fighting of any form. (OK, ok, maybe WWF....if you can call it fighting and not acting) Anyway, if we can read books and use those techniques, or try stuff in the Kama Sutra, both with a willing and explorative partner, we might find *more* stuff we like, that feels good, and wouldn't have occurred to us. If period books are what we have, we should use them. They're not the word of God, but they're certainly a place to start.

At September 6, 2004 at 1:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

if that's a rant...check out the plan for "acedemy of hte rapier." i was going to go, but now i probably won't


At September 6, 2004 at 9:42 AM, Blogger Gypsy Boy said...

There is always a third option, and if you look hard enough a 4th to nth option. Reading a book does not win a war, and you are more than correct that it is a good place to start, and to look for more ideas. However the issue here is when people claim that it is the end all and be all. I'm all for branching out and learning more and more. Look in the books, experiment. However don't bitch and complain when someone does something that isn't in your precious manual and then say it isn't period.

The kama Sutra is a set of guidelines, like the Pirate Code. It is a place to begin and a place to dive to new depths. Like the Bible though it can be interpreted in different ways, after all this isn't Dianetics.

Make sense?

At September 6, 2004 at 9:43 AM, Blogger Gypsy Boy said...

Reply to Cat --
I'll have to check that out. Of course I haven't seen it yet though, and don't know where to go to check it out... but the rant shall continue... after I reread it and decide to add more to it.

The Mid may be contemplating something that would be even more stupid... I have to talk on that. :)


At September 11, 2004 at 11:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Um, sorry if you've had bad experiences with people trying to use period technique and complaining that you still hit them. You're a good fight, dude. BUt you might not want to belittle everyone who works with this material either.

It is in fact possible to work from the manuals, spend the time (and it takes a great deal of time)to become very familiar with the *system*, as opposed to the techniques shown and become a wonderful fencer. If you put forth the time and effort and practice to understand the concepts well enough, what you have is a coherent system based on sound principles. This allows you to apply the principles to any situation instead of trying to cobble together a bunch of techniques which only work in a specific situation.

It's your ability to utilize the inherent gaps when people try to use period techniques instead of learning a period system that pisses them off, I'd guess. They might wanna get over it and try approaching their study in the correct way. And yes, if you can make it work within the ruleset, it's good enough. If you hit me, I lose. I won't whine. ;-)

John Patrick

At September 12, 2004 at 9:02 AM, Blogger Gypsy Boy said...

Actually its not so much that I piss people off because they are using period techniques and I don't. Its the fact that they tend to focus too much on what is and what is not a period technique. I hear it too often that Fabris is the best, or Silver is good... but he was an asshole. Saviolo or some of the others.

I am very glad to know that people are testing these things out and doing the research. However to think that any one is better than the other is like saying that Kung fu is better than Aikido. They are different and they focus on different things. The games are different. How can anyone say that one is better than the other? What is the true criteria?

The period techniques that these folks spout as gospel (and these people are in the minority, not the majority) forget some major things. 1) The moves are often setups for other moves that we do not allow. 2) How can we truly say what is and what is not period? Just because we don't read about it in a book or have paintings that show it does not automatically say that something is not period.

I had this happen to me when I was researching the Romani. I was told that if I truly wanted to progress in the art and achieve any rank, or notoriety I would have to "give up this pirate thing." My immediate reactions were "Actually it's Romani, and secondly... No." I was insulted at the get go. However what it did do is point out that I was not doing the Gypsy right, if I was being confused as being someone else. It also pointed out that I had to prove them wrong.

It was also stated that being in Atlantia, I would NEVER be made a Provost because I wasn't stuffy enough. I had to be convinced to take the scarf in the beginning because it was one of these things that was more for all those that looked up to me, than for me. Since then I have been very pleased with what I've seen on the list and I've seen more people doing some amazing things and moving away from a strictly Elizabethan persona. Whether true or not, I like to think that I helped out as a catalyst in that movement.

Now lets bring this back to the Period technique thing. I was also told that Being a Gypsy on the field is so out of period. This is because there was no documentation about Gypsies fighting with swords, none listed in the academies, none in the tournaments, etc. In fact what is on the books is that if a gypsy were found with a sword they could be arrested.

Now take a look at that. That right there proves that they did indeed fight with swords, otherwise there would have never been a law forbidding it. In fact the Gypsies were known as blacksmiths in various circles, so you're going to tell me that they never fought with them? Would the Romani have been in the academies? Probably not. They couldn't afford them. In fact The English fencing masters couldn't afford the Italian Masters classes (this too is documented)

So what I am saying is that If gypsies did indeed fight with swords, but they did not learn from the masters, what does that say about period techniques?

It says if you can do it, it was period. You were in a fight. You would do whatever you could to live. To say that my style is not period because my stance is wrong is a load of shit and ignorant to boot. Now if I claimed to be doing Fabris and stance was wrong then that is acceptable. But I am not. MY style of fighting is quite period, as I do moves that people would have done in period. Especially for a gypsy that would throw in tricks to entertain the crowd if he could.

MY posting about the period techniques and telling the fuckers to shut up and grow up, is for those that think that only their way is right. Those that wish to learn it and say that they are studying Fabris, Saviolo, Silver, or even Miyamoto Musashi, I say go for it. But realize that you are doing a particular style, not necessarily the best. Besides These styles didn't work for everyone.

Also to quote some of our oldest and best Provosts... "That's great, I'm glad you are trying that move, but if you do it against me, I'll kill you."

BTW... Thank you for your comment. I do love getting feedback. I'd also love to talk to you more about it, because I think I do remember you :) When we going to catch up?

At September 19, 2004 at 10:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Now if I claimed to be doing Fabris and stance was wrong then that is acceptable. But I am not. MY style of fighting is quite period, as I do moves that people would have done in period. Especially for a gypsy that would throw in tricks to entertain the crowd if he could."

No argument here. 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*

"Also to quote some of our oldest and best Provosts... "That's great, I'm glad you are trying that move, but if you do it against me, I'll kill you.""

Heh...opinions vary. A move doesn't win a fight...the moves are brought into play when you have followed the concepts to put yourself in a position to use them. Anybody who tries to do it the other way around (stringing together a series of cool moves)is a tool who doesn't understand how those manulas work. THey abound, everywhere I look. Ah well.

"I'd also love to talk to you more about it, because I think I do remember you :) When we going to catch up?"

I pezzed you 3 times before you started paying attention and really fighting. Ring a bell? :-D

Um...probably next Pennsic, as I'm living in Atenveldt and don't get to many Atlantian events. ;-) Unless you come out to Estrella this year, in which case I'll be hard to miss.

John Patrick

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