08-31-2008, 00:19 #1
Testing SCA Strikes on Tatami Mats and in Unrestricted Combat.
While visiting Texas we tested SCA strikes on Tatami Mats. I thought the following video might be of interest to this group. After the initial results were obvious we decided to test lower quality swords and compare them to higher quality ones.
While there we also tested SCA fighting against Western Martial Arts using steel blunts. The scenario was blofsfechten (unarmored combat). There were no rules in this fight except don't actually kill the other person. Strikes to the hand, lower leg, grappling and punching were all allowed. The WMA combatant used a longsword using only techniques shown in historic fighting manuals and was a very knowledgeable, skilled and agile fighter.
We found that my lower leg was too hard for him to hit with out getting his head or hip chopped. My hand was too hard to target and it was difficult for him to close in for grappling without getting hit first.
Note: on the grappling video take a close look .45 seconds into the fight.
On my part I found that I was overly concerned with keeping my leg safe since I have not sparred too much with shields and the full body as a target. Legs are still at risk but not as much as I anticipated because his head or hip would come into my range before my leg came into his. Adam did get one good shot to my ankle so it is something to watch for. The next time I fight in this setup I would be more aggressive with this new experience knowing my leg is not at much as risk. I had no trouble transferring my cuts learned on rattan to cuts with an edged blunt.
There were no hits to my hand. We agreed that the swordhand moves too quickly in and out from the shield. Adam did get one nice shot to my right upper arm when he stepped to the side. I did get two good hits on Adams fingers which in a real fight would have made him drop his sword if not for gauntlets. In both those cases I was aiming for his body and when Adam moved his hands to block his fingers got hit. The majority to good shots that Adam landed on me were to my head just like in SCA fighting.
I should also add that I have a basic level understanding of longsword within the German system so I was familiar with my opponents longsword techniques. My opponent did not have much experience against SCA fighters. I have always been a proponent of learning as many different styles as possible for just such situations.
Many SCA fighters, including myself, study WMA. However, many in the WMA community consider SCA fighting as some sort of perversion of European Martial Arts and not functional in a setting without rules. This was the basis of the argument that lead to me being challenged to the duel. My opponent is from California and I am from NY. A third person offered to host the event in another corner of the of the country in Texas.
We started out the week by testing the various SCA strikes on tatami to establish their effectiveness. This lead to acknowledgment that they work and that they closely resemble some of the cuts used in the German tradition such as the Zwerchhue. In a contest without rules I then swapped out my rattan sword for a steel blunt and let my training stand on its own. The result was a meeting of the minds and the acknowledgment of those present that SCA fighting is a fully functional system in a setting without rules.
We parted as friends knowing that our fighting systems had more in common then not.
08-31-2008, 10:17 #2
Cool stuff. I hadn't seen a test of the cutting potential for wrap shots before.
Your WMA sparring partner clearly hadn't worked against a sword & shield fighter before. He didn't know the angles to cut at to try getting past the shield. He also needed to throw more combinations while circling to your shield side whenever you rushed. That's hard stuff to pick up in just one sparring session.Tony Dismukes
"Violence is not a way of getting where you want to go, only more quickly. Its existence changes your destination. If you use it, you had better be prepared to find yourself in the kind of place it takes you to." - Hilary Bok
08-31-2008, 21:34 #3
Originally Posted by Tony Dismukes