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Bill Tsafa




Location: Brooklyn, NY
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PostPosted: Tue 11 Aug, 2009 6:47 am    Post subject: Pennsic 38 - Full Grappling -Tu Chux Tournament         Reply with quote

The Tu Chux host a tournament at Pennsic under their rules which include full Grappling. Participants fight to the first good blow from a weapon (full power and speed). It is also possible to win by a submission hold which forces a warrior to "tap out". Another option is to knock off your opponents helmet leaving him unable to continue. In a real fight losing a helmet means death since punching with gauntlets is allowed in this contest.

Punches and kicks do not kill in the tournament but can gain a tactical advantage. Most of the kills in the tournament were made with the weapons and did not use grappling. In this video I focus mostly on bouts that included grappling. In cases were the opponents grappled to what seemed to be a stalemate, they were stood up after about 10 seconds of inactivity and fought again starting with their weapons.

The weapons were chosen by drawn lot. There were four choices. Spear, single sword, mass weapon, polearm. There were two cards for each weapon in the lot for a total of 8 cards. For this reason it was possible to draw a like weapon match.

The video quality fluctuates through out the video. It gets kind of fuzzy in the middle and then get more clear near the end.

Here is the Video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s56IVr0fgLc


Sadly my camera missed one of the greatest moments in the tournament when one fighter grappled another to the ground and executed a perfect Armbar.

No athlete/youth can fight tenaciously who has never received any blows: he must see his blood flow and hear his teeth crack... then he will be ready for battle.
Roger of Hoveden, 1174-1201
www.poconoshooting.com
www.poconogym.com
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David E. Farrell




Location: Evanston, IL
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PostPosted: Tue 11 Aug, 2009 7:00 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

so, while it looked like it was a blast and enjoyed by all, I couldn't help but notice that a fair portion of the fighters immediately abandoned their weapon to grapple (something we discourage in my WMA group). Not surprising, given that this kind of contest would likely attract those who were inclined to do so. On the other hand, there were some people who clearly closed with a plan and some who used their weapons rather well. There also appeared to be some folks who learned the hard way that armour can change a thing or two... :P

was the fighting 'as armoured' or using the SCA 'armour standard' ? In otherwords, was there reason to close to get at particular targets?

AKA: 'Sparky' (so I don't need to explain later Wink )

For he today that sheds his blood with me shall be my brother
-- King Henry, Henry V, William Shakespeare

Before I came here I was confused about this subject. Having listened to your lecture I am still confused... but on a higher level.
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Kel Rekuta




Location: Toronto, Canada
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PostPosted: Tue 11 Aug, 2009 7:29 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

David, you are too kind. Laughing Out Loud
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Bill Tsafa




Location: Brooklyn, NY
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PostPosted: Tue 11 Aug, 2009 7:30 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi David, we were calibrated for mail so the blows needed to be with authority. Some people choose to wear the bare minimum armor and they tend to calibrate lighter because they don't want to get hit harder. They tend to also take much lighter blows. Some people who wear a lot of armor calibrate at the higher end of the spectrum and need to be nailed into the ground. There is no question however that wearing less armor allows a person to mover quicker and more fluidly.

In the tournament most kills were made without grappling. In this video I focus mostly on grappling activities since I had to limit the video to 10 minutes for You Tube. The non-grappling fights looked like standard SCA fights and I figured you had all seen that before.

One of my finer moments can be seen at 4:00 were I have to face a two handed mace with a spear. I tried to thrust at range but I missed and my opponent closed in (makes sense against a spear). I through down the spear and grabbed him by the head and took him down, ripping off his helmet. That was an automatic win because any followup punches with my gauntlets would have been fatal. My knight, who also fought in the tournament and happened to be assigned to the same pit as me, had a similar set up at 7:35. He faced a two handed sword with a spear and was able to keep him at bay and keep poking him. His opponent was not very good about acknowledging blows but that was not a problem for him. He just kept hitting him until he looked like he was going to pass out, lol. This is an example of how a skilled fighter can avoid grappling. My knight is a good 260 lbs, strong and agile. His goal was to win (he made it to the finals) and to go the distance he believes in conserving energy. It is far less tiring to kill someone with a stab or cut then to wrestle with them. The energy saved will be useful in the later rounds were you may end up in a grappling situation.

The way the tournament was organized was 50 people were divided in 4 pits (lists). The 12 or so people in each pit fought Bear Pit style. Meaning you kill the guy in the pit and you take his place. You keep fighting until someone beats you and takes your place. Every win is recorded and after 45 minutes they counted who had the most wins. The two people with the most win from each pit go to the finals. The finals were double elimination.

No athlete/youth can fight tenaciously who has never received any blows: he must see his blood flow and hear his teeth crack... then he will be ready for battle.
Roger of Hoveden, 1174-1201
www.poconoshooting.com
www.poconogym.com


Last edited by Bill Tsafa on Tue 11 Aug, 2009 7:40 am; edited 1 time in total
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David E. Farrell




Location: Evanston, IL
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PostPosted: Tue 11 Aug, 2009 7:39 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Vassilis Tsafatinos wrote:

In the tournament most kills were made without grappling. In this video I focus mostly on grappling activities. The non-grappling fights looked like standard SCA fights.

One of my finer moments can be seen at 4:00 were I have to face a two handed mace with a spear. I tried to thrust at range but I missed and the other guy closed in. I through down the spear and grabbed him by the head and took him down, ripping off his helmet. That was an automatic win because any followup punches with my gauntlets would have been fatal. My knight, who also fought in the tournament and happened to be assigned to the same pit as me, had a similar set up at 7:35. He faced a two handed sword with a spear and was able to keep him at bay and keep poking him. His opponent was not very good about acknowledging blows but that was not a problem for him. He just kept hitting him until he looked like he was going to pass out, lol. My knight is a good 260 lbs, strong and agile. His goal was to win (he made it to the finals) and to go the distance he believes in conserving energy. It is far less tiring to kill someone with a stab or cut then to wrestle with them. The energy saved will be useful in the later rounds were you may end up in a grappling situation.



Ah, OK - so this is video is more biased toward the matches that featured grappling.


Yeah, I noticed a few instances that to my eye appeared to be someone shrugging off blows (I've heard folks in the SCA talk about this issue). I actually thought that most of the spearmen did fairly well (not giving up the advantage of range until forced to).


I did get a good laugh out of people yelling 'Pull Guard!!' and other such things.... apparently they've never tried that in harness (or have something less than a full 15th C or late 14th C plate rig...). It did sound like someone used a double leg takedown properly, though. I think it was obscured in the video. I also suppose that the head grabs were overused because of the desire to remove the helmet (as opposed to going in for a good throw or takedown with the head). I wonder how many of the folks had formal grappling training.

AKA: 'Sparky' (so I don't need to explain later Wink )

For he today that sheds his blood with me shall be my brother
-- King Henry, Henry V, William Shakespeare

Before I came here I was confused about this subject. Having listened to your lecture I am still confused... but on a higher level.
-- Enrico Fermi
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Bill Tsafa




Location: Brooklyn, NY
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PostPosted: Tue 11 Aug, 2009 7:49 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The calibration issue gets a little out of wack at Pennsic at times because we have people from all sorts of kingdoms in the SCA. Different kingdoms have different calibration standards. About 30% of the fighters were Tu Chux which is an organization outside the SCA all together. They use grappling as part of their standard fighting style and they calibrate very high.

Not a problem, since no judges are used. Marshal is only their for safety and to keep the list organized. In cases of high calibration both people fought until one or the other was "satisfied". The marshals running the lists were Tu Chux themselves so they had a "kill em" mentality.

Before the tournament I kept asking question about the rules and one of the marshals was rather annoyed with me and the whole idea of rules at a Tu Chux Tournament. When I asked if I could hit they guy while on the ground he yelled back "Fuck em UP!" That made it clear to me where I was and what I had to do.

To answer your other question... most guys in this tournament had grappling experience from a variety of other martial arts.

No athlete/youth can fight tenaciously who has never received any blows: he must see his blood flow and hear his teeth crack... then he will be ready for battle.
Roger of Hoveden, 1174-1201
www.poconoshooting.com
www.poconogym.com
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Steven H




Location: Boston
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PostPosted: Tue 11 Aug, 2009 8:10 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for sharing this. I look forward to watching this video later.

Cheers,
Steven

Kunstbruder - Boston area Historical Combat Study
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Gavin Kisebach




Location: Lacey, Wa US
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PostPosted: Tue 11 Aug, 2009 4:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Looks like my kind of fight; it's a bummer that the SCA doesn't allow for some of this in some context.

It's interesting that shields seem mighty unpopular with the prospect of grappling suddenly added in. I would think that a center grip shield would give you a defensive advantage and remain quickly disposable.

By the way were triggers still required? I can just picture someone getting their fingers broken if they can't get them out in a grapple.

There are only two kinds of scholars; those who love ideas and those who hate them. ~ Emile Chartier
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Bennison N




Location: Auckland, New Zealand
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PostPosted: Tue 11 Aug, 2009 7:19 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Vasillis,

So the Tu Chux aren't SCA? This means you don't have to be SCA to enter, correct? Do you think they'd let me enter next time. When would that be? Next year sometime?

Are you able to give me some sort of information, contact details, etc., so that I can see about entering the next one?

It would be an awesome holiday, and I think I might be able to take most of them out. Plus, it's new rules to train for, and a change is always good to beat the ruts. Haha!

PM me, or just give me the details here if you think I can join. Thanks!

"Never give a sword to a man who can't dance" - Confucius

अजयखड्गधारी
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Gavin Kisebach




Location: Lacey, Wa US
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PostPosted: Tue 11 Aug, 2009 10:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The Tuchux are a separate entity altogether, but they have had a long and varied relationship with the SCA.

Here is more: http://pennsicwar.tribe.net/thread/2fb8f977-4...278177b96b

Basically they make no pretenses towards historical accuracy; being inspired by the Chronicles of Gor book series. I won't comment on them other than to note that I wish that SCA heavy combat was more like Tuchux combat. That said, SCA combat here in the northwest US isn't nearly as restrictive as some of the rumors I hear floating around.

[edit] the attached article specifically mentions "You can't swing your sword outside of a 90 degree arc" or "no secondary weapons" - I don't know where these rules are in place; the 90 degree thing went away years ago and I personally carry multiple weapons into every fight.

There are only two kinds of scholars; those who love ideas and those who hate them. ~ Emile Chartier
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Bill Tsafa




Location: Brooklyn, NY
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PostPosted: Tue 11 Aug, 2009 10:15 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Gavin. Shield was not one of the weapon choices. The choices were spear, mass weapon, single sword and polearm. You did not get to pick your weapon, it was assigned to you based on drawn lot and you had to make the best use of whatever you got. The Tu Chux do use shields and a variety of other weapons in other tournaments, just not in this one. I believe they intentionally omitted shields to give their tournament a very different flavor.


Hi Bennison. The Tu Chux are a local group based around Pittsburgh. They are not part of the SCA. Their members often do participate in SCA tournaments since SCA events are open to anyone who gets an authorization. Authorizations are free and easy. When the Tu Chux fight in SCA tournaments they play by SCA rules. At their own tournaments they pretty much have no rules other then don't actually kill the other guy. I have heard of Tu Chuc jumping out of trees on opponents backs. The Tu Chux tend to be a more closed group meaning that they normally don't have open public tournaments like the SCA. The best way to get hooked up with the Tu Chux is to go to their camp at Pennsic and talk to one of their Chiefs (wait at the entrance to be invited in). People have entered Tu Chux tournaments in this manor. The ideology of the Tu Chux was inspired a book, but the fighting has evolved in real combat none the less.

The Tu Chux tournament at Pennsic was an open tournament. From what I saw, the Tu Chux could not care less if you are a member of the SCA or not. They did not even check for SCA authorizations. You do have to get to Pennsic to be in the Tournament and the site fee is about $100 for war week. $125 for the full two weeks. The Tu Chux charged a $5 entry fee for their tournament. They have hosted this Tournament at Pennsic for at least the last 2 years and it is a good bet that they will host it again next year.

RegardingTriggers... I do not believe that they were ever required. What they require is any string that connects your sword to your hand so it does not go flying into a crowd. A trigger will suffice but any string will do. Personally I only keep that string on my sword just to get through inspection and then I disguard it. The policy is not supper inforced. Triggers where not an option in the Tu Chux tournament since they gave you the weapons to use. You had to have your own gauntlets.

Interestingly their was a WMA camp at Pennsic this year that ran a number of classes bases on historic texts, so their is something for everyone at Pennsic. Unfortunately they held the classes during the second week which is War Week. I will have to write the director and advise that next year they hold such classes the first week when there is not as much fighting going on.

No athlete/youth can fight tenaciously who has never received any blows: he must see his blood flow and hear his teeth crack... then he will be ready for battle.
Roger of Hoveden, 1174-1201
www.poconoshooting.com
www.poconogym.com


Last edited by Bill Tsafa on Tue 11 Aug, 2009 10:43 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Gavin Kisebach




Location: Lacey, Wa US
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PostPosted: Tue 11 Aug, 2009 10:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Tsafa I'm glad to hear that WMA is starting to make inroads into the SCA, I've always held that both philosophies have tremendous value.

I was not keen on triggers when I first started fighting, but now I really like them for a couple of reasons.

I thrust a lot and have several time bruised or cut my hand on my guard when a hard thrust met shield instead of gut or groin. I use a shorter sword (around 30 inches) that has a reverse trigger (loops from the pommel over the middle, ring and pinky ) that prevents this.

I fudge on inspection as well; I only wear a left couter to get past inspection, but my shield is so deeply dished it really isn't necessary so I immediately discard it.

Back to the grappling, did anyone happen to get cut or injured by the edges of armor? This seems like it would be a good probability, especially with home-brewed plate armor.

There are only two kinds of scholars; those who love ideas and those who hate them. ~ Emile Chartier
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Bill Tsafa




Location: Brooklyn, NY
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PostPosted: Tue 11 Aug, 2009 10:46 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Gavin Kisebach wrote:


Back to the grappling, did anyone happen to get cut or injured by the edges of armor? This seems like it would be a good probability, especially with home-brewed plate armor.


There where no injuries at all in this tournament. However... if you go in flashing a lot of skin it is only a matter of time before you get cut buy someones armor. That is even true in regular SCA combat given all the charges and resulting pileups.

No athlete/youth can fight tenaciously who has never received any blows: he must see his blood flow and hear his teeth crack... then he will be ready for battle.
Roger of Hoveden, 1174-1201
www.poconoshooting.com
www.poconogym.com
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Patrick Kelly




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PostPosted: Wed 12 Aug, 2009 7:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
The Tu Chux are a local group based around Pittsburgh.


This is incorrect. Tu Chux are spread nationwide, we had them in California when I was in the SCA and that was twenty years ago. Bennison, I don't know if you can find then in New Zeland. I'm sure a local SCA group will know if you ask them.
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Bill Tsafa




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PostPosted: Wed 12 Aug, 2009 8:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Patrick Kelly wrote:
Quote:
The Tu Chux are a local group based around Pittsburgh.


This is incorrect. Tu Chux are spread nationwide, we had them in California when I was in the SCA and that was twenty years ago. Bennison, I don't know if you can find then in New Zeland. I'm sure a local SCA group will know if you ask them.


That is what one of the war chiefs told me when I asked him last week. Are you sure we are talking about the same group? I was rather hoping they had some activities going on near the East Cost on a regular basis.

The following is from the link that Gavin posted:

"In the Tuchux, there are ten clans, each of which has it's own clan leader, shaman, banner, and personality. Most clans are based in Pittsburgh, although the Kur (my clan) is from Youngstown, Ohio and there are also clans in Indiana and the Maryland/DC area. "

http://pennsicwar.tribe.net/thread/2fb8f977-4...278177b96b

No athlete/youth can fight tenaciously who has never received any blows: he must see his blood flow and hear his teeth crack... then he will be ready for battle.
Roger of Hoveden, 1174-1201
www.poconoshooting.com
www.poconogym.com
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Patrick Kelly




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PostPosted: Wed 12 Aug, 2009 12:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
Are you sure we are talking about the same group?


Yes.
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Gavin Kisebach




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PostPosted: Wed 12 Aug, 2009 12:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There are Tuchux members here in Washington, though I've never seen them in numbers or fighting as a unit, so I don't know how much presence they actually have. Being based out of Pittsburgh is not mutually exclusive to having members nationwide or worldwide.

Attached by the way is a rather amusing picture of some Tuchux and a few-found friend.



 Attachment: 150.03 KB
Robyn from Drachenwald with the Tuchux.jpg


There are only two kinds of scholars; those who love ideas and those who hate them. ~ Emile Chartier
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Bill Tsafa




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PostPosted: Wed 12 Aug, 2009 9:29 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

awe.... that is so cute Happy
No athlete/youth can fight tenaciously who has never received any blows: he must see his blood flow and hear his teeth crack... then he will be ready for battle.
Roger of Hoveden, 1174-1201
www.poconoshooting.com
www.poconogym.com
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Wed 12 Aug, 2009 9:43 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Vassilis Tsafatinos wrote:
awe.... that is so cute Happy


It also looks like really nice armour made to fit a child ! Almost a shame the child will grow out of it and need new armour every year ! Eek!

Must have a very nice parent who can afford to indulge his child with kit that most adults would envy. Big Grin Cool I

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Bill Tsafa




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PostPosted: Wed 12 Aug, 2009 9:55 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean, what really blew my mind was a pair of titanium articulated elbows for children I saw at Pennsic. Cost $350 just for a pair of elbows! Light as paper. But common... they could just give the kids a pair for aluminum elbows for about $50 a pair. Its only a few ounces heavier. I guess some people did not hear about the great recession yet WTF?!
No athlete/youth can fight tenaciously who has never received any blows: he must see his blood flow and hear his teeth crack... then he will be ready for battle.
Roger of Hoveden, 1174-1201
www.poconoshooting.com
www.poconogym.com
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