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Do you practice Combat Reenactment?
Yes I reenact battles or combat as part of my reenactment
33%
 33%  [ 12 ]
No I only do non-combat reenactment
2%
 2%  [ 1 ]
I do some from one period but not from another (Please specify)
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
I study a martial art (Please specify) but do not reenact (Please specify why)
38%
 38%  [ 14 ]
I just drink beer. Leave me alone.
8%
 8%  [ 3 ]
I would do a martial art and/or reenactment but do not have a good opportunity right now
16%
 16%  [ 6 ]
Total Votes : 36

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J. Nicolaysen




Location: Wyoming
Joined: 03 Feb 2014
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Posts: 688

PostPosted: Sun 08 Mar, 2015 10:58 am    Post subject: Do you reenact combat or practice living history?         Reply with quote

I thought this was a really interesting article by Aed of the Thegns of Mercia. http://thethegns.blogspot.co.uk/2015/03/in-de...story.html

So I thought I would throw out another poll for the members of myArmoury. What do people here think about the article and what do they do?

For me, with some martial arts in my background, my interest has always been in knowing how to use the weapons I like. So if I had a good opportunity I would be studying a type of HEMA and moving along with JSA from my background. But if it were possible to dovetail the reenactment periods with study of a type of MA appropriate that might be the best of both worlds.

However, the times I'm most interested do not have the best sources. And I have done enough MA to prefer to focus rather than do a hodge-podge of things.

The author is really talking more about reenactment of battles rather than HEMA, but it made me think about this a bit. How about you? I'd like to know what kind of combat reenactment you might do, or why you don't, or what you study such as HEMA or another martial art, and what you gain from it. Does it influence your reenactment, has it made you interested in reenactment if you don't currently do any, or would you rather just drink a yard of beer at the RenFaire? Wink
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Harry Marinakis




PostPosted: Sun 08 Mar, 2015 12:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Not sure how SCA properly fits into your poll

SCA heavy is a martial art.
Some of us are very particular about our appearance, both on and off the field.
Not really "reenacting," though, it's recreation.

Why pretend to fight when you actually fight?

All martial arts (HEMA, SCA, etc) have their own particular limitations and none are particularly authentic, so chose your poison and have fun.

My primary interest is large unit fighting, which is something that SCA heavy does. The challenges of getting 50 to 2,000 people to fight together as a unit in unscripted chaos is just as much a challenge today as it was 1,000 years ago. I think the experience provides tremendous insight into what Medieval fighting was really like.

I am also a believer in experimental archeology. I do not believe that we can truly understand until we put ourselves in other people's shoes, whether they be combatants or non-combatants.
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J. Nicolaysen




Location: Wyoming
Joined: 03 Feb 2014
Likes: 31 pages

Posts: 688

PostPosted: Sun 08 Mar, 2015 1:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
Not sure how SCA properly fits into your poll


Good point. I don't care to single it out from HEMA, EMA, JSA or any other sort of martial arts acronyms for the purposes of this poll, so either the first or fourth option would be fine. The difference being perhaps purely recreational like MA (fourth option) or tied to a specific historical image (first option), as you seem to do. You aren't necessarily recreating a specific battle, but you are taking your SCA to a level of reenactment it seems.

Quote:
All martial arts (HEMA, SCA, etc) have their own particular limitations and none are particularly authentic, so chose your poison and have fun.


I pretty much agree in the sense that in this modern world, despite lineage this and lineage that, we are fundamentally removed from the mindset and skill-set of our forebears, no matter the time and place. It's best to enjoy what you are doing and appreciate that others get something out of what they do, rather than worrying about who is a better group or who is "more legitimate". Obviously there is a fringe that can make outrageous claims and cause a sort of damage to the image of those who take things more seriously, but that is part of the responsibility of those who are dedicated: to show what they do is worth doing. I got tired of these kinds of discussions years ago, and there are other fora that people can specially look at those claims if they care to.

There's enough room out there to pursue only the strictest type of lineage in MA as there is to pursue the strictest types of reenactment. Personality types and so forth are more important here than any sort of objective "Better". I used to say "it isn't what starts you doing it, it's what keeps you doing it."

One thing I am interested in besides the people who focus on one (Living History) or the other (Combat Reenactment) to use Aed's terms, is the specific overlay between what type of MA they do and how it works or doesn't with their reenactment.

For example, most of my own interests historically at this time are well before the age of the longsword, but there are so few ways to try to reenact combat properly for those times. Period sources like Tacitus and Caesar are flawed and hardly no other ways to learn about how Early Britons fought for example. Yet I admire the HEMA groups and love these types of swords and though the time period for now isn't as interesting to me for reenactment, I would definitely love to study this. I think there are others with this perspective as well.
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Timo Nieminen




Location: Brisbane, Australia
Joined: 08 May 2009
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Posts: 1,494

PostPosted: Sun 08 Mar, 2015 2:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Re-enactment takes time, and other people with time (well, you could do it alone, but more fun with others). My time being what it is, I don't have time to commit to doing re-enactment at the level I would like to, were I to do it.

So I do armed martial arts. Which is sort-of a vague re-enactment, without a specific time-period. Some people will be very "H" in their HEMA, and focus on one source/period/school. Others are more eclectic (drawing on many sources) and/or modern (aiming at what works in competition, regardless of source). I wouldn't call the sports/competitions, as such, martial arts, though serious competitors will learn a martial art focussed on that sport/competition (so I wouldn't call SCA heavy a martial art; however, what Paul of Bellatrix developed was a martial art); as a modern example, I wouldn't call MMA a martial art.

I do eclectic, and non-competition. Mostly longsword, two-handed sword, spear, one-handed sword, archery. German, Chinese. Some later sabre, courtesy of one training partner.

I try to do some experimental archaeology. Student projects like pit-cooking, computational modelling of archery, etc. That's neither martial arts, combat sports, nor re-enactment.

"In addition to being efficient, all pole arms were quite nice to look at." - Cherney Berg, A hideous history of weapons, Collier 1963.
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J. Nicolaysen




Location: Wyoming
Joined: 03 Feb 2014
Likes: 31 pages

Posts: 688

PostPosted: Sun 08 Mar, 2015 5:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks Timo, nice to hear from you.

Before your post and Harry's I don't think I have ever heard the term Experimental Archaeology before. I see that it is a different thing altogether though with obvious overlap of interest.

I have always liked European weapons but never found the time to study them, and really I was unaware people were doing this before ten years ago. When I was living in a city, I studied a range of Japanese and Chinese martial arts, about three years for this one or that one before I had to move along. Now of course my life has settled but again no training options for my time. So the historical research and collecting has filled that void. Given the chance, I'd study martial arts again and I will in time. But I think the research and collecting is helping me deepen my understanding of it all, I'd like to think so anyhow. So I do have the eclectic personality you speak of, but having had the opportunity to already find several good teachers, I'm a bit spoiled and do not want to waste my time with something I don't want to train in for long term.

As far as SCA and sports vs. martial arts go, I believe it is less important of a distinction for this particular poll. I'm thinking of a Venn diagram sort of thing here, where there is a physical/combat derived sphere, a crafts type sphere from Experimental Archaeology, and a research/educational sphere of Living History, and I'm just curious how people here would fill it out.

When I studied Iaido, and traveled to study in Japan, there was of course a large portion of the physical sphere filled in for me, but I also learned much about the culture, the tradition and the dress, which would be more of the research/educational sphere. Learning to polish a sword or make a saya would have been the crafts sphere, but I did not do any of that.

When I studied aikibudo and Chinese internal martial arts there was an almost entirely physical sphere emphasized.

Those who study a western martial arts tradition I wonder how they fill in their other spheres, if at all. Or those reenactors. Of course myArmoury does tend to favor western arts, I don't mean to leave other MAists out.
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William P




Location: Sydney, Australia
Joined: 11 Jul 2010

Posts: 1,436

PostPosted: Mon 09 Mar, 2015 7:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

i myslf do dark ages reenactment combat with living history aspects as secondary since i dont have the time or space to do the crafts i would like. however i am someone who rates getting a proper feel for combat conditions as being more important than the LOOK of the gear, for example i would want to encourage a greater proliferation of , say padded javelins and byzantine plumbata and increased spear usage since well, thats what was used. however this gets an odd reaction from people since they see it as almost larping since such simulants are very foam based (using NERF throwing missiles aka the whistler footballs with fins in the case of plumbata) it actually makes people i know not want to touch it with a 10 foot pole) and even foam headed javelins wrapped in fabric are only just toeing the line which annoys me personally but i cant do much about it

i would like to probably do more HEMA both to help me train and increase my skills but also because it allows a more historical range of techniques


hopwever the role of non combat activities and display warriors is PARAMONT imho.. historical reconstruction involves all aspects of life, cooking, weaving blacksmithing even abstract concept reconstruction such as medical knowledge, theology mythoilogy etc but those are normally more the pervue of academics
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Kuo Xie




Location: Chicago, IL
Joined: 29 Feb 2012

Posts: 76

PostPosted: Mon 09 Mar, 2015 10:23 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Years ago I ran a German longsword study group, but not anymore. I got tired of having to rely on manuscripts and independently designing curriculum for myself and my group members. The speculative aspect of the art also got very tiring for me... too much discussion that went like "well it would have worked if we were fighting for real". I suppose it's inevitable when you're trying to re create combat with deadly weapons because you can't go full force against training partners.

Now I train in boxing. I really enjoy that the sport has widespread recognition and a base of established trainers to learn from. There is also no pointless speculation about techniques working or not working... if you have some novel idea about how to throw a right hand then get in the ring and test it out at full speed. Boxing also has a strong emphasis on basic conditioning which has been very helpful for me. You can do a jump rope workout in almost any public space where you can't take a practice sword.

So I dunno how to answer your question. I study a martial sport, don't reenact, but enjoy collecting medieval weapons, armor and accessories. I'm working on an early 14th century knight's kit, but have no plans to fight in it or join a group. I still greatly admire the European sword arts but it's not for me anymore.
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Max L




Location: Philly
Joined: 29 Dec 2013

Posts: 80

PostPosted: Mon 09 Mar, 2015 10:35 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I wish I could do either. Besides the SCA I haven't found any groups in the Philly area that do any kind of pre-17th c reenactment or living history.

I love the SCA, especially the people, but I wish I could supplement it with something a bit more authentic and in depth.
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Philip Dyer





Joined: 25 Jul 2013

Posts: 495

PostPosted: Mon 09 Mar, 2015 12:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Max L wrote:
I wish I could do either. Besides the SCA I haven't found any groups in the Philly area that do any kind of pre-17th c reenactment or living history.

I love the SCA, especially the people, but I wish I could supplement it with something a bit more authentic and in depth.

I would suggest, unless there is a HEMA club near you, try looking into the Cut and Thrust or light weapons interaction of the SCA, from what I've seen, people do get quite a bit more technical and there focus is more on how swords work and manual study than SCA heavy. I'm actually looking into it myself, because I find SCA combat physically extriating but now where really mentally and technically engaging as well I've taken (abet brief and infrequent lessons) on dueling and Cut and Thrust from different groups.
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Harry Marinakis




PostPosted: Mon 09 Mar, 2015 12:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I was initially interested in HEMA-style marital arts, and I contacted a nearby academy for instruction.

Unfortunately, when they found out that I was already involved in SCA heavy, I got a tirade about how the SCA is useless and everything that I already knew what just a hinderance to "proper" fighting, blah, blah, blah.

I never called them back, and that was 3 years ago.
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Philip Dyer





Joined: 25 Jul 2013

Posts: 495

PostPosted: Mon 09 Mar, 2015 1:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Harry Marinakis wrote:
I was initially interested in HEMA-style marital arts, and I contacted a nearby academy for instruction.

Unfortunately, when they found out that I was already involved in SCA heavy, I got a tirade about how the SCA is useless and everything that I already knew what just a hinderance to "proper" fighting, blah, blah, blah.

I never called them back, and that was 3 years ago.

Wow, what a bunch of dicks. Should of thrown your helmet on their head and asked them to try to fight large groups of people wearing, I bet those guys would get worn out pretty quickly.
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Ben Coomer




Location: Colorado
Joined: 06 Sep 2011

Posts: 184

PostPosted: Mon 09 Mar, 2015 2:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Almost entirely just martial arts. Kung fu, Tai Chi, longsword, spear, archery, and now rapier.

One day I'll get around to the late 14th century kit I want, but time and money are the main limitations.
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Harry Marinakis




PostPosted: Mon 09 Mar, 2015 6:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Philip Dyer wrote:
Wow, what a bunch of dicks. Should of thrown your helmet on their head and asked them to try to fight large groups of people wearing, I bet those guys would get worn out pretty quickly.


Wish I could do that. Let them try fighting for 4 hours in 65 pounds of steel.

I have a bunch of gear that I should probably sell... fencing mask, gambeson, gloves and a couple of blunt swords (A&A fechterspiel, scholar)...
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Scott Hrouda




Location: Minnesota, USA
Joined: 17 Nov 2006
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PostPosted: Mon 09 Mar, 2015 8:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Harry Marinakis wrote:
Philip Dyer wrote:
Wow, what a bunch of dicks. Should of thrown your helmet on their head and asked them to try to fight large groups of people wearing, I bet those guys would get worn out pretty quickly.


Wish I could do that. Let them try fighting for 4 hours in 65 pounds of steel.

I have a bunch of gear that I should probably sell... fencing mask, gambeson, gloves and a couple of blunt swords (A&A fechterspiel, scholar)...


Donít sell your gear yet! Have you ever thought about SCA cut & thrust in full kit?

Iím seriously considering moving in that direction as I near my 50ís. Itís taking my body longer and longer to recover after 20+ years of rattan beatings.

...and that, my liege, is how we know the Earth to be banana shaped. - Sir Bedevere
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Mike Ruhala




Location: Stuart, Florida
Joined: 24 Jul 2011

Posts: 328

PostPosted: Tue 10 Mar, 2015 12:32 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The more people calling for and buying historically accurate arms and armor the better! The more people digging through the historical records and finding cool stuff the better!
Historical fencing on Florida's Treasure Coast!
www.tcfencers.com
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