November 10, 2010

Crossing the pedestrian bridge the other day...

... I happened to catch a combat scene.

55 comments:

Ron said...

In my day...visiting lecturers would give job talks...but I see that competition has increased...

SteveR said...

Size matters

TRO said...

Hey, you never know when sword skills will come back into style . . .

Big Mike said...

It's more fun with Kalashnikovs.

BJM said...

You do indeed live in a strange and wonderful place and that's from someone in Berkeley.

traditionalguy said...

These guys look like descendants of the three stooges. But where is the third stooge? He may be in Jakarta getting to revisit his first Church and say his Muslim prayers again.

traditionalguy said...

These dudes are pusseys only using wooden swords. Haven't they seen Kill Bill Vol.2?

Bob_R said...

Just a flesh wound

Irene said...

So the White Knight decides he's not going to play any more, drops his toys, and walks away?

Some theatre major he is.

Albatross said...

BJM: You do indeed live in a strange and wonderful place ...

It's wonderful to watch guys beat each other with sticks? Any bar fight will give you that kind of high.

Geoff Matthews said...

None shall pass.

Ann Althouse said...

"So the White Knight decides he's not going to play any more, drops his toys, and walks away?"

He seemed like he was really hurt. After I turned off the camera, the scene continued, and it appeared that he was actually injured.

Shawn L. said...

Just another day in the SCA.

Irene said...

Oh boy, now I feel badly.

Poor guy.

Fen said...

Those are Scadians. SCA. Society for Creative Anachronism.

I was with a group back in college. Lots of fun.

Christopher said...

The last time any Republicans tried to cut spending? That's about how hard they tried.

Suburbanbanshee said...

SCA sword practice on Althouse! Awesome!

Note to the uninitiated: The Society for Creative Anachronism is a worldwide educational, recreational group. Its members study and (to various extents) recreate medieval (interpreted broadly as 500-1650 AD) pastimes and society. Some parts are more historical, others more playful. What you see is not the embroidery or cookery part of the SCA. :)

For various safety reasons, SCA combat means dressing in full armor, armored gloves, and helmet (sometimes shield too), while whapping each other with weapons of duct tape-covered rattan instead of live steel. (There's also SCA medieval fencing and archery against targets and other combat arts that tend to use less simulated stuff. But that's not what we see here.)

Rattan swords, pikes, etc. break fingers a lot, and other bones sometimes, and of course other sports injuries occur. Fighting like this isn't a game for wimps.

Sca.org is where to go to find out more, like what SCA kingdom you live in. :)

Fen said...

He seemed like he was really hurt. After I turned off the camera, the scene continued, and it appeared that he was actually injured.

He may have been. Those swords are rattan. They leave nice big welts if a blow gets around your armor.

edutcher said...

The guy in white needs to go back to Knight School.

(Had to)

Suburbanbanshee said...

I forgot to say that most colleges have an SCA group attached to them, though it's not a club found only or even mostly at colleges.

There are, or used to be, various medieval or fantasy groups which do have live steel combat, but I'm not sure what they are these days. I think maybe Dagorhir used to? Real liability problems in doing live steel events, obviously.

Bob_R said...

I definitely prefer Kill Bill Vol. 1 to Vol. 2. You can't really beat the Crazy 88's fight.

MamaM said...

Looked more like whack-a-mole than a combat scene. But I still had the dictionary out from looking up precious, and found combat defined as "purposeful violent conflict meant to establish dominance over the opposition". It appears that happened.

BJM said...

@Albatross

FOAD.

Meade said...

No, Irene, don't feel bad. I think he probably was slightly injured but was also being overly dramatic - at least if his cohorts' blasé reactions were any guide. (Mrs. Meade can sometimes over empathize, if you know what I mean.)

Albatross said...

BJM: FOAD.

And that's from someone in Berkeley!

pst314 said...

"He seemed like he was really hurt."

Possibly. A well-delivered blow can really hurt. But the reason he immediately stopped fighting is that his opponent had delivered a killing blow--killing being defined as "if they had been using real swords and real armor".

They were fighting Florentine style and that opponent was pretty fast.

Fred4Pres said...

Dies The Fire and the Nantucket Series were good books.

But it is starting to get old now.

Irene said...

Meade, I felt less badly once I learned that the guys were SCA. Real medievalists don't like SCA.

But Mrs. Meade and I have the same problem of over emphatizing.

Example: I was driving down Farley Tuesday morning on my way toward University Avenue. Usual route through the Manski-signed lawns. A Prius was tailgating. A squirrel darted in front of my sensible vehicle. Squash. At first, I felt empathy. Then I realized it was a squirrel, and I was happy to have avoided a moment of Prius road rage.

Irene said...

"empathizing"

bagoh20 said...

Nerd porn.

bagoh20 said...

3 sticks and a pussy.

edutcher said...

Meade said...

No, Irene, don't feel bad. I think he probably was slightly injured but was also being overly dramatic - at least if his cohorts' blasé reactions were any guide. (Mrs. Meade can sometimes over empathize, if you know what I mean.)

That's one of the things, along with her wit, charm, and artistic flair, that endears Mrs Meade to us all. She talks tough, but there's a very big heart there.

(Same applies, of course, to Irene)

Meade said...

I liked "emphatizing."

As in the Prius bumper sticker:
I Emphatically Empathize With Phat Phlat Squirrels

Irene said...

"[E]mphatizing" made me think of little Ronnie Howard in "The Music Man" (one of my favorite childhood movies).

After "Sound of Music," of course, for the nuns/nazis/heiress/nanny stuff. Forty-five years ago.

(Thanks, edutcher. You're a charmer, too.)

former law student said...

Has anyone seen "Role Models"? The plot is too complicated to easily describe, but it features a hybrid of SCA and Dungeons and Dragons.

Fred4Pres said...

Irene, SCA plays a prominent role in Dies The Fire and the Emberverse Series.

They are bad, but not as bad as the Church Universal Triumphant. You might like the alternative geek universe.

ironrailsironweights said...

The chances that either of these two will ever have sex with a woman are about equal to the chances that you'll look out the window and see a unicorn jumping over a rainbow.

By "sex with a woman" I do not mean Mrs. Palm and her five daughters.

Peter

The Crack Emcee said...

My last roommate did that. Tough Jew. A typicle conversation in our house would go "What are you doing this weekend?" "I'm going to war!" and he would. He and hundreds, or even thousands of guys would travel to a location, put on their armor and wail on each other. It was civilized but fucking brutal. And he was one of the best roommates I've ever had - which is saying something because I've had pretty good luck with them usually.

BTW, BJM, Berkeley is huge for that activity.

Irene said...

Fred4Pres, thanks for the tip. I will step out of my geek universe and check out the alternative one.

Methadras said...

Shawn L. said...

Just another day in the SCA.


Fen said...

Those are Scadians. SCA. Society for Creative Anachronism.

I was with a group back in college. Lots of fun.


Hail. SCA San Diego.

Methadras said...

former law student said...

Has anyone seen "Role Models"? The plot is too complicated to easily describe, but it features a hybrid of SCA and Dungeons and Dragons.


You might be talking about LARP'ing (Live Action Role Playing). LIGHTNING BOLT!!! LIGHTNING BOLT!!! LIGHTNING BOLT!!!

Methadras said...

ironrailsironweights said...

The chances that either of these two will ever have sex with a woman are about equal to the chances that you'll look out the window and see a unicorn jumping over a rainbow.

By "sex with a woman" I do not mean Mrs. Palm and her five daughters.

Peter


Sex with a woman you say? Nay.

Sex with toy BOOM STICKS? Yay.

And there was much rejoicing.

The Crack Emcee said...

ironrailsironweights,

The chances that either of these two will ever have sex with a woman are about equal to the chances that you'll look out the window and see a unicorn jumping over a rainbow.

That struck me as an idiotic thing to say. My roomy has two lovely kids and, having attended my share of battles with him and meeting a lot of the guys involved with it, I was struck by how "normal" they were. As a matter of fact, I'd say they were some of the most witty, industrious, and smart guys I've ever met. (My roomy works for the government and has credentials to do almost everything one can imagine, from international negotiations to disaster relief.) These guys come from all walks of life and ethnic backgrounds, and are really open and engaging in conversation. The kinds of guys women would be lucky to have. And I mean that:

The women would be the lucky ones.

And they were all guys the unsuspecting criminal would hate to encounter. My roomy was a sweetheart - I never felt threatened living with him and he was as easy with (what was at the time) my fractured self as I could ask for - though he was built like a spark plug, a top-ranked black belt in Karate, and could easily break anyone - and I mean anyone - with one hand. Nothing scared him and he liked that in me, too, though I'm just an old fashioned ghetto street fighter.

I'ma call him tomorrow. Writing about him makes me miss him.

BJM said...

@Crack

Yes, the Principality of the Mists/College of St. Katherine.

Berkeley has lost much of it's weirdness...the Birkenstock Nanny Brigade took the joy out of being an anachronism.

pst314 said...

"The chances that either of these two will ever have sex with a woman are about equal to the chances that you'll look out the window and see a unicorn jumping over a rainbow."

As a matter of fact, based on the SCA people I have known, they're just as sexually active as everyone else. Silly boy needs to keep his mouth shut about things he knows nothing about, lest his prejudices lead him to public displays of asshattery.

Fen said...

Silly boy needs to keep his mouth shut about things he knows nothing about

Exactly. Pennsic War is an annual event that brings in thousands. Its like a two-week woodstock festival. If you can't get laid there, you aren't trying.

@ Methadras: Hail. SCA San Diego.

Atlantia now. Target and Combat Archery.

Suburbanbanshee said...

"It's like a two-week Woodstock festival"

Except that people are polite and well-groomed and often beautifully dressed. Also they shower, they camp in an organized fashion, they eat well and stay hydrated, there's a huge program list of classes and activities, there's Sunday Mass onsite if you can find it, there's a huge amount of medieval musical and dramatic presentations and plenty of dances, there's not much in the way of microphones and speakers or centralized arenas, they sell chocolate milk at the campground store, the nudity is reserved for one discreet swimming hole, and the druggies tend to stay out of sight. Yeah, exactly like Woodstock, except that it's reasonably pleasant to be around these tens of thousands of people.

There's lots of mud in certain places, though. Very clay-ey. Not fun to wash out of your clothes if your hem gets into it, or you fall in a patch.

Fen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Salamandyr said...

SCA gets a bum wrap...but I prefer to do my fencing with steel.

former law student said...

Nerds have sex -- who knew?

Fen said...

SCA gets a bum wrap...but I prefer to do my fencing with steel.

The Rapier crowd uses live steel.

But this is heavy weapons. You wouldn't want to meet up a real Claymore!

Sigivald said...

MamaM: Outside of movies, a lot of real combat is, in fact, very fast and decisive.

Movies need protracted fights to build drama and make the watchers feel they got their money's worth.

Sigivald said...

pst314: I'll see that and raise you. There's an excellent chance they have better than average chances at having an active love life.

After all, unlike many "geeky" hobbies, the SCA (as well as other more or less equivalent reenactment groups that aren't about a modern military) involves lots of women, and lots of interaction with them in person.

It's almost like it was designed to get geeks some romantic chances.

pst314 said...

Sigivald is correct on all counts.

Sixty Grit said...

A group I am in played for a wedding. Part of the entertainment, other than watching the morbidly obese bride nearly pass out from being squeezed into a too small period wedding dress, sweating profusely while standing around in the heat of July, was a battle between two SCA types, a husband and wife team. The wife hit the husband so hard with a mace that he was knocked silly and bled all over the place. I thought that was the perfect way for the newlyweds to begin their blissful life together. Symbolic, even.

And there were plenty of large men in utility kilts at the wedding. Since I was with the band there was no way I was going to comment upon anyone's apparel - that, plus the fact that those were some serious dudes, separated from bikers only by the century they chose to pretend to live in.

Go to Scotland - take a look at the size of the Claymores in museums there - that will give you an appreciation for what Scots could wield on the field of battle. Makes me thankful for modern ballistics and concealed carry.