Please feel free to contact the Knight Marshal at KnightMarshal AT DunCarraig DOT net with any questions about armored fighting. You can also find the rules, including armor requirements, at the Atlantian Earl Marshal's page.
Fighters practice against each other one-on-one, and may also fight in small melees or work on unit techniques. When you're just starting out, we'll explain the basics and have you practice the footwork and a couple basic shots. This helps you learn the motions that you'll need later. Then, we'll get you armored up and give you the chance to hit someone.
You'll probably end up with a few bruises--we all do. When you're starting out, people will fight down to your level and help you learn.
Since our current practice is for both rapier and armored combat, you'll also get to see rapier fighters working on their skills.
When you show up to a practice, you'll need the following:
- Either proof that you're eighteen or (if you're 16 or 17) a parent/legal guardian who can sign a waiver for you.
- Groin protection. (Yes, for men and women both. While any store that sells sporting goods will have male athletic supporters, female protection can be harder to find. Stores that carry boxing or martial arts equipment (such as Karate Depot - External Link or Title Boxing - External Link) frequently carry female groin protection (often called "jills.")
- Non-marking shoes, such as non-black-soled sneakers.
- A good attitude and a willingness to learn.
- Clothes to fight in. We recommend comfy jeans or sweatpants and a t-shirt, preferably long sleeved. (Covering skin helps minimize bruises and "armor bites.")
- Water, Gatorade, etc. (Our practice site has a water fountain and a soda machine, but bringing a water bottle is a good idea for staying hydrated.)
The barony has loaner armor, but we currently don't have someone to transport it to every practice. So, if you want to borrow armor, contact the Quartermaster. The earlier you can do this, the better--several days before the practice is preferred. He'll make arrangements to get the gear to practice so that you can use it.
If you come to a practice when the loaner gear isn't there, or we can't find armor to fit you, don't worry. You can practice footwork and sword blows out of armor, and you can learn a lot from watching the fighting.
To fight, you'll also need to sign a waiver.
SCA combat simulates medieval tournament fighting, using rattan weapons rather than real swords, spears, and axes. (As we're fond of saying, we want to "kill" our opponents, not injure them.) Fighters wear very protective armor, and a telling blow is one that hits with such force that if it had been struck with a real weapon, the combatant would have been killed or disabled. The person being hit is the one who determines if the blow was good. A fighter who is struck in the head or the torso is considered "dead" and falls to the ground. If a fighter is struck in the arm, they may continue to fight one-handed; if they are struck in the leg, they fight from their knees.
We have both tournaments, where fighters compete one-on-one, and melees, where armies take the field against each other. The objective of a melee might be to defeat every member of the other team, to hold a flag, or to capture a certain amount of territory.