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Author Topic: Thoughts regarding the SCA.  (Read 4916 times)

Kenneth

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Thoughts regarding the SCA.
« on: 2014-10-11, 20:00:50 »
I have a few questions regarding the SCA and I hope it's okay I ask them here.
I know there are facebook pages for the different kingdoms but I thought I would try asking here first as I know a few here are members and the group as a whole seem very helpfull.
It's not as much questions actually as it is thought I've had I wanted to share and hopefully get some response to.

I've been thinking about getting into SCA for a few years now but there are some things holding me back and making me unsure if the SCA would be for me.
Biggest problem is that I live in Denmark and there are no SCA presence here whatsoever and the closest one seems to be in stockholm, and from what I've understood, if you are to fight in SCA events you have to be "certified" and practice regularly and I simply do not have the time nor economy to travel that far on a regular basis...especially if I am to save up for larger events around Europe.
I'm not really sure what other options I have in this regard as I can't very well train myself.

I also have to admit that having read a few threads on the AA and comments to various SCA vidos and seen quite a bit of bashing of LARP and the people who participate in it, I've gotten at sense of a "better than them" attitude which proberbly, sadly, have sullied my view on the SCA.
I've seen alot of comments that it's an insult to be compared to LARP, that in the SCA they fight for real and LARP'ers just roll dice, throw rice at eachother and that the SCA is more serious because it's historical, contrary to LARP which is fantasy (which in itself is not true, as there's alot of non-fantasy LARPs).
I'm well aware that far from all SCA'ers share this opinion, but roleplaying have been a big part of my life and proberbly "saved" me as a kid so it means alot to me and I hope it's a bit clear why I may be turned off by such comments.
I also worry that if I become part of the SCA I will run into alot of these people and won't be able to keep my mouth shut and in that way become alienated.

The thing that originally got me interested was the focus on history combined with a sort of sport, in the fighting aspect but looking at pictures and videos it almost seems like it's a minority who actually have historical gear.
I know it sounds very rude and I do not mean to cause offence but I got really confused when I saw people in modern protective gear, blue foam in helmets and metal shields...with actually only few having real historical kits.
Have I completely missed the point here?...or am I just an elitist jerk?

Now there are ofcause things I do like about the SCA.
I really like the structure it has with titles, organized tournaments and all that, really speaks to me and it seems you can really be someone within the SCA by the merit of your skills and your activity...and ofcause, the registered coat of arms is a big plus as well.
I also really like the idea of knighthood...that you can actually become a squire to a knight who would train you and then some day be knighted within the SCA...which ofcause you can as well in LARP, but there you most of the time just create your character as a knight and show up, you haven't really earned it as such.

All in all I guess I'm just confused and unsure as to wheter it would be the right thing for me or if I should just stick to LARP, but as I mentioned in my introduction thread I'm kinda stuck in the middle between LARP, Reenacting and SCA and a part of me want to combine it all into one, great "super hobby".

I know it may all sound a bit like rambling and part of it is me just trying to get a few thoughts out I've been having for a while...and I hope I haven't offended anyone by sharing this.
If any of you somehow have any form of advice, ideas or anything like it, I would love to hear it.


« Last Edit: 2014-10-11, 20:01:06 by Kenneth »

Sir Rodney

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Re: Thoughts regarding the SCA.
« Reply #1 on: 2014-10-13, 03:33:25 »
I can’t speak for the SCA / LARP relationship in Denmark as I’ve never been there, having only reached northern Germany in my travels.   In the U.S., upper Midwest specifically, there does seem to be a rift between the two groups.  Obviously there’s cross-over, more than most would admit.   ;)

Don’t take the ramblings on the AA too seriously as those are the voices of a few who have determined that their weekend extracurricular activity is better than the activity chosen by everyone else.  My experience is that the stateside LARPers don’t hold a candle to the European LARPers in regards to kits and combat.  This is, of course, a generalization that I’ve observed from on line forums, photographs, and videos.  One persons point of view, take it with a grain of salt.

There’s hundreds of arguments on AA and other forums whether SCA / LARP/ Living History / HEMA / WMA / fill-in-the-blank is “better” than another group.  These arguments miss the point.  Each group focuses on a particular time and/or activity and, thus, can’t be directly compared to another.  Many people are involved in several groups sequentially or simultaneously.  Only the individual can determine what’s right for them.

I used to hold the belief that the SCA was the best thing since sliced bread.  Time and experience has taught me that you need to do whatever it is that fulfills you.  Give something new an honest try.  If you like it then “great”, if not move on to the next adventure…   :)
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Kenneth

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Re: Thoughts regarding the SCA.
« Reply #2 on: 2014-10-13, 11:37:41 »
I agree with all you said there.

There's not really a relationship here as there are no SCA at all in Denmark, there is a bit with reenactment and LARP, but I think both groups recognize that people are in it for different reasons.

This is the video that sort of sparked my doubts about joining the SCA, along with comments on forums etc.


The guy in the video is not an SCA but foamfighter (not quite sure what that is) but there's a few in the comments that, and I'm ashamed to admit it, got my blood boiling...comments about people not getting hurt in LARP, but do in SCA and that somehow makes it "better".
But just the guy in the video seems very condecending in the way he talks about LARP'ing and when I look at the clips of foamfighting, I just think "that's LARP...but without the story"...and he says that he's more athletics, which is why he's doing foamfighting and not LARP'ing and I just get a feeling of being back in school with the "jocks".

This is one of the comments from the video:
"In An Tir it is more about how you can improve your physical prowess. We hit hard and learn how to take hard hits. We still celebrate and feast and drink. But those activities are icing on the cake. The main part is about fighting to your last breath and becoming a better fighter for it. And at the end of the day that makes the feast and drink and music all the sweeter. And just because we try and break bones does not mean we actually get to accomplish that fact. As you said, the armor is there for a reason and with out it many would suffer many more injuries then a few broken bones. Besides what can be more prideful then to say that a fighter was good enough to break your bones? I look forward to the next annual SCA moot which is to be held in glorious An Tir. And you said that in the east kingdom that the fighting aspect is only a minor part in the SCA? I find that sad. We are fighters. We participate in SCA events and tournaments to get away form the civilized world to take part in simpler times and enjoy true physical activity. I say SCA is primarily fighting with a great many, wonderful and interesting i might add, activities on the side. "

To be honest, that scares me.

I have heard many times that LARP in the US is very different from how it is in Europe and I'm ashamed to say that making fun os US LARP'ing isn't uncommon here.
I did hear a story about a European LARP'er moving to the US and wanted to continue, but found that unlike here people don't pay to participate in events and spend very little time and money on costumes and props...which I guess is the main difference, maybe we take it more seriously.

Wheter or not I join the SCA may end up being a moot point, as there is not presence here.
May have to ask on the European SCA facebook page what my options are in this case.
« Last Edit: 2014-10-13, 11:44:04 by Kenneth »

Sir Rodney

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Re: Thoughts regarding the SCA.
« Reply #3 on: 2014-10-14, 03:56:28 »
I watched the video and see your point.  This guy seems very full of himself and whatever LARP/SCA hybrid group he belongs to.

The quote you provided also appears to be from an individual very full of himself.  No one I know in the SCA “tries to break bones”.  We all have families, jobs, real life at the end of an event.  I get enough injuries from incidental contact.  I have, and will, notify a Marshal if I noticed some D-bag “swinging for the fence” on the field.  Save that stuff for the ACL.

Again, be aware that people who post videos of their favorite recreational pass time on the internet only represent a small fraction of all those who actually participate in that activity.  Read through the lines and the personalities.   ;)
"Oh, what sad times are these when passing ruffians can say Ni at will to old ladies. There is a pestilence upon this land, nothing is sacred. Even those who arrange and design shrubberies are under considerable economic stress in this period in history." - Roger the Shrubber

Sir James A

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Re: Thoughts regarding the SCA.
« Reply #4 on: 2014-10-14, 18:50:41 »
^ what Lord Rodney said, regarding safety.

ANYONE trying to break bones in ANY recreational combat: SCA, LARP, WMA/HEMA, or otherwise, should be removed from participation. That's stupidity and blatant disregard for the safety of others.

The quotes make the guy sound like a complete idiot. I've had minimal SCA experience in the US, for a year, over a decade ago, and it was nothing like what he says it is.

edit: Basically, go try it, if you like it, keep doing it, if you don't, quit and find something else. :)
« Last Edit: 2014-10-14, 18:51:18 by Sir James A »
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Kenneth

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Re: Thoughts regarding the SCA.
« Reply #5 on: 2014-10-15, 13:05:52 »
I have contacted my local kingdom on facebook and got alot of replies as well as invitations to fighter practice etc, so will proberbly drop by at some point and see if it's for me.
Luckily, it seems most people agree that the commenters on the video are a rare breed, so I'm less worried now.

Sir Rodney

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Re: Thoughts regarding the SCA.
« Reply #6 on: 2014-10-20, 03:43:07 »
I have contacted my local kingdom on facebook and got alot of replies as well as invitations to fighter practice etc, so will proberbly drop by at some point and see if it's for me.
Luckily, it seems most people agree that the commenters on the video are a rare breed, so I'm less worried now.

Good!   :)

If you like it, then you’ve opened a new chapter in your adventure.  If it’s not your cup of tea, try something else.
"Oh, what sad times are these when passing ruffians can say Ni at will to old ladies. There is a pestilence upon this land, nothing is sacred. Even those who arrange and design shrubberies are under considerable economic stress in this period in history." - Roger the Shrubber

Thorsteinn

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Re: Thoughts regarding the SCA.
« Reply #7 on: 2014-10-20, 07:05:31 »
Good luck!
When the World shout's "Give Up!", Hope whispers "Try one more time."

Cedric of Havenhall

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Re: Thoughts regarding the SCA.
« Reply #8 on: 2015-08-28, 23:47:14 »
I agree with Sir Rodney's comments.  Having been involved with the SCA for many years (in An Tir since 1993) I have never known anyone who deliberately tried to hurt anyone. Most of the fighters I know would feel terrible if they did hurt an opponent.

Henrik Granlid

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Re: Thoughts regarding the SCA.
« Reply #9 on: 2015-08-29, 19:14:50 »
We have weekly practices very close to Malmö Central station actually, and when the weather gets rough we share a locale with escrima, judo and a gym only a bustrip away from the central station.

Now, we are not that full of ourselves in Europe, at least as far as I know, mostly because there is some overlap between larp and other reenactment areas. However, the sports are different and you will find people who fight in hidden hockey pads to keep speed as well as people who fight in full plate because that's what they find to be fun. There's some macho culture lingering around fighting, but it's small enough that you can avoid it.

The Persona aspect of sca is very, very downplayed in Scandinavia, I have yet to meet somebody with a persona-role that dictates how they act and what they wear.

Swedish sca focuses mostly on crafting, fighting, socialising and partying, we have everything from a brewer's guild to gorgeous clothes and armourmakers. We don't have that many pronounced skalds, but there is a developed singing culture that is growing due to a few of us not being able to shut up once the fires are lit.

When comparing LARP and SCA, think of larp as improvised theatre with roles (this you know), whilst European or at least Swedish sca is more about dressing in the clothes, living on the campsite and having fun together.

You should come to malmö for a Sunday practice sometime and check it out. However, beware that this is not only your first proper encounter, but it will be an encounter with a very small part of the hobby. You won't really see the clothes, the crafts (crafting evenings weekly in Lund), the brewer's guild is based in Stockholm and the fencers around gothenburg. But you should absolutely come, and come in with an open mind, some of what you know from larps can be applied, other things can't.

We don't strike to break bone, we calibrate and we go fight. There are bruises and loud bangs, but it honestly isn't that bad. Rattan is inherently more painful than Calamacil weapons and if that's a problem, you simply armour up more or learn to block better, there aren't any better solutions than this, but, coming from a squishy perspective such as myself, it honestly isn't that bad. We don't have an inherent jock-culture in Sweden, which I am soooo very grateful for. You don't have to do anything you're uncomfortable with, nor do we throw you in headfirst into heavy combat, instead, there's pellwork, warmups and drills. If you want to try, we first start low intensity just to see if you're comfortable or not.

Come to Malmö a Sunday and try it. Add me on Facebook and I'll invite you to the practice events. If it's not for you, we have crafting in Lund, mostly focused on sewing, but there are woodcarvers and many-doers in the group as well.

Best regards, Henrik Hand of Attemark :)
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Sir Ulrich

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Re: Thoughts regarding the SCA.
« Reply #10 on: 2015-08-30, 06:11:19 »
As a living historian, SCA fighting is NOT accurate at all and I can speak for this word for word. When I went to an SCA meeting I actually got INSULTED for having riveted maille as they referred to it as "ugly" and told me to make butted maille. When I did the fighting I got mocked for being of a rather thin build by people who were obviously bigger and out of shape, making me quite self conscious about being thin for a while. I also got quite annoyed when they told me to wear aluminum armor and plastic armor because of my size. They literally used hockey gloves as gauntlets and hid plastic body armor under tabards. To be honest I didnt like anything about the SCA when I went there. To me it's just a fancy form of LARP with a very sportish attitude as opposed to actually being a historical reenacting group. I think SCA only would be fun if you had a group of people who did everything accurately and stuck within that group and avoided the negative parts of it that I encountered. I had a really negative experience with the SCA so I wont be going back there again. Might work for some of you guys but for my own interests I dont really have much positive stuff to say about it. I would much rather do HEMA or stuff like that for fighting, it's much more historical and I have a feeling I'd probably enjoy it more.

Henrik Granlid

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Re: Thoughts regarding the SCA.
« Reply #11 on: 2015-08-30, 08:39:23 »
I am incredibly sorry for your experience Ulrich, I can only say that there truly are asshats like that around, although I have never met any one quite that asshatty. There are the "Ditch plate and maille for plastic" stick-jocks here in Sweden as well, but never on that level, especially since we have people who also do encourage historical looks and we even have people going up for Crown tourneys in maille. Although, there aren't a lot of us. But we are out there.

Seriously, bugger those guys to hell and back, that is not the way to welcome new people.

And no, SCA isn't historical, just like IMCF/BOTN and even HEMA, there are different aspects. They are all modern sports that focus on different things or aspects. You don't get the battlefield in HEMA, you don't get the violence in SCA, you don't get the thrusts in BOTN. You will find sword-taggers in HEMA, stick-jocks in SCA and steel clubs in BOTN. But you also get the historical studies in HEMA, the clothes, camps and battlefield tactics in the SCA and the violence (although subdued) in the BOTN along with a higher standard of armour.

Not even living history reenactment with ultra-high standards such as the Company of St George will get eeeverything, because, to have everything, even with blunted weapons, people would lose eyes and break fingers and limbs.

Beware thinking anything is more historical than anything else, you'd need to find the hardest of corest of reenactment groups for that, for everything else is still modern sports with different types of historical focus.

And unfortunately, there will always be asshats wherever you go.

I really hope you do find something that speaks to you on a personal level and that you love and care for above all things. Personally, I love both HEMA and the SCA, I like watching IMCF and BOTN on stream and munching popcorn. I love having the daily updates from the Swedish HEMA championship that I couldn't attend by other people in the club. And there's so much more I wanna do. If I had a horse, I'd be down in Germany for the yearly, massive tournaments, if I had the car and the kit, I would be at Agincourt this year. Ours is an absolutely grand hobby, all of it, every aspect of it, and any one dedicating himself to even a single part should never, ever be derided as a nerd or stupid for wanting to add more historicity.
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Sir James A

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Re: Thoughts regarding the SCA.
« Reply #12 on: 2015-09-02, 15:13:13 »
Speaking outside of just the combat aspect, there are parts of the SCA that are more historical in nature, such as the arts and crafts (Order of the Pelican I think?) and things such as Laurels. It's been 15 years since I've interacted with SCA, but if you take away the combat aspect, there are some pretty neat things, and I know a number of people who had a great time with the SCA and never fought once.
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Lord Dane

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Re: Thoughts regarding the SCA.
« Reply #13 on: 2015-09-02, 21:35:59 »
SCA is not just combat fighting. It has something for everyone looking to share their skills, enhance their knowledge, or practice new things in all areas medieval. Great bunch of people. The organization offers something for everyone who seek to be medieval or rennaissance.
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Re: Thoughts regarding the SCA.
« Reply #14 on: 2015-09-03, 16:32:15 »
I had a similar experience much like Ulrich's only mine occurred on a yahoo message board as I was interested in checking out the local practices in the area.  The DC Metro area falls under the Barony of Storvik.  Had some hussy tell me that "this is our game we don't need you in it"; I'd only asked about innocuous things regarding heavy combat and the requirements.  If that were the only instance I had to draw from w/regard to that sort of attitude, I probably would have paid a visit anyway as they practiced in a church not too far from where I live.  But I didn't go, ultimately unsure of how I'd react if I were met with that sort of hostility face to face.  It is hardly an isolated incident, I've read of more instances of this sort of behavior from others- and I'm aware there are probably more people who are not assholes, but the assholes tend to be most visible.
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