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Author Topic: Thoughts regarding the SCA.  (Read 4915 times)

AnsalonPaladin

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Re: Thoughts regarding the SCA.
« Reply #15 on: 2016-01-02, 14:36:26 »
In my four months of SCA fighting I've already gotten to witness personally a plethora of the aforementioned situations. I've seen the good and the bad of it and I can honestly say there's a good bit of both. As a heavy fighter in a household there is preference to the bottom line, which is winning fights, more than historical precedence at times. That may annoy some people. My knight, who is one of the best in the Kingdom and has won the crown and been king himself, wears a bunch of hockey armor underneath his gambeson and surcoat in order to facilitate speed and accuracy. He conceals it in such a way as to appear perfectly 14th c period, but that could annoy some of the purists out there. It doesn't annoy me. I myself have taken some artistic license on my armor due mainly to budget constraints. So I'm in a loaner Norman spangenhelm, a Wisby coat of plates, besagewed spaulders, etc. That could definitely grind some people's historic gears being in kit that's a mashup of 10th century and 14th century kit. Then the stick jock portion. This is definitely a big precedent in my household. We pride ourselves on training hard and hitting hard. But moreso do we take pride in standing and falling if necessary by our household brothers. The leader of our household repeatedly has mentioned that to him it's not a popularity contest, it's about winning glory alongside your brethren and then enjoying the revelry afterwards. To me that resonates, as I am from an Army Infantry background where competition was a big part of our organization and we prided ourselves on being "better" at certain feats than our peers. This may not fly with some people, especially those who are purely in it for the historical aspect. To me though I take that all with a grain of salt. The SCA is the only organization that I know of that fields battles with thousands of participants. For me that is the most important aspect, and it even trumps the history of it all because in my eyes it takes its own place in history. Being part of a shield wall and clashing into another while the din and cacophony of battle surround you is both an exhilarating and humbling experience. I feel like every different historical combat based society certainly has its strengths and weaknesses. I in no way believe that by gaining an expertise in swinging a stick will I become a master swordsman, and if that's what you're looking for traditional HEMA stuff is certainly superior. Then, of course there's the aspect of realism in fights like the various Sir's of this forum have mentioned like grappling, throws, and finding chinks in folks armor. When I witnessed the Order Of The Marshal fight against eachother at the VARF that was certainly the case, and it was awesome to behold in its own right! Every different group certainly has its strengths and weaknesses....but my experience in the SCA has been awesome thus far. Everyone's been very open minded, very friendly and inclusive, and it operates much like an adopted family. I love that aspect. I had no idea I was singing up for fighting in armor along with partying with folks, making new and close friends, having dinner with people, etc. That's a big plus for me as someone who struggles socially after getting out of the military and I feel that's also a big strength of the organization. I'm sure there are some baronies that are snooty and up their own butts about stuff and that drives new folks away, and I'm very thankful my situation has been quite different.


Sorry for the long winded and fragmented response, but I also just thought of another thing. The politics- they definitely play a big role in the SCA and are almost impossible to avoid. Gossip, lambasting, and alienation do happen in the organization based on the actions and attitudes of folks. If you turn against your household for the wrong reasons be prepared to be seen as a traitor to many folks and to have your name put out there. If you hit certain folks too hard or whatever, also be prepared to endure some glowers and maybe even a knight knocking your block off a time or two. All that stuff happens, but as a combat centric sport, and I'm just talking in regards to the heavy fighting portion not the arts and crafts portion, a certain bit of machismo and ego will be involved in almost all societies. It's hard to avoid. Though it may be negative some times as long as you fight with honor and have a good attitude by and large people will accept and embrace you.
« Last Edit: 2016-01-02, 14:38:25 by AnsalonPaladin »
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Sir Martyn

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Re: Thoughts regarding the SCA.
« Reply #16 on: 2016-02-07, 19:31:07 »
Nice comment, Ansalon.  I do hope to find out more about Ponte Alto (my closest Barony) one of these days, I just can't seem to make the time (they have fighter practice before I usually get off work, for example).
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Sir Rodney

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Re: Thoughts regarding the SCA.
« Reply #17 on: 2016-02-11, 06:11:01 »
The trials and tribulations Ansalon mentioned were the very reason my group of friends formed an independent "mercenary unit" in the late 80's / early 90's.  We played separately from the local group for decades and "hired out" to the "highest bidder".  Things have changed locally over the last 10 years or so.  People have moved on, attitudes have changed and new blood has taken the reigns.  The current local crew is very accepting and fun to play with.
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AnsalonPaladin

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Re: Thoughts regarding the SCA.
« Reply #18 on: 2016-02-15, 02:45:11 »
Sir Martyn it would be awesome to see you at a practice some time! The Barony of Caer Maer down in Richmond has our practices Tuesday nights 7-9 PM if that would work better for your schedule. We tend to have around 10 fighters practicing every week, sometimes more. People from all over Atlantia travel down to practice with our knights Bryce De Byram and Amos Le Pious, two very knowledgeable and skilled fighters.

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Re: Thoughts regarding the SCA.
« Reply #19 on: 2016-02-16, 05:59:06 »
I'm sure there are some baronies that are snooty and up their own butts about stuff and that drives new folks away[...]

I sort of had this experience with the SCA when I first looked into them, and it did indeed turn me away from it. If I had stuck with it and had gotten more involved, I'm sure I would have found that the good people outweigh the bad, but I dunno...for whatever reason I just didn't feel comfortable there. It's funny how any two given people can have completely different experiences with the same organization. But like you said, the SCA's a big enough organization that you get a pretty even mix of good and bad experiences.

But on the bright side, not sticking with the SCA set me off on my own path and eventually led me here, so that's a win in my book. :)
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jason77

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Re: Thoughts regarding the SCA.
« Reply #20 on: 2016-07-19, 20:31:15 »
I don't have much experience with SCA folk and the little bit of experience I have had was negative so I've stayed away. A few years ago a friend thought that the SCA might be right up my alley and he was a former member who referred me to his local group (St. Louis). I went for a visit with my wife and kids and there were dozens of people in attendance. It was pretty neat to see everyone doing their respective things but we were largely ignored by everyone and when we approached people to try and talk about their group we were pointed in other directions. Someone finally spoke with us and explained the intricacies of the group and its dynamics but overall the people were very rude and unfriendly. This alone turned me off and I haven't returned. I live in a different town now and I know there is a smaller group here but due to my past experience I haven't attempted to reach out to them. This is all just my personal experience and I understand that this in no way is indicative of the SCA as an organization nor is it typical of all of its members. Perhaps I will reach out again whenever life isn't so busy. The fighting in the SCA doesn't appeal to me as I am more involved in HEMA but the community is what attracts me to the SCA.
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Thorsteinn

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Re: Thoughts regarding the SCA.
« Reply #21 on: 2016-07-20, 02:11:35 »
Jason have you tried SCA Cut & Thrust?
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jason77

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Re: Thoughts regarding the SCA.
« Reply #22 on: 2016-07-20, 02:54:35 »
No but I have heard that the SCA was doing steel rapier bouts. I don't have any experience with rapiers but that does sound interesting.
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Thorsteinn

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Re: Thoughts regarding the SCA.
« Reply #23 on: 2016-07-20, 04:49:52 »
No but I have heard that the SCA was doing steel rapier bouts. I don't have any experience with rapiers but that does sound interesting.

They do. I know cause I'm certified to do it. There is even a Peerage for it.
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Sir William

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Re: Thoughts regarding the SCA.
« Reply #24 on: 2016-07-20, 16:16:17 »
I'm sure there are some baronies that are snooty and up their own butts about stuff and that drives new folks away[...]

I sort of had this experience with the SCA when I first looked into them, and it did indeed turn me away from it. If I had stuck with it and had gotten more involved, I'm sure I would have found that the good people outweigh the bad, but I dunno...for whatever reason I just didn't feel comfortable there. It's funny how any two given people can have completely different experiences with the same organization. But like you said, the SCA's a big enough organization that you get a pretty even mix of good and bad experiences.

But on the bright side, not sticking with the SCA set me off on my own path and eventually led me here, so that's a win in my book. :)

Mirrors my first foray into SCA; the snootiness of same of the players were beyond rude.  I felt then that my time was better spent elsewhere.
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Jon Blair

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Re: Thoughts regarding the SCA.
« Reply #25 on: 2016-07-20, 19:05:34 »
I have a newcomer contact business card for the Shire of Owlsherst, East Kingdom, that has been sitting on my desk since I went to the Codorus Blast event in Hanover, PA back in June, where a SCA group had set up a demonstration. I have been reluctant to give a call, mostly from the fact that time this summer has been at a bit of a premium, but also because of the reputation for "snootiness" that the SCA has unfortunately cultivated.
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Sir Rodney

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Re: Thoughts regarding the SCA.
« Reply #26 on: 2016-07-24, 04:50:39 »
I have a newcomer contact business card for the Shire of Owlsherst, East Kingdom, that has been sitting on my desk since I went to the Codorus Blast event in Hanover, PA back in June, where a SCA group had set up a demonstration. I have been reluctant to give a call, mostly from the fact that time this summer has been at a bit of a premium, but also because of the reputation for "snootiness" that the SCA has unfortunately cultivated.

I recommend you give it a try Jon.  You never know, the local group may be a bunch of fun loving folks.  The worst thing that can happen is that you never give it a try and find out!   ;)
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Jon Blair

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Re: Thoughts regarding the SCA.
« Reply #27 on: 2016-07-25, 13:58:56 »
I have a newcomer contact business card for the Shire of Owlsherst, East Kingdom, that has been sitting on my desk since I went to the Codorus Blast event in Hanover, PA back in June, where a SCA group had set up a demonstration. I have been reluctant to give a call, mostly from the fact that time this summer has been at a bit of a premium, but also because of the reputation for "snootiness" that the SCA has unfortunately cultivated.

I recommend you give it a try Jon.  You never know, the local group may be a bunch of fun loving folks.  The worst thing that can happen is that you never give it a try and find out!   ;)
I can think of a lot worse things than never giving it a try to find out :). Maybe I'll contact in the autumn, once life has settled down some.
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