"Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up."
                -- Thomas Edison

Author Topic: Mace Fighting  (Read 24729 times)

Vincent

  • New Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 14
  • New Member
Mace Fighting
« on: 2014-06-20, 17:38:51 »
Alright, first actual topic started on here!

So, I'm likely going to be authorizing on July 5th (Brawl of the Crooked Dragon? Something along those lines). I've been working exclusively sword and board for practice, and one of the local knights think's I'm ready to give it a go and properly authorize to fight. Don't get me wrong, sword and shield is fine, but I really haven't seen a lot of mace and shield fighters apart from the video in the 'Defend your Crotch!' thread.

As a background, I'm already a naturally big guy (6'2'', 300lbs, though I don't look it weight-wise), and let's face it, I'm totally up for using what I've naturally got to my advantage. If I recall reading correctly, a mace counts as a 'mass weapon,' which gives a bit wider of a kill range for blows to land (for example, a hit to the hip joint is a kill, rather than costing the opponent a leg).

Resources from what I've been looking into have been rather scarce on that front, however.
What I've found floating around online:
http://www.ironbog.eastkingdom.org/ironbog2-tutorials-heavy-weapons-mace.html


Any insight from the SCAdians/WMA practitioners on site regarding training and fighting with a mace and shield?

Thorsteinn

  • Squire of the Order
  • Forum Veteran
  • ***
  • Posts: 2,470
Re: Mace Fighting
« Reply #1 on: 2014-06-20, 21:50:58 »
I've got a lovely bit of experience with one, and it's my favorite war weapon to use with a shield. You do have to let it find the openings & not force the issue. You tend to fight more in circles than straight lines & like axes and great weapons it counts as a Mass Weapon thus allowing hip & shoulder kills. The two best one handed mace heads easily found for SCA use are the ones sold by Icefalcon and a Kong Medium Hexagonal dog toy.

Do you have any specific questions?
Fall down seven, get up eight.

Sir Nate

  • Nathan
  • Yeoman of the Order
  • Forum Acolyte
  • **
  • Posts: 1,702
Re: Mace Fighting
« Reply #2 on: 2014-06-21, 01:41:53 »
Are shield and mace tactics and foot work basically the same as sword?
I know sword has more slicing, but I'm wondering what kinds of things are done differently.
Nathan Phillip Max
Knight of the Order
"Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil"

Thorsteinn

  • Squire of the Order
  • Forum Veteran
  • ***
  • Posts: 2,470
Re: Mace Fighting
« Reply #3 on: 2014-06-21, 02:00:24 »
Nathan, they are very different.
Fall down seven, get up eight.

Sir Nate

  • Nathan
  • Yeoman of the Order
  • Forum Acolyte
  • **
  • Posts: 1,702
Re: Mace Fighting
« Reply #4 on: 2014-06-21, 03:20:31 »
Nathan, they are very different.

That is why I asked ;)
I suppose I'll have to make a Pinterest now.
But glad to hear they are not "kinda different"
« Last Edit: 2014-06-21, 03:21:36 by Sir Naythan »
Nathan Phillip Max
Knight of the Order
"Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil"

Lord Dane

  • The Hound, Hunter, and Hammer of Justice
  • Knight of the Order
  • Forum Acolyte
  • ****
  • Posts: 1,900
  • Selflessness, Service, Justice.
Re: Mace Fighting
« Reply #5 on: 2014-06-21, 04:47:21 »
Like Thorsteinn said Nathan ... Sword technique and one-handed blunt instruments have different uses so goes to assume they would have different techniques as well. Swords meant to thrust and slice vary in size (one-handed; two-handed; blade length & type, etc) and will have different target areas to strike as opposed to weapons like maces that will be typically one-handed weapons that hit in different fashions. You learn as you master each new toy you play with. Body motion in conjunction with gripping/handling, striking technique, offensive/defensive posture all come into play when learning what works best and what is proper by the fighting style you study.

When you combine your weapon with shield use, it becomes something different all together. Then you learn how to coordinate both in unison and practice proper balance when striking and moving.
« Last Edit: 2014-06-21, 04:56:04 by Lord Dane »
"Fides, Honos, Prudentia, Sapiencia" (Faith, Honor, Prudence, Wisdom)
"Fiat justitia ruat caelum" (Let justice be done)

Sir Edward

  • Forum Admin
  • Commander of the Order
  • Forum Veteran
  • *****
  • Posts: 9,340
  • Verum et Honorem.
    • ed.toton.org
Re: Mace Fighting
« Reply #6 on: 2014-06-21, 12:47:30 »

Unfortunately, as far as I'm aware, most of the combat manuscripts don't mention one-handed maces much, if at all. Shields are also underrepresented.

However, part of how those manuscripts is designed, is to give you a broad set of fundamental principles to work with. Ideally, you should be able to extrapolate from them, to apply to different situations and different weapons.

I would say that most of the footwork and body mechanics would be pretty much the same, since you're still going to be using your hips to drive the power, and use the right footwork to stay balanced relative to the direction of your opponent. Where it really differs though, is that the mace may have a much shorter reach (unless you're fighting with a particularly large one), there's no "edge alignment" to worry about, and it's very front-heavy. A lot of the sword techniques may not apply directly, since they're designed around edge alignment and using the crossguard, but a lot of the general principles (particularly body motion) will still apply.
Sir Ed T. Toton III
Knight Commander, Order of the Marshal

( Personal Site | My Facebook )

Vincent

  • New Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 14
  • New Member
Re: Mace Fighting
« Reply #7 on: 2014-06-21, 16:42:50 »
I've got a lovely bit of experience with one, and it's my favorite war weapon to use with a shield. You do have to let it find the openings & not force the issue. You tend to fight more in circles than straight lines & like axes and great weapons it counts as a Mass Weapon thus allowing hip & shoulder kills. The two best one handed mace heads easily found for SCA use are the ones sold by Icefalcon and a Kong Medium Hexagonal dog toy.

Do you have any specific questions?

Well, let's see...

-You mention specifically for war, but would you personally in your experience use it in a specific one on one situation, or would you use it exclusively for mass combat? Or are you using 'war' as a general term for SCA events?

-I believe I've seen the IceFalcon heads you mentioned, they basically end up looking somewhat similar to a flanged mace, correct? Not sure about the Kong dog toy, is this it? (http://www.amazon.com/KONG-Stuff-A-Ball-Dog-Toy-Medium/dp/B0002DHO1I/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1403368153&sr=8-6&keywords=kong+dog+toys+medium)

General impression of technique is always appreciated. I'm jumping into Heavy Fighting from having done foam weapon fighting (Dagorhir/Belegarth), so I've had to adjust both in regards to targeting areas that are legal (head is off limits, everything except 'foot on ground' counts as a hit to SCA's helmet shots and not striking below the knee). Thankfully, I met one of the local knights through all that, and he's helped me along through the learning process. I feel like I could likely pull off a wider range of shots with a mace, but again, have yet to get my hands on one to try things out.


Unfortunately, as far as I'm aware, most of the combat manuscripts don't mention one-handed maces much, if at all. Shields are also underrepresented.

However, part of how those manuscripts is designed, is to give you a broad set of fundamental principles to work with. Ideally, you should be able to extrapolate from them, to apply to different situations and different weapons.

I would say that most of the footwork and body mechanics would be pretty much the same, since you're still going to be using your hips to drive the power, and use the right footwork to stay balanced relative to the direction of your opponent. Where it really differs though, is that the mace may have a much shorter reach (unless you're fighting with a particularly large one), there's no "edge alignment" to worry about, and it's very front-heavy. A lot of the sword techniques may not apply directly, since they're designed around edge alignment and using the crossguard, but a lot of the general principles (particularly body motion) will still apply.

Ah, unfortunate that there isn't a lot of information on specifically mace-work techniques. Most suggestions for maces are to shorten it from where you would typically be using an SCA sword, but I figured I would play around with that a bit and see how much I wanted to take off.

Many thanks for the insight thus far!

Thorsteinn

  • Squire of the Order
  • Forum Veteran
  • ***
  • Posts: 2,470
Re: Mace Fighting
« Reply #8 on: 2014-06-25, 05:01:09 »
Quote
You mention specifically for war, but would you personally in your experience use it in a specific one on one situation, or would you use it exclusively for mass combat? Or are you using 'war' as a general term for SCA events?

I've found that it works best for me for War's & Melee but I've used it in Tourney's too and I've not got the right mindset for it most of the time, however it is really fun. :)

We do have a Duke who's quite good with one and has won a royal Tourney with it.

As for the mace heads you are correct about both kinds linked to.
Fall down seven, get up eight.

Sir Nate

  • Nathan
  • Yeoman of the Order
  • Forum Acolyte
  • **
  • Posts: 1,702
Re: Mace Fighting
« Reply #9 on: 2014-06-26, 13:58:10 »

Unfortunately, as far as I'm aware, most of the combat manuscripts don't mention one-handed maces much, if at all. Shields are also underrepresented.

However, part of how those manuscripts is designed, is to give you a broad set of fundamental principles to work with. Ideally, you should be able to extrapolate from them, to apply to different situations and different weapons.

I would say that most of the footwork and body mechanics would be pretty much the same, since you're still going to be using your hips to drive the power, and use the right footwork to stay balanced relative to the direction of your opponent. Where it really differs though, is that the mace may have a much shorter reach (unless you're fighting with a particularly large one), there's no "edge alignment" to worry about, and it's very front-heavy. A lot of the sword techniques may not apply directly, since they're designed around edge alignment and using the crossguard, but a lot of the general principles (particularly body motion) will still apply.

My book goes over some War axe techniques, but it doesn't mention Mace.
Nathan Phillip Max
Knight of the Order
"Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil"

Thorsteinn

  • Squire of the Order
  • Forum Veteran
  • ***
  • Posts: 2,470
Re: Mace Fighting
« Reply #10 on: 2014-06-26, 19:23:54 »
If you want, I could easily do a video on what I know. It's a thing much easier to show then tell.
Fall down seven, get up eight.

Vincent

  • New Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 14
  • New Member
Re: Mace Fighting
« Reply #11 on: 2014-06-27, 19:42:04 »
That would be absolutely fantastic if you wouldn't mind doing a video, Thorsteinn! Just got some rattan, ordering up the Kong dog toy to give that a try.

One other question, if I may: Would you suggest doing a full gauntlet with a mace, or do you prefer demis and a basket hilt?

Lord Dane

  • The Hound, Hunter, and Hammer of Justice
  • Knight of the Order
  • Forum Acolyte
  • ****
  • Posts: 1,900
  • Selflessness, Service, Justice.
Re: Mace Fighting
« Reply #12 on: 2014-06-27, 20:07:31 »
I prefer demi gauntlets myself with one handed weapons; full gauntlets with two handed. Primarily when I use a shield in conjunction and like finger free motion for better grip. 
« Last Edit: 2014-06-28, 02:07:40 by Lord Dane »
"Fides, Honos, Prudentia, Sapiencia" (Faith, Honor, Prudence, Wisdom)
"Fiat justitia ruat caelum" (Let justice be done)

Thorsteinn

  • Squire of the Order
  • Forum Veteran
  • ***
  • Posts: 2,470
Re: Mace Fighting
« Reply #13 on: 2014-06-30, 00:53:38 »
Full gauntlets. Basket hilts on maces & axes look silly, and change an essential nature of the weapon.

I should have the video up later tonight.
Fall down seven, get up eight.

Sir Ulrich

  • Squire of the Order
  • Forum Acolyte
  • ***
  • Posts: 1,177
Re: Mace Fighting
« Reply #14 on: 2014-06-30, 23:47:12 »
Maces do not handle like a sword at all. They're quite heavy and most of the weight is concentrated in the tip. You actually use the weight to increase the force of the blow and it is devastating to say the least. I destroyed a water bottle to bits with my mace and it was with little effort. Also if your lower arm isnt big already regularly using a mace will make it much bigger as what happened to me. As a result my lower right arm is thicker than my left and it made my mace much lighter and swords feel even lighter in my hand. A basket hilt would totally change the way a mace handles and not make it work the right way it's supposed to. Edge alignment is much easier with a mace as you got 6 places you can do it with quite easily. It's actually an easy to use weapon just it requires a lot of strength training in your arm to use it without tiring easily, but once it's built up it's easy to use and brutally effective.