ANST - Calling Blows

Gunnora Hallakarva gunnora at
Sat Aug 23 22:19:57 PDT 1997

I have in the past seen Crowns stop combats, come onto the listfield, and
discuss blow calling with blatant rhinos.  And not just in Crown Tourneys,
either.  In fact, usually not Crown Tourneys.  I think this is definitely
something a Crown should be willing to do, as a final authority.  Likewise
any of the other knights, especially if they are marshalling.

As a fighter, I am perfectly aware that adrenaline sometimes gets the
better of one's blow-calling ability.  It's not unrealistic for a fighter
to get hit, take two or three more swings, then realize, "Hey, that was
good!"  I fall down at that point.  Of course, the same thing can heppen in
real battles, also,  There are many accounts of wounded warriors fighting
on for quite some time, intestines trailing, until the shock that insulated
them from the pain finally killed them.

I am more than willing to have a marshal stop the fight and caution me or
my opponent about calling blows, or simply asking us to calibrate again
before we go further.  It should be a big clue when someone stops a battle
and asks you to calibrate that you are appearing to others at least to be a
big fat rhino -- something no honorable fighter wants.

Of course, in the Ancient Old Days (TM) a marshal *could* call a blow...
because the definition of a good blow was a visible crease on a freon can
helm, which the marshal could see and said marshal was allowed to tell you
so by the rules in the days when freon cans were legal equipment.  And
sometimes you couldn't feel one of those helm creases, either, especially
as much of the kinetic energy of the blow had been sopped up by the
deformation of the metal.

Sometimes it's a good idea to stop a fight and check equipment after what
was apparently a really good blow has landed uncalled.  I got hit in the
shoulder once with a big shot from a greatsword where I felt nothing at
all.  We stopped and looked, and the ABS plastic shoulder pauldron had
split, again dissipating the energy of the blow into destruction of the
material.  I was glad to know about it, too, as another blow would have
caused that cracked plastic to bite my shoulder in a most unpleasant fashion.

Another way to help bad blow calling that used to be seen in the olden
times was that the ladies who gave their favors to fighters watched the
fighting closely, feeling that that favor represented their own honor on
the listfield, and that a rhino-hiding fighter was dishonoring not only
himself but the person whose favor he carried.  I also recall on two
occasions seeing a lady stop a fight and ask for a favor back -- a
spectacularly unpleasant maneuver which got the affected fighter's
attention and helped him regain a sense of honor in a big and public hurry.
 For this to work ladies or other folks giving their favor to a fighter
must commit to watching that fighter's performance.

Back 17 years ago when I started fighting, we used to be very proud of the
saying, "the fighting is just a game, but our honor is deadly serious."
Alas, all too often now it seems to be "the fighting is deadly serious and
honor is but a game."  Emphasizing honor over winning might be a big help

As an aside to this line of thought, something else we used to be very
proud of when I first joined the SCA, and which I heard repeatedly in the
first five years or so I was in, was "you can leave a hundred dollars in
plain sight on your bed in your tent, because everyone here is so honorable
that no one would touch it."  Boy, has *that* ever gone by the wayside!  I
haven't been to a big event in years when you don't hear about someone
having something "borrowed" from a tent and never returned, or a merchant
dealing with the famous "five finger discount."  What happened?  I think
its because the SCA grew so quickly, and new members weren't socialized the
same way as they were when the SCA was very small.

Wæs Þu Hæl (Waes Thu Hael)


Gunnora Hallakarva
Ek eigi visa þik hversu oðlask Lofstirrlauf-Kruna heldr hversu na Hersis-Aðal
(Ek eigi thik hversu odhlask Lofstirrlauf-Kruna heldr hversu na Hersis-Adhal)


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