ANST -Ladies & Who Protects Who

Mike C. Baker kihe at
Tue Nov 4 13:40:06 PST 1997

Mooneschadeen! Listen up! History Alert!

---Burke McCrory <bmccrory at> wrote:
> At 02:00 PM 10/29/97 -0500, you wrote:

> > shots to the visor or raised welts on the buttocks 
> > will quickly change your mind about the helplessness 
> > of the so-called "weaker" sex.
> I find this agument of hitting like a girl or I don't 
> want to hurt a girl to be laughable at best.  I started 
> fighting in this game way back in 1979.
>  Back then Ansteorra had several ladies that were fighting 
> heavy weapons.
> I remember a certain very young lady that was learning to 
> fight at the same time.  NO ONE EVER accused the future 
> Sir Sif of hitting like a girl!!  I also never saw anyone 
> tell Mistress Mara, Baroness Gunhilda, or Lady Adhysa
> that they shouldn't fight because they were too frail and 
> might get hurt.
> In Ansteorra if you don't watch out, some of the worst 
> bruises you will ever get will have a lady at the other 
> end of the sword.  

<honor role of well-known Ansteorran lady warriors snipped>

> just to name a few.  I think you will find that in 
> Ansteorra we don't have any of the "weaker" sex just 
> the fairer sex.
Also from the early days in northern Ansteorra, and worthy of at the
least footnotes, were Patricia of Dreamwind (fencing victor at the
first Mooneschadowe Guardian, well before there were "official"
champions in the rapier form) and Leta Amaryllis Goldenglow. I raise
(I will not dare to presume "champion") Leta's case in particular as
an exemplar in the sense that her tenacity, speed, and "gumption"
were a recurrent spur to the expectations and ambitions of many. 

Most often, our ambitions were to keep Leta from doing more damage
to her own self -- perhaps out of over-zealousness, but as much or
more from genuine concern. It may have been a comical sight at the
time to see her relatively small body partially wrapped in a
mattress (well, it *looked* like a mattress...) to protect a much
damaged wrist, only her weapon arm and legs really clear / free. 

She accepted our solicitousness with humor & grace, not to mention
recurrent frustration at her own frail flesh-and-bone -- and
proceeded to redouble the pace of her attacks.

Any who had not faced her previously, or seen her in full flurry,
came away from their matches shaking heads in disbelief and wonder.
Where did all of those blows come from? How could any human move so
fast? Where was the power behind them coming from, considering her
tiny frame?

That the combat she entered was mostly if not entirely limited to
forms not using rattan is beside and beyond the point. Memories of
Leta upon the field, in any combat form, will always be in the back
of my brain when facing a smaller or apparently over-protected

Borrowing the vernacular of a much later time frame: "Speed kills".
Upon the list field, or practice floor, or in the melee, not only
does speed "kill" an opponent, it kills his or her opportunities to
return a blow... I may be aging now, and slowing down, but I know
better for having faced Leta when *not* to rely on a strength I may
or may not have available. 

And I also will know when to expect my opponent to display ability
beyond prior expectation (ALWAYS!)

Pax ... Kihe / Adieu -- Amra / TTFN -- Mike
Kihe Blackeagle (the Dreamsinger Bard) / 
(al-Sayyid) Amr ibn Majid al-Bakri al-Amra  /
Mike C. Baker: My opinions are my own -- no one else would want them!
Alt. e-mail: KiheBard at, MikeCBaker at

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