Thursday, July 17, 2008

Company of St. Michael Activities at Pennsic, 2008

If you are attending the medieval recreation at Pennsic, you may be interested in the following……

Saturday, August 2
Noon: Blue List, Battlefield. 1 Hour
Learn about More Authentic Deeds of Arms
Formats, rules and modified combat conventions for more authentic deeds of arms. Also, an introduction to documented medieval combat techniques such as halfswording. Class to be followed by St. Michael’s Vespers, a hastilude where you can use what you’ve learned. Sponsored by the Company of Saint Michael.

1 PM: Blue List. Battlefield. 1 hour.

Combatants arm for St. Michaels Vespers and informal Q & A

2 PM: Blue List, Battlefield. Up to three hours
St. Michael’s Vespers
A deed of arms for anyone who wants to learn more about authentic combat, regardless of their persona or armor. This follows a class giving background on the same. Sponsored by the Company of Saint Michael.

Formats will include:

A Combat of the Thirty style group challenge
Individual challenges for an agreed number of blows thrown, as at Vannes in 1381
Single combat a outrance or to the utterance, beginning with thrown spear.
Single and group combats over the barrier with spear, pollaxe, thrown lance and two-handed sword, or with single-handed sword.
Blossfechten: Fighting schools created a competitive sport based on training for unarmored combat with longsword and other weapons forms such as sword and buckler. Surviving rules from the 16th century and later will be adapted to Society rattan combat.

Matched pairs of eight foot long lances, pollaxes, longswords and daggers will be available for the participants to use if they wish.

The Company of St. Michael Meet and Greet will be held 7:30 PM,
Saturday August 2nd, Westengale Camp. (On N07 and should be
on Wainwright's approx. 2/3 down.)

Monday, August 4

4 PM, Blue List, Battlefield, Three Hours

Historic Combat Series - The Challenges at Vannes (Counted Blow Tourney with shortened Lances)
This combat will be run the Company of St. Michael, and is inspired by a deed of arms in 1381 described by Froissart. Combatants will be divided into two teams, French and English. Each combatant from one side will offer a challenge with terms to the other side, and a champion from the other will accept those terms, or offer different terms. The default encounter is five strokes with lance on foot, five with axe, five with sword and five with dagger. Matched pairs of each of these weapons, including tapered rattan lances eight feet in length, suitable for combat on foot, will be available. Read more about the historical deed of arms here.

Ending the Combat

Each combat between two champions will continue until the judges stop the fight, or a champion is unable to continue, or the agreed number of blows has been struck by one side or the other.

A champion is unable to continue if he is struck five good blows in the course of the combat, or falls or becomes disarmed, or is disabled as described below. A champion whose weapon breaks is not considered disarmed, and the fight will halt while he replaces it.

Judging Blows

Plate is proof against all thrusts except a thrust to a faceplate or plate visor, which counts as a good blow. Breastplates, coats of plate, brigandine and cuirasses are also proof against all cuts to the areas they cover. Good two handed blows to any other plate protection, and good single handed blows to a helmet count as a good blow.

Solid cuts and thrusts to areas protected only by mail count as a good blow.

Other or no protection counts any cut as a good blow.

For areas with this level of protection a thrust to the torso or limbs is disabling. Thrusts to a barred visor are disabling.

Champions should not act out wounds other than disabling. They should call out good blows struck against them loudly enough for the marshals and their opponents to hear.

Heavy hardened leather and other suitably covered rigid protection will generally count as plate, with debatable cases to be decided by the discretion of the judges. The judges will, as far as seems practical, attempt to match opponents with similar levels of protection like against like, and harness from the same period like against like.

I suggest these rules for halfswording with two-handed swords, if both parties consent.

Although there is no mention of this in accounts of Vannes, in later deeds of arms a champion that was unable to continue not infrequently paid a ransom or forfeit to the other. Pairs of champions may make such arrangements by mutual consent prior to their combat.

The reasoning behind the rules is discussed here and here.

Current Website of the Company of St. Michael

A Yahoo Group for prospective members of the Company

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