Jean Paul's Fighting Page

February 4, 2000 he HACA. The Historical Armed Combat Association. Well, in general the HACA website has a lot of interesting info about medieveal fighting, the authors tend to extremely snobbish and anti-SCA in general, so it is often difficult to read their essays with a fair mind. However, the often to write on some profound topics, like in this article about lower leg targeting.

In this essay, the author is endeavouring to convince the reader that not allowing lower leg targeting in recreational combat diminishes the worth of said combat and by decreasing the realism. Well, the author does make several good points, but it seems like he makes several assumptions (and has a hidden beef about being pounded by some big brute).

A few of the people on the Armour Archive thought that the author had valid points, but that he was ignoring or making light of the danger presented by adding this target.

Allowing the lower legs WOULD make the fighting more realistic. Would it make it more dangerous.... emmm, I dunno. Although I already stand the chance of getting hit in the knee with a great sword (and yes, that thought does scare me a bit), the thought of getting totally knocked off my feet by getting hit in the shins does bother me a bit. However, since most people I talk to say that "If they swing for your legs, go for their head", I don't think it would change many people's fighting style.

As far as sword and shield go, in my kingdom (Ansteorra with the big muckin shields)blocking leg shots would change our shield work a bit, but since only about 1 foot of my leg is uncovered, not much. What would change more would be the footwork and the way we hold shields.

Currently, most people in Ansteorra hold their shields in a manner which protects the thighs up to their helms, but which obfuscates the vision. This stance allows you to know that you are very safe unless your opponent is very close. This would probably change, because the need to see the shot would increase, as it would be possible to stand still and get hit.

In rapier (in which whole body is allowed) it is very HARD to get the lower leg and foot without getting ganked. The math is simple. Person A shoots diagonally (shoulder to foot) with length of sword forming the hypotenouse of a triangle. Person be shoots at shoulder level (or a slight angle downward)and hits him becuase his sword forms the base. or in other words it has a longer straight line distance.

I think that the biggest benefit in allowing lower leg shots would be in the fakes there and with mismatched weapons styles (i.e. sword and shield versus great sword) and would make the longer weapons more viable against sword and shield.

As a final nit-pick, I think a more valid problem with recreation weapons is in the lack of mass. Current Ansteorra standards allow 1 lb/ft of weapon (up to 5 feet, 1/2lb per foot after that) which is under the weight of all but the lightest period medieval weapons. Weapon mass (and weighting) is one of the most significant problems I see with recreation.

In service to the Kingdom and Mooneschadowe

Jean Paul de Sens
Seconde, Lion Dragon Guard

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