2019 Starts with a Bang...or a clang?
A tornado, some tournaments, promotions, and camaraderie!
Sam Fishburne received his new cuirass from Arte of Steel!
SSG Anchorage continues to grow! Led by BJ Tix, and started only last year, the group now boasts at least six regular members, and they're making good progress through the curriculum. It may be the first and only majority-woman SSG group!
On Feb. 4, Carlie Crawford successfully tested for her compagno, keeping the group growing and moving through the curriculum.
Moving down the coast, to SSG Portland, Nick Wooden and Joel Bader successfully taught themselves and video tested for their Compagno recognition. Well done, Nick and Joel! They are now in the process of working on an expansion plan for SSG "PDX".
In SSG Honolulu, practices continue led by Colin Chock, with Alex and Keith, sometimes joined by Andrew, who is currently busy being a Baron for the SCA group there.
The other "new" group from 2018, Mobile AL, ably led by Hugh Bradley, continues its deliberate progress, with the existing cadre working through the scolaro minore curriculum while also bringing in a couple of new folks!
We don't have pics for Atlanta, Charleston, Dallas, SF or Savannah, but classes continue in all five places.
In Quito, Ecuador, Daniel Leon continues to build his school, while at the same time developing his own skills. In addition, Daniel is teaching the very first accredited collegiate course anchored in our l'arte d'armizare, and has been very active in promoting cross-pollinization of the martial arts in Ecuador, while also raising awareness for the "Western" martial arts!
Because the Schola is "application agnostic," our members take part in many different martial activities, leveraging what they've learned.
Sam Fishburne, working with the KC folks in Lawrence, before his rotation later this year, getting in some quality time with armour, friends and beer! He'll be leaving the KS area in a few months, and we hope to see some interesting things from his next deployment location.
Part of SSG DFW, Julee Slovak-Peterson continues to advance in the ACL world. Over President's Day she took a gold at the Battle of the Roses; in the women's 3v3 melee; a silver in Women's Longsword, and a bronze in the men's 5v5, where she subbed in.
Charlie Brumfeld was on KnightFight, the new History Channel fighting show. The ACL-style fighting, which we've discussed here before, is very much akin to the "Combat of the Thirty," and, while definitely NOT a behourd (which seem to have been fought with weapons of ash or whale baleen), it does capture an important point on the spectrum of chivalric fighting. Notably, the fighting form doesn't use thrusting, but makes extensive use of powerful, concussive strikes and grappling. The object is to get the opponent on the ground, so this is a rough-and-tumble, but very fun, form of medieval fighting.
The press won by the ACL (they've been on ESPN) and the structure of the fighting will likely keep their sport in the public eye for some time to come. It's well run, and fun to watch.
The Dallas Marshals have an association with the SSG DFW, and, years ago, the SSG was in talks to be the US representative for the Battle of Nations, but for a variety of reasons decided not to move ahead. Today, though, the sport is vibrantly growing.
Watching some of the video, SSG Founder Dr. Brian R. Price did an analysis, "coaching note #8: whack!: Practical use of the poleaxe", which looked at a series of solid fights by Micah Joel, Captain of the St. Petersburg ACL team. In the analysis, he notes how the best polearm fighters are generally not those who know Fiore best, or Talhoffer, or Jeu de la Hache; but they have mastered core kinesthetics, timing and distance, employing very simple but effective tactics. In January Coaching Note #7 was also added: "Ochs: Using Fiore against the German System, or What Would Fiore Do?" (to see these you need to be an SSG member...).
Finally, SSG Montgomery has been twirled around as Dr. Price's house was in a tornado on the 19th of January, that destroyed homes two down from his and wrecked a broad swath of the neighborhood. While his house did take damage, it was much better than others, he notes, and the people in the local area really came together to help each other out. There are still plans for jousts, small advanced classes and a beginners' session, starting in March.