Care and Feeding of Enthusiastic SCAdians

The last six months of my Free Scholar-ness coincided with a very active time on the Atlantian Rapier Net. New fighters had questions, important questions, so I commented as thoroughly and helpfully as I could. Other fighters were having issues, major issues, so I replied helpfully and considerately and with caution to be as reserved […]

Priest Drill

Priest Drill

This is another one stolen from Walter Triplette. It can serve a couple of goals – training good lunge form (and the resulting ability to hit your target, also called “point control”); quick, tight disengages; fast and clean lunge-recovery; and passing attacks. It’s a fairly quick one to pick up, so both partners […]

Thoughts on my Elevation


Tibbie asked me to discuss my thoughts on my elevation (separate from the thoughts relating to peerage in general). I started writing this in November, when my mind was still very full. I’ve let it simmer for a while to see if things sort themselves out and if I can find better words, because […]

Thoughts on peerages

On “Ask the Masters of Defense” Tibbie asked:

Members of the populace often have misconceptions about the established peerages and negative attitudes about peers in general. Do any of you Masters see the new Order as a chance to overcome negative perceptions of peerage?

My slightly glib, but also accurate, response was:

The Nature of (Historical Fencing) Knowledge:

My recent efforts to decipher Agrippa’s fencing manual has me thinking a lot about the types of evidence that are available to us as historical fencing scholars. As students of historical European martial arts, we are faced with the challenge of attempting to recreate techniques that have been out of use for 500 years or […]

The Blade-Gain, in Modern Times

I’ve recently been thinking about how the majority of people at my practice go to great lengths to ward off any and all of my blade gain attempts, keeping their blade free from entanglement entirely. This morning, a thought occurred to me:

Most period fencing masters put emphasis on finding/gaining the blade when teaching their […]


Giacomo has a funny story he’ll tell. It goes something like this:

Determined to broaden his skills, one evening Giacomo decided to sew a seam on his pants. His wife set him up with a sewing machine, gave some basic instruction, and left him to it. Manfully, Giacomo applied himself to the task. He held […]

Rambling: First Blood Part 2

It’s been a good year.

At the start of it, I pursued physical therapy to correct a twenty-year-long issue with my left shoulder, and experienced firsthand just how difficult it is to access tiny muscles you never knew existed, and re-learn common movement patterns by telling other, bigger muscles to shut up. Shortly after, I […]

Rambling, Part 1: Plate 32

I’ve not posted here in several weeks. This is not reflective of a lack of things to say, or even a lack of free time. Instead I am motivated by the thought that I should be spending more time doing things, rather than merely writing about it, particularly since every week brings some new insight […]

Fighting Envy

I was envious of her. She was another female fighter, also 40ish, and she had started rapier a couple of months after I did. But she progressed much faster. Less than two years after authorizing, she received a Sea Dragon at a field court as I watched, feeling happy for her and sorry for myself. […]