Inter-kingdom Anthropology: Drachenwald   4 comments

Last week I was, unfortunately, over the Atlantic in business class instead of at Thursday rapier practice, and was in Stockholm instead of at the event on Saturday, but rather than weep over my lost opportunities to stab friends, I decided to go make new friends and stab them.  So, Saturday morning I ventured forth from the hotel, jumped on the Tunnelbana (Stockholm’s excellent subway system) and rode it six stops.  Got off, walked into a dense wood that, apparently, people live in (it’s a very strange, totally not American area) and was just about at the “Am I in the right place?!” stage when a Scandinavian giant said “Are you looking for something?”  It was Lord Thomas Langland, who’d come looking for me, and so I had found…

The Shire of Holmrike’s Rapier Practice

They have a very nice setup, inside a small gymnasium (a small half-basketball court) on a wood floor.  Thomas said they’d have had 20 people in there at recent practices, and I’m not sure how they all fit.

Turns out, a year ago his practice swelled and he had to go through a lot of the same growing pains that Kberg’s been working out: shifting from one-on-one work to group drills and instruction.  But even on Saturday they had a really impressive turnout, about eight fighters in total.


I’ve now fought in the East, Caid, Atlantia, and Drachenwald, and I can say this: The East is playing a very different game.

My “Atlantian calibration” was the same as Caid’s calibration and the same as Drachenwald’s.  While Drachenwald does call push and tip cuts, they don’t make a great deal of use of them in their style, leaving them as an incidental plus.  In the East, my slop kept getting called as a good tip cut, and that expectation was essentially reciprocated.  Like I said, a very different game.


I started off with a set of passes against Thomas.  He had a height advantage, and we both had rather short blades (I’m pretty sure mine wasn’t even 36″, maybe 35″), so it was an aggressive, active fight, and pretty high-end (he’s got a Dragon’s Steel, so I guess it should be).

There was a fellow named Serge there who I fought next.  He was actually a German or Dutch expat, fought with a 40.  Reminded me a bit of Ludwig (not because of the accent, but because of his style, motion, and action).  It was another great active fight.

I’ve forgotten the name the third fellow I fought, but he was a young fast guy which made for three taxing fights.  Basically, the whole damn group was energetic and hard-fighting.  They’d fit in at any Atlantian practice just fine.

And then we practice melee, in that tiny room, for a half hour, complete with discussion of theory.  Many of the attendees were relatively new, so some of the more detailed theory was passed over, but again I got the feeling you could drop them into an Atlantian unit with almost no slippage.


It turns out they incorporate study of longsword technique into their practices pretty substantially (though not on Saturdays).  It’s a more thorough integration of WMA than I’ve seen at most Atlantian practices (Though “HMA” and “WMA” aren’t terms they know), and I’d love to get back on a Wednesday.  I heard that the group in Uppsala did the same (their Sunday practice was referred to as “Heavy, Rapier, and Longsword”).  I failed to ask if they have longsword tournaments.

Lastly, they all speak English, fight like Atlantians, and are planning to be at Pennsic.  Good times.

Posted October 1, 2010 by wistric in Musings

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