Safe running   3 comments

More of just a brain burp today:

The discussion of the relative safety of running came up and it caused some thoughts to actually bother struggling out of the swamp water that passes for my gray matter.

I can’t say I speak as an unbiased voice.  I love running.  I love running through the woods.  When, at Night on the Town, instructed to “find the fastest route downhill”, I bounded straight forward, crashed through two trees, jumped a hollow, and would have done a parkour spinning, rotating leap over a bush if my physical condition was not best described as “Pooh Bear”.  Celric, who gave me that instruction, thought perhaps my route, while direct and fast, was not something a double-wide column could follow.  Also, apparently, Wistric being the first person to appear, charging over the crest of a hill, proved certain members of the enemy team right.  To which I say “If you CAN bound through the woods, why WOULDN’T you?”

So, yeah, it will be very hard to convince me that running, in whatever condition, is not objectively safe.  For certain people it may not be.  If you are not able to see the ground ahead of you and pick a path, maybe running isn’t for you.  If your joints are all jacked up, consider a walking pace.  But woods can be run through safely, ergo running through woods is not unsafe.  And considering woods are just about the most troublesome situation in which to run, running is therefore safe.  QED.

Are running attacks safe?  Less so.  Because at this point you’re no longer talking about the unsentient terrain, but are instead considering the unsentient enemy, which is likely to do really stupid things when receiving a running charge.  However, if you have practice charging an enemy who is neither prepared nor trained, and are able to consistently execute your charge without risking injury or damage, more power to you.

But what REALLY annoys me is the belief that running DFBs are unsafe.  I will allow that DFBs on a stationary opponent, while running, are not safe.  But DFBs when both opponents are running, at matched speed?  Just as safe as standing DFBs.  There is no difference from the waist up in movement or measure.  The only difference is from the waist down, and we’ve already established that running is safe.  DFBs = safe.  Running = safe.  Is it the pursuit that’s unsafe?  Well, the pursuit is not banned, so one must conclude pursuit = safe.  Balls, then, to banning running DFBs.  If you don’t feel you can safely perform a DFB while on the run, then don’t.  If you don’t feel you can safely receive a DFB while on the run, don’t turn your back on your opponent and flee like a French knight facing an English peasant (Hi, Girard, how you doing?).

But I could be wrong.  Please tell me if I am.  And does anybody know if there are actual numbers in the Society Rapier Marshal’s Great Library of Fencing Screwups showing that running and/or “pursuit DFB” are dangerous?

I may have an experiment to try at War of the Wings.

Posted April 21, 2010 by wistric in Musings

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