Tuesday, April 10, 2012


Middle English wil, from Old North French, from Old Norse veel, trick, or of Low German origin.
Synonyms: wile, artifice, trick, ruse, feint, stratagem, maneuver, dodge

These nouns denote means for achieving an end by indirection or deviousness.  
Wile - suggests deceiving and entrapping a victim by playing on his or her weak points
Artifice - refers to something especially contrived to create a desired effect: 
Trick - implies willful deception: 
Ruse - stresses the creation of a false impression 
Feint - denotes a deceptive act calculated to distract attention from one's real purpose 
Stratagem - implies carefully planned deception used to achieve an objectiv 
Maneuver - often applies to a single strategic move 
Dodge - stresses shifty and ingenious deception
Below is an interesting clip of a match between a Japanese stylist and a Western stylist. The Japanese fencer is more skillful, using a wider repertoire of targets and attacks, and with a better understanding of how to take advantage of gaps in his opponent's intent. He is quite successful with his hand and arm targeting, I counted about 6, which the western fencer seems not to have trained to avoid.
The Western stylist concentrates mostly on binding the weapon though has a nice long lunge at one point.
The rest of the strikes, and I don't know what the rules are here as to when someone acknowledges a hit, are split about 3 to each opponent for successful body strikes with no counter, and about 10 'double death' strikes, where both opponents get caught.
Of course this combat could be considered armored, in which case perhaps many of the body strikes, and perhaps arm cuts too, could be void. Perhaps the tactics assume this, but then this would be a battlefield type fight not really a straight duel as this engagement is set up to be .....
Anyway, it is a great illustration to me about how difficult it is, when you present yourself as a static target, to prevail.
There is a momentary movement off line in the first encounter, but then each subsequent engagement is done from standing and facing off, in the standard 'Here I am, come get me' mode ....
There's something missing .... what could it be .....?



considerphlebas said...

SCA doesn't count attacks to the hand or up to an inch past the wrist. Partly for safety, which is understandable, but then also because if they counted, people would hang back and peck at hands all day. yet another warping effect of a competitive ruleset.

Anonymous said...

The person on the left seems to get it - attacking wins. Sure - timing, distance, targeting, awareness, agility, yadda yadda. But when it's time, it's time - release the arrow. Everything before is training the mind to recognize the moment and the body to be able to deliver. Everything after is raising the glass to fallen foes, or having others raise the glass for you.

Maija said...

Why Mac, I think you created the almost perfect segue to my next blog post :-D