Thursday, 24 February 2011

Anders' Shut the F*ck Up Rant

A few years ago, Anders Linnard of the GHFS posted a 'Shut the f*ck up' rant on the Schola Gladiatoria forums. For a bit of entertainment, but I suppose mainly as he had grown tired of what he felt were inappropriate criticisms of what his school does, and the videos of them training on youtube.
Yeah, the GHFS gets on front pages. Gits.
For a bit of entertainment, I figured that I would see how many of them apply to myself/the IDC. While plenty of the criteria can be attributed to butt-hurt or arguments going on within the HEMA community at the time, I still think there's a fair bit of worthwhile stuff said:

1. If you think that fighting from a distance is not a part of German fencing, then shut the f*ck up
Nope, I believe that fighting from a distance, the 'zufechten' is an important part of the Lichtenauer tradition, but at least in earlier periods a large part of the documents focus on what to do in the bind, or in range to wrestle at the sword. You need to be good at all stages of the fight, just like in MMA you need to be good at striking, grappling and wrestling.

2. If you think that movement and athleticism doesn't belong in HEMA, then shut the f*ck up
Oh, it does. I wish I had more of it.

3. If you think that you have a better perception of HEMA because you do things differently, then shut the f*ck up
Nope.

4. If you think it is wrong to have tournaments, then don't attend and shut the f*ck up 
I don't feel it's wrong to have tournaments. Hell, I've run some. I do though think that you need to understand what they are for in order for them to be worthwhile.

5. If you have a lot of opinions on people fighting in tournaments, but never fought in a competition yourself, then shut the f*ck up 
Actually, I haven't fought in one of the big international tournaments, I chickened out of Fight Camp on the grounds that the nylons were new and had a reputation for breaking little fingers. I guess I should shut up regarding tournaments for now then. Fail.

6. If you get hit a lot, then it is not due to flaws of your opponent, the rules or anyone else, so shut the f*ck up and go train 
Yep. Some people disagree with certain rulesets that clash with their training. But that's life.

7. If you have opinions about how we fight in our videos, but would never post videos yourself, then shut the f*ck up
I've posted videos, but haven't made them that widely available, I guess. So a partial shut up here.



8. If you think that having an opinion is all that it takes, then shut the f*ck up
Having a reasonable, well backed up opinion is a lot of what it takes. I guess this is a YouTube comment one though.

9. If your website looks quasi medieval and you think shoes are an important factor in HEMA, then shut the f*ck up 
Eh, the HEMA community has moved past the shoes debate - most people wear shoes with thin flat soles now, not para-boots or combats. But I think it's a fairly justified dig at the mindset that uses 'unchivalrous' as a real insult in the real world. We aren't knights, and some people need to stop getting LARPing and HEMA confused in their heads.

10. If you can't fight but think you are doing some sort of art, then shut the f*ck up
Eh. I'm not sure if I can fight, but I am *trying* to do a systematic approach to suceeding in combat in a particular context. Does that count?

11. If you don't spar, then shut the f*ck up 
I spar. I guess this is a dig at a few people who believe that sparring isn't what the Olde Knighte LARP is about. But you need to know why you're sparring, otherwise it's just dicking about with sticks I guess.
'Shut the f*ck up' face.
12. If you only spar with people in your own group, then shut the f*ck up
Guilty as charged, aside from meet-ups like Swords and Cyder and Fightcamp. Distance is a pain. So a partial shut up here.

13. If you think that we only fight with nylons, just because you only fight with steel, then shut the f*ck up. Actually if our equipment is what bugs you, you should shut the f*ck up.
Fair enough. Within the HEMA community there are plenty who feel that steel is the best simulator (like Pete). Fair play to them. I think that for us at the moment nylons are the better simulator. Perhaps if I win the lottery steel will be a better option.

14. If you think that control is the only thing you need in a fight and therefore never tried fighting with full intent, then shut the f*ck up
Some people spar with wooden wasters and no helmets. Some people are idiots. Hopefully we're not those people.

15. If you think that a tournament should be a simulation of a judicial duel, you are deluded and should shut the f*ck up
*shrug* I don't. I guess specific to the debates at the time.

16. If you think you train as hard as us, but generally don't have any trouble walking to the showers, then shut the f*ck up you are not training hard enough to have an opinion. 
Guilty as charged. I can see where he is coming from though, most HEMA-ists don't train nearly as intensely as other martial artists. Fail.

17. If you think that mixing modern teaching methods, equipment, language etc with HEMA is wrong, you are an idiot in thinking you are doing things with any more validity and should shut the f*ck up 
True. Otherwise let's go to a field and throw stones about as strength training.

18. If you feel there is a moral code from medieval times that we should all adhere to, actually, if you think some bullshit notion of chivalry has anything to do with HEMA, just shut the f*ck up 
A few people getting LARP and HEMA confused again.

19. If you think we are spamming ze interwebs with videos, don't f*cking subscribe to our videos and shut the f*ck up 
Fair enough.

20. If you believe in Vorthr you should shut the f*ck up. 
A pretty personal dig, but hey, it's true. Ad hominem, and the bloke in question does some pretty decent translations, but whatever.

21. If you are actually a good fighter or want to train seriously, willing to share your experiences then you are ok with me. And by all means feel free to disagree with all things we do and say.
Hopefully this is where we succeed. And to me it's far more important then all of the above.


How do we do? I think that it highlights some of our weaknesses as a group, especially when compared to the GHFS - we're fairly insular, although we have been trying to build links with other clubs like the LSDC and SG. We also haven't really gone in for the hard-core tournament scene, and there's a relationship between that and the lack of intensity in our training.
That said, I'm happy with the IDC not training to win competitions. It would be nice if our training did include more pro-active drilling and getting ready for intense sparring though, but you have to work with the tools to hand.

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