(Incidentally, if you haven’t heard of her, you should. Among other things, she’s the 2013 longsword champion at the Harcourt Park World Invitational Jousting Tournament.)
Anyways, got a break in work, so I’ll take the chance to respond as best I can.
“Rashes are usually measured in days, not decades.”
I have no idea what I was going for when I said “Rash.” I was definitely looking for a plural noun of some sort. Damn you autocorrect, maybe? I don’t even know what a collective noun would be for multiple armored lady fighters. A Fury?
“A Fury of armored women strode onto the field.”
Works for me. Anyways…
“I understand Jay’s point, it’s relatively a larger group of reasonably-attired women on film than the female-fighter-in-media cliche suggests.
Yay for us having role models! I want to be clear that it’s still not *nearly* enough.
The fact Jay calls it a “relative non issue” should show just how bad the situation really is for want of strong, capable, feminine, not-overly-sexualised female role models.”
Damn right it’s not enough. It’s an improvement over history, that’s for sure. And a thankfully growing trend. Without going into several pages on the history of women in action cinema, I’ll just leave it by saying there’s a LOT of catching up to do, despite serious progress.
“Relative non-issue” was probably a poor choice of words. Seeing in the 2010′s multiple well-armored female fighters in a single year on the big screen is something we never would have seen just a few decades ago. (And it’s a damn sight better to what I’ve glanced at in the comic book and video game industries).
But significant improvements don’t mean the issue doesn’t still exist. I concede the point.
“Any lady who has trained wearing the plastic version of the Double Domes of Wonder should be able to confirm the design isn’t suited to deflect thrusting weapons, which rules out usefulness for practicing historically-accurate fencing styles.”
Not a lady, haven’t worn it, but I agree, if deflection is a key component of the armor style you’re looking for, I wouldn’t go with Double Domes of Wonder either.
(I do like the term though.)
Previously, I said,
“Surprisingly, this is not that big a deal. One reason is that inside shots are rare and easy to defend. Most attacks against an armored opponent come from the outside, and often at an angle.”
Then Sam Says,
“I don’t know what Jay is talking about, but it’s not Western or Historical European Martial Arts. Possibly SCA heavy fighting, or medieval reenactment, or HEMA synthetic longsword competitions, or Battle of Nations, or something that doesn’t involve working from the bind?”
None of the above, actually. I’m a fight choreographer and a stunty. All of my work with a sword is fake fakeity fake fake fake. Having a battle make tactical and martial sense is about third on my priority list of any given work, after “keeping my people out of the hospital,” and “telling the story well.”
That said, (And this is the part where I may upset people), I consider there to be a big difference between Western/Historical European Martial Arts and Western/Historical European Combat. To me, actual sword-on-sword combat is something nobody alive today knows for sure. There’s the occasional sword-related assault or murder, but sword-on-sword combat in the truest sense of the term no longer exists today.
What does exist is W/HEMA and the like, which are sports wrapped around a series of educated guesses and sprinkled with concessions to the safety of the participants. They can tell us a great deal about W/HE Combat, but will always (thankfully) fall short of reality.
(I could write a book alone on the “Is it real?” debate in regards to swords and swordplay, but that’s for another tangent and even I can only digress so much).
As a parallel, I’ll posit this:
Quite a few people out there can tell you what fighting a real gunbattle is like. Thanks to the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, I’m one of them. In recent years, a trend that popped up for training professional trigger pullers is a technology called simunition. Essentially, it turns duty weapons into high-tech gunpowder-propelled paintball weapons. Training scenarios are set up (including antagonists), and the shooters are sent through the scenario in real-time, reacting and shooting as they would in a real gunbattle.
Do a lot of real-world shooting and modern combat techniques come into play during these scenarios? Absolutely.
But something is always held back. In a dozen tiny ways, no training scenario yet designed truly replicates what one has to see and do in an actual combat. It’s subtle in a lot of ways, but more than enough to make differences. It’s a highly specific martial tool. But it’s not combat.
When I claimed a center thrust to be a stupid move, I spoke of what I would deduce would be in a combat situation, not a martial arts move. Not knowing the specifics of Sam’s fighting style, I’ll concede it’s entirely possible to be a very wise move within those confines. It’s just not something I’d use with that type of weapon, against that type of armor, if my life was on the line.
…Unless of course I was up to something and a centerline thrust was part of it, but I’m sneaky that way.
Anyways, my thanks to Ms. Swords, both for the shoutout and rebuttal.
Certa Bonum Certamen,