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Acknowledgement (was constructive solutions and others)

Poster: jsussman@cpcug.org (Jeffrey Sussman)

Greetings from Richard,

I have the good fortune to have spent several months, while serving as
Interim Society Marshal, talking with marshals from all over the SCA about
acknowledgement.  It's funny actually, acknowledgement was the one topic
that all of us wanted to talk about.  We agreed on a handful of things.

Acknowledgement is a combat skill.  Empirical anaylses can only be part of
understanding the process.  It's like trying to determine the efficacy of a
combat rifle by only considering it's performance on ranges.  All combat
skills must be learned.  Teachers help greatly but are not always necessary.
What is necessary is feedback from other fighters.

Duke Gyrth has a great way of looking at analyzing acknowledgement.  The
person being struck has imperfect knowledge of any given strike.  The person
who delivered the blow has about half of the knowledge of the person struck.
A very observant marshal may be able to have about half that level of surety
and spectators half the marshal's level of confidence.

Back to feedback, only by talking to the people involved can we help each
other refine our acknowledgement skills.  Using the above rules, we can see
that the best person to help are the people in direct combat.  And, the
sooner after combat the better.  A lot of good can be done with an informal,
but courteous discussion after a battle.  If that is not feasible, and it's
frequently difficult, then talk to the marshals right after the battle.

It's not any less complicated for rapier fighters.  The same things that
make acknowledgement complicated with heavy armor make it complicated with
lighter armor and poofier :) clothing.

One thing more, talking about someone's problems taking blows long after the
incident, in the third person, based on hearsay, and without particulars
will only hurt feeling and not help anyone refine their acknowledgement skills.


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