I was at an event a year or so into fighting. I'd had a relatively good day for me - ie I'd probably managed to kill or maim someone sometime during the day. A lady I thought wasn't all that much better than I was asked me to be her man-at-arms. I was talking with a buddy about it, and whether I should accept or not and how I'd like to work with his knight, or at least some knight. He said I should ask his knight if I could be his man-at-arms. I was a bit taken aback at the idea that I should be so forward, but he said that was how his knight always did it and that fighting was about being brave and forward and so on. So I asked, and he said yes, I could be his man at arms for a year and a day. And after that time passed he made me his squire.
My first SCA mentor was my first Knight and father, Duke Siegfried Von Halstern.
When he banished himself from Society and went questing errantly, I became a Man-At-Arms in Haus Von Halstern and stayed such for many years. Since at the time I was on my own errancy in the Midrealm, then Atlantia, then Caid, this did not seem to pose much of an issue... as I was on my own and out-of-Kingdom to begin with.
However, over the years, my brother (and best friend), Sir Albrecht Von Halstern did convince me of the benefits of the red belt given my circumstances, and so did we enter into something of a "Squire Emeritus" relationship.
And there has it remained 'lo these many years. Since I first met Albrecht when I was thirteen and joined his group of College friends playing D&D (about 1982 or so), I'd guess you'd say that's where I met him. A couple've years after that, I convinced him to take me to the new swordfighting practices he was attending in Jersey City (Duke Siegfried's)... and that was that.
My practice is full of people that want to teach. When I started fighting, I didn't see the need for a mentor. There really wasn't one. There were a whole bunch of teachers and my mentor was one of them. Then, when I was thinking of finding a formal mentor, I got hurt. I was out for a year and a half (I did try to fight periodically and re-injure myself and got into a car accident in that time).
When I started fighting again, I was terrified and not going to admit it. I'd known my mentor well for a couple of years and asked him if he would help me make new armor because I didn't trust my old stuff. When I thought that I was insane for trying this again, he encouraged me. When I told him how afraid I got in certain situations, he never belittled my feelings. When I thought that everyone was humoring me, his wife told me everyone was proud of me and gave me a shoulder to cry on. Just as I was about to ask about becoming his man at arms, he asked me. It really was just a formalization of what was already there.
*Reread this and realized that the last sentence can make it seem like being a man at arms isn't a big thing to me, but it is. The relationship isn't "just" anything, it means a lot to me. _________________ Courage, sacrifice, determination, commitment, toughness, heart, talent, guts. That's what little girls are made of; the hell with sugar and spice.
Me? My mentor isn't a knight. And he asked me to be his man at arms. _________________ Courage, sacrifice, determination, commitment, toughness, heart, talent, guts. That's what little girls are made of; the hell with sugar and spice.
I am exceptionally lucky in that I have several amazing fighters in my area. I consider myself even luckier that one of them decided to take me under his wing and assist me in my training.
I do not believe he had ever trained a female before and he saw it as a learning experience for both himself and me. He was the one to ask me about being his Man at Arms. Honestly when he asked I was so new to the game I had never heard of one so I had to be filled in lol.
My trainer is awesome in that he encourages me to seek out the council of the knights in our area (he is a Squire) and if I feel more comfortable doing things the way they teach, then that's how I do it.
If he hadn't asked me to be his Man at Arms then I don't know if I would have had the courage to ask him. Then again after I had become more familiar with the people in my area I may have asked. The worst someone can say is "no" right?
My knight was actually the one who first got me in armor and taught me my stance and how to throw a head shot because he's our Barony's knight marshal. I remember meeting him and thinking him an excellent example of knighthood and really wanting to be his squire but not knowing how long one should be fighting before one asked these sorts of things.
I went to about five practices before the semester ended, then I was home for the summer and didn't get to go to but five practices in the Barony there at the end of the summer, but when the school year started up again I was at practice every week, and I'd largely forgotten about squiring. A couple months later, my knight asked me if I wanted to be squired to him because, as he said, since he was kind of the one teaching me everything anyway, he might as well give me a red belt and make it official. _________________ Arsalan (formerly Alana Goodewyn), proud squire on her path to knighthood
I haven't even been put into armor yet, but finding a mentor was pretty easy. The friend who invited me to my first gather is married to a knight. I just looked at him and said, "Hey, I'm not sure if I will like it, but do you mind putting me in armor and hitting me a bunch?" there was much smirking and he agreed and said he can teach me if I like it lol
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