Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Things you cannot do with a centergrip kite

I'm told by one of my trainees who went to the knight's school last weekend, and who uses a kite, that his majesty told him to switch to a heater. His majesty tells everyone that. Everybody should use a 24"x36" heater in his majesty's book. That's what he fights, that's what he teaches. Not only that, but he teaches a particular way to use it and is very up front about his opinion that it is the way people should fight. I believe what he said was "you won't go anywhere with that shield." At least that's what my guy got out of it. He said something similar to other kite fighters as well.

Which leads to the question what are those problems? There are lots of great things about the center grip kite, but there are a lot of problems with it as well. Sure, you can hook, punch, and use the boss offensively, and a center grip is the best style against lefties. It has a great leg defense. But what are the drawbacks?

Well, first of all, there is the lack of corners. Of course it is a big deal. I still get killed because there is no back side corner to protect my head. Then there is the fact that the center grip can be moved around a lot more than the strapped shield can. It's only got one point of contact, meaning it is easy to rotate in any direction. Oh, and it is usually a bit narrower. There are some other things. You can't do that rotation defense I like to use against Florentine fighters. For that you need corners and it really has to be strapped. I also can't do those "magic button" presses that Gemini uses so effectively. You need a smaller shield for that, and I find that a corner helps a lot.

But other than that it is a good shield, and the advantages do counter balance that. Now, I will one day go back to a heater, because I've always liked them, but I'm enjoying the kite right now and I think it's a better shield than his majesty gives it credit for.


Josh said...

Uncle Val,

I would say you can say that about any shield style. They all have strengths and weaknesses. SCA fighting is like every other type of fighting; each style has it solid points and holes.


tsafa said...

It was good enough for the Normans.