So, in the past year since moving home and becoming an active member of the Society of Creative Anachronism, it’s fair to say it has happily taken over most of my life. I’ve learned to embroider (getting better and bolder with each project), been welcomed into a household of amazing ladies (and a gentleman), served on court, received a baronial service award, am co-stewarding an event in a few months which I’m already leading planning meetings for, and now, I’ve started to learn how to throw weapons.
In my area – Altavia – we have weekly meetings for combat skills like armored and rapier fighting, but two to three times a month on Sunday mornings, we have an archery and thrown weapons practice and I was finally able to attend last weeks.
I threw knives once before (about a year ago) but quit pretty quickly – it felt weird and I didn’t really know anyone I was comfortable talking to about it. Now, I consider these fighters and teachers to be great friends who I trust and who I can joke with when a throw goes really awry.
The practice was about three hours long and I pretty much threw knives non-stop. Luckily, because I have played softball and water polo and have done some marshal arts, I am familiar with some of the movement principles that help here – it’s not all arm movement but body rotation. The weirdest part was the reversed footwork (throwing with my right with my right foot forward).
My friend pretty quickly helped me find a rhythm and I was able to consistently hit the target – sometimes all three knives and sometimes pretty close to the center of the target. I ended up getting the hang of it enough to throw from the second distance and actually managed to make one of them stick.
Since then, I can’t wait to get back out to the range. Up next (after proving last practice was not a fluke!) is throwing a little farther, more consistently, and my friend wants to get some axes into my hands (so scary)!
- Taylor Gallagher