Sunday, September 23, 2012

Zachary Most-Team USA & Battle of Nations.


Today I was fortunate to have had a phone interview with someone I have wanted to talk to for some time now. Zachary Most, is one of the rising individuals, that have come out of the SCA world, and joined what used to be called "Live Steel" fighting. I managed to catch him, just before he started a regional Team USA fighter practice.

Q:When did you discover the medieval world?
A: In the Spring of 1993. It was in upstate NY where I went to college. After school let out I went home to New Jersey, and went to my first event. I have been fighting every since.

Q: So just to give our readers a bit of information on you, are you a knight?
A: Yes I am. I also was recently inducted into the Order of the Laurel.

Q: For those not in the know, what is a Laurel.
A: There are four Noble Orders in the SCA,- Kings and Queens, with Princes, Princesses and other titled ranks, Then- Knighthood, Order of the Pelican and Order of the Laurel.

*-(This is a brief overview.)
Knighthood is usually attained through feats of arms, and oftentimes at a tournament either sponsored by or fighting for the crown of a Kingdom.-One of the visible symbols of Knighthood in the SCA is the wearing of a white belt.

The Order of the Laurel, is reserved for someone who has mastered a particular skill or craft. They are often times the keepers of period practices.

Q: You are also a Laurel?
A: Yes. I am a smith, I make my own armour, and I am a glass blower and I am also into playing music.
                                                
* From pictures I have viewed it looks like Mr Most, is playing German bagpipes.


Q: Sounds like a lot of work?
A: Might be, but I was doing what I liked, so it just sort of happened.

Q: How long have you been fighting for Team USA?
A: Just shy of a year, right around 11 months.

Q: Was it expensive to up grade your armour in order to fight live steel?
A: No, not really. I make my own armour, so it actually cost about $300.00 to bring my kit as they say up to     fighting standards.

Q: Why do you think this is a fighting style that is slow to catch on?
A: I don't know. Honestly there is a perception in the world from which I come, that if someone struck you a blow, with an edged weapon you would fall down dead on the spot or be terribly wounded. I think the Battle of Nations has demonstrated pretty convincingly this is not the case. The SCA fighter rules have, been very well thought out. In fact the injury rate for the SCA is below that of playing Soccer!

Q: Why do you think it is so popular in Europe?
A: I think it is because they don't have the same traditions in fighting we do.

Q: Who are the toughest competitors in the Battle of Nations competition?
A: That would be by far the Russians. They are well funded, and it is rumored they have a million dollar training facility they train in. It is said, that they even have team housing where they live together.

Q: How was fighting Team Israel.
A: Tough very tough. But most of the Israelis on the team were from Russia, and Ukraine, who had immigrated to Israel. They brought the medieval European fighting styles with them to Israel. Since it is a no holds barred contest, I swear they were using Krav Maga fighting. But in the end we had a greater mass when we were locked up. Since military service is compulsory in Israel, during the opening ceremonies Team Israel all came out wearing their military berets!

Q: What is the most surprising thing you have discovered since joining Team USA?
A: How much in common I have with people from around the world, especially with one's I don't even remotely share a common language. But all of us, are looking at the same sources, using the same patterns when making armour for example. So I guess it just happens naturally.

                                  


Team USA is broken down into to three smaller five man groups-Red, White, and Blue.
Mr. Most competed with the White Team.


Zachary Most maintains a blog, that I support and follow. It can be found at:

http://burgundianhours.blogspot.com/

As an editorial comment, it seems to me that Team USA is setting the bar higher for the American fighters, and their associates. I for one am looking forward to seeing how Zachary Most and the rest of Team USA represent the United States, in the coming 2013 season of "The Battle of Nations."

All my best!

DS Baker