Days of yore still part of modern life in Lincoln Park
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Arwyn Rice/Peninsula Daily News
Scotty Madison-Carmean, 9, spars with his sister, Ayla Madison, 12, both of Port Angeles, during Saturday's “boffering” exercise at Lincoln Park in Port Angeles.

By Arwyn Rice

PORT ANGELES — As horseshoe players tossed their horseshoes near the pond at Lincoln Park on Saturday afternoon, a scene from another era was unfolding just a few feet away.

Ogre and Puppy were squared off with long padded spears.

But before Puppy could move in, Ogre's son snuck in behind his father's defenses and struck a blow with a black weapon nearly as big as he was.
“He got you,” Pupp pointed out with a smile, as Ogre came out of his battle stance to glare at the traitor.

Ogre, better-known as Anthony Carmean, 32, and Puppy, Josh Kahler, 24, both of Port Angeles, are two of the more experienced members of Druim's Forces, a group of combat fighters in the Society of Creative Anachronism tournaments.

Meanwhile, Ogre's son, Scotty Madison-Carmean, 9, has yet to earn his own tournament name.

From a dozen to 30 or more young knights-in-training gather from noon to 4 p.m. Saturdays at Lincoln Park in Port Angeles to practice the art of “boffering,” a full-contact, free-form re-enactment of medieval combat using heavily padded weapons.

The Society of Creative Anachronism, or SCA, is an international medieval re-enactment organization founded in 1966 and based in Milpitas, Calif.
It oversees and sanctions medieval martial arts tournaments and encourages non-martial reenactment, including costuming, medieval crafts, fine arts and performing arts.

Carmean, with his wife, Tabitha Carmean, 32, (also known as “Brynja Helsborn”) and their two children, Scotty and his sister, Ayla Madison, 12, form the “House of O,” and meet with other SCA members and enthusiasts in Port Angeles whenever possible.

In the SCA world, Clallam and Jefferson counties are known as the Shire of Druim Doineann of the Kingdom of An Tir, the fictional regional medieval kingdom that covers the Pacific Northwest, which is divided into 30 local baronies, cantons and shires.

Nearby groups include the Barony of Dragon's Laire, which covers Kitsap and North Mason counties, and the Shire of Midhaven, which includes Skagit, San Juan and North Island counties.

In Port Angeles, Saturday training includes free-for-all melees, individual challenge combats, team combat and tag-team fighting, in which the combatants form a circle around two or three combatants, and when one “dies,” he or she tags someone in the circle to take his or her place.

The weekly event is free for participants and the audience, and approved, padded weapons are available.

The SCA sets strict rules for scoring to determine battle injuries, and weapons must meet SCA standards for materials, length and color-coding, and are inspected for safety before they can be used.

Weapons are color-coded, for one-handed, two-handed, bladed or “stabbing” weapons.

Certain weapons score more damage against an opponent, and when hit in the arm or leg, an opponent loses use of that limb, and is “killed” with a solid body shot.

William Phillips, 27, of Port Angeles said he has been boffering from the age of 16.

“It's a social event,” said Phillips, noting that many of his friends meet there, and there are always new people.

Zion Davis, 13, of Port Angeles was one of younger attendees and enthusiastically whacked and stabbed at his opponents in two-on-two battles.

“It's a good excuse to get out of the house on a Saturday — and it's also an anger release,” he said.

Carmean agreed that the training is good for anger management.

“Think about it. On the street, you can't go out and get into fights and all that,” he said.

But “we don't have too many injuries,” he added.

Reporter Arwyn Rice can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5070, or at arwyn.rice@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: July 14. 2013 6:22PM
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