For Cruinniú, we will feature a series of short posts from fighters around the Kingdom about what inspired them to fight, or things they’ve learned about armoured combat. This post is from our visiting teacher, Duke Sean Kirkpatrick Tarragon.
From the moment I saw SCA fighting, when I was 12 years old, I knew instantly that this is what I wanted to do. It was definitely love at first sight. I cannot explain why this sport has captivated my interest so suddenly and for so long. I have been passionate about SCA combat since my very first introduction to it.
Besides being young and passionate about this sport, I was also very fortunate to have come into the services of a man would eventually become one of the greatest practitioners in the history of SCA combat, Duke Brion Tarragon. I took up instruction from Brion when he was still a squire. Long before he was known as one of our great titans. A great deal of my early success can be attributed to the sheer innocence and ignorance of my youth. Brion gave me instruction, and I followed those instructions. Without fail. I had done nothing but pell work for more than a year before I set foot in the fighting field, for the first time, at Estrella I. Yes. One. The first Estrella War, 35 years ago this month. The training I got from Brion absolutely constitutes the core of who I am as a fighter.
About a month after my first foray into battle at that Estrella, Brion won his first Crown Tournament in our home Barony. I was his first and only squire at the time. That would be the first of five consecutive Crowns (with the required break between reigns) for Brion. And I was his squire for three of those. Everywhere we went, people wanted to fight the King of Atenveldt. And when they were done, Brion made sure that they took some time to fight his squire.
Again, my innocence and ignorance served me well. Brion told me to fight certain people, and I did. Without fail. I never asked who they were, what their rank was, how many times they had been King. I never shied away from a fight because I thought I would just get beaten. As it turned out, I was fighting with, and being trained by the best fighters in the world at that time.
And this is how it has always been.
After a time in the US Navy, I came home and got down to the business of becoming that best fighter I could possibly be. I sought out the best fighters and the best trainers of our sport. Eventually coming under the instruction of Viscount Wulf Sagan von Osten See. It is from Sagan that I learned the value of training as a process. It is through my training with him, and seeing the example he set, that I eventually developed my own training methodology.
In 2005 I was asked by my good friend, now Duke Sheridan to teach at the first Known World Rattan Syposium, held in the Kingdom of Calontir. I knew at the time that this was the first step for me, as a trainer, that was beyond the normal scope of what it means to be a Knight.
I had no idea what that experience would eventually lead to.
These days, beyond being an elite practitioner of our sport I am more proud to call myself a Trainer and a Coach. To paraphrase Henvy V; For, as I am a Trainer, the name I think suits me best. I have indeed had many successes for myself in this, the greatest sport in the world. Lately I have found that helping others achieve their dreams within our sport, is far more satisfying that any success I could have for myself.
I am honored and delighted to share my passion with you.
Sean, Dux Artemisia