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I participate in a middle-age reenactment group, and we do rather full contact fighting. This girl a lot of us know decided she'd join us, which is cool in concept, but since it's full contact, I feel a little awkward with the prospect of hitting her with even a PVC-core boffer sword. I'm very...old-fashioned, in that regard. She's not like... the stereotypical gym teacher type of woman, either-- she's quite feminine-- so it's not easy to look at her as another one of the guys, if that makes sense. Anyone have any brilliant ideas for how to approach this?
 

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Executive Nitpicker
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You're using a foam and plastic boffer, it's not going to hurt anyone (It's not like you're doing SCA stick fighting). If a girl wants to play with you, then let her play. She wants to get hit with toy swords, it would be rude not to treat her like you do anyone else because of her gender. By refusing to hit her like you would anyoen else you;re telling her she's too weak to be treated equally.

Chivalry is all well and good, but you have to draw the line. If a woman doesn't want you to open doors or treat her special, then don't. To press it would be rude.
 

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The Traveler
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Hey man, she joined. She joined Full Contact fighting. If she had any reservations, they'd have shown up already. Plus, if you go easy on her and she crushes you, you'll feel really, really stupid.

Go full-out, see how she reacts. If she still beats you, well, at least you don't feel too stoopid. If she curls up on the floor and begs you to stop pummeling her with a fake sword, well, say you're sorry and go easy on her.

Worked for me in Paintball.
-Dirge
 

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dude, i feel your pain...i had to wrestle girls in high school occasionally...

honestly, i'd say the best way to approach this is to just think of her as any other opponent...at the end of the day, you're there to compete and have fun (unless i'm making a bad assumption, of course), and so is she. i mean, if she's at all serious, she ain't gonna cut you any slack, so why should you do the same?

of course, in my situation, the environment was highly competitive...so if that's not the case here, well, just ignore this post entirely :biggrin:
 

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Treat her like one of the others, maybe ask, not in a "i'm gonna go easy on you, cos your a girl, and girls a weak..." kinda way, but more subtle. And just gage how she wants to be hit, cos she may actually enjoy the fighting and be quite good, so you need to play hard, just to keep up, or she maybe like, how you suspect.

-Rob
 

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Executive Nitpicker
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It's always good to gauge your opponent no matter the gender. just say, "Ok, I'm just going to gauge you here, let me know if this is too hard." After all, it doesn't matter guy or girl, there's always someone who'll complain that you hit too had, or pretend that they didn't feel the blow.
 

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she made the descision to join in its her fault if she gets hurt.
 

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Give it her. She joined to find out how it's like. In fact, scientific tests have shown that under stress women are mucher more resiliant than men, they have a higher threshold for pain and are even better at teamwork. Who's the weaker gender now, eh :p
 

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YOu have to treat her like any other opponent. I was raised old-fashioned as well so I understand. If you feel bad about fighting her don't fight her. Otherwise you have to treat her like any other opponent. I was in a kick boxing club that had a girl join. She was very girly with pink everything. I had to fighter and thought I was going to take easy on her. One kick to my face that put me on my backside quickly changed my views about hitting her. Even though I was bigger and outwieghed her, she was fast and knew where and how to hit. We actually became good friends because I didn't take it easy on her like most guys did.
So for compition hit her like you would a guy. Outside of compition then treat her like a girl.
 

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Exactly,

As much as you think the old-fashioned thing about hitting girls hard is wrong, every other guy is going to be thinking the same thing. Be different, treat her as an equal, anything less is an insult to her.

Besides, if you hurt her too bad, you can make it up to her by taking her out to dinner or coffee, wtv... ;) You've got to see these opportunities man.
 

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Executive Nitpicker
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If the swords are anything like what I know then it's a thin PVC core, with about an inch of foam padding and possibly a cloth cover over it. (We just wrapped them in duct tape, it made for better welts when you slapped someone with it, but cloth covers are the going thing now)

In the SCA this is what we let our *children* play with.

You're not going to hurt her. No matter how big and manly you are and how girly and weak she is, it's a toy sword, made of foam...the worse you could ever do is clip her in the eye with it. I don't think you can even get a good bruise off of those things.

Relax, girls aren't made of glass.
 

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i was at an all nighter new years party and one of the things there was fighting with swords. there were several girls entering and the scoreing system was 2pts on u, u die arms legs 1 pt torso 2 pts. i watched for a bit and some of the guys just messed with the girls and got slapped/kicked afterwards, so my approach since i didnt really want to hit a girl either but didnt want to be disrespectful and such was to take mostly shots at the arms and legs-more durable i suppose. and such untill they either quit or got better and i had to go more or less full force. i dont really know your situation with her skill level so test and if she starts to kik ur arse bring it up a notch. same thing i do with some of my guy friends like said above gauge them. test them and hold back a little while dooing it to keep them unaware then when u get an opening go for it wickid fast and their reaction time will be slightly off because of the increase. this is how i generally do things with most people... and just remember there is no safe awnser women can ALWAYS change their minds.
 

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I participate in these kinds of combats as well, if shes not wearing armor, I suggest avoiding thrusting. I have a friend that has been stabbed in the chest hard and she said her breast hurt for weeks. on the other hand, I've been thwacked in the balls numerous times, thats why I wear crotch armor now.
 

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Duel with her on a defensive basis until you can figure out what shes after. If shes coming at you full on and not pulling any punches then return the favor and fight her with all you got. If she is genuinely coming at you weakly then pull your punches and let her try to learn how to fight until she gets more confidence then slowly step up your game to match her. But don't "kill" her until your sure shes ready to be "killed" if you know what I mean.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
She quit after the second practice, so this never ended up being an issue. There were a lot of women at the first event I went to, though, which surprised me--and very few of them were the scary kind of women you'd expect at something like that. The big difference was that they were hitting me in the head with greatswords and arrows, so I got over my chivalry attitude real fast. I still didn't shield bash them or anything like I was with guys who were using punch shields and flails, because they deserve to catch the solid edge of a scutum HARD, but yeah...

Incidentally, you CAN get hurt on boffer swords. Greatswords, in particular-- it's just a mass x velocity thing at that point. My left arm is jacked up at the moment because a Marine Recon sergeant clocked me on the elbow so the cap sort of dislocated with a greatsword last weekend... that hurt. a lot. It's just not as easy to get hurt on them as a ratan or wooden waster.
 
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