Not your typical weekend adventure

December 28, 2007 12:00:00 AM PST
Fed up with technology and modern times? Do you miss old fashioned virtues like honor and chivalry? Would you like to combine them into a recreational weekend?

There is a lot to be said for spending a nice restful weekend with a few close friends.

A group of people enjoy their weekends by presiding over an amiable battle, medieval style, in the Society for Creative Anachronism.

The SCA is an international organization dedicated to researching and re-creating the arts and skills of pre-17th-century Europe. Their "Known World" consists of 19 kingdoms, with over 30,000 members residing in countries around the world. Members, dressed in clothing of the Middle Ages and Renaissance, attend events which may feature tournaments, arts exhibits, classes, workshops, dancing, feasts, and more. Their "royalty" hold courts at which they recognize and honor members for their contributions to the group.

It's a place where men are men and the women hit back.

"We get to create our own Camelot," says one participant.

By definition, an anachronism is an experience out of place and time. By that standard, these people certainly fit.

The people in these medieval groups consist of research chemists, technical writers, and computer programmers. On a busy weekend, they may get up to 9,000 people in a friendly war of sorts..

The society began in Berkeley in the 60's. Today, it has tens of thousands of members in 19 official kingdoms around the world.

Gemini Asonte of Turlock considers this a lifestyle and the study of history. He also makes his own weapons. He runs a school of medieval martial arts, teaching idealism, and chivalry ? and he says it works.

"My wife calls me a knight in shining armor. Who wouldn't want to be that?"

So, during a long weekend in a Santa Clara County Park, they gave themselves over to it. Gemini and his wife join an orgy of bashing and duel to the death -- of sorts.

It's Conan the Barbarian, meets Braveheart, meets Monty Python.

There is a lot of apparent ferocity. Due to strong armor and strict rules, few people get hurt. For instance, when a foe deals a crushing blow, the loser admits it---death by the honor system.

It allows these people to vent and enjoy activities out doors. Most importantly, if you can't fight with your friends, then what good are they?