Hey, you! Thats right, I am talking to you, Mister "I make the best swords in the world," and to you too, Lefty! Let us not forget the man who spends an hour a day working on his wrap shots, because this is going out to you as well. In fact, I am talking to all the people in Amtgard who are, for whatever reason, better than other people at something in the game.
We need to share our information. I am speaking to you as a sword-making, sluff-loving lefty fighter who can take apart everyone on my home field if I want too, and I am sharing what I know to the best of my ability. Little tricks like how to make a better, lighter, safer tip should not be considered trade secrets, nor should the dynamics of a shot and its proper counter attack be kept from others. These are things we should be eager to demonstrate, if for no other reason then it gives us more of a challenge!
If you are “the best”, then that is as good as you can be. You won't improve much past that point quickly. However, if you were to help raise the skill level of your group up so instead of being “the best” you were simply above average, then becoming the best all over again would mean a much more significant improvement. It just takes the additional time necessary to teach people what you can. This happened to me personally with regards to weapon construction. If someone had not shown up that made better swords than mine, I would still be using old technology. Now, we're both locked in competition with one another to make better, faster weapons, and are both improving more quickly than we did as individuals. Mind you, we are also good friends who trade these tricks too, so that also helps a great deal.
Losing to someone with a really well-made sword who won't tell you anything about it is really annoying, especially if it's some tech you have never seen before and you want to know how to make it. This needs to change, as Amtgard grows for the reason of standardization if nothing else. The ability to travel to any park and play is very important to Amtgard. However, if we still have some shires that are using PVC and I show up with my flicky sticks and own them, what was accomplished? If I tell them nothing, then my ego was stroked. Now if I tell them about how to make this, that, and the other thing, it will be far more of a challenge to deal with them the next time I travel down or they travel up. They'll now have new tech and will have been working on it away from me for some time. It creates more challenge for me as a fighter, all because I don't consider how to make a foam plug a super-duper, double-plus-secret secret.
Spyn, for example, showed me how to make his style of sword at 6:30 in the morning at the most recent SKBC. Thanks to the fact that he was clear, concise and open, I managed to replicate, to a point, his swords. These are now the most balanced, properly-weighted swords on our field, and I have shown half a dozen others the same tricks of technology.
This also applies to combat directly, even more so. You know better then anyone else where your weaknesses are, especially if you have been training in Amtgard for a while. Help people to find them, because someday someone is gonna throw a shot there and it would be really nice to know how to respond. Without having others help you improve by challenging you, your rate of improvement is far slower then otherwise.
It's natural to want something that is yours, be it weapon or shot, to be the best; but “best” is relative in this sense, and unless everyone improves and makes that mark higher, there is no further accomplishment to be had. Amtgard is a sport, and as such, there is no ultimate winner. You can never beat the game of Amtgard. It's endless, and thank god for it! This means that how far you go and how good you get is up to you.
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