"Missouri farmer" creates western martial arts school in Tokyo

Longtime SCA member Jay Noyes, a 40-year-old self-described "farmer from Missouri," had a dream. He wanted to bring the medieval combat he remembered from his days in the SCA to Japan, where he moved in 1991. To accomplish this, he created Avalon, a medieval history group, and started Castle Tintagel, a school for western martial arts in Tokyo. Edan Corkill of the Japan Times has the story.(photos)

Noyes teaches medieval combat at the academy using rattan and real armor. "It won't injure you, but it hits with a certain amount of authority," he explained. "The idea with Western martial arts is that you should be strong, but you don't need to be all macho about it," Noyes said. "The self-judging aspect actually makes people very polite." It also makes the kind of 2,000-person battles that SCA holds in America possible. "Imagine trying to have 1,000 judges in there at the same time," he said.