Basic Krigarenve Philosophies

Basic Viking Fighting Philosophy

In the Nordic countries (Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark and Iceland) we call a certain historical period that spanned between the years 750–1100 A.D. – the Viking Age, because that was the age of the Viking achievement. Over a time period of more than 300 years the Vikings of the North became known in many parts of Europe, Asia, Africa – and even in North America as fearsome warriors that seamed to be unstoppable in every kinds of warfare. The Vikings behaved like kings all over the World and did never recognize any foreign power to rule over them.

Since the age of the Vikings became history, it has been debated by the scholars, what gave the Vikings such a good self-confidence that they had no problem to adapt to different styles of warfare or other fighting-styles that they met on their travels. How come the Vikings never felt insecure of their Martial Arts skills or never tough that their enemies were unbeatable? The answer can be found in the way that they trained, that is – both with and without weapons.

The sword ruled the Viking community and you had little to say if you could not protect your rights with a weapon in your hand. In their society the family and the kindred was the most important thing – even more important than the man himself. If a relative was killed, his family or kindred was supposed to revenge his death by killing a member of the killer’s family. This was called “blood-revenge”. If you had a dispute, it did not matter if it was a minor or a major one; you could always settle it by challenging the opponent to a duel. The outcome of the duel decided who had won the dispute. This was the common way to solve a dispute in the Viking Age and this was also what the Law recommended if two persons or families was of different opinions. As one can see – the males had an utmost need for a good Martial Arts schooling, or otherwise they were an easy target for any person who wanted to gain from their losses.

It was a matter of life and death that made the Northmen train their Martial Arts skills at an early age. When winter came and the snow fell down, the children and the youngsters made snow-castles and played the game of “snow-ball-war” – which was the training ground for stone-throwing at war or to learn how to attack and run down a besieged castle and not be afraid to get hurt in a fight. In the Nordic countries we still practice this game and both children and grown ups loves it. In this game of “snow-ball-war” there still is a remnant from the Viking Age when the warriors showed their bravery in the battlefield by degrading the enemy, which is done by mashing snow in the face the opponent until he becomes red in his face – which actually means that you have killed him.

The Vikings had their special way of viewing how a warrior should behave in combat to be known as a valiant fighter. The Danish king Skjold (Shield) was said to have given them the Law that said that every warrior that wanted to have a reputation for his bravery – should always go to the attack against one, stand on his ground against two, he was allowed to move his foot against three and could without shame flee from four.

As you see, a Viking was supposed to be able to at least take care of three enemies in single combat if he wanted to be known for his bravery. But it is also interesting to notice that the warriors of the North had a special fighting attitude – that a Viking always should be able to hold his ground and never go backwards in a fight. As an interesting parallel – in the Viking Age duels you lose the fight if you step outside the fighting area (or is the first one to drip blood on the ground). To be able to stand steadily and self-confident on the fighting field the Vikings had a special way of training this attitude. When two Vikings trained their weapon skills, they each stands on a square that was only one “aln” (ell) or circa 60 centimeters on each side and the fighters was not allowed to move outside this square when they face to face were exchanging blows with their swords or axes and protected themselves with shield or shield-buckles.

But you can not always meet force by force, sometimes you have to evade or sidestep an enemy attack before you can have the advantage. The Vikings had their own way of training their intuition that made them able to adapt to any kind of fighting-style – and they did foster this skill by developing a special Martial Art called “Glíma”.

In Glíma the Vikings believed that they had invented a perfect training ground to foster courage, endurance, strength and valiantly behavior. This style of Viking-wrestling (Glíma) is still one of the best ways to train your fighting-spirit and to get a good feeling for when it is the right moment to go to the attack. It also teaches the art of evading, so that you always can use your opponent’s attack to your own advantage. But even more, it teaches you that a victory over an inferior opponent means nothing and gives you no honor. But if you can conquer a stronger opponent – then all glory is yours.



The Nine Nobel Virtues

1.   Courage
By facing Life’s struggles with courage, we constantly extend our capabilities. Without courage, nothing else can be done!

2.   Truth
Blind faith has no place in Life. No pie-in-the-sky; we must act in this world as we see it and as it really is rather than calmly waiting for the next good thing that may happen upon us.

3.   Honor
We must be true to what we are, and we insist on acting with nobility rather than baseness. Our standards must be banners held high in our hearts.

4.   Fidelity
We stand true to our faith and our values. Loyalty is the basis for all enduring human activity, and we hold it in the highest esteem.

5.   Hospitality
The isolation and loneliness of modern life is not necessary. The willingness to share what one has with ones' fellows, especially travelers, is a vital part of our way of life.

6.   Discipline
We hold to the discipline necessary to fulfill our purpose. We stand willing to exercise the self-control and steadfastness necessary in difficult times.

7.   Industriousness
Let us dare to be all that we can be! Let us take risks and taste the richness of life. Passivity is for sheep. We refuse to be mere spectators in life.

8.   Self-Reliance
We depend on our own strength and character to achieve our goals. We seek only the freedom necessary to our quest, whatever it may be.

9.   Perseverance
We hold to our path until its completion and are not ashamed to be strong. The cult of the anti-hero will find no support in us; Krigarenve is not for the weak of spirit.



Basic Responsibilities of the Dreng

The Dreng’s first responsibility is to his training.

The Dreng should ensure that he has the correct level of:

Tunic
Trousers
Belt
Shoes
Stav
Axe Handle
Scramaseax (wood)
Bow & Arrows
Small & Large Axe (wood)
Spear (shaft)
Shield
Sword (wood)
Protective Equipment

The Dreng is an ambassador for the Krigarenve and he should behave appropriately at all times. This does not mean not having fun. What it means is that the Dreng should try to prevent him or her self from doing something that will reflect badly on the Krigarenve if at all possible.



Basic Responsibilities of Styrsman Leadership

The Styrsman’s first responsibility is to his training.

The Styrsman should ensure that all Drengr within his Hof are trained to the correct level.

The Styrsman should ensure that all Drengr train safely, and understand the level and amount of equipment they need for training.

The Styrsman should ensure that all Drengr have the correct level of:

Tunic
Trousers
Belt
Shoes
Stav
Axe Handle
Scramaseax (wood)
Bow & Arrows
Small & Large Axe (wood)
Spear (shaft)
Shield
Sword (wood)
Protective Equipment

The Styrsman should ensure that he has the correct level of:

Tunic
Trousers
Belt
Shoes
Stav
Axe Handle
Scramaseax & Sheath (wood and live steel)
Bow & Arrows
Small & Large Axe (wood and live steel)
Spear (shaft and steel head & butt)
Shield
Sword & Sheath (wood and live steel)
Protective Equipment

The Styrsman should actively seek out new recruits in order to increase the size of his Hof, whilst maintaining its integrity. Quality is better than quantity but their needs to be new blood.

The Styrsman should actively encourage and help any Dreng or Gestir who wishes to research or discuss anything relating to the Krigarenve, the Northern Europeans or cultures they came from. If the Styrsman has insufficient knowledge, he should put the Dreng or Gestir in touch with his Jarl and also seek to further his own knowledge of the subject. The Styrsman should seek to inspire other members to get the most from being a part of the Krigarenve.

If there is a dispute amongst two or more Dreng or Gestir, the Styrsman should try and resolve the dispute. If he cannot, he must then take the dispute before the Jarl for resolution.

All Styrsmen should realize that they have a level of authority that has been granted them by the Jarl, more than this; they have a responsibility; a responsibility to the Krigarenve Hof.

The Styrsman must set a standard for the Hof; others should look to him and see that he is enthusiastic and supportive, that he is leading by example. He should strive to have the best equipment possible, to fight as well as possible, and to show his ability both in and outside of the Hof.

The Styrsman is an ambassador for the Krigarenve and he should behave appropriately at all times. This does not mean not having fun, or stopping others from having fun. What it means is that the Styrsman should try to prevent something that will reflect badly on the Krigarenve if at all possible. In certain circumstances it can also mean that the Styrsman may have to defend his Hof.

The Styrsman must also impress on others that they are also ambassadors for the Krigarenve.

Morale is important. The Styrsman should ensure that the Hof is happy and enthusiastic. This does not mean just getting pissed with them. It means actively watching what is going on and feeling for stress or tension within the Hof (if there is any) and alert the Jarl (if needed).



Basic Responsibilities of Jarl Leadership

The Jarl’s first responsibility is to the members of his Hof.

The Jarl should ensure that all those within his Hof are trained and educated to the correct level.

The Jarl should ensure that everyone train safely, and understand the level and amount of equipment and resources they need for there training.

The Jarl should ensure that everyone have the correct level of equipment and educational resources.

The Jarl must ensure that he has the correct level of:

Tunic
Trousers
Belt
Shoes
Stav
Axe Handle
Scramaseax & Sheath (wood and live steel)
Bow & Arrows
Small & Large Axe (wood and live steel)
Spear (shaft and steel head & butt)
Shield
Sword & Sheath (wood and live steel)
Protective Equipment

The Jarl should actively seek out new recruits for his Hof, whilst maintaining its integrity. Quality is better than quantity but their needs to be new blood.

The Jarl should actively encourage and help anyone who wishes to research or discuss anything relating to the Krigarenve, the Northern Europeans or cultures they came from. If the Jarl has insufficient knowledge, he should put those interested in touch with the right people and also seek to further his own knowledge of the subject. The Jarl should seek to inspire his men to get the most from being a member of the Krigarenve.

If there is a dispute amongst two or more Krigarenve members, the Jarl must resolve the dispute.

All Jarl’s should realize that they have the highest level of authority within the Krigarenve given to them by the trust and expectations of the students of his Hof, more than this; they have a massive responsibility to the well-being of everyone in there Hof. Weather they are a student or not.

The Jarl must set a standard for the Hof; others should look to him and see that he is totally in control, enthusiastic and supportive, that he is leading by example. He should have the best equipment possible, to fight as well as possible, and to show his ability in skill and in leadership both in and outside of the Hof.

The Jarl is an ambassador for the Krigarenve and he should behave appropriately at all times. This does not mean not having fun, or stopping others from having fun. What it means is that the Jarl should prevent something that will reflect badly on the Krigarenve. In certain circumstances it can also mean that the Jarl will defend his Hof.

The Jarl must also impress on others that they are also ambassadors for the Krigarenve.

Morale is important. The Jarl should ensure that the Hof is happy and enthusiastic. This does not mean getting pissed with them. It means actively watching what is going on and feeling for stress or tension within the Hof (if there is any), and doing what is necessary to fix it (if need be).

The Jarl should always be striving to improve on his own train and teaching skills to benefit himself and the education of the students of the hof.



Primary Traits of Jarl Leadership

1.   Honesty
Display sincerity, integrity, and candor in all your actions. Deceptive behavior will not inspire trust.

2.   Competent
Your actions should be based on reason and moral principles. Do not make decisions based on childlike emotional desires or feelings.

3.   Forward-looking
Set goals and have a vision of the future. The vision must be owned throughout the organization. Effective leaders envision what they want and how to get it. They habitually pick priorities stemming from their basic values.

4.   Inspiring
Display confidence in all that you do. By showing endurance in mental, physical, and spiritual stamina, you will inspire others to reach for new heights. Take charge when necessary.

5.   Intelligent
Read, study, and seek new goals.

6.   Fair-minded
Show fair treatment to all people. Prejudice is the enemy of justice. Display empathy by being sensitive to the feelings, values, interests, and well being of others under your leadership.

7.   Broad-minded
Seek out diversity within others around you.

8.   Courageous
Have the perseverance to accomplish a goal, regardless of the seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Display a confident calmness when under stress.

9.   Straightforward
Use sound judgment to make a good decision at the right time.

10.   Imaginative
Make timely and appropriate changes in your thinking, plans, and methods. Show creativity by thinking of new and better goals, ideas, and solutions to problems. Be innovative!



Jarl Leadership in Battle

1.   Set the example.

2.   Lead from as far forward as you can.

3.   Lead from where you can control all elements physically.

4.   Move to influence the action.

5.   Make sound, quick decisions.

6.   Forcefully execute decisions.

7.   Use reverse planning sequences.



Basic Strategies of Viking Combat

Military tactics are the tricks used on the battlefield, while conducting a war, to gain success. There are two main ways to defeat an army: by destroying it through fighting, and by cutting off its supplies so that it runs out of weapons, medication, food and drink, and thus 'starves' to death.

1.   Encirclement
In both cases, encirclement is a good idea. When fighting, an encircled army is being hit from many angles at once, making it difficult to fight back effectively. Also, encirclement cuts off supplies. Therefore, encirclement is one of the most central tactics used in warfare. Please note: encirclement is conditional, i.e., only a good idea if it is the most beneficial course of action. Flanking is a form of partial encirclement.

2.   Overwhelming Force
Second to encirclement comes the tactic of overwhelming force concentrated on a weaker part of the opponent's army, attacking by surprise so the enemy is not even ready for you. With this tactic, encirclement is not necessary, since you can destroy the opponent with one powerful blow, and then regroup and go on to overwhelm other parts of the enemy's army (also known as "defeat in detail"). Surprise and hiding your location, movements and intentions are critical for success with this kind of tactic, since it depends on your enemy spreading his or her army out thinly, not knowing where to expect your attack, while you concentrate yours massively in one location and destroy all in your way.

In order to make the opponent spread his or her forces out thinly, you need to make him or her ignorant of your exact whereabouts, intentions, and where you will attack next. This can be very difficult to do since the opponent will often be able to see where you are amassing your forces, and he or she will respond by amassing his or her forces opposite yours, to counter your build-up. Thus, this tactic is normally only employed when your army is much stronger than the enemy's, so even if he or she amasses his or her forces opposite yours, he or she still cannot face up to yours.

3.   Hit and Run Tactics
If the opponent is much weaker and cannot stand up to an attack of overwhelming force, he or she will then break his or her army up into small groups, so that there is no way the army can be destroyed in one blow. He or she will now send the groups at you from different angles, when you do not expect them, to cause damage, and then run off again before you have a chance to respond effectively or catch them. These tactics are also called 'Guerrilla Tactics'.

To respond to these kinds of tactics, you have to send out parties of soldiers to find out where the enemy's groups are hiding, and then destroy them one by one. This can become almost impossible if they are hiding in jungles, forests, mountains and so on, and they have no permanent homes to defend. All through history, many large and powerful armies have been defeated by small, wandering, guerrilla armies.

While many people do not realize this, hit and run tactics are very useful for armies of large nature also. While the vast majority of the army is in a defensive position on the front lines, small groups of raiders with demolitions and other "exotic" weaponry can destroy well fortified positions that could have sucked many lives out of the main regiment.



Basic Strategies of Self Defense

1.   Know Your Terrain
The most important piece of advice is to always know where you’re going and what the local terrain will be. Whenever you go on vacation, visit friends, attend a new school, or travel through unknown areas, find out what the neighborhood is like. Ask locals, such as waitresses, bartenders, taxi drivers, police, tourist and travel agents, questions such as: is the area known for street crime? Is there a lot of gang activity? Do buses and taxis go there after dark? Is it an area you should avoid entering?

2.   Stay Alert
Keep alert, walk with a purpose, be attentive to your surroundings and prepare yourself mentally for an attack. Think of a plan of action you would follow if you were attacked. Consider where you could run to for help such as the nearest police or fire station. When entering social situations scan the crowd for troublemakers, the loud and obnoxious, the drunks, and the brooding loners. Note exits and dead ends.

3.   Expect The Unexpected
When you plan to walk a fair distance, wear footwear and clothing that are comfortable and can allow you to move quickly. Do not overburden yourself with bulky packages. Carry only the bare essentials. If you must for some reason travel through territory known for street violence then you should be well prepared: travel with friends, carry a cell phone with the speed dial set for 911, prepare a decoy wallet, carry a legally concealable weapon.

4.   Move Silently
Play the `Grey Man' which means being inconspicuous while blending into the background. Dress like the locals, the more one is different, the easier it is to single you out. Do not display large sums of cash in public or wear highly visible and expensive jewelry or clothes. If standing alone at night at a bus stop, avoid standing directly underneath the light, by doing so you make it easy for anyone to see that you are alone. Instead stay in the shadows away from the light so that your silhouette does not stand out. This makes it more difficult to spot you from a distance or from cruising automobiles.

5.   Move Swiftly
Do not allow strangers to stop you on the street for conversations, to give directions, or to light a cigarette. These are stalling techniques used to set up an attack. Walk facing oncoming traffic while walking near the curb away from dark alleys and doorways.

6.   Avoid Contention
If confronted by a mugger or gang, cooperate. Listen to what they say, and always answer in the affirmative in a quite, calm, voice. Be polite, while you might feel angry and believe you could overpower the robber, it is nevertheless essential that you pretend to be intimidated. This will allow the robber to relax his guard, then, if you feel you have no alternative but to attack, you can use your meek appearance to launch a surprise attack. Acting hostile and indignant may encourage the criminal to use a weapon that may or may not be visible. Personal safety is more important than material things. Resist only to protect yourself from harm, not to protect your belongings.

7.   Hide Your Intentions
Another alternative when faced by a group of attackers is to play stupid. Say little or nothing and continually nod your head. Pretend to be mentally unbalanced. Act as though you have no idea what's going on, drool slightly and let mucus run out of your nose. Most ignorant people are somewhat afraid of 'crazy' people, as though madness was infectious. In a street gang confrontation, humiliating an idiot brings only little face and hopefully they will get tired and leave. The important thing is to survive. Do not be led astray by stories of martial arts heroes who beat multiple attackers one after the other, the odds are just too much against your winning.

8.   Use Distractions
If the demand is for money take out your cash and hold it up for the attacker to see. Then throw it on the ground between you and the assailant while backing away. When he bends to pick up the money, make a run for it.

If traveling through high risk areas carry a decoy wad, that is a wallet that has a real money bill on the outside but play money or paper cut to size on the inside. It may include credit cards that look official but are really under phony names and addresses (Cut out credit card ads from a magazine and glue them to cardboard). The decoy should look valuable, then if attacked or robbed you can throw the decoy in one direction while carefully and quickly leaving in the opposite direction. If the assailant is really after only your money then he will go for the decoy rather than you.

9.   Escape and Evade
If given the opportunity, run. Try to get a good lead on your assailant and run towards lighted and crowded areas. Try to make the terrain between you and the attackers more difficult to cross. Knock things over as you run such as garbage cans, mail boxes, signs, tables, chairs, lamps, broken bottles. If it seems you cannot escape attract attention by throwing something heavy through the window of a house if in a residential area or storefront in a commercial area. The sound of breaking glass is distinct and always rouses interest to see what is being broken. In a store window this will set off an alarm that will attract attention and the police.

10.   Choose the Place of Battle
Never allow the assailant to take you to another location. If his purpose is to rob you then he will be satisfied with the money tossed down. If he tries to bring you to another location there is usually an ulterior motive. As a rule, anytime someone wants to take you to another location it is because they will have a greater advantage, and you will have less chance of being rescued. If you are going to have to fight it out, then do it before the odds are any more in the attacker's favor.

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