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"I am Jugger" documentary crowdfunding

"I am Jugger" is the upcoming documentary prepared by Alejandro Asensi Barbera. He currently raises funds through IndieGoGo to realize this quite impressive sounding project, which should become very international:

I am Jugger follows Jugger players all around the world and will share the lives of these young athletes; their impressions and styles of play, capturing the passion they feel for this sport and show the differences to other major sports and the activity in different countries like Spain, Germany, Ireland and United States. We travel with a select group of jugger players to the World Tournament in Berlin, where they will try to win the ultimate prize in this relatively unknown sport.

We will see different explanations of the rules, styles and strategies used by different teams, and follow them as they train and prepare for games together.




(Just a word of warning, IndieGoGo seems to think that eating processor time through shiny app overload is a good idea).

Greetings from Transylvania to all juggers!

(I am indeed writing from the already stereotypic vampire-land; Of course do not imagine us playing Jugger near some creepy castle in the mist :-) )

This intends to be a very late report on the beginnings of Jugger in Romania. Here is how it all happened. Once upon a time a lonely fighter of these lands had an adventurous journey full of threats through the unknown. Finally he arrived to the land of the fierce Germans. He learned from them a unique and magnificent art of fighting which they called Jugger. He was so impressed that - as soon as he arrived home - he gathered the most trusted ones from his order and shared his experience with them. All of them being brave - and intelligent of course - took his words seriously and agreed that starting to practice Jugger is the only right course of action. So they did.

I could write of course that in 2012 a young fellow from my town (Tirgu Mures, in German: Neumarkt) attended a youth camp in Marienberg and behold, they played Jugger in there. Arriving home, he and his friends started playing. At first they used PVC pipes with a single layer of insulation and no proper padding at the ends. About a year later, however, after discovering the English translation of Uhu’s book, proper pompfe were crafted, with considerable advice of a couple of guys through the international jugger forum. As time passed, new players joined, boys and girls alike, most of them being between 14 and 20 years old (although now we have 20+ members, including myself, ancient 44-year old father of four team-members...).
We are playing according to German/Berlin rules, with very few differences. We also make our pompfe according to their way. We call ourselves „Second Cubs” and our coat of arms derives from our city’s old coat of arm (armoured hand holding a sword with a bear's head and a crown on it), with slight modifications, including the switching of the role of the human with the bear’s. :-)

<Image: Coat of arms>

Until now - as far as we know - we were the only team in the country, so we did not participate in any kind of tournament. (Of course one day we might visit tournaments in Germany...) Interesting enough, we recently met a friend from a city nearby, Cluj (Klausenburg) willing to establish a team. He saw Jugger on the net but had no idea that we are playing it. We just had our first common Jugger-day today. (Photo taken there.) I really hope this marks the beginning of a real growth of Jugger in Romania.

<Image: Juggers in Klausenburg>

Till then, we are playing regularly – weekly – and enjoying it a lot...

Uhus Jugger Tutorials started

UhuAfter reading questions where one could find tips how to play the shield I decided to do a little tutorial series myself. So now I can proudly present the first issue of Uhus Jugger Tutorials: Basics of Pompfen making. Because before you can play the shield, you mostly will have to make one ... Part 1:

  1. Introduction – some words on the background.
  2. Basics of Pompfen making – just some general thoughts on the materials used to make Jugger spars.
  3. The Shield – two different designs, strap and wooden grip, and basics about how a shield is made.
Part 2:
  1. Introduction.
  2. Basics of playing the Jugger shield: Stance.
  3. Holding the shield.
  4. Holding the short sword.
Oh and sorry for my English folks, I am quite focused on Swedish at the moment – I nevertheless hope you enjoy the videos!

Complete playlist, all parts including shield fighting basics.

Jugger rules revision: Take it easy!

Since the German Jugger rules will soon undergo a revision and rule changes voting, I would like to offer some basic thoughts on the sport and its rules.
Sorry in German, due to lack of time for translation. Many projects currently at hand.


Jugger - Regelwerk: Ein Kommentar Anläßlich einer wohl anstehenden neuen Abstimmung über und der Überarbeitung des Juggerregelwerks habe ich meinen Kommentar zum Juggerregelwerk um eine Sektion ergänzt. Grund sind die immer wieder auftretenden Diskussionen um Regelveränderungen zu kleinen, oft in der Praxis reichlich irrelevanten Fragen (Beispiel Spielfeldbegrenzungen: ob ein Fuß 20 cm weiter vorne, nämlich auf der breiten Kreidelinie, oder nur dahinter stehen darf, ist für die Schnelligkeit der allermeisten Teams wohl eher gleichgültig).

Hier ist der Abschnitt:

Item. Vom Geist des Jugger

Weniger Normen bedingen eine höhere sportliche Herausforderung.

Jugger leitet sich von einem Endzeit-Film ab. Läufer müssen sich auf die unterschiedlichsten Schädel, alle Spieler auf die verschiedensten Feldlinien – hier präzise mit der Markiermaschine gezogen, dort verwackelt mit Mehl oder Flatterband – jedesmal neu Einstellen: Der mangelnde Standard ist hier kein Mangel, sondern eine willkommene Herausforderung an Flexbilität und sportliches vermögen der Spieler.
Dies kann der Schlüssel zur Lesart der Regeln sein, um den einzigartigen und offenen, gleichwohl sportlich fordernden Charakter des Jugger zu erhalten.

Mehr Eigenverantwortung bedingt höhere Fitness.

Selten führt eine stärkere Kontrolle zu einer höheren Bereitwilligkeit, fair zu spielen, und selten führt sie zu einer bessern Stimmung – und die Stimmung ist im Jugger keine Worthülse, sondern ein wichtiges Charakteristikum dieses Sports. Wo anderswo Mannschaften für ein Turnierspiel zusammentreffen und danach heim fahren, ohne mit einander gesprochen zu haben, wird im Jugger nach einem Turniertag gefeiert, man
sitzt zusammen und tauscht sich aus. Man lebt das Ideal des Sports an sich. Zudem ist ein Juggerspiel schwer zu überschauen (siehe 5. Die Schiedsrichter).

Der Schlüssel liegt also darin, eine Balance zwischen Kontrolle (Pompfencheck, Schiedsrichterzahl und -eingreifen) und Freiheit (eben: persönlicher Verantwortung) zu finden. Persönliche Verantwortung und Fairness läßt sich eben nicht durch Repression erzwingen, stattdessen verführt letztere zum Abladen der Verantwortung auf Dritte (»Der Schiedsrichter ist schuld / hat es nicht gesehen«), zur Suche nach Lücken und Regelfuchsereien, was wiederum zu mehr Regeln und höherer Repression führt.

Ich denke, wir brauchen keinen Rüstungswettlauf im Jugger. Locker bleiben!

Verständigkeit bietet eine Lösung für Randfragen.

Im Forum werden gerne Grenzgebiete und oft Eventualitäten diskutiert: Es könnte doch eine die Kette so führen, es könnte doch einer seine Langpompfe so bauen, es wäre doch möglich, sich durch die Fußspitze auf der Linie einen Vorteil beim Anlaufen zu verschaffen.

Anstelle zu versuchen, jede nur mögliche Regeldehnung abzudecken, bietet sich hier doch eine ganz einfache Lösung an.

Wir haben den Anspruch an uns, vernünftige und verständige Menschen zu sein. Wir spielen kein Zuckerpüppchenfußball, bei dem sei es der dramatischste Fall oder das lauteste Aufheulen nach einem Streicheln mit der Fußspitze am Knie einen Vorteil erjammert, sei es ein gerade wegsehender Schiedrichter dem feigen Spieler eine Gelegenheit zur Körperverletzung verschafft.

W i r     s i n d     J u g g e r.

Deswegen können sich zwei Teams beim Auftauchen von Grenzfragen im Spiel zusammensetzen und sich verdammt noch eins einigen. Ist eine grenzwertige Spielweise für das eine Team gar nicht hinnehmbar, dann verzichtet das andere Team darauf. Fertig.

In diesem Sinne! Bleibt locker. Habt Spaß. Gewinnt euer Spiel.



Uhus Regelkommentar kann hier als PDF geladen werden.

Jugger videos around the world

A clip about team Verracos / Universidad de Murcia





Nice recruitment video from Australia




And the great folks from the Wasteland -- really close to the movie




Also, Linus has done an excellent piece again:


Statements banning Tercios Españoles

After the discussion on the behaviour of a Spanish team has spread, here is a summary of the statements. This is the first time that a team is banned internationally from taking part in certain tournaments in Germany, Ireland, Sweden and the US.

There are official statements from Setanta Ireland Jugger Club, over 60 Juggers of Germany (and other countries), Jugger Vancouver and some individual voices of tournament organizers.
Of course, a statement of TE in the matter would be welcome here as well.

Click on "read more" for details. Continue reading "Statements banning Tercios Españoles"

Tercios Españoles: Discussion on a ban

Update: Since creating this article, an extensive discussion on the topic has arisen both in local forums and on facebook, resulting in ban declarations done by players organizing tournaments.

After incidents at the Deutsche Meisterschaft 2014, with an Irish shield player being injured and numerous reports of unfair an unsportive play on the side of the Spanish team Tercios Españoles, a discussion has arisen at the German Jugger forum about the team with over 70 entries right now -- this time not about their history of a fascist team name (historical discussion ⇒ here) but on sportsmanship.

Now players prepared an open declaration to ban the team from German, and even other, tournaments. ⇒ Read it here.
This is the first time a team get's banned from tournaments in a specific country. There had been only one ban of a team in the past in Germany, from one single tournament, and that was due to the heated history between them and the tournament's organizers.


Addendum: Because of the facebook discussion on refreeing: To understand the uproar, it is important to keep the development of Jugger in Germany in mind (see Uhus books on the history of the sport).
One core feature there is Fair Play. Not the soccer way (hurt them when the ref doesn't look) but real fair play: Jugger has long been a fun sport, with no need for extensive reffing. Now, where it begins to be more and more competitive, German tournaments are handling usually over 25, even over 40 or 60 teams at one single week-end. This means that a team that is not playing has to do the refereeing – it is simply impossilbe to have enough "professional" referees. Not having professional refs is considered positive by many players: More control can mean less personal responsibility, thus less fair play. And the need of playing fair is seen as a crucial treasure of the Jugger sport by some.


Update:
Kaiser, Qwik of the Valencia Ravens, has written an interesting two-part insight into mentality differences that could explain the behaviour that has been critizised. It is in German – sorry. Read it here: Part 1 | Part 2

Update II:
Setanta Jugger club has published an official statement. The complete statement is to be found ⇒ at the German Jugger forum, here.

Read on for more voices and statements in the next entry.

New Jugger handbook now published

It took a bit more time than estimated – about two years –, but Ruben has just published his fourth book on Jugger "JUGGER – Das Praxisbuch. Grundlagen, Training, Teambuilding", now focusing on training methods and strategy.
As in Judo and Karate handbooks, step-by-step "motion" pictures show basic steps for fighting with the different German type spars. Football-like plans explain strategic moves. The book has got an impressive, full-color layout and print, hardcover, and is set in A4 landscape format (about 29x21cm).

While the plans for an English translation are unknown, the Swedish one is on the way and should be published by september.

Read more on the pages of the publisher and in Uhus finest-assorted Weblog Droppings for a comment of the author.

New Jugger handbook
New Jugger Handbook
New Jugger Handbook
New Jugger Handbook