Chain Reactions: Haz
This week we interview Haz, an excellent Kiwi Chain player who on occasion plays for Australian (or German) teams. Read his thoughts on Jugger and Iron Man below!
What team do you play for?
Skullduggery (Brisbane), Redbacks (Australia)
How did you first hear about Jugger?
Over 3am pancakes with people I had met earlier in the night at a goth/alt nightclub.
What do you remember about your first time playing Jugger?
It was a hot summers day and I had had little sleep but had fun and everyone was very friendly
Did you start off playing Chain or did you move to it later on?
At the start I gave chain a try amongst everything, not specialising. After receiving frequent head hits, I ruled out sword & shield and dual shorts in the first month, and favoured ranged items. I learnt anti-chain with a Stab and then chain.
Ok now to the good stuff, what’s your tournament highlight as a Chain?
For two of the three major tournaments at which I’ve played I’ve been injured within the first match and either couldn’t chain (hand injury) or can’t remember chaining (short term memory loss from a concussion). The third I played well and consistently and we faced some excellent teams but there were no stand out moments that come to mind.
However my first tournament after moving back from Germany was a small demonstration tournament in New Castle where we mixed the teams up to give a balance of experienced and new players. On the initial clash of one point I tore through the opposition, getting two enforcers and the qwik in rapid succession, thanks to perfect recoveries flowing into successive attacks.
Which Jugger player do you most fear facing off against and why?
None, I’m keen to face all contenders as the better the player, the more fun the challenge. In games of Graveyard (Irish Zombie) I’ll usually seek out some of the other top players for duels if possible, whereas I will face the newer players due to proximity, to avoid being backstabbed, or because they are trying to gang up on me.
Which fellow Jugger player do you most admire?
Irish Dave. An excellent chain player and top bloke.
Would you say other sports/skills helped you to become a better Chain?
Can’t think of anything particular in terms of using the chain, however learning to dodge and contort to avoid strikes (in martial arts) is an advantage, particularly for chain vs chain battles.
What tips do you have for someone who is starting to train as a Chain?
Begin using two hands to learn control before moving to one handed throws. Start with the full European-style chain as opposed to Australian-style club chain, to encourage development of chain techniques rather than becoming reliant on the defence of the club . Also practice your recovery, if you miss it may be a second chance to strike, if you hit then you’re ready to take your next opponent.
What is the hardest part about being a Chain?
The vulnerability during recovery and tangles, and being unable to block/defend (when using European chain) due to playing a purely offensive role.
What was your toughest tournament match as a Chain?
As a chain, you don’t usually have the drawn out sparring matches with multiple strikes like enforces do since after a missed strike you are vulnerable and possibly tangled. Facing another chain can prove a challenge in cases where you each attempt to strike the opponent while dodging/jumping/diving to avoid the other chain, resulting in both missing and then desperately scrambling to recover and attack again. I had one tournament match where in the middle of the second half we had four consecutive attempts before one of us hit the other. We were both utterly drained of energy after that, but got some applause from the spectators on the sidelines.
What do you do outside of Jugger?
Rock climbing, video games, reading and backpacking/travel.
Now fun stuff, Star Wars or Lord Of The Rings?
Neither. Doctor Who and Firefly
And if you could be any superhero who would it be and why?
Iron Man. For the practically of being a rich play boy with cool gadgets and being able to fly anywhere.