Rapier Trends

cmwalden at bga.com cmwalden at bga.com
Tue May 2 10:14:37 PDT 1995

More Rapier stuff.

>From: James Crouchet <crouchet at infinity.ccsi.com>
>Ok, so how about telling us about who YOU are. You should be able to do 
>that without tipping your hand.

Fair enough.  My name is Antonio Marco Giovanni Bastiano.  I have been 
involved with the SCA since about 1987, and started fighting rapier 
immediately.  I was cadetted to Don Alden several years ago, though it has 
taken a feeling of permanence such that I can't tell you how long ago.  Like 
Savien I have been influenced by Tivar, Iolo and other "Pillars of Bryn 
Gwlad."  I cannot however, match Saviens vigorous history with the sword.  
Though I have been involved with fencing for many years, a combination of an 
injury (in the first round of Queens, no doubt) and mundane concerns pulled 
me away from being very active.  Some people still know who I am, but many 
do not.

I was raised on a strong system of honor and internalization of what you do 
on the field and off.  One of my most profound memories was the time, at a 
Tuesday night fighter practice, Don Blayne placed the point of a real rapier 
against my bare chest.  As the cold steel pressed lightly into my flesh he 
looked me in the eye and said "This is what we are doing.  How does that 
feel?  How hard do you want to press on that?"  That memory has been with me 
every time I have watched "the Machine" at Academies of the Rapier.  Other 
events have strongly shaped my beliefs about what we do, but I'll not bore 
you with them now, when I can bore you with them later.

I am still a cadet.  I am still very interested in the Rapier Community and 
what is being done.  I have been studying period fencing techniques, such as 
di Grassi, and working with Schlager, as well as continuing to revive my 
skills with foil and epee.  Oh, yeah.  I just became Deputy Rapier Marshall 
of Bryn Gwlad.

>From: tmarsh at iadfw.net (Todd Marsh)
What would you say are the benifits of this system?  Do you feel there are 
any disadvantages?

You also made several points about the proper authorization of people who 
are in positions of responsibility.  That all makes sense to me.

At the end you discussed the need for an authorization bout.  I noticed that 
you advocated observing the fighter at practices for his authorization.  I 
agree with this as well.  However, I notice that this would require a more 
personal aproach.  People of authority would have to become personally 
involved with people coming in.  It would become more of a supportive group 
of peers, a family-group if you will, rather than an offical licensing.  
What do you think?  (You=everone, not just Llywelyn).
I will also say that I have gotten some interesting personal discussion and 
private correspondence on these matters.  It has been very interesting to 
see what people are thinking about what the current trends are in our Rapier 
Community.  Please keep things coming.

I will look forward to your responses.

I remain Yours, etc.
Antonio Bastiano
or cmwalden at bga.com

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