dennis guy grace amazing at mail.utexas.edu
Thu Dec 12 13:12:33 PST 1996

Greetings, Cosyns,
I just picked this up off the Aethelmearc list, where I've been lurking of
late. I know fencer injuries are of interest to some.  I've deleted the
forwarding data.  

>Good gentles:
>As most of you already 
> know, on Saturday, December 8, 1996, an injury
>occured in the 
> Principality of Aethelmearc in the East Kingdom
>involving a broken 
> epee penetrating the armor and the arm of a woman
>fencer.  I have now 
> spoken with most of the people directly involved
>in this incident.   I 
> now present the second official public statement
>on this injury:
> the moment, I am keeping the names of the people involved 
>confidential until the final reports are finished.  I ask those 
> who
>know the names of the people involved please to respect their 
> privacy
>during a very trying time.
>I have been able to reconstruct 
> the sequence of events which led to
>the injury as follows:
>1.  Fencer 
> presents blade for inspection to the marshals.  Four 
> marshals end up looking at the epee blade because it looks
> It is an older blade, and has a single gradual curve. 
>However, the 
> blade showed _no_  obvious evidence of defect when it 
> was
>2.  Although the blade bent easily, it did not keep a 
> bend.  It did
>not have an "S" bend.  It showed none of the tell-tale 
> signs of metal
>fatigue.  There was one point on the blade which 
> appeared to bend more
>readily than the rest of the blade, but that 
> point did not hold a bend
>or kink.  In the experience of the 
> inspecting marshals, they had seen
>blades like this which held up to 
> regular use for years.  
>3.  Just to be sure, one of the marshals 
> fenced the Fencer with the
>blade.  After that practice bout, she was 
> satisfied with the blade's
>safety and passed it for the day.
>4.  The 
> fencers were playing a melee scenario.  The breakage occured
>in the 
> the first or second melee of the day.  The Fencer had been
>using the 
> blade for no more than 45 minutes that day when the 
> breakage
>5.  The blow which resulted in the broken blade was 
> not hard or 
>excessive or otherwise in violation of East Kingdom 
> rules.  
>Apparently, the Fencer was firing a shot for his opponent's 
> body as
>she extended her arm.  The shot aimed for her body therefore 
> hit her
>6.  The Opponent's arm was moving towards the Fencer's 
> blade as the
>Fencer's blade was moving towards her body.  In the 
> resulting hit, the
>Fencer's blade broke approximately 3 inches from 
> the tip.
>7.  The blade struck the Opponent's forearm and penetrated 
> her armor. 
> Her armor in this area was in excess of what is required 
> by East
>Kingdom rules.  EK rules require only one layer of 
> tight-weave
>material on the forearm.  She was wearing a layer of 
> tight-weave
>cotton and a layer of heavy denim.  I believe, but have 
> not confirmed,
>that this part of her armor had passed a punch 
> test.
>8.  The blade was moving parallel to the Opponent's arm when it 
>broke.  It continued moving more or less parallel to the bone of 
> her
>arm as it penetrated her armor and then penetrated her body.  
> The
>blade entered her arm approximately 4 inches below the wrist 
> and
>travelled down the length of her arm, towards the elbow, beneath 
> the
>skin.  The blade never contacted the bone of her arm.  The 
> blade
>travelled about 6-8 inches inside of her arm.
>9.  According to 
> what the doctors in the emergency room told her, the
>blade missed the 
> major veins and nerves in the arm.  She was told that
>she should 
> suffer no permanent loss of function as a result of this
> Although she was still in some pain and could not use the arm
>or her 
> hand when I spoke to her, she was already recovering 
> some
>10.  The Fencer realized after the hit that his blade 
> had broken.  He
>asked his Opponent whether she were okay, and she 
> responded that she
>had taken only a hard hit.  She believed that the 
> hit had only been
>hard, and was unaware at that point that she had 
> been more seriously
>11.  The melee ended almost immediately 
> after the breakage.  The
>Fencer recovered the pieces of his blade and 
> the Opponent was
>convinced to take off her armor.  At that time, the 
> injury was
>12.  A chiurgen was summoned to attend the 
> wound.  The Opponent was
>taken to the local emergency room, where she 
> was treated.  X-rays were
>taken to make sure that no metal had been 
> left in her arm.  The wound
>was a clean puncture, with no metal pieces 
> left in the arm.
>There is no evidence of misconduct or wrongdoing on 
> the part of the
>fencers or the marshals involved in this incident.  To 
> all
>appearances, this break and injury was a one-in-a-million 
> freak
>The response from the fencers and marshals involved 
> has been superb. 
>I commend the Principality Marshal of Aethelmearc 
> and all the people
>involved in this incident for their prompt and 
> efficient reaction, and
>their attention to detail in what must have 
> been a stressful and
>frightening situation.  They have more than lived 
> up to the best that
>could be expected of marshals in an 
> emergency.
>The Eastern marshallate has both the broken blade and the 
> punctured
>armor.  Tests will be run on the blade, the results of which 
> will be
>disseminated to the public.  Anyone wishing to volunteer to 
> assist
>with these tests should contact Don Thomas de Castellan.
> also anticipate that I will have pictures of the injured arm, 
> the
>blade and the armor.  I will make these available as well.
> time shortly after Christmas I will have a 
>complete report, including 
> photographs and some technical results. I
>will make this report 
> available to the other Kingdom Rapier Marshals
>for their use and 
> information.
>Again, if there are any questions about this incident, 
> please direct
>them to me or to Don Ivan ap Myrddin, the Aethelmearc 
> Principality
>Marshal.  Keeping rumor and speculation about this 
> incident to a
>minimum will allow us to do our jobs better and reach a 
> fully informed
>opinion abot the incident.
>In service to the East and 
> the Art of Defence,
>Dona Ailis Catriona Mac an Toisich, CGR CSC
> Kingdom Marshal of 'Fence

Yours in Virtual Service,

Sir Lyonel Oliver Grace
Dennis G. Grace
Postmodern Medievalist
Division of Rhetoric and Composition
University of Texas at Austin
amazing at mail.utexas.edu

Si hoc legere scis, nimium eruditionis habes.

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