ANST - Calling Blows

Michael F. Gunter mfgunter at
Mon Aug 25 11:34:47 PDT 1997

Mistress Gunnora wrote:

> I have in the past seen Crowns stop combats, come onto the listfield, and
> discuss blow calling with blatant rhinos.  And not just in Crown Tourneys,
> either.  In fact, usually not Crown Tourneys.  I think this is definitely
> something a Crown should be willing to do, as a final authority.  Likewise
> any of the other knights, especially if they are marshalling.
I agree. If there appears to be a problem the fight should be stopped and things
checked out. I have lost fights due to the fact that my sword was completly pulped
out, the fighter may have closed his eyes when that blatent face shot hit him, or
if he is cheating sometimes a comment will bring him back to reality.  I would 
personally appreciate someone asking about a shot during a fight.  That way I could
either explain that "No, it was pretty but there was no force or my shield caught
the basket when it landed." or get the chance to go oops! and grant my opponent the
deserved victory.  That way both fighters gain honor and the ideals of combat are 

> I am more than willing to have a marshal stop the fight and caution me or
> my opponent about calling blows, or simply asking us to calibrate again
> before we go further.  It should be a big clue when someone stops a battle
> and asks you to calibrate that you are appearing to others at least to be a
> big fat rhino -- something no honorable fighter wants.

That is hoped for but some people care more about winning than in looking good.  
I've seen fighters warned by the Crown and go ahead and rhino to a victory.  Even
after the tourney and being chewed out by His Majesty the offender didn't seem to

> Another way to help bad blow calling that used to be seen in the olden
> times was that the ladies who gave their favors to fighters watched the
> fighting closely, feeling that that favor represented their own honor on
> the listfield, and that a rhino-hiding fighter was dishonoring not only
> himself but the person whose favor he carried.  I also recall on two
> occasions seeing a lady stop a fight and ask for a favor back -- a
> spectacularly unpleasant maneuver which got the affected fighter's
> attention and helped him regain a sense of honor in a big and public hurry.
>  For this to work ladies or other folks giving their favor to a fighter
> must commit to watching that fighter's performance.

I would love to see this come back into fashion if such an incident would occur. 
Too many times an offender's consort is off doing other things during a list.  This
may be caused by sqeezing so many things into an event that the tournament is not
the most important thing going on at that time.  Another thing to remember that 
there are many things a combatant is fighting for.  I fight for my lady but the
Crown is also my inspiration, I fight for Their honor as well.  I also fight for the
honor of the Chivalry.  Too often the offenders of the field of honor wear a white
belt or baldric.  I try to keep that in mind and to uphold the many cases of what a
knight is supposed to be instead of the few bad examples that are remembered.  And
lastly I fight for myself.  My actions will follow me for good or ill.  To be 
remembered as an honorable, skilled fighter is more important than any rank or 
championships I may accrue.  If any of these should come before me and question then
I am shamed and will try to correct the problem.

> Back 17 years ago when I started fighting, we used to be very proud of the
> saying, "the fighting is just a game, but our honor is deadly serious."
> Alas, all too often now it seems to be "the fighting is deadly serious and
> honor is but a game."  Emphasizing honor over winning might be a big help
> also.

I am in partial agreement.  I think that phrase should be recited by the fighters
before every list. But I take my fighting very seriously.

"you can leave a hundred dollars in
> plain sight on your bed in your tent, because everyone here is so honorable
> that no one would touch it."  Boy, has *that* ever gone by the wayside!  I
> haven't been to a big event in years when you don't hear about someone
> having something "borrowed" from a tent and never returned, or a merchant
> dealing with the famous "five finger discount."  What happened?  I think
> its because the SCA grew so quickly, and new members weren't socialized the
> same way as they were when the SCA was very small.

Was it socialized or is it simply because we are now so big?  Maybe all of the honor
that we remember was because if something was taken the culprits could be narrowed
down rather quickly.  If there is less chance of being caught the temptation is much
greater.  Also we knew each other better, it's easier to steal from a stranger than
a friend.  I still think the cases of theft are much smaller in most other groups of
this size.  Much of the theft from camps at Pennsic have been attributed to locals
crossing the fence.  At Pennsic one year I lost my wallet containing over $300 in
cash.  It was turned in to lost and found with everything intact.  Even though we 
are bigger the overall love of honor is still one of our bases.


> Gunnora Hallakarva
> Herskerinde

Gunthar Jonsson
"Honor before Victory"

PS. When I screw up in the lists, please let me know so that I can correct it.

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