ANST - How to involve young folk- attn Legal Eagles and Parents

Alexis drwise at
Wed Jul 1 10:50:10 PDT 1998

Greetings from Alexis:

 When I started, you could fight in armor with rattan at 16. I can't
> you what a huge draw this is.

I started in Caid at age 15. (they subsequently raised the age)

  I think that one of the issues that
> membership growth hinges on is youth involvement.  Anyone who might think
> I'm wrong on this should take a peek at the state of Arizona's (or New
> Mexico or Colorado where I have also seen boffer for youths) demographic
> similarities to us and examine their respectively high numbers of members
> (vs. their total populations).  I think this is one of the cornerstones of
> the future of the sca and if we ignore it... well, we may not go defunct,
> but the word 'stagnant' does come to mind.

Having fought in several other kingdoms, my observations are that
Ansteorra has at least a five to ten year age gap over other areas.  The
age gap for the chivalry is even higher.

> Also, how do you parents feel about it?  The basic system is height based
> rather than age (but you have to be at least eight).  Any input on how best
> to write up proposed rules (which I expect I'll be doing) would be welcomed.
> Ritter Dieterich

Well since my three year old is already chasing me around with sword and
shield in hand,  I have to agree 100% that we can do more for them then
is currently available.  That it will be fifteen years before he can do
anything official in the way of fighting sets a herculean task of
maintaining their interest until that magic day.  I know we can give
them all the private practice that we want, but then we lose the very 
desire to go to events that is necessary for their participation and our
growth.  As far as the details of a boffer tournament go, I'm sure that
a few paranoid marshals can make it safer than staying home, but as any
parent can tell you, kids are alot more durable than most of us.  As for
the legal issue, the basic rule is 'informed consent'.  Just look into
any karate dojo and you will see 5 year olds sparring with 'contact'
karate.  Since the proposal also calls for 'contact', their forms would
be a good place to start to let the parents know that yes,
theoretically, a foam boffer can give you a concussion and then chop
your head off to boot.  But like anything else, a little common sense,
coupled with the desire, will make the endeavor work.

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