ARN - Scarf meanings (was Cadets in Court)

Jesus Cavazos toshirokoi at
Thu Jun 3 12:08:45 PDT 1999

>From: "Zimmermann, Leonard" <zimmerml at>
>Reply-To: ansteorra-rapier at Ansteorra.ORG
>To: ansteorra-rapier at Ansteorra.ORG
>Subject: RE: ARN - Scarf meanings (was Cadets in Court)
>Date: Thu, 3 Jun 1999 11:50:36 -0500
>The question, however, is what does it mean to NOT have those things. How 
>you view those who do NOT have these things, not those who do have them.
>Honos Servio
>Lionardo Acquistapace, Bjornsborg
>(Lenny Zimmermann, San Antonio
>zarlor at

What it means to me is that I can't teach.

Let me explain.

For the last year and a half I've been the local rapier marshal for my 
group. I've been fighting for five/six years. Several years before that, I 
fought on the fencing team at my university. The instructor had been the 
coach for the junior U.S. Olympic fencing team. I also studied and taught 
martial arts at a local dojo. So I have teaching and fighting experience.
When I teach someone what I know, I tell them to study everything everybody 
tries to teach them. Once they've tried something, if it works for they, use 
it. If it doesn't, then forget it. I teach them things I agree with and 
things I don't agree with. And I explain the whys of both. But I tell them 
to chose for themselves. That there is no ONE way. Everybody has to use what 
works for them.
There have been several times I was teaching only to have a Don or Cadet 
come tell me what I'm doing wrong. One Don told me, in front of those I was 
trying to teach, I was wrong because I wasn't turning my wrist the way he 
did. Several years ago I had a motorcycle accident and I can't turn my wrist 
the way he did. One Cadet interrupted one training session, disagreed with 
what I had just said, then said the same thing a different way. Sometimes 
I've been completely ignored after I was interrupted. Sometimes they've made 
their statement and left. It impossible to be taken seriously by a student 
when someone of a higher rank just told them you don't know what you're 
teaching. Yet, I've seen scarves teach something I thought was not right. 
And others scarves walk by and say nothing.
Don't get me wrong. Some Dons and Cadets have stood by and watched me teach 
and said nothing. Then after the students were gone tell me I did a good 
job. Some have stood by, interjected something to explain or expound on 
something I said. Then step back and let me continue. To all of them I said 
thank you.
I want to become a Cadet because that will tell me I was good enough to 
impress someone of recognized expertise. I want to become a Don because that 
will tell me I'm respected by my peers. But mostly I want a scarf so I can 
teach. I may not be completely right in everything I teach, but I'm trying 
to get better. I'm trying to teach the newer fighters all I can so they'll 
become better than me. And that will force me to become better than I am. 
Then I'll teach them that. And the cycle will continue.
That's what not having a scarf means to me. I can't teach.

Toshiro Koi

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