ARN - Scarf meanings (was Cadets in Court)

Iain Dyved MacDowell dyved at
Thu Jun 3 14:13:38 PDT 1999

I can only say that this saddens me that an individual thinks that only by 
having a scarf, can they teach others.  It happens too often that a 
perceived rank gives an air of expertise.  Anyone can pass on relative 
information to anyone else.  Just because a person is scarved does not make 
that individual an expert.

  If someone has taken the time to give instruction to a group or an 
individual, then by all means let them do just that. If the information that 
they are passing on is totally wrong, maybe as a quiet aside to the 
instructor, someone should mention it, and then be prepared to make valid 
points as to why they believe so.  If I were to see a person just interrupt 
a class with their opinion and then walk away, I would dismiss their 
comments and go on about what I was trying to do in the first place, LEARN.

  To me, a scarf is something that I'm seriously striving for.  I look to 
most red scarves as individuals that have taken our game and ran with it.  
They need not be experts, only those who enjoy the game and play it at full 
speed ahead.  They have gotten the attention of a Don/a and are striving to 
become more than what they started out to be.  An unscarved person may 
encompass all of the above, but due to circumstances, may not have been 
noticed by a Don/a with which they can build a relationship.  There are 
numerous areas within the SCA that their are no Dons/Donnas or even Cadets.  
Are we to think less of them, I think not.

  I say Vivat to all who practice this our chosen game, scarved or not, we 
all strive for the same ends I belive.

Iain Dyved MacDowell
Marshal, Shire of Seawinds
Privateer for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth
Captain of the Storm Crow
Unscarved and playing away...

>From: Jesus Cavazos <toshirokoi 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, 03 Jun 1999 12:08:45 PDT

>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, 
>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 
>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 
>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 
>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 
>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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