ARN - From Ansteorran KRM - re DSM/RC Ban

Brent & Susan Rachel hbrache at
Thu Jun 3 17:45:18 PDT 1999

Please cross-post to Rapier Net.

>From Baron Kazimir Petrovich Pomeshanov,
Rapier Marshal, Kingdom of Ansteorra

RE:  DSM/RC ban on various blades

The new rules revisions are not yet in place, and the current rules
below) do not grant the Deputy Society Marshal for Rapier Combat the
to make such sweeping bans (a copy of the Ban follows signatures).
There being no
statutory legitimacy to this ban at the moment, the Kingdom of Ansteorra
continue it's on-going trials of the Safeflex dagger, until such time as
Earl Marshal of Ansteorra directs us to cease.  Such a call to desist we
expect to follow the Chain of Command from the Society Marshal. to the
Marshal to the Kingdom Rapier Marshal.

I deem this matter to be not one of safety, but rather one of
This not being a safety issue requiring an immediate cessation, and the
of the DSM/RC to have original jurisdiction over such matters having not
established, I think this ban is premature.  In the past, testing has
at the Kingdom level and has spread outward (Thank you, Atenveldt, for
schlager) and upward, reaching other Kingdoms.  I see no reason to upset
precedent, and I do formally protest this ban.

Even after the passage of the new Corporate rules, the following passage
them would apply to this situation:


Before any new weapon or technique can be used in Society Rapier Combat,
test plan must be submitted to and approved by the Deputy Society
for Rapier Combat.  This plan shall describe:

-- the new weapon or technique
-- specifics of materials used and construction of the weapon (as
-- the proposed uses of the new weapon or technique
-- all restrictions that will be imposed during the experimental period
-- how long the test period will be.

It is the prerogative of the Kingdom Rapier Marshals, subject to the
and to approval of their Earl Marshals, to allow testing of new weapons
techniques within a kingdom.  Testing means the weapon or technique may
used at fighter practice, tourneys, and in small melees after all
combatants and marshals have been informed the  weapon or technique is
being tested and that it is not approved for general SCA use. All
combatants and marshals must consent to the use of the weapon or
before combat begins.  If any of the marshals or combatants object to
use of the weapon or technique, it may not be used.

PLEASE NOTE, that nowhere does it state that the blade must be sent to
DSM/RC for approval.., but implies, instead, that the initiative for and
control of the
testing rests WITH THE KINGDOMS.

When these rules pass, I will be obliged to send the details of future
experimentation to the DSM/RC, which I will, of course, do.

Further, these dagger blades may not be disallowed due to being new, as
the proposed new rules state that the blade must merely be of
manufacture, which the Safeflex certainly is.

ii. Steel blades must be manufactured by commercial suppliers.  Artisans

desiring an exception must apply to the Deputy Society Marshal for
Combat and will be considered on a case-by-case basis.


Altogether I can find no legitimate authority, neither can I discern any
for this ban under the current rules (under which we DO currently
operate) or,
indeed, even in the proposed new rules.

Baron Kazimir Petrovich Pomeshanov, Kingdom Rapier Marshal, Ansteorra

Previewed and approved for release by Sir Wilhelm von Buch, Deputy Earl
Marshal of Ansteorra


***The Ban (from DSM Newsletter #5)***

I am promulgating the following working plan, which I will post to TI,
you may please post to all Kingdom newsletters at your soonest

--Effective immediately, any _blade type_ not already approved at
level in writing is suspended from use, save as further discussed below.

New blade types are defined as blades having noticeably different
composition or shape from existing, accepted blades.

<<snip re allowing Del Tin Rapiers>>

--Any new type of blade MUST first be _physically submitted_ to the DSM
Rapier Combat for examination before it may be further evaluated for
The responsibility for this rests with the merchant or artesan wishing
make the new blade type available for use.

--Once evaluated by the DSM for Rapier Combat, a new blade type may be
approved for experimental use by the various Kingdoms.  Reports will be
made to the DSM as to the suitability of the blade type.  The process
experimentation set forth in the proposed Corporate Rules revision will
used for such documentation, if it is ratified by the BoD.

I am currently aware of three types of "new dagger blades"--the Safeflex

blade, the Scottie Armory dagger, with a cross section which appears
dagger-like, and a Del Tin dagger type.  Of those three, only the
Armory blade has been physically sent to me for evaluation.

As of this writing, I am ruling that the Scottie blade may be evaluated
Kingdoms as experimental.  Safeflex and Del Tin blades have not yet been

received by myself for evaluation; their use is suspended until samples
provided this office.

*****The CURRENT  rules *******
**Warning, in their entirety!!**

Period Fencing Rules

Rapier Combat falls outside of some of the rules of traditional SCA
combat. It is
intended to re-create the rapier fighting styles of the 15th and 16th

     1. Each fighter is expected to abide by the Rules of the Lists and
Conventions of Combat of
     the Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc., and the additional
rules set
down below.

     2. Engaging in Rapier Combat with the deliberate intent to inflict
on an opponent is
     strictly forbidden.

     3. Blows are to be struck by thrusting with the point or
draw-cutting with
the edge of the
     blade. Chopping or saber-type cuts are not permitted.

     4. It is the responsibility of each fighter to determine what
weapons his
opponent is using
     and resolve any questions before combat.

     5. Fighters are considered to be wearing hose or a skirt, and a
shirt. No
blow may be
     discounted because of the actual clothing worn by the fighter. Any
protection or clothing that
     prevents a fighter from properly calling a blow will not be

     6. A fighter is considered armed as long as at least one offensive
is retained.

     7. Dishonorable conduct such as grappling, throwing a weapon at an
opponent, striking with
     excessive force, consistent ignoring of blows, or deliberate misuse
of the
rules (such as
     dropping a weapon whenever pressed) will not be allowed.

     8. Grasping or trapping against the body any portion of an
bladed weapon or
     buckler is not allowed.

     9. All rapier fighters shall comply with the rules and standards of
Kingdom in which
     they are fighting, and conform to the accepted definitions of
conduct. At
     inter-kingdom events, a fighter must at a minimum, comply with
these rules
and meet their
     home kingdom's standards for protective equipment.

     10. If Rapier Combat is to occur in a kingdom, the Crown and/or
Marshallate of the
     kingdom shall first establish a set of fighting rules, as well as
standards and procedures for
     authorization to participate in Rapier Combat. As a minimum, the
authorization procedure
     should ensure that the individual is familiar with the rules and
conventions of the kingdom,
     and has been observed while fighting by a member of the Marshallate
can determine
     that the fighter is not an exceptional safety hazard either to
himself or
to others.

Protective Equipment

     Resistant material is defined as material that will withstand
combat stresses (such as
     being snagged by the unbroken blade) without tearing. Nylon tights
stockings and cotton
     gauze shirts are examples of unacceptable materials. Broadcloth, a
layer of trigger
     cloth or sweat pants are examples of acceptable materials.
     "Impenetrable" materials is defined as any fabric or combination of

fabrics that will
     withstand four hard thrust from a broken foil blade. Four-ounce
leather or
four layers of
     Trigger cloth (heavy poplin, 35X cotton and 65% polyester) are
known to be

     "impenetrable"; any other material must be tested. Kevlar is not an

acceptable material.
     To conduct the four-thrust test, lay the material to be tested on a

penetrable surface such as
     the ground or a block of ethyl foam (used for archery targets).
the broken blade in
     both hands, punch the material four times, increasing the force
each time.
After each punch,
     examine the material. If it has been completely penetrated, or
damaged, it fails. If
     there is no damage, or only the top layer has been damaged, then it

passes. Note that the test
     blade should have a typical "flat" break, not a jagged point.
     There must be no skin showing, or easily accessible. There should
be at
least three inches
     of overlap between separate pieces of protective clothing,
regardless of
the fighter's stance.
     The face must be protected with a minimum of a 12-kilo fencing
mask. A
good field test (if
     a 12-kilo spring punch is not available) is to press on the mask
with one thumb. If the
     grill flexes significantly, it is not strong enough. The mask must
securely fastened so that
     it cannot be removed or seriously dislodged during combat.
     "Impenetrable" material is required on the back of the head, the
neck and the torso
     (including the chest, back, abdomen, sides and groin--see diagram).

     If theatrical rapier blades are being used, additional throat
is required. It shall
     consist of 8-ounce leather backed by at least one quarter inch
(1/4") of
open-cell foam.
     Resistant material is required on the arms, legs, and other areas
specifically mentioned
     in these rules.
     Hands shall be protected by leather gloves that overlap any sleeve
openings by at least three
     inches. Feet shall be protected by closed toe shoes or boots. If
fighter is wearing skirts,
     there must be sufficient overlap between the hem of the skirt and
the top
of the shoes or
     boots so that no skin is exposed during combat. If necessary, pants
bloomers should be
     worn under the skirt to ensure that no skin will be exposed.
     Male fighters must wear rigid groin protection. Any holes large
enough to
admit a broken
     blade must be covered from the outside with "impenetrable"
Female fighters are
     reminded that their breasts are in a prime target area and are
to wear additional
     padding or protection.


     Rapiers: foil, epee, saber, double-wide epee, theatrical rapier and

fiberglass blades (such
     as the An Tir fiberglass rapier) may be used, subject to the
          Foil and epee are the standard blades, subject to local
          "Double-wide" epees will be classed with standard epees.
          Saber blades, because of their lighter weight and greater
will require
          separate authorizations before they may be used.
          Theatrical rapier blades, because of their greater weight and
flexibility will
          require separate authorization before they may be used.
          Fiberglass blades, because of their unique handling
will require
          separate authorizations.
          Saber, theatrical rapier and fiberglass blades may be further
restricted as desired by
          the individual kingdoms.
     Regardless of blade type, all blade points must be capped with a
plastic or leather
     tip. The tip must be firmly taped or glued in place. The tip or
tape must be of a
     contrasting color so that its absence is readily apparent.
     The rapier blade shall have a single gradual curve. Any blade with
multiple curves or
     cracks may not be used.
     The rapier may have a hand guard such as a bell guard or quillons.
guard with openings
     large enough to admit a rapier tip must have those holes covered
     material, so that a blade will not be caught. Quillons that could
trap and
break a blade are
     prohibited because they work. Guards and quillons used against
rapier or
     fiberglass blades are exempt from this requirement. Quillons may
not be
longer than twelve
     inches (12") overall, and the ends must be blunt.
     Orthopedic ("Belgian" or "Pistol") grips are non-period and may not
     There shall be two classes of daggers:
          Rigid daggers shall be made of rattan, CPVC, or "plunger
style" (i.e.
a telescoping
          design where some form of elastic band or spring provides most
of the
"give"). A rigid
          dagger may not be longer than twenty inches (20"). It shall
have a
standard SCA
          thrusting tip, with a minimum diameter of two inches (2"), and

provide progressively
          resistant "give" without allowing contact with the rigid tip
of the
          Flexible daggers shall be made of fiberglass or metal (such as
American Fencing
          Supply "flex-dagger"). A flexible dagger may not be longer
twenty five inches
          (25"). The blade shall have a single, gradual curve. Any blade
kinks, cracks, or
          multiple curves will not be allowed. The point must be covered
with a
plastic, rubber
          or leather tip which must be firmly taped or glued in place.
The tip
or covering tape
          must be of a contrasting color so its absence is readily
          Daggers may not weigh more than one and one half pounds (1 1/2

          The dagger may have a hand guard such as a knuckle bow or
Any guard with
          openings large enough to admit a rapier tip must be covered
          material, so that the blade will not be caught. Quillons
designed to
trap or break a
          blade are prohibited. Dagger guards and quillons used solely
theatrical rapier
          or fiberglass blades are exempt from this requirement.
Ouillons may
not be longer than
          twelve inches (12") overall, and the ends must be blunt.
          Rigid metal "parrying-only" daggers made from cut down foil or
blades will not
          be allowed.
     A buckler shall be constructed of lightweight material such as one
inch (1/4")
     plywood. The edges must be covered to prevent splintering. Any
that is designed to
     trap or break a blade is prohibited. The maximum size for a buckler
is 315
square inches
     (20" diameter circle).
     Cloak size shape and weight shall be left to the discretion of the
as long as it is
     recognizably a cloak and not a whip or flail. A cloak may be
weighted with
soft material
     such as a rope or rolled cloth; it may not be weighted with a rigid

material such as metal
     chain or fishing weights.
     Other defensive equipment such as scabbards and parrying batons may
used subject to
     the rules of the local kingdom.

     The decision to disallow a particular weapon may be appealed to the

Kingdom Rapier
     Marshal and Crown in the usual way.

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