[Ansteorra-rapier] Rapier Melee practice

Charlie Ribron II landf at airmail.net
Thu Sep 6 22:11:25 PDT 2001

My question to you on this is there been any real research or you quoting
what you have heard. Check the areas of france, spain and Italy. When I was
in spain several years back I saw a few paintings depicting Rapier melees.
Ld Carlos
-----Original Message-----
From: rolanda at cox-internet.com <rolanda at cox-internet.com>
To: ansteorra-rapier at ansteorra.org <ansteorra-rapier at ansteorra.org>
Date: Thursday, September 06, 2001 8:11 PM
Subject: Re: Re: [Ansteorra-rapier] Rapier Melee practice

> > Etienne
> > Who will next try to prove that up is down...
> I will not try to prove that up is down, left is starboard or white is
> But I do get serious about rapier melees only because I find them such a
great form of fun. :o)
> Pieter

Disengage cloaking device; fire all weapons)
Well...to chime in from the sidelines , I have to agree with Etienne, Rapier
melees are silly from a tactical standpoint, and non-historical from a
documentation standpoint.
The fact that it's possible to devise tactics and strategy for
rapier-wielders also doesn't lend it any credibility. Rapiers weren't
*designed* for melee combat. Their whole point (pardon my pun) was for
one-on-one use against a (basically) unarmored opponent. Using it for
anything else is contrary to it's design. An example: I can devise a set of
strategems using a front line of 55-gallon garbage cans, and a second rank
of sewing machines...that doesn't make them appropriate as melee weapons (or
as weapons at all, for that matter.)
If you *like* melee, and want to fight with weapons of war, then go get your
breastplate, and your helm, and your pike (or sword and shield) and go to
War. That's what they did in period. Every single (identifiable) period
representation of sidearms with pikes or arqebusses/muskets shows heavy
long/broad/backswords...the few remaining examples *could* be rapiers, but
historical examples of heavy swords with the same hilts were common.
I know, I know..."But the Italians fought family wars"...yadda-yadda. Go
back and look at the films and examples of the Chicago Mob gang wars of the
1920's, etc....do you see any recognizable stragegy or tactics? Nope. I
suspect the same lack of planning applies here. These were not trained and
cool-headed soldiers with a clear purpose; they were hot-blooded young punks
looking to perform the equivilent of "busting a cap" on the neighbor gang. I
think we can do better.
And please...for the dignity of those of us who still value the opinion of
the Chivalric community....abandon the ridiculous and embarassing "boffer

It's fun. Okay, for some folks, I guess it is. But let's not attempt to
clothe it in propriety or respectability. As Heinlein said about writing:
"It's not necessarily something to be ashamed of; but do it in private, and
wash your hands afterwards."

There. I feel better.
(who didn't want Etienne to go down in flames by himself...)

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