[Ansteorra-rapier] Rapier Melee practice

joe rummel jerummel2000 at yahoo.com
Fri Sep 7 06:42:39 PDT 2001

Saying that rapier melees aren't period and then
turning around and telling people to go fight 'heavy'
if they want to do period melees is just silly.  Is it
just me, or is there really anyone out there that
thinks that SCA combat in any way attempts to recreate
true medieval combat.  Maybe if we got rid of rattan,
plastic (I wear plastic armor) and non-period fighting
style, then we could say that we are recreating
historical combat. SCA heavy combat is stick fighting
and a sport.  SCA rapier is closer to its roots, but
it too is a mere shadow of reality.  It is not real
sword fighting.

The SCA is NOT a reenactment group.  It is something
closer to a medieval/renaissance fan club.  I enjoy
the SCA and have for over a decade now, but I will not
fool myself into calling it something it is not.  I
have been to events of historical reenactment and they
are far beyond the SCA.  There are certainly some
people doing a much higher than standard level of
authenticity within the SCA, but they are a minority.

Rapier melees are silly from a
> tactical standpoint, and non-historical from a
> documentation standpoint.
> 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.

So you've seen them all.
The swords that are worn in the De Ghyn's manual don't
look like heavy bladed 'broadswords' to me.  They look
like they are more rapier-like.  Military equipement
spoke of musketeers and pikemen being armed with "good
stiff tucks".  These are swords, generally of crude
manufacter, that have rigid blades that are pointed
only for thrusting.  This sounds alot like a cheap
rapier.  Many officers also wore their rapiers when
going into combat.  There are two English Civil War
officers who, after firing pistols are each other and
missing, got off their horses and fought with rapiers
until the battle forced them to break the fight.  They
later, after the war, became close freinds.  I don't
have the exact names, but I can find out it I need to.

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.

The Chicago Mob could not have been a bunch of
"hot-blooded young punks" and have had the success
that they did.  They had planning and organization.
Modern street gangs (bloods/crips) are pretty well
organized.  They post guards and sentries and plan out
crimes.  Now I know these groups aren't swat teams or
green berets, but when killing is the job even the
gangs get serious about it.  I doubt it was diffenent
in period.

> 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.

Fun is what it comes down to.  If it isn't fun, don't
do it.  I don't fight rapier melees because they
aren't fun for me.  I don't try to talk others out of
it.  We can talk about period and non-period until we
are blue in the face, but in the end nothing will have
changed except for people have hurt feelings and being
pissed at each other.  If that is your goal (and for
some I'm sure it is) then keep on going.

Stunned that he is on the side of the rapier melee

> It's fun. Okay, for some folks, I guess it is. >
There. I feel better.
> Alden
> (who didn't want Etienne to go down in flames by
> himself...)
> _______________________________________________
> Ansteorra-rapier mailing list
> Ansteorra-rapier at ansteorra.org

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