[Ansteorra-rapier] FW [krms] About the recent rules change

IagoAH@aol.com IagoAH at aol.com
Tue Aug 5 10:49:41 PDT 2003

In a message dated 8/5/03 11:31:24 AM Central Daylight Time, 
dylan at iceweasel.org writes:

> There have been a lot of questions, complaints, protests and so on 
> regarding the
> recent rules change prohibiting body-to-body contact between rapier 
> fighters. I
> think some of this is due to the change itself, and some of it is due to
> incomplete understanding of the change. So I'm sending out this message, 
> which
> will I hope detail the timeline of the change and provide some information 
> about
> the reasons for the change. Feel free to forward this on to your respective
> kingdom fencing/marshal/scarf etc. lists, or wherever you see fit but please
> leave the entire message intact. My goal is to provide information about 
> when
> and why this change was made so people can understand it. If after that, 
> there
> are those who still want to argue for a reversal, they can then do so to the
> proper people.
> Previous to all this, it was legal in some kingdoms to parry your opponent 
> by
> moving their hand or wrist with your open hand. This was not a strike or 
> abrupt
> contact, but a push, and never a grab. Sometimes it was intended, and others 
> it
> was a byproduct of an attempt to parry the blade with the open hand and 
> instead
> making contact with the guard or hand of your opponent. This was not 
> prohibited
> by Society rules.
> Some years ago, this came to the attention of Duke Comar, then the Society 
> Earl
> Marshall. Duke Comar felt this was unacceptable contact between combattants, 
> and
> instructed the Deputy Society Earl Marshall for Rapier Combat (shorted to
> "Society Rapier Marshal" or "SRM" for this discussion) to disallow this
> practice. It had to stop immediately.
> The SRM (Don Giovanni at the time, I was the deputy then) passed the word
> verbally first. Some kingdoms got the word about this and changed their
> practices, and some did not. This was at a time when a lot of rules were 
> under
> revision and in the chaos, the text was not changed in the Society rules 
> though
> it should have been. 
> Now, some years later, it comes up that the change was never actually put 
> into
> the Society rules. I consulted with the current Society Earl Marshal, Duke
> Robert, who agreed with Duke Comar that it should stop. No form of grappling 
> or
> touching is permitted in any of our combat conventions and he saw no reason 
> to
> change things here. He therefore instructed me to make the change to the 
> Society
> rapier rules.
> (As an added note, there are some who have stated that there is a 
> significant
> legal/insurance difference between "hitting people with sports equipment" 
> and
> "making contact with each other". This statement did not come from any 
> Society
> official, nor have I fully researched it yet. I offer it as added 
> information
> with the hope that perhaps knowledgable people can offer more detail.)
> And so, as directed by the Society Earl Marshall, I made the change to the
> Society rules, and the contact is therefore now prohibited in all kingdoms.
> There are several points I would like to make about this:
> 1) There have been several arguments made about the historical elements of 
> this
> technique. While they are surely quite correct, they have no bearing on 
> this. It
> is a safety issue, and safety has always and will always come before 
> historical
> accuracy. (We don't allow things like pommel bashing, blade snapping, or 
> kicking
> either and as far as the powers that be are concerned, this is in the same
> category.)
> 2) I fully recognize that there are some people unhappy with this change, 
> and
> some who would like to see the decision reversed. There is nothing wrong 
> with
> that. However the change is in effect now, and body-to-body contact must 
> cease
> until/unless the rule is removed. We all have to follow all the rules, not 
> just
> the ones we like or agree with. I have no doubts that everyone in the rapier
> community will comply with the new rule even if they don't all agree with 
> it. 
> 3) This change was required by the Society Earl Marshal. If there are people
> whou would like to put together a case for this rule to be reversed, they 
> are
> welcome to do so. But please realize that I am not the one you will have to
> convince. 
> If you plan to submit a case to the Society Earl Marshall to change this 
> rule,
> please include me in the discussion so that I can remain aware of the 
> arguments
> for and against. If you have any questions, you can send them to me or my
> drop-dead-deputy, Master Thomas de Castellan (thomas at firebird.org). I hope 
> this
> helps shed some light on the issue and puts everone on the same page.
> In Service
> Master Dylan ap Maelgwn
> Deputy Society Earl Marshal for Rapier Combat

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