[Ansteorra-rapier] Concerning Rapier Authorizations

Andreas von Meißen scamiz at gmail.com
Mon Oct 15 12:01:26 PDT 2012

I have been deliberately quiet in this debate because I don't want to be
That Guy who moves in from another Kingdom and complains about how things
are done here, but a thought occurred to me last night, and then when it
was brought up earlier I figured it was time to speak up.

I never held an epee authorization in the Middle, and upon moving here I
fully intended to not authorize in light rapier, so that I would not be
forced to fight it. When I moved to Ansteorra, a little more than a year
ago, I authorized at my local practice. I did so with a heavy rapier and an
experienced local rapier marshal.
Lo and behold, I checked my card last night, and it said the following:

03/2015_Rapier Combat
_______ Rapier Marshal
03/2015_Heavy Rapier

I have also been told numerous times by experienced fighters and marshals
(some who prefer heavy rapier, at least one who prefers only light rapier)
that "In Ansteorra, if you are authorized in heavy rapier you are
authorized in light rapier". This resulted in me being forced to fight a
bout in a baronial tournament with epee, a weapon which I had not
authorized in, had only fenced with once before (at a practice in Elfsea
several years previous when I was visiting from the Middle and there were
no loaner heavy rapiers) and had only even held on a handful of occasions
(literally, certainly less than five).

I have been an authorized fencer for about seven years (six in the Middle,
one here), and was a full marshal in the Middle for four-and-a-half of
those years - during which I ran literally dozens of authorizations. My
marshalate would have quite rightly been revoked and I would have been
screamed at by the KRM (the fact that he was my Grand-Warder is immaterial)
had I attempted to rubber-stamp someone's epee authorization without having
seen them fight with one.

I have never intentionally held an epee authorization. I loathe epees. They
are a ridiculous remnant of a bygone era which promote bad technique,
inhibit both development and understanding of good period style, and openly
and brazenly fly in the face of the SCA's educational mission and
historical scope. Foils are even worse.

As I stated before, I could not be more in favor of Master's Pug proposal,
and I will certainly be contacting the marshalate secretary to void my
authorization (one which I should never have been granted in the first
place), but the broader point here is this:
If light and heavy rapier are separate authorizations, then they need to be
explicitly stated as such. The authorization cards should have properly
labeled "Light Rapier" and "Heavy Rapier" fields, and marshals need to not
grant authorizations for styles which were not attempted and demonstrated.
Additionally, people need to be educated to the fact that there is no
default weapons form in Ansteorra so that the idea that the default is
light rapier (and the aforementioned "If you are authorized in heavy rapier
you are authorized in light rapier") is no longer promulgated.

I will be sending my thoughts on this proposal to the relevant parties
privately, off of this list. I encourage others to do the same.

-- Andreas

Andrew R. Mizener/ Herr Andreas von Meißen
Cadet to Warder Brighid MacCumhal
Barony of Elfsea - Nautilus Pursuivant
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