[Ansteorra-rapier] Proposed revision to rapier rules

Candice Blaschke solarandraste at yahoo.com
Wed Oct 10 07:48:26 PDT 2012

I am just wondering what this would do to "light rapier" youth fighters who would like to work with, or to do pickups with adult fighters at events and practices.
Candice / Caitilin 

From: Pug Bainter <pug at pug.net>
To: ansteorra-rapier at lists.ansteorra.org 
Sent: Wednesday, October 10, 2012 10:04 AM
Subject: [Ansteorra-rapier] Proposed revision to rapier rules

Good Morning,
  As some folks know, we are working on reducing the Kingdom Rapier rules down to match the other marshal areas by simply being statements of where we differ from Society. This greatly reduces the complexity while improving the clarify of our rules. It also allows for less churn when Society makes changes.
  When discussing this recently with the Don Iago (KRM), Sir John (KEM), Duke Ulsted (KSen) and Their August Majesties, I made a proposal which generated a concern there may be some pushback based on earlier discussions. Because of this concern, I asked permission to socialize this item with the community to see if the concerns are still warranted.
  First, and foremost, we are a historical recreation group. This means we need to be able to remember our history from time to time. Because of that, the wording on this was very specific.
  It has come to pass that the evolution of our fencing blades has been successful and the fading out of light rapier blades has succeeded. As part of our rules simplification, there is one item I would like to propose because it is in reality but not in law.
Ansteorra convention:Except under the Youth Rapier Program, Light Rapier is to be eliminated within the borders of Ansteorra effective March 17th, 2013. After that date, Light Rapier blades can only be used with variances obtained in writing from the Kingdom Rapier Marshal at least 30 days in advance such as for historical SCA theme events. Ansteorra’s Rapier authorizations permit use of Light Rapier blades at out of Kingdom events where allowed.
  In order to make sure we don’t cause any knee jerk reactions, the date suggested here is to ensure that it will be published in the BlackStar and socialized at Gulf Wars with our rapier community before going into effect.
  When first thinking through the elimination of light rapier blades (foils & epees), it concerned me a great bit because of Bryn Gwlad just recently having an anniversary event where some of the older equipment was not only displayed for viewing, but also used in a tournament. The wording was selected to allow for that in case others were interested in these types of nostalgic events as well.
  Going back to us being a historical recreation group, the styles of weapon we call a foil and epee today were created in the late 17th to 19th century replacing the blades that we are commonly using within our heavy rapier program. So while we may be taking a step back from our origins as an organization, we are taking a step forward by disallowing historically inaccurate weapons.
  There are some other arguments that could be used to counter this that have shown invalid in many other areas of the Society and shouldn’t hold this up either. The ones I’ve heard voiced are why eliminate a safe weapon and allowing visitors to our kingdom to participate.
  While the original Markland arrows (padded wood disk w/ wood shaft) were developed in Ansteorra for use in combat archery and were perfectly safe, Ansteorra allowed them to fade out and then eliminated them because of better options being available such as the modern Markland arrows (padded UHMW w/ fiberglass shaft). I would be surprised if this was the only example throughout our history that has been eliminated for non-safety reasons.
  With regards for the need to be accommodating to visitors who only fight light rapier. I may be being naïve, but it is my opinion that this is a red herring as the likelihood in this day and age that someone would need this is statistically insignificant given that several kingdoms and the major wars have already gone to heavy rapier blades only. This means that anyone likely to be traveling and attending an SCA function is going to have heavy rapier gear already.
  On a safety note, as our community is aging and given the extremely rare use of light rapier blades, I would be concerned with marshals from the newer generations being able to properly inspect them for safe versus unsafe kinks, curves and pits. I know that I’ve been a combatant and marshal for quite a few years and wouldn’t have a clue of what to look for since I’ve never seen one on the adult field in my time fighting. This could be an argument for elimination under the Youth Rapier program as well, but I am (maybe mistakenly) assuming that this extremely small community of marshals is being properly trained.
  Btw, I started this discussion only on this list at this time in case there is a huge explosion that I can’t foresee. Depending on the feedback, I plan on cross-posting to “The Legion of Swashbucklers” Facebook page as well in order to get a breadth of feedback.
In service,
Baron Phelim Gervase called Pug, OP, OL, etc
Ansteorra-rapier mailing list
Ansteorra-rapier at lists.ansteorra.org
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