[Ansteorra-rapier] Proposed revision to rapier rules

Christy Mackenzie mackenzievet at gmail.com
Wed Oct 10 09:41:52 PDT 2012

Good morning!
I would like to speak in favor of allowing foils and epees to continue in
the rules, not because I don't think that fighting with schlagers and
longswords isn't a more period style, but for other reasons, some of which
have already been stated.

I got into rapier fighting as a college student, when fencers in the East
Kingdom were beginning the switch over to heavy blades, and until I ended
up in Drachenwald, I was a foil/epee only fencer. This was partly because
of the extra cost required in kit (not only the blade setup, but the gorget
as well, especially for me, since there was no loaner gorget available that
came even close to fitting me. It was also partly due to an intimidation
factor. Heavier blades hit heavier, and maybe I'm a wuss, but I found that
much scarier when I was starting out. Hitting other people and being hit by
other people with a flexible blade was much easier to learn to calibrate,
learn what calibration is, and accept that occasional bruises (or often!)
are part of the game and are not a Bad Thing. I find that when teaching new
people, even if the epee comes out only for a couple of learner lessons,
those new people are much more confident continuing in the SCA and rapier
fighting in general.

Finally, personally, I have a lot more fun playing with lighter blades.
Since I fight in a persona that's earlier period, but can't fight
cut-and-thrust due to medical reasons, I'm already playing with a blade and
style that is not accurate to my persona, so to me, fighting epee is not
particularly less accurate, and I enjoy it more. It means that as a fencer,
I can work on techniques and styles instead of simply trying to develop
enough muscle to not get pushed around too much. I don't get to play it
much because most people these days prefer the heavy and because of the
often repeated lectures on how the longer, heavier blades are more

So, in sum, I think it's great that most people get to play with heavier
blades, and enjoy them, and are more historically accurate. I don't think
that heavy blade only is the way to go - just because some people don't
have a particular type of blade in your kit doesn't mean that some of us do
have those blades still, and do enjoy the opportunity to play or teach with
different blades. I also don't think it hurts anything to leave those rules
on the books, because those who play with heavy only aren't being
interfered with, and those of us who still like playing with foil and epee
don't have to jump through another 10 hoops to play with the blades we

Thanks for taking the many diverse views throughout this kingdom into
account - I'm sure it's not an easy consideration!

Catlin Woodmane
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