[Ansteorra-rapier] Concerning Rapier Authorizations

Kevin Wilson kevwilson at swbell.net
Mon Oct 15 12:46:35 PDT 2012

And right there is IMO the answer to everyone asking "who does it harm"? 

First, you should not have been 'forced' to fight epee, since you had never been authorized for it. The fact it said you were on your card does not overwrite your personal experienced of never having handled one.  You should have been able to say "I'm not authorized for light rapier", and that should have ended it.  It doesn't matter if a marhsal made a mistake. The fact it happened this time means it can easily continue to happen.
Second, in fighting with said weapon for which you were unauthorized, you were a danger to your and your opponent. Please don't take this as an attack or anything personal, nor am I implying that you couldn't or didn't fight safely with it.  But from the POV of the marshallate, if you are not authorized to fight in it, you are considered *NOT* safe to use it. It is that cut & dry, that black and white. Due to assumptions and misunderstandings all due to the history of light rapier here, you were were compelled to break the rules. This should not be able to happen.
And Third, you shouldn't be forced into even having it on your card just because we have a history of assuming everyone is authorized for light rapier.

If we get drop epee and foil, this kind of thing CAN not happen.  No more 'assumed' authorizations for a form you may never have used or seen.  No more "everyone is assumed to be authorized for light rapier" BS. 

Andreas, thank you for putting your information and history out here as an example. It's much appreciated.


--- On Mon, 10/15/12, Andreas von Meißen <scamiz at gmail.com> wrote:

From: Andreas von Meißen <scamiz at gmail.com>
Subject: [Ansteorra-rapier] Concerning Rapier Authorizations
To: "Ansteorra Rapier" <ansteorra-rapier at lists.ansteorra.org>
Date: Monday, October 15, 2012, 2:01 PM

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 Marshal03/2015_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 MacCumhalBarony of Elfsea - Nautilus Pursuivant

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