NK - Light Weapons Question

merle at webzone.net merle at webzone.net
Wed Jul 14 17:11:36 PDT 1999

Recently I became concerned about a number of schlager breakages.
I have asked around and found out that those blades were defective
and have been banned. I've also held discussions with others about
deaths in fencing vs. the potential for death or serious injury
with rapier combat in the SCA.

So far no deaths have been caused by broken blades in SCA rapier
combat. I believe that it is only a matter of time before a death
or serious injury happens. There have been deaths in Olympic style
fencing in this century but have been very, very few. (Sorry, I
don't have the vital stats on this). My fencing instructor at OSU
witnessed a person being stabbed in the thigh with a broken foil.

Everyone I have asked so far agrees with me when I ask "Do you
think that rapier combat in the SCA would be terminated if their
was ever a death caused by a broken blade?" The answer was yes.
And they also agree that if a death is ever caused by heavy weapons
fighting that it would not be the end of heavy weapons combat in
the SCA.

If that were to happen I can see one of two things happen.
The SCA would split into a medieval group and a renaissance group,
because I do not believe that the rapier community would simply
hang up their baldrics and play heavy. The other alternative
would be to create new standards for armor and weapons to continue
with rapier combat. I have heard of accidental deaths in Civil War
reenactment but I have only hearsay on those.

I realize their are a lot of legal issues that would be raised 
(not to mention the bad press) involved here. I know the rapier
community is fairly conscientous about their safety but I don't
know how prepared they are or the SCA at large is for a death
or serious injury in light weapons. I have heard of two SCAers
unintentionally stabbing each other in the leg on their own time
playing with real rapiers in a park.

Opinions? Discussion? Do you agree with me? Is the SCA prepared
legally for such an incident?

Ld. Konstantin Drozd

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