NK - Light Weapons Question

Tim Kwasny tkwasny at ArkansasUSA.com
Wed Jul 14 20:04:07 PDT 1999

As far as I know there has not been any problem with the breakage of Schlager blades in this or any other kingdom.  If there has been it wasn't brought up at any of the recent White Scarf meetings nor have I heard any discussion about it with any of my fellow Dons.  The only blades that I know of that have been banned by the rapier Marshall have been some counterfeit Del Tin blades that are being sold.  If you are going to purchase a Del Tin blade be sure it comes from Dark Wood Armory, they are the only forge that makes Del Tin blades which are legal in this kingdom.
The only Schlager blade I have ever seen broken in a fight was broken by Don James Navare last year at Wasteland Yule.  It broke at the tang and was never a danger to either fighter.  In fact Youchi was able to weld the tang back on and James is using the blade still.  The overwhelming number of blades which are broken in combat are FOILS.  Foils also have the smallest cross section when broken near the tip and will penetrate the easiest.  Our armor is specifically designed to resist the penetration of a broken foil.  In my opinion the foil is the most dangerous blade on the field today (as well as being as far from the size and weight of a real rapier as you can get)..  I would love to see Annsteoria ban foils as many other kingdoms have already done.  The only information I have seen regarding the deaths in Olympic style fencing I read in report published in the magazine of the American Fencing Association.  It reported that in the last 50 years the were 4 deaths in the entire world due to blade related accidents.  All four involved foil blades (imagine that) but were directly related to failure of another piece of protective equipment.  They didn't go into detail on the specifics of each incident but I recall the most recent incident involved a Polish fencer in the mid 1980 who had a broken foil puncture the bib on his mask.  The article I read went on to report that less  than 1/10 of 1% of all injuries reported in USFA sponsored events involved broken blades which penetrated the armor.
Will we ever have a death or serious injury in the SCA?  Who knows?  But everyone who participates in Rapier or Armored combat understands the risks involved before they are allowed to enter the field (that is what the waiver is for).  If you have any concerns about the safety of SCA combat DON"T FIGHT its that simple.

Remember its much better to look good the to fight good.
Don Timothy Le Corbuiser
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