Kingdom of Meridies Rapier Combat Rules
(Saturday, May 1, 1999)
(Revised: Wednesday, Oct 15, 2003)
(Revised: Thursday, Aug 19, 2004)
1: Testing Standards for SCA Rapier Combat
2: Procedures for Experimentation in Rapier Combat
3: Typical Authorization Procedure
4: Supplemental Epée Authorization
5: Approved Blades (Added 10/15/03) (Revised
APPENDIX #1: TESTING STANDARDS FOR SCA
1. FABRIC TESTING FOR PROTECTIVE GEAR
Tests known to be acceptable are:
1. Cloth or garment
manufacturer's commercial certification that a fabric is rated to 550N.
(Documentation must be available at the time of inspection.)
2. Use of 550N garment
punch test devices, manufactured by sources acceptable to the Deputy
Society Marshal for Rapier Combat. Such a device shall be used in
accordance with its' instructions.
3. Use of a drop test
device which delivers a force, on dropping, of 4 joules. An example is
a dull, flat 5/32" (4 mm) metal rod mounted on a 1.4 kg weight and
dropped down a guide tube from 30cm (1 foot) onto the fabric sample.
The sample must be held firm over a 4" diameter can or frame by rubber
band or clamp when the drop test is applied.
4. Use of a
flat-broken foil blade to thrust against the material. To conduct this
test, lay the material to be tested on firm ground or penetrable
material (not hardpacked dirt, concrete, or similarly hard surfaces).
Holding the broken blade in both hands, punch the material four times,
increasing the force each time. After each punch, examine the material.
For these tests, if the material in
question has been completely penetrated, or penetrated in more than one
layer, it fails. If only the top layer has been damaged, then it passes.
2. BLADE FLEXIBILITY TESTING
If doubt exists about a weapon's
flexibility, an acceptable field test is:
Hold weapon parallel to the ground,
supporting handle against table or bench if necessary. Hang a 3
ounce weight (85 grams) just behind the tip. If the blade flexes
visibly (More than 1/4 inch <6mm>), the blade is sufficiently
APPENDIX #2: PROCEDURES FOR
EXPERIMENTATION IN RAPIER COMBAT
Before any new weapon or technique can be used in
Society Rapier Combat, a test plan must be submitted to and approved by
the Deputy Society Marshal for Rapier Combat. This plan shall describe:
* the new weapon or technique
* specifics of materials
used and construction of the weapon (as appropriate)
* the proposed uses of the
new weapon or technique
* all restrictions that will
be imposed during the experimental period
* how long the test period
It is the prerogative of the Kingdom Rapier Marshal,
subject to the above, and to approval of the Earl Marshal, to allow
testing of new weapons or techniques within Meridies. Testing means the
weapon or technique may be used at fighter practice, tourneys, and in
small melees after all combatants and marshals have been informed the
weapon or technique is being tested and that it is not approved for
general SCA use. All combatants and marshals must consent to the use of
the weapon or technique before combat begins. If any of the marshals or
combatants object to the use of the weapon or technique, it may not be
At regular intervals the Kingdom Rapier Marshal
shall report to the Earl Marshal, and the Deputy Society Marshal, on
the progress and results of the experiment. At the end of the test
period the Kingdom Rapier Marshal will provide the Deputy Society
Marshal with a test summary, to include a list of injuries that
resulted from the use of the weapon or technique, and any concerns from
fighters and marshals arising from the testing. The Deputy Society
Marshal, after consultation with other Kingdom Rapier Marshals, shall
determine if the weapon or technique seems suitable for SCA Rapier
Combat. He shall then report to the Society Marshal for final
APPENDIX #3: TYPICAL AUTHORIZATION
PROCEDURE (They will never be exactly like this, but close)
1. The candidate will be briefly quizzed (verbally) on the
rules of Meridien Rapier.
2. The candidate will attest to the ownership of the
equipment he/she is wearing.
3. A marshal will inspect the candidate's equipment.
4. The candidate, armed with the weapon authorizing in,
will spar with an opponent (an authorized fighter) armed with weapons
of the Authorization Marshal's choosing.
1. For the first few
minutes, the duelists are asked to spar at 3/4 speed, acknowledging
blows verbally, but not counting them. Occasionally, the Authorization
Marshal may direct either or both combatants to switch to the off hand,
change weapons, sit down, etc. During this phase the Marshals and
observers shall be getting an impression of the authorizing duelist's
footwork, coordination, stance, and parries.
2. Then, if the first
portion of the bout has progressed satisfactorily, the duelists are
instructed to proceed "as if it were a point of Honor," at full speed,
counting blows until one is defeated. This second phase may be repeated
as often as needed; again with either opponent switching to the off
hand, changing weapons, sitting down, or other such scenarios.
(The marshals may also advise the candidate with tips for
improvement.) During this time the new duelist's aggressiveness,
reaction to blows, and ability to cope with stress is observed.
5. After the bout, the Marshals, the experienced opponent,
and any authorized observer(s) shall confer to decide if the candidate
exhibits adequate performance in the minimum criteria for qualification.
6. Types of Criteria the Marshals may be looking at:
1. For RAPIER:
1. Does the candidate know and apply the rules and customs of rapier
2. Does the candidate exhibit safe behavior on the field, both for self
3. Does the candidate parry properly?
4. Does the candidate have good and safe control of the weapon at all
5. How does the candidate react to pressure? Does the
candidate fight back, or does the candidate get disorganized and
6. Is the candidate able to feel and judge blows both given and
received. Are blows acknowledged immediately?
7. Is the candidate coordinated enough to keep from dropping the weapon
8. Does the candidate maintain their footing?
9. Is the response IMMEDIATE to a call of "hold"? (This call should
occur at an unexpected time during the authorizing bout.)
10. Is the candidate's conduct courteous and honorable?
2. For RIGID PARRY:
1. Is the parry device used in a safe manner, without offensive moves
at anything but the opponent's weaponry?
3. For SOFT PARRY:
1. Is the parry device used in a safe manner?
2. Is the parry device thrown in a safe manner?
3. Does the candidate keep his/her weapon from getting tangled with the
4. Does the candidate still call blows through the device?
4. For DAGGER:
1. Is the dagger used in a safe manner?
2. Is candidate comfortable with closing to dagger distance?
3. Is candidate comfortable using the dagger alone?
4. Is the candidate comfortable using the dagger to execute draw cuts?
5. For CASE
1. Are the weapons used in a safe manner?
2. Does the candidate keep his/her weapons from getting tangled with
3. Is the candidate capable of using the two weapons for different
purposes at the same time and still maintain safety?
APPENDIX #4: SUPPLEMENTAL EPÉE
The base weapon in Meridien Rapier
Combat is the schlager blade. We do not use epée blades in
Meridies and our authorization does not cover epée.
However, there are many kingdoms in the SCA which are
epée-based; some do not even permit schlager use of any
kind. This is not generally, our concern. There are,
however, a few experienced Meridien Rapier fighters who travel
extensively throughout the Known World. In order that they may
participate in rapier activities, while abroad, the following
supplemental authorization is provided.
In order to be eligible for this
epée authorization, fighters must have authorized in all
Meridien Rapier weapons and styles. They must then submit a
written application to the Kingdom Rapier Marshal defending their need
and detailing their previous epée experience. If the
KRM accepts their application, they must then pass a special
epée authorization procedure to demonstrate their safety with
This authorization may ONLY be used on
foreign soil and at interkingdom events. Even then, it will NOT
be used in any Meridies hosted activity. Should the applicant
also be a Meridien marshal, this authorization does NOT grant any
authority to marshal epée combat. Consequently,
epée blades may NOT be used in Meridien Rapier practices,
tourneys, melees, etc., regardless of any special authorization.
Meridiens who achieve this special
authorization will adhere to SCA Corporate standards for epée
combat. As such, they will be expected to present themselves to a
foreign marshal for armor inspection (under Corporate minimum
requirements) and weapon inspection under the hosting kingdom's
requirements. They will also adapt to the fighting conventions of
the those of hosting kingdom. This privilege is designed solely
to allow inter-Kingdom participation by Meridien subjects and does NOT
extend Meridien Rapier Conventions onto epée combat.
The authorization procedure falls under
the same restrictions. It may only be conducted on foreign soil,
or at interkingdom events. It will be officiated only by the
Kingdom Rapier Marshal in conjunction with an Authorization Marshal
from an epée-based kingdom. It will be run by the foreign
marshal as if the applicant were authorizing in that kingdom.
Both marshals must be completely satisfied with the applicant before
granting this special authorization.
APPENDIX #5: APPROVED BLADES (Last Update Aug
1. The following rapier blades are approved by the Society
and Kingdom Marshal for use. This list will be updated as
additional weapons are approved:
1. Del Tin practice
2. Del Tin bated
5. Hanwei practice
6. Alchem SafeFlex
7. Angus Trim (AT 1691)
8. Triplette rapier
9. Triplette schlager
2. The following dagger blades are approved:
2. SafeFlex daggers
3. Scotty daggers
4. Triplette daggers
5. Angus Trim Daggers
6. Darkwood (Wideflex
3. Fiberglass blades are not allowed for any
purpose. Rattan daggers are only allowed for a parrying device.
4. Sidesword style weapons will be added to this list as
the KRM and deputies determine which are suitable for the rapier field.
* The curved blades from
Alchem have NOT been approved at this time. They are currently
under a Society experiment.
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