As Rapier Marshal, I coordinate the rapier combat activities of our shire, from overseeing weekly practices and tournaments at events, to training new fighters and preparing them for authorization.
Rapier combat these days encompasses more than renaissance-style fencing. In the past thirty years it’s been around in the SCA, it’s grown from olympic fencing in period garb to a more diverse and scholarly martial sport/art which attempts historical accuracy within the confines of safety. Many styles of combat are included within its penumbra: single sword (or sword and open hand), sword and dagger, sword and buckler, sword and cloak, case of swords and case of daggers. As well, many different types of swords are used within our rules—from rapier to scimitar to two-handed sword to katana.
Rapier combat has also given rise to a new form of combat within the SCA. Cut & Thrust combat may best be explained as the natural union of Rapier Combat & Armored Combat. C&T is a transition between the two forms which emphasizes scholarship of Western Martial Arts coupled with great control. This combat form is not intended for full-contact maneuvering, rather it is somewhat more like two-man kata drills such as you might find in an Eastern Martial Arts dojo. C&T utilizes heavier blades more correct for combat on the battlefield and consequently calls for a bit more protection than does Rapier combat.
If you have any questions about either martial endeavor, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Lord Uriah ben Yaakov
An rapier competition featuring many of the styles listed above: