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The An Tir Handbook, 3rd Edition, May XXX111/1998

Tell Me About...

Fighting

By Jarl Sir Barak Ravensfuri

The basics of fighting are much the same as any other contact sport. Hit your opponent before he or she hits you. To go along with this, we have a rule structure with which you must be knowledgeable in order to participate.

The first and most important part of fighting is safety, both for yourself and for those around you. You must attain a level of competency through practice, to actively participate in fighting. This assures that you are safe on the field. Contact your local Master of Stables to get information on local fight practice.

The second, I would say, is armor. A new fighter needs as much armor as he or she can bear to wear. As you progress in skill, certain non-required pieces of armor can "go away", but the armor regulations must always be met or exceeded. A good helmet is essential. The head is the most-often targeted area on a fighter, and as a result, takes some measure of punishment. The best helmet you can afford is a good safe investment in your fighting future. The standards for armor in An Tir can be found in the An Tir Book of Combat (a.k.a. The ABC). The local Master of Stables has one and personal copies can be purchased from the Kingdom Stock Clerk.

For those of you who have moved here from other lands, An Tir has some traditions and conventions you may find differ from those of your old home:

  • We do not crowd opponents on their knees. We use the knee line rule. Any marshal can explain.
  • We do not corkscrew an opponent on their knees.
  • We turn our opponent out of the sun, when on their knees, and when the flow of the bout permits.
  • Face thrusting is allowed.

Local areas also may have certain conventions they use. It is always wise to inquire about local conventions when new to an area.

We appreciate good toe-to-toe combat. Some call our style aggressive. A well-fought bout is the objective of this fighting, not victory. There has to be victory, but it can be on all sides, in an honorable fight. Chivalry on and off the field is expected of all participants. There is no excuse for behaving in an unchivalric manner.

To that end we have the Members of the Order of Chivalry. Knights and Masters of Arms are those who have been recognized for their chivalric deeds and accomplishments, on and off the field. They have attained a level of skill at the art of fighting, as well as showing skills in the arts and sciences. They have given service to the Kingdom in a significant way. Part of that service is ongoing through training and helping others improve their fighting skill. The Chivalry teach at fight practices and at some events. Many have Squires and Men-at Arms, who they train with regularly. The Chivalry are a good resource for having questions answered. If they can't provide the answer themselves, they can usually find out for you.

To sum up:

  • Get a copy of The ABC. The latest version.
  • Attend fight practice, even if you don't have armor yet. You can learn a lot by watching.
  • Ask questions. "There is no such thing as a stupid question."
  • Have fun.

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