Welcome to SCA Rapier Combat
About what we do
The goal of SCA Rapier combat is to recreate unarmored, or very lightly armored combat of pre-17th century. While rapier combat in the SCA has traditionally focused on later 15th and 16th century sword play that would typically be seen in dueling, it has expanded far beyond where we started to include a wide variety of weapons and styles. We fight with blunted, flexible steel weapons with a focus on honorable combat and safety.
In addition to practice, we hold many different styles of tournaments where participants can test their individual prowess. We have activities where groups of combatants face off against each other. We even participate in the grand melees (hundreds of combatants on the field) at some of the larger SCA events.
What does it look like?
If you would like to see what some of our combat looks like, one of our local fencers maintains a personal YouTube channel where he posts videos of some of our fencers.
You can also find many videos online that show SCA fencing just by searching around a bit.
Trying it out
If you think this type of thing could be for you and would like to try it out. We have basic equipment that you can borrow to use at a practice and will spend a little time teaching you the basics of how to safely use a rapier so that you can get a feel for what it’s like to participate.
We welcome anyone age 18 or older to come out and play. All you need to do is wear comfortable clothing that will allow you to move freely. If you want to try out an actual bout (fight), you will need to have your arms and legs completely covered, closed toed shoes on, and rigid groin protection (a standard athletic cup available at most sporting good stores) if appropriate. We can provide the rest of the armor and a basic weapon for you to try it out. For folks that are under the age of 18, there is a Youth Rapier program in the SCA, but is is currently unavailable in our local area.
Getting started if you like it
So, you’ve decided that this is a lot of fun and want to really get involved. Where do you start?
Well, it kind of depends on a lot of things. There are a few items at minimum that you will need to buy, other things are pretty easy to make depending on how inclined you are to sewing and/or how much effort you are willing to put into it. You can, of course purchase everything you need if that better suits your interests and budget.
Items that you will need to buy:
- a sword (here is where you will have the opportunity to spend the most money and where the largest range of prices are found. You can pick up a functional weapon for around $180, but can easily spend upward of $600 on a custom sword)
- a fencing mask (this is a basic collegiate 3-weapon mask. They run typically between $60 and $80)
Items that you could make, but will probably buy at least to start:
- a gorget (neck protection, I personally recommend metal, but the rules only require rigid protection)
- gloves (ideally these should have a longer cuff, like the garden gloves made for pruning roses.)
Items that you can buy, but can also be easily made:
- basic rapier body armor
Where do I buy stuff?
There are a number of vendors online that carry equipment that can be used in SCA Rapier Combat. There are also a lot of things that are available online that look like they might be OK to use, but aren’t. It’s probably best to talk with the local Rapier Marshal(s) and/or other local rapier participants about their recommendations and experiences prior to making too many purchases. Most are happy to make recommendations about what has worked, or not worked for them.
What are the rules?
To insure the safety of all combatants, there are rules that govern how combat is to be conducted, how blows are counted, and what is considered acceptable for both armor and weapons. We will be happy to go over them with anyone that wants to participate. The current Rapier Combat rules are available at:
https://rapier.eastkingdom.org/east-kingdom-rapier-combat-rules/ if you are interested in becoming familiar with them.
If you have any questions please feel free to reach out to me at email@example.com
I look forward to see you all at practice.
Yours in Service,
Don Jacques de Villiers Saint Oryen
Rapier Marshal for the Shire of Owlsherst