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Re: Beyond Tolerance

Poster: Aelfgar GreySeas <aelfgar@access.digex.net>

> Poster: "Christine Jurand" <cjurand@awod.com>
> Well said, Mistress Deirdre!  But in my mind I find the same question
> nagging....where do we draw the line?  At which point does the fighting
> and simple banter amongst friendly fighters cross this line of chivalrous
> behavior?
>                     Gabrielle Gasparella 
Good my lady,

First, let me add my sentiment to yours - Mistress Deirdre, as always, speaks
with wisdom and heart, a combination all to rare.

Second, I'd like to try to answer your question, based on my admittedly ancient
experience as a fighter.

Courtesy on the field consists of respecting your opponent, and being concerned
that his experience on the field with you be a positive one, regardless of the
outcome. If your opponent is decidedly inferior to you, it is not courteous to
merely brush aside his guard and smash him in the first exchange. He learns 
nothing from this, and it will discourage him (or her) from continuing to learn
to fight. It costs you nothing to give the fellow a chance to stretch himself
against your defense, and when you do kill him, after the fight, congratulat-
ing him after for whatever he got right could easily earn you a new friend. But
more importantly, it's the courteous thing to do.

Referring to your fellow fighters as 'baby seals' is never courteous. Never.
Treating them as such is thuggery, plain and simple. I'm not advocating throw-
ing fights, just giving everyone a chance to stretch their limits, and have an
outside chance of enjoying themselves. Nobody should leave the tourney field
without having had a chance to look good to whoever might be rooting for them.

I no longer fight in the SCA, because of behaviour currently being discussed
elsewhere. I found that too many ignored to much of what I, at least, under-
stood as good sportsmanship, and was unable to participate with a light heart.
But I will never forget Sir Ishmael, Sir Bruno, and others who treated me as I
always tried to treat others, as examples to be emulated on and off the field.

Well, I do ramble on. To sum up, then, courtesy ends when your behavior be-
littles your opponent. Chivalry is that behaviour which raises him up to new

With respect,


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