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On taking blows

Poster: Betty & David Eyer <Betty_and_David@compuserve.com>

One of the points made rather early in the rhino-hide thread, was that
marshals have or should have some responsibility for pointing out that
someone is weebling. If this were the case, then the marshal would become a
judge.  Now everyone who knows me personally will wince and moan that I am,
once again, going to make an analogy between sca fighting and
karate/taekwondo, but I gotta go with what I know........

Judges will not make people more honorable.  I spent a good deal of time in
the karate tournament world, where each ring is judged by at least two
judges and a referee.  Black belt (or whatever the stylistic equivalent of
'advanced' might be) were often judged by four judges and a referee.  Those
who had no honor in that situation, stacked the judges.  Yes, folks, a
bizarre and disgusting amount of politicing and butt kissing went on to
curry favor with judges and to make sure those judges were in your ring. 
Schools made informal packs with other schools to 'support' each other and
school 'a' racked up all the trophies at the tournament held by school 'b'
and school 'b' did the same when school 'a' was host.  Since many of these
folks actually make money from teaching and promoting their 'art', giving
the spectators a good show becomes paramount, and black belt fights became
blood baths at the highly promoted events.  I have even seen sideline
betting like a cock fight.  No joke. 

If you think that people in the sca now are political and play games to get
awards, and other recognition, beleive me, setting up judges in an eric
would only make things worse.  The fact that the SCA discuss, worries over,
and idealizes the concept of honor is one reason that I am here, rather
than at a karate tournament.  Dont get me wrong, there are honorable
karateka and dishonorable knights, but the SCA, as a group, is striving
towards the concept of personal responsibility and accountability more than
any other group I have seen.  We are human and therefor fallible.  But I
think we need to keep working this system rather than condemning it. 

Magdalena de Hazebrouck
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