About five years ago I was sitting at my dinner table next to Rose and
across from Sheaghdha, answering a question that was going to change the
way I participated in the SCA. By that time I had been playing long
enough to have achieved a number of things including becoming a Laurel
and having developed a relatively high recognition factor among the
populace in general.
“So what do you think it would take to get rapier accepted in this
kingdom?” Sheaghdha asked us.
Rose and I had no clue. Well, that isn't entirely true. Rose had no real
clue about it. I had a very faint clue about it because several years
prior I had asked a similar question and had been shot down. Hard. But
otherwise, yeah, kind of clueless.
“Well, we know there are people fighting rapier now, but they tend to be
disregarded for the most part,” we answered. “But if you really wanted
to do it, if you really wanted to work hard at it, and it will be hard
work, than I would hazard to guess that it would take about three to
five years to get enough of a change going that rapier would start to be
recognized more fairly.”
For a few months Sheaghdha began working on it in earnest and through
those couple of months I argued with myself about whether or not I
wanted to help. I knew I had wanted to fight rapier for years but did I
really want to get involved in this?
Well, he was having so much fun that I just decided “screw it” and
And thus my journey into SCA rapier began.
Over the years I've had a lot of fun. I've had some serious challenges.
When I joined the Guild and began trying to understand both it's
structure and it's history I faced new challenges to overcome and met
new friends to help me overcome them.
The Guild transformed. Rapier in The West grew and changed with it.
People recognized the opportunities we had in this Kingdom to focus the
Guild on a more active historical study than it had been before and the
lure of that historical study intrigued and sustained my interest.
In the course of these past five years I've seen remarkable teachers and
remarkable fighters. I have been inspired by many. To name a few – David
Falcone who taught me early on and sponsored my early prizes. Crimson
who joined David Falcone as my sponsor for my Provost Prize and always
brought his good spirits and humor to the field. Sheaghdha and Staffan
who both stood on the same field with me when we fought for our Provost
Prizes and who both have pushed me to excel. Puck and Gabriella who
introduced me to and inspired me to learn more of La Verdadera Destreza.
Ximon whose friendship, courtesy and vision have always given me
something to both admire and strive for. Yukiko whose grace and beauty
have always shone brightly on the field.
And finally Nyteshade. Thank you. There has never been a single time
facing you on the field when I have not heard the same thing from you
over and over again – the question “are you having fun?” This constant
reminder of what this is all about has never gone missing, has never
wavered and has never failed to bring a smile to my face. Sometimes we
are to overwhelmed by the competitive. I'm thankful I always had your
question to remind me of what is really important.
I have many years of work ahead of me still. I do them now as a
Thank you all for your support and your guidance and your friendship.
Thank you to all who came to The Falcon's Treaty Rapier Event and have
supported it for these past four years now.
Baron Juan Santiago
Guildmaster of The Royal Guild of Fence