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Chivalry Makes a Come-back
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Laura Souris

Nothing epitomizes the romantic hero more than the knight-in-shining-armor astride his white charger, sword ever ready to battle on the side of the righteous cause, no matter what the odds. The code of chivalry that embodied the knightly ideals -- honor, generosity and courtesy -- became the code of honor of the gentleman, and the foundation of fencing etiquette.

Chivalry is the binding link between swordmanship and horsemanship ( the word chivalry comes from the French word "cheval" or "horse) and it's much more than an interesting historical footnote. Maitre d'Armes Adam Adrian Crown, president of In Ferro Veritas, calls horsemanship "the best cross-training" for fencing. "The principles of fencing and the principles of horsemanship, " says Maitre Crown, "have so much in common -- balance, line, focus, sensitivity -- that they are the perfect compliment to each other. Not just mechanically, but in the spirit."

Partly as a result of the popularity of a series on mounted combat written by Richard P. Alvarez and published on the IFV website at www.classicalfencing.com, Maitre Crown has decided to formalize this particular element of historical swordsmanship as a part of IFV's focus. Mr. Alvarez has agreed to take a seat on the IFV board of directors with the title, "Master of Horse." In that role, Mr. Alvarez will have the primary responsibility for developing a set of standards and practices that will include the rules and specifications for mounted fencing events.

These events will include the "quintain" a sort of obstacle course for the mounted swordman and actual fencing matches in which riders square off against each other. Some have expressed interest in a "team" fencing event, a little like "fencing meets polo."

"Our most important concern," explains Mr. Alvarez, "is the safety and welfare of the horses. Aspiring knights will have to earn their spurs. They'll have to demonstrate a high level of skill with both sword and stirrup before allowed to participate. And anyone mistreating a horse will be banned immediately and permanently. Period."

But what about the riders?

"Of course we'll make it as safe as possible. Even so, without question, there will be risks involved," cautions Mr. Alvarez. "Then again, there's risk in everything. We know the risks and accept them. But this definitely isn't for everybody."

Mounted Combat section

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Saddle, Lance and Stirrup: The Irish/Roman Connection
The Naked Truth | If I Had a Hammer
The Sabre's Edge | Swordfight at the OK Corral
How to Defend a Monopoly | A Propos d'un Accident
The Dubious Quick Kill part 1 | The Dubious Quick Kill part 2
Review and Commentary | Duels with the Sword | Starting with Foil
Liancour's Tercentenary | The Manuel d'escrime of 1877 | The Military Masters Fencing Program
Analysis of the Patton Fencing Manual | The Red Court Fencing's Royal Connection
| The Practical Saviolo part 1 | Saddle, Lance and Stirrup
Demystification of the Spanish School 1 | Demystification of the Spanish School 2
Demystification of the Spanish School 3
| A Brief Look at Joseph Swetnam
| Ithacan Retains Title | Third Time's a Charm
Cross-Training Not Cross-Purposes | Riposte Direct | Use of the Word "Sparring"
Chivalry Makes a Come-back | Teachings of Marozzo |

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This file was last modified Wednesday, Aug 26 2009, 13:59:33 EDT