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Having recently read Maître d'Armes Crown’s excellent book Classical Fencing; The Martial Art of Incurable Romantics, I found myself pondering the somewhat paradoxical nature of Classical Fencing.
On the one hand, honesty is an essential element of Classical Fencing. The acknowledgement of the touch, the declining of the touch offered when it is felt it was poor….and so on.
And yet, on the other hand, you can not have an assault, bout (or duel) without deception. For without the deception of the feint, all you would have is an interminable exchange of lunge and parry until someone tired or made a mistake.
Could the feint thus be regarded as “honest deception” perhaps ?
Very good, Quillo.
The social contract between the two combatants is:
"I will do everything I can, within our specific accepted rules, to defeat you and I understand that you will do the same for me."
Our agreed upon rules accept the feint, deception, diversion and ruse -- how else, indeed, can one ever learn to distinguish honesty from dishonesty, eh?
Other types of deception are outside the agreed upon rules and therefore constitute cheating. And, of course, one has a somewhat different -- but not completely different -- social contract with an opponent than one has with the rest of society.
At least, I would hope so!