The rules in fencing are the abstraction of reallity. All rules teach us one or more important elements of the great miracle what we call: fencing. The level of abstraction depend on the creator of rules also the lesson what the ruleset can teach. This is the authority of the creator. The fencer can make a decision: need he this lesson or not? If yes, he fight under the rules. If not, he can skip.
But the rules of tournament react back to the fencing. Kendo is a very good example. Because of the limited area of valid hit the techniques adapted to the ruleset. If you comparise the motion of old kenjutsu and modern kendo you can see the difference. Or just see the modern saber fencing.
In case of HEMA – now I talk about the longsword fencing, but it works the same way in case of other weapon – I am sure thet we must and we can avoid this kind of specialization. During the IIC I had very valuable discoussion with Daniel Jacquet, and now I have a suggestion.
Nowadays the HEMA community use a lot of different rules which is great. I collect lot of them in the following pages: http://kardazelet.blogspot.hu/p/tornaszabalyoktournament-rules.html
My suggestion is very simply: do a „Pool of Rules”
This would be a list, where the organiser can find a lot of developed, documented complet rulesets with feedback and experiences from organiser, judges, and fencers. This can make many things easier:
1 – Help for the organiser: If you will organise a tournament, you just pick-up a good and known ruleset.
2 – Help for the fencer: You can now all the possible rulesets, and you can avoid the suprises
3 – Help for HEMA: If we have many rules, we can avoid the specialization and deterioration of fencing.
Few suggested ruleset
- „Normal” – the well known rulesets what we can see in 90% of all tournament
- „Franco-Belga” - http://www.swordforum.com/forums/showthread.php?109243-Guidelines-for-Franco-Belgian-Tournaments
- „3gänge-5treffe” – Hisorical ruleset, which can teach you the extreme controll of the blade
- „Clean hit” – 3 minutes or 2 clean, undisputable clean and hard hit. Like in kendo.
OK, but who can do this? At the moment there is only one big international organisation: IFHEMA. I think, if somebody can organise this kind of „Pool of Rules” then IFHEMA could. Many details must to be worked out – process of adoption of rules; process of listing and documentation; how can give a feedback etc – but if this kind of „Pool of Rules” finished can make the life easier for all of us.
What is your opinion about this?