Fencing Practice: July 30, 2021

Practice in a Nutshell

Type of Practice:

Open Week and we are doing Bastille Day!


  • Newcomers: As Needed
  • Initiates: Open Workshop
  • Novices: Open Workshop
  • Swordsmen: Formal Time with Master Swordsman


Fight of the Tabbard

We get the wonderful opportunity of doing a Fight of the Tabard. This is a tradition for when a new tabard is made and takes the field for the first time. Come and see, it’s pretty cool!

Bastille Day

We didn’t forget! We just had to shuffle the celebration around for the Masq Tourney. Viva la Révolution! or, depending on your bent, “They seek him here, they seek him there, that elusive Scarlet Pimpernel!”

Maybe Forbush Park?

So, in theory, there was supposed to be a play at Woodland this week but they were also supposed to be rehearsing at the stage the last two weeks, and they weren’t, so I don’t know what is going on there. If there is a play we will meet at Forbush. If not, we will see you at the Pavilion.

Shay’s Thoughts

You may have noticed this post is going up slightly later than normal. That would be because in typical Shay fashion I am way overthinking what I want to share about Honor. It means a lot to me and I don’t want to stumble over myself. But after agonizing I’m just going to give it to you raw and I hope it strikes a chord with you somehow.

I think about honor a ton. It is one of our four levels because, without it, this sport doesn’t work. Take fair shots landed on you, and make sure the shots you land on others are good. It’s that simple. If we don’t all agree to that, the game can’t be played. But this concept is so much more than an on-the-field one. This is life a defining concept.

I was reading about objective morality the other day. This is the idea that there is a right and a wrong, and it exists outside ourselves. It is universal. Now I won’t go all religious or philosophical, but I will say, I believe that. And I believe Honor is doing the right thing consistently. Both when everyone is watching, and even if no one is. Right exists outside us, Honor is our dedication to it. We show that dedication with our actions.

Honor is integrity in ones beliefs, and actions. Honorable actions look like, and feel like, fairness. It is a fine sense of fair play. A strict conformity to what is morally right or due. Internally it is a soundness of moral principle, that no power or influence can impair. Honorable people have a strong adherence to truth. Those are some powerful phrases and worth linguistic examination. I suggest you read them again.

An enlightening definition of honor that I studied explained it as: to be of worth. Meaning that a person’s beliefs and actions have been consistently on the side of right, and because of that, they are of worth. When someone does something heroic and virtuous we ‘honor’ them. We don’t ‘heroic’ or ‘virtue’ them. We call judges ‘your honor’ because they have worked hard, been morally adherent, and we trust them to be fair in judgment. They are of worth, they embody honor.

I want that. I want to be considered of worth, that is why I think about this so much. Not because I want others to recognize me. I just want to be of worth regardless of recognition. I want my life to mean something even if no one knows it.

Storytime! When I was a little girl we had this cheap wooden hourglass. I loved watching the white grains of sand move from side to side. I remember thinking how small the grains of sand were, but when combined all together they made a big difference. My appreciation of these simple timekeepers has grown significantly over the years, especially respecting the tracking of longitude on sea voyages. These grains of sand made the difference between life and death for thousands of sailors, over hundreds of years. But I didn’t know that as a little girl. I just liked the measurement, and flow of the sand.

One day, someone, compared my life to a grain of sand. Meaning there were millions of people, and we were all like grains of sand in a vast dune of humanity. And even at the young age of maybe 5, I realized how overwhelmingly true that is. In all the history of the world, there have been and will be, billions of people, and we are all just like little grains of sand. How insignificant I felt. I sometimes still do. But then I remembered the hourglass. One grain of sand didn’t make any difference, but all together they made a significant difference. Right then, at that moment when I felt myself slipping away into nothingness, I told myself that, it didn’t matter how big or how small I was, I was going to throw my weight on the side of what I believed to be right. My hope is that enough of us would do so to make a big difference. And I have been trying to do that ever since. Fencing is actually a significant part of that journey for me.

I have had the privilege of making three oaths in fencing that is based on Honor. In the Swordsman Oath, I pledged to uphold the company honor. As an officer, I pledged to strengthen the company honor. As Captain, I pledged to lead with humility, valor, and honor. I take these oaths seriously. I read them often, and actively strive to uphold them. Furthermore, I have chosen Honor, as my own Rose. I define it like this: To take the time to takes to do the right thing, to choose to do the right thing, at the right time, for the right reason, so that, I am of worth. Not for my own pride, or vanity, but because it is right. To me, this is all the power I really have in life. I can’t change nations, I can’t prevent calamity. But I can be honorable. I believe we all can. And that, if we do, we can make a big difference. Right now, as you’re reading this, pause for a moment, and envision a world where the majority of people thought and behaved like this, that they were, and behaved, honorably. Take the time it takes. Come back when you’re done.

Thank you for reading. If you’re interested here is another article I wrote on Honor a while back. Love you strange lot. Be SHASy!