Rapier Combat is a fighting form that simulates civilian combat, primarily the thrust oriented forms of the European Renaissance. Rapier fighters use approved steel simulators based on the Authorization Forms under which they are fighting, and combat is fought to a 'touch calibration', where very little pressure is needed to score a valid hit with a thrust; the edges of the sword may also be used to strike 'cutting' blows.
The term Rapier generally refers to a single handed sword with a complex hilt (i.e. with sweeps and bars to protect the hand). These sword types became popular during the 16th Century in Renaissance Europe, and evolved into longer, thinner versions of themselves, as the prominence of thrust-oriented swordplay rose. The rapier reached it's height in the early 1600's, after which fashion started shifting to the smallsword, a lighter, shorter thrusting weapon. The fighting forms of the rapier era eventually set the foundations for the evolution of the classical and modern fencing forms.
The words Rapier in English, and Rappier in German, were used in period to refer to "foreign" weapons, generally of Italian or Spanish design. Though there are many manuscripts from these areas in period detailing combat with these types of weapons, there are no specific words in Spanish or Italian that distinguish this sword type from any other, they are simply referred to as "swords".
The Kingdom of Atenveldt separates the authorizations of Rapier combat into two forms, based on the weapon simulators allowed on the field.
- Heavy Rapier - Often grouped under the misnomer of "schlagers", Heavy rapier simulators have evolved as groups of swordmakers who cater to the SCA have been able to make safe and more historically accurate rapiers for use within our fighting forms.
- Cut & Thrust Rapier - Using some of the heavier and/or more accurate Heavy Rapiers, as well as some additional simulators more suited to cutting actions, participants in this advanced authorization form are allowed to use percussive cutting techniques to land valid edge blows. Additional armor is required to protect the head, collarbones and elbows of the fighters.
All Kingdom of Atenveldt Rapier Awards can be found on Awards for Rapier Defense
Below the KRM, are Authorizing Marshals who are responsible for authorizations, as well as regional deputy Marshals that oversee specific regions to assist in communication and continuity between groups.
- Rapier Awards - all awards in the Kingdom of Atenveldt