Tips of Chivalrous Behavior (or, Give
them a break)
The following article is by His Grace, Duke Koris Natterhelm, a knight
since April 1975, a member of the Order of the Pelican since May 1979,
twice king of Atenveldt, and a former Earl Marshal. It was originally
published in Southwind, February XVII (1983). Duke Koris started
in Ansteorra and was knighted there when it was a part of Atenveldt. He
has lived in the Outlands for over a dozen years. 
There are certain inherent problems involved in learning to fight, not
the least of which is finding someone to train you in the ettiquette involved
in tourney combat. The following tips are not rules, but conventions which
within the concept of the dream in the SCA constitute acceptable behavior
on the field.
- Sign your waivers.
- Be ready for your fights, never keep your opponent waiting.
- If your name is difficult for others to pronounce, tell the herald
on duty on the field the correct pronunciation before your
combat is announced.
- You are fighting for your lady and will be called on to acknowledge
her presence; locate her before you take the field.
- If you don't wear armor on your shield arm have some ready in case
you lose an arm.
- Find a buddy - get someone to assist and someone who assists you.
That way neither of you will have to leave an opponent waiting on
the field while you get another weapon, duct tape, put a shield away,
- It is your option as a chivalrous fighter to give up any earned
advantage. (example: if you take your opponent's leg you can choose
to join him on the ground.)
- Be courteous to the marshals on the field. They are there for your
- If in the course of a fight you become angry at your foe, ask for
a break to cool off. Anger has no place on the field of honor.
- If you feel you have landed a good blow which your opponent does
not acknowledge ask him about it. (example: Was that too light?)
- Marshals should never venture an opinion about a blow unless asked,
so if you want an opinion ask for one.
- If you strike your foe with an illegal blow (below the knee, etc.)
apologize for your error.
- If you notice that a portion of your opponent's armor has slipped
or come loose call "hold" and allow him to adjust it.
- Grant your defeated opponent some acknowledgement of his skill.
- Before leaving the field acknowledge the presence of the royalty
watching you, win or lose.
- Never handle another's armor or weapons without first obtaining
- If you borrow a sword and break it replace it as soon as possible.
- If a lady has granted you a favor to carry in the tournament, return
it to her, graciously, at the conclusion of the lists; it is not yours
When you take the field of honor you put not only your skill at arms
and your sense of chivalry to the test, you also are the representative
of your lady and of the Crown. Your conduct therefore reflects not only
on yourself, but also upon them. Be careful. Courtesy is the one thing
demanded by the SCA from its members. Practice it and the current middle
ages will remain a haven forever.
Koris Natterhelm, KSCA