Historic Martial Arts Research


This is the SCA rapier self-assessment that I used for my class at Atlantia's Academy of the Rapier, in May of 2009.
 
I recommend using it about twice a year to see a steady progression, and sharing it with your primary instructor, if you have one, since your own assessment may not be fully accurate and another pair of eyes may help you along your way.

Please note, finally, that the last question is a bit of a trick: physical attributes like height, speed, or strength are good supplements to excellent technique, but relying on them will cause you to plateau far sooner than need be. I can always improve my timing and the mechanics of my movement, but you will never get taller.

And of course, if you fill this out, I'm always interested in seeing how it works for you. This document will continue to change over time, and will do so most effectively with feedback from those using it as a learning tool.

Dante di Pietro's Rapier Skills Self-Assessment:

 

Ignore factors like dehydration, etc., when answering questions relating to combat. Assume you are discussing a typical performance. Please rename this file as XYZ's Self Assessment.doc before returning it.

 

Section One:

 

1. I feel comfortable in guard, and I could maintain that posture for at least a minute without becoming fatigued.

 

This statement is true for me:

(1) not at all/never. (2) sometimes/somewhat.       (3) often/mostly.     (4) usually/very.     (5) always/completely.

 

2. I can move in any direction from guard easily, without losing my balance.

 

This statement is true for me:

(1) not at all/never. (2) sometimes/somewhat.       (3) often/mostly.     (4) usually/very.     (5) always/completely.

 

3. I can lunge quickly and smoothly from my guard.

 

This statement is true for me:

(1) not at all/never. (2) sometimes/somewhat.       (3) often/mostly.     (4) usually/very.     (5) always/completely.

 

4. I can recover quickly and smoothly from my lunge.

 

This statement is true for me:

(1) not at all/never. (2) sometimes/somewhat.       (3) often/mostly.     (4) usually/very.     (5) always/completely.

 

5. I understand and can articulate the properties of the hand positions first, second, third, and fourth (or the equivalents in some other system of terminology).

 

This statement is true for me:

(1) not at all/never. (2) sometimes/somewhat.       (3) often/mostly.     (4) usually/very.     (5) always/completely.

 

6. I understand the concept of blade engagement and can implement it successfully against an opponent.

 

This statement is true for me:

(1) not at all/never. (2) sometimes/somewhat.       (3) often/mostly.     (4) usually/very.     (5) always/completely.

 

7. I can land a thrust within an inch of my intended target.

 

This statement is true for me:

(1) not at all/never. (2) sometimes/somewhat.       (3) often/mostly.     (4) usually/very.     (5) always/completely.

 

8. I understand when my opponent is in my range, and when I am in my opponent's range.

 

This statement is true for me:

(1) not at all/never. (2) sometimes/somewhat.       (3) often/mostly.     (4) usually/very.     (5) always/completely..

 

9. I can name and discuss the properties of the parts of my sword.

 

This statement is true for me:

(1) not at all/never. (2) sometimes/somewhat.       (3) often/mostly.     (4) usually/very.     (5) always/completely.

 

10. I have no strained feelings in any joints after a full day of fencing.

 

This statement is true for me:

(1) not at all/never. (2) sometimes/somewhat.       (3) often/mostly.     (4) usually/very.     (5) always/completely.

 

11. I feel safe when in guard and facing an opponent.

 

This statement is true for me:

(1) not at all/never. (2) sometimes/somewhat.       (3) often/mostly.     (4) usually/very.     (5) always/completely.

 

12. I understand and can articulate how to attack without exposing myself to danger.

 

This statement is true for me:

(1) not at all/never. (2) sometimes/somewhat.       (3) often/mostly.     (4) usually/very.     (5) always/completely.

 

13. I feel like I am in control of what happens in a bout.

 

This statement is true for me:

(1) not at all/never. (2) sometimes/somewhat.       (3) often/mostly.     (4) usually/very.     (5) always/completely.

 

14. When I win or lose, I understand what happened to cause that outcome.

 

This statement is true for me:

(1) not at all/never. (2) sometimes/somewhat.       (3) often/mostly.     (4) usually/very.     (5) always/completely.

 

15. I have a plan to achieve victory when I fence.

 

This statement is true for me:

(1) not at all/never. (2) sometimes/somewhat.       (3) often/mostly.     (4) usually/very.     (5) always/completely.

 

16. I attend every local practice.

 

This statement is true for me:

(1) not at all/never. (2) sometimes/somewhat.       (3) often/mostly.     (4) usually/very.     (5) always/completely.

 

17. I attend, and fight at, at least 2 events a month on average.

 

This statement is true for me:

(1) not at all/never. (2) sometimes/somewhat.       (3) often/mostly.     (4) usually/very.     (5) always/completely.

 

18. I practice with specific, measurable goals in mind.

 

This statement is true for me:

(1) not at all/never. (2) sometimes/somewhat.       (3) often/mostly.     (4) usually/very.     (5) always/completely.

 

19. I engage in supplemental activities, such as drilling, researching, sparring, or conditioning, outside of regular practice and events.

 

This statement is true for me:

(1) not at all/never. (2) sometimes/somewhat.       (3) often/mostly.     (4) usually/very.     (5) always/completely.

 

20. I keep some kind of record or diary of my tournament and melee experiences, or think about my fencing experiences regularly.

 

This statement is true for me:

(1) not at all/never. (2) sometimes/somewhat.       (3) often/mostly.     (4) usually/very.     (5) always/completely.

 

Section Two:

 

1. If you were to attend a smaller, more locally attended event that had a round-robin rapier tournament with 10 participants, what would be your expectation of performance?

 

9-0       8-1       7-2       6-3       5-4       4-5       3-6       2-7       1-8       0-9

 

2. Which of these statements seems the most like you, relative to your current level of experience?

 

            1) I perform below average in all things.

            2) I perform below average in some things, but at average in everything else.

            3) I perform at average in most things, and there are some things that are below             average and some things that are above average.

            4) I perform at average in all things.

            5) I perform at average in most things, and above average in some.

            6) I perform above average in most things, and at average in some.

            7) I perform above average in all things.

            8) I perform above average in most things, and well above average in some       things.

            9) I perform well above average in most things, and above average in some       things.

            10) I perform well above average in all things.

 

3. Which of these statements seems the most like you, relative to everyone else?

 

            1) I perform below average in all things.

            2) I perform below average in some things, but at average in everything else.

            3) I perform at average in most things, and there are some things that are below             average and some things that are above average.

            4) I perform at average in all things.

            5) I perform at average in most things, and above average in some.

            6) I perform above average in most things, and at average in some.

            7) I perform above average in all things.

            8) I perform above average in most things, and well above average in some       things.

            9) I perform well above average in most things, and above average in some       things.

            10) I perform well above average in all things.

 

4. On a scale of 1-10, with 1 being "utterly incapable", 5 being "average", and 10 being "exemplary", please rate your level of performance:

 

            1) Defensive bladework:______

            2) Footwork:_______

            3) Distance:_______

            4) Offensive bladework:______

            5) Point control:_______

 

5. I have a special physical quality that gives me an advantage over someone else with a comparable level of skill and/or experience.

 

            True or False? Explain.

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