Middle Kingdom Heavy
Combat Rules Addendum

Last Updated: April 1, 1997

Table of Contents
  • 1.0.0 Rules Addendum
  • 1.1.0 Status of Marshals Handbook
  • 1.2.0 New Rules Changes
  • 1.2.1 Sword and Shield/Weapon and Shield Combined
  • 1.2.2 Bastard Swords and Great Sword Combined
  • 1.2.3 Clicker Maces
  • 1.2.4 Butt Spikes
  • 1.2.5 1/2" Padding on Polearms
  • 1.2.6 General Rules for Thrusting Tips
  • 1.2.7 Madus and Short Thrusting Spears
  • 1.2.8 Authorization Procedure Changes
  • 1.2.9 Danish/Great Axes
  • 1.2.10 Rathbone Axes
  • 1.2.11 Thrown Weapons
  • 1.3.0 Marshallate Chain of Command/Appeal
  • 1.4.0 Reports and Reporting Schedule
  • 1.5.0 Miscellaneous Notes on Marshalling
  • 1.6.0 Authorization Information
  • 1.7.0 How Gages Work For Inspection

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    1.0.0 Rules Addendum Document

    Description: This document contains information on the status of weapon forms and armour requirements in the Middle Kingdom ONLY. Until such a time as a new Marshal's Handbook is published, the latest edition (Purple Cover) will be in force. Information in this document supersedes information in the last edition of the Marshal's Handbook. If you have any questions or concerns about rules, please contact the Middle Kingdom Earl Marshal listed below:

    William of Fairhaven, KSCA OP
    Middle Kingdom Earl Marshal
    Pat Savelli
    514 Brown St.
    Dayton OH 45402
    513-223-0624 (no calls after 10:00pm EST)
    sirbill@dnaco.net(email is my preferred method of communication as I usually check it daily)

    1.1.0 Status of Marshals Handbook

    The Middle Kingdom Marshal's Handbook for Heavy Combat is now available from the Kingdom Information Officer. Get a copy. There are a lot of changes. Some of the pertinent ones are detailed below.


    1.2.0 New Rules Changes

    The following changes to the current rules for heavy combat are confirmed. They are not experimental.

    1.2.1 Sword and Shield/Weapon and Shield Combined

    These two forms have been combined into a single authorization known as Weapon and Shield. A new fighter authorizing for the first time may now use any singled handed arm except a madu (I.E., sword, mace, or axe) to pass his/her initial authorization. Any fighter who has already completed Sword and Shield is now grandfathered into Weapon and Shield.

    1.2.2 Bastard Swords and Great Sword Combined

    This is basically the same as for Sword and Shield/Weapon and Shield. The two forms have been combined into a single authorization know as Great Sword. Any fighter who has either is grandfathered into the other. A great sword is now defined as a weapon with a maximum length of six feet and a maximum handle grip of eighteen inches. Any combination of these two requirements results in a great sword.

    1.2.3 Clicker Maces

    Clicker maces (maces with rattan in the striking faces) are now fully legal. Constructions methods vary, but the general requirement is that the piece of rattan be submerged into the striking face, such that its edges cannot come in contact with the opponent being struck. I generally construct my clickers out of old sword pieces cut in half and taped in flush with the padding. The edges of these pieces are beveled with a coarse rasp. Contact Sgt. Miezcko the Swift of House Ironwolf for more details on this weapon. He has a detailed construction document that covers everything you need to know about the creation of one of these weapons. Clicker maces are strictly single handed weapons. Under no circumstances may any sort of clicker be introduced into a two handed weapons.

    1.2.4 Butt Spikes

    Butts spikes are fully legal and may be used on Polearms ONLY. The use of a butt spike on a Spear or Great Sword handle is strictly forbidden. To employ a butt spike on a polearm, the user must be authorized in two-handed thrust. Butt spike construction is the same as the construction for rattan, two-handed thrust.

    1.2.5 1/2" Padding on Polearms

    The minimum amount of padding that may be used on the striking surfaces of a polearm is now 1/2". All other construction rules for polearms still apply. It has been suggested that the use of rubber/neoprene based foam yields better results over the life of the polearm head. Softer plastic foams tend to bread down very quickly. Be sure to inspect the striking surfaces of polearms utilizing the 1/2" of foam very carefully to insure it has not broken down.

    1.2.6 General Rules for Thrusting Tips

    Thrusting tip requirements shall be as follows:

    All rattan weapons: 2" diameter with at least 1" of progressive give without bottoming out Pultruded Fiber Glass Spears: 3" diameter thrusting tip with at least 1" of progressive give without bottoming out.

    The thrusting tip must be constructed in such away as to not fold over when forced is applied to it. The construction must also include some method of keeping the naked edge from being exposed in the event the tip does fold over.

    1.2.7 Madus and Short Thrusting Spears

    A madu is a single handed thrusting weapon approximately four feet long with thrusting tips on both ends. It is generally grasped in the approximate middle of the haft and CANNOT be used for striking. It is a strictly thrusting weapon. In order to employ it as single weapon with a shield, the fighter must be authorized in Weapon and Shield and Single Handed Thrust. In order to employ a madu in tandem with another weapon, the fighter must be authorized in Weapon and Shield, Single Handed Thrust, and Two Weapon. The non-striking areas of a madu are considered haft and can be grasped as per the haft of a polearm or spear. Madu thrusting tips follow the conventions of all other singled handed thrusting weapons. A madu may ONLY be used as a single handed weapon. In this way its dual thrusting attack is not considered as a thrust and a butt spike but rather as a whole weapon. Short thrusting spears are legal for use in Middle Kingdom lists. This weapon is a standard spear in all facets except length which tends to be six feet or less. All standard spear construction rules apply (I.E., thrusting tip size for rattan or fiber glass, etc.). As with any length spear, no butt spike may be attached to this weapon.

    1.2.8 Authorization Procedure Changes

    Thrusting authorization will be carried out as follows:

    Singled Handed Thrust/Dagger: Must be performed with a singled handed thrusting weapon (sword, mace, axe, or madu) in concert with the users fighting style. The opponent style shall be weapon and shield with a thrusting weapon. The authorizee must demonstrate control and a basic grasp of using a Singled Handed Thrust as part of his/her fighting style.

    Two Handed Thrust/Spear: This authorization shall no longer be done as its own form. It must be done in concert with Great Sword or Polearm or with a spear in a melee situation. If done with Great Sword or Polearm, the user must demonstrate control and a basic grasp of using Two Handed Thrust as part his/her fighting style. For the tournament form of the authorization, the opponent should may have either a great sword or polearm and must also be able to perform two handed thrust. If the authorization is carried out in a melee with actual spears, there should be a minimum of three fighters per side (if the combat is being set up solely for a two handed thrust authorization), but there is no requirement for a spear to be on the other side of the fight. The marshals should observe the authorizee and insure that his/her use of two handed thrust is safe especially with respect to force. This melee type of authorization is strictly sparring. There is no Crown round. This authorization also covers the use of a butt spike on Polearms.

    1.2.9 Danish/Great Axes

    This variation on a polearm type weapon is list legal. The construction rules are as follows:

    Length: 54 inches overall (including thrusting tip and/or butt spike)

    Head Size: Must be AT LEAST 6 inches long (striking surface) and the majority of the striking surface must be a minimum of 3 inches from the haft

    The weapon may have a thrusting tip and butt spike if desired. It can also have a second striking surface as long as both of the heads are along the same striking plane (I.E., a double bitted axe). If a second head is added it must still conform to the 6x3 minimum construction rules stated above.

    Rathbone axe heads MAY NOT be used in the construction of this weapon under any circumstance.

    1.2.10 Rathbone Axes

    This section on axes refers to a specific type of axe head created by David Rath (Corydon Rathbone) of the Middle Kingdom. All future references in this section shall be understood as pertinent to those axes only. Rathbone axe heads are legal for use in the Middle Kingdom. They do not require additional padding, and may not have clickers or leather attached to the striking surface. They do not require external taping (but can be taped with a single layer of duct tape for cosmetic purposes). The axe head may be attached to rattan or siloflex provided they are attached in such a way as to keep them from coming loose even after repeated usage. Note: The double headed Rathbone axe may exceed the 5 lb. legal weapon weight limit if it is mounted on a heavy haft. All marshals should be sure to check the weight on such items. The 5 lb. limit is there for safety - enforce it.

    1.2.11 Thrown Weapons

    There are two types of thrown weapons legal in the Middle Kingdom for heavy combat: javelins and throwing axes (sometimes referred to as flying pork chops). Any authorized fighter may employ these weapons in any battle that allows their usage. Thrown weapons may be used in any melee in the Middle Kingdom, but outside of our kingdom thrown weapon rules vary so make sure you talk to the marshals before using a thrown weapon outside of the Middle Kingdom. Also, be sure the melee area allows an assured safe distance from the spectators before using any sort of thrown weapon. The marshals should also be informed if you intend to use thrown weapon in a melee.

    Javelins are basically golf tubes with tennis balls glued to one end. The tennis ball must be marked in red (same as with a combat arrow) and must be attached securely to the golf tube. The golf tube may not have any rigid materials inside of it.

    Throwing axes may not have anything rigid in the striking face.


    1.3.0 Marshallate Chain of Command/Appeal

    The most commonly missed question on the Marshal's Test is the one concerning the chain of command. Below is shown the proper chain of command/appeal from lowest ranking marshal authority to highest ranking marshal authority. Be aware, that each layer of appeal may not be available to a marshal at any given time due to circumstance, etc. In any case where a marshal or other person needs to go up the chain of command for a decision or an appeal, he/she may move up to the next available level if a lower level cannot be used.

    Local (Group) Marshal - 1st level of the marshallate structure
    Baronial Marshal - If available; this level will not exist in groups not associated with Baronies
    Regional Deputy Earl Marshal or Principality Earl Marshal
    Prince/Princess of Principality - only available within a principality; the Coronet DOES NOT outrank the Earl Marshal in marshallate matter of decision or appeal
    Earl Marshal - Highest level of decision making power within the marshallate
    Sovreign - Ultimate decision making power within a kingdom; only the Sovreign may overrule the Earl Marshal

    If a person cannot get satisfaction from this chain of command, he/she may appeal to the Board of Directors of the Society for Creative Anachronism. While this is an extreme measure and I hope no problem exists that cannot be solved within the kingdom, the avenue of appeals does exist. It is important to denote that the Society Earl Marshal IS NOT involved with the chain of command/appeal process. The Society Earl Marshal has no power with a kingdom to settle disputes or solve appeals. While the Society Earl Marshal could certainly be consulted for information on making a decision, that office IS NOT part of the chain of command.

    Decisions made by marshals in matters of list conduct and inspection are subject to appeal if the party being ruled against does not agree with said ruling. The chain of command shown above should be used in these cases. If a person has a grievance with procedure, etc. it would behoove them to bring it up in a calm and dignified fashion. Impassioned, emotional pleas or displays of anger and distaste will not get you very far into the appeals process. Remember, everyone makes mistakes. Working them out like adults makes things easier on everyone.


    1.4.0 Reports and Reporting Schedule

    There seems to be some confusion about who receives reports and what the reporting schedule is supposed to be. The reporting schedule is as follows:

    March 1 - First Quarter Report Due
    June 1 - Second Quarter Report Due
    Sept 1 - Third Quarter Report
    December 1 - Domesday Due

    Full status groups with no change of status need only report at Domesday. Any changes of status (new fighters authroizes, events held, etc.) require that you report in the quarter the changes occurred. Quarterly and Domesday reports need to be sent to the Regional Marshal, the Earl Marshal, and the Minister of the Lists. It is customary to send a courtesy copy to the group seneschal. Incipient groups must report every quarter until they are elevated to full status. Marshals of the Field need only inform the Earl Marshal yearly that they are still actively marshalling. This can be done with a simple postcard briefly describing the marshal's status. Event reports need only be sent to the Regional Marshal (and the Minister of the Lists if any authorizations occurred at the event).


    1.5.0 Miscellaneous Notes on Marshalling

    A few other things to help clear up confusion:

    (1) There is no MITing at Pennsic War, period. MITs cannot marshal or perform any duties other than to act as constables as far as list/battle marshalling is concerned. They may help out with inspections at the discretion of the marshal in charge of inspection point, and can get a single signature towards competion of their MIT paperwork for working inspection point for a full day. Only one such signature can be earned at Pennsic (I.E., multiple days of inspection will not get more than one signature.

    (2) Authorization in Weapon and Shield CANNOT be done at Pennsic, period. Advanced form authorizations may be attempted at the discretion of the Earl Marshal. Any such requests to carry out advanced form authorizations must be made directly to and approved by the Earl Marshal. The responsibility for all such paperword will reside with the marshals wishing to carry out the authorization.

    (3) Another frequently missed question on the Marshal's Test involves who has authority at an event. If combat related activities are to occur at an event, the event must have a marshal in charge. The marshal in charge of the event is the person ultimately responsible for the fighting related activities at the event. This person cannot be relieved or replaced without cause under any cicumstance. Regardless of the rank of the marshal, no other marshal can show up and 'take control' of the event. The marshal in charge is just that: IN CHARGE. Unless the marshal in charge is relieved of his/her duty for some very good reason (I.E., flagrant disregard for safety and the rules), that person will be in charge for the duration of the event. All other marshal who desire to participate in the event in a marshal's capacity should see the marshal in charge for instructions.

    (4) Age of Participation in Martial Activities: This is another issues that seems to be causing some confusion. Anyone wishing to participate in Heavy Combat or Light Weapons Combat (Period Fencing) must be at least 18 years of age. There are no states in the Middle Kingdom where the age of majority is less than 18.

    Requirements To Practice within the Middle Kingdom: In order to begin training in either Heavy Weapons or Light Weapons, the individual must be at least 18 years of age AND executed an Informed Waiver of Consent which must be on file with the marshal of the group wherein the person is training. There is no membership requirement to begin training.

    Requirements To Become An Authorized Fighter Within the Middle Kingdom: To become and authorized fighter within the Middle Kingdom, the individual must

    (a) Be at least 18 years of age (b) Have completed an Informed Waiver of Consent which is on file with their Group Knights Marshal (c) Completed the Weapon and Shield Authorization and described in the Marshals Handbook (d) Be a paid member of the Society for Creative Aanachronism, Inc.

    The membership requirement is strictly for authorized participants only. You MUST be a member BEFORE you attempt the authorization (I.E., must be able to present a valid membership at the time of authorization) or you will not be allowed to attempt the authorization.


    1.6.0 Authorization Information

    If a fighter has not attended at least one official practice or event in a 12 month period, his/her authorization is considered to have lapsed. To re-authorize, the fighter need only pass a simple sparring authorization. The sparring authorization is just a series of sparring rounds used to demonstrate the proficiency of the person attempting to re-authorize. The person must demonstrate proficiency in any forms they were previously authorized in. Upon completion of the sparring rounds, and provided the marshals are satisfied with the skill level of the subject, the subject is considered to be authorized again in those forms. The subject must then fight at least one time in the next 12 months or lose their authorized status again.

    The Last Word On Vouching For Authorization
    The problem of vouching for authorization is one that has plagued our kingdom as long as we've have authorization and fighting cards. Here is my stance on vouching for another person so they may be allowed to fight. I have listed the items below in a sort of checklist fashion. To determine whether someone can fight in a given circumstance go through the items below until you find which one is applicable to the particular situation you are dealing with.

    (A) Since a fighter must have proof of membership AND a fighting card, if the fighter cannot produce valid proof of membership, regardless of whether or not they can prove they are allowed to fight, THEY MAY NOT FIGHT - PERIOD. No proof of membership - no fighting - no exceptions. Marshals have no say in this matter. If the Kingdom Seneschal (and only the Kingdom Seneschal) happens to be at an event with the Middle Kingdom membership roster it may be possible to verify a person's membership. This would constitute proof of membership and as long as the fighter has a valid fighting card, he/she may fight. Only the Kingdom Senschal (or Principality Seneschal) with the membership list can act as proof of membership in a case where a fighter has forgotten/lost/etc. his/her membership card.

    (B) If a situation occurs where a fighter has proof of membership and does not have proof of a valid authorization, there are several ways the fighter can be vouched for:

    (1) If the Kingdom Minister of the Lists is present with a current fighting roster, he/she may act as proof of authorization as long as the name of the fighter needing the proof appears on the roster. At that point, though, the Kingdom MoL could issue the individual a fighting card clearing up the problem.

    (2) If a warranted marshal is present who will vouch for the fighter's authorization, that marshal may fill out an authorization form as appropriate for the authorizations earned by the fighter in question and just sign it off writing in the word "VOUCHER" where the name of the List Official would normally go. In this case, the fighter does not have to physically reauthorize and the authorization forM will then act as a temporary fighting card until the fighter gets his/her proof of authorization. I expect any Marshal doing this for a fighter to write their name CLEARLY so any problems can be easily traced back to them..

    (3) If the MoL is not present and no marshal can vouch for the fighter, the fighter must reauthorize in each of the forms he/she wishes to use that day. However, at the discretion of the marshals, the reauthorization may just be a series of sparring rounds in the various forms (especially if the fighter is obviously competent). The authorization paperwork must be filled out to act as a temporary authorization card. In most cases where the fighter's card has just been left at home or something similar, the authorization form does not need to be mailed in to the MoL. It's only purpose is to act as a valid fighting card until the fighter can produce his/her real card.

    Out of kingdom authorizations: We've traditionally had a great deal of confusion surrounding what to do with out of kingdom fighters who move to our kingdom with valid fighter cards from their old kingdom. In short - Once they are officially in the kingdom, their armour must meet out kingdom standards. If they are from a kingdom that has the same weapon authorization structure as ours, they may present a copy of their old fighting card to the MoL and they will get the styles one-for-one no questions asked. If they are from a kingdom with less weapon authorizations than ours, they get the ones that match automatically, and must pass a sparring type authorization for any additional weapon styles they desire to use. This sparring type of authorization is the same sort used for reauthorization after a lapse. It is just a mechanism for the marshals to insure the gentle has at least a basic level of skill with the additinal weapon forms he/she claims to be authorized in.


    1.7.0 How Gages Work For Inspection

    There has been a great deal of confusion on how gages (especially those used to test swords) actually work. Clarification follows:

    Since the usual inspection gages are set such that the inner diameter of two edges is the minimum required measurement if follows that if the surface being test fits exactly within the limits WITH NO PLAY the edge, in question passes. In general these gages are manufactured within reasonable tolerances (anywhere from +/- .005 to +/- .015 is acceptable), they should be treated as GO gages. As an example, the usual caliper type of gage used to check sword blade width is cut to be 1.25" across the opening. If the gage slides onto the blade but DOES NOT have any play, the sword passes because it must be exactly 1.25" wide plus or minus the tolerance of the gage. This is true of all such 'width' type gages.

    Marshals: Please do not force gages down over swords and then claim the blade is too narrow. I've seen this done and it is ridiculous. Likewise, do not mash down thrusting tips with your gage and then say the tip needs to be wider. Be reasonable when inspecting and make sure you understand how the gage you are using works.

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