RFC Code of Conduct

Fencer’s Salute

Fencing is, and always has been, the sport of Ladies and Gentlemen. Here at RFC we strive to conduct ourselves accordingly.

Some aspects of our Code of Chivalry are rules that are a part of fencing everywhere, such as saluting and a zero tolerance policy for bad language. Other rules are rules of kindness and respect that make fencing more fun for everyone!!

Here is Our Code
  • Always Listen & Follow Directions. This will keep us all safe and having fun!
  • Give Only Encouragement to Fellow Fencers. We never laugh at others, call them names or anything else unkind.
  • Always Salute Before and After A Bout. Saluting your opponent shows respect and courtesy.
  • Defend, Protect and Uplift Those Who are Weaker Than You. This shows what a strong person you really are!
  • Use Nice Words. No cussing or other bad/inappropriate language allowed.
  • Always Be On Time. It makes it hard for others in the class if you are late.
  • Always Tell The Truth. It’s more complicated later if you lie now.
  • Always Stay In Control Of Yourself. Fencing is a sport of self-control and poise. It is not a rough and tumble fight.

What Is A Code of Chivalry and Where Did It Start?

    Chivalry was a way of life for the knights in the Middle Ages and although we talk about something called a “code of chivalry” the reality is that there was not a code in the sense that someone sat down and wrote out a list of “knightly requirements” that all knights needed to sign and then adhere to. All knights did go through a ceremony before they were officially dubbed as knights and they made promises, which we will also discuss in more detail, but again they did not proclaim at that moment the fullness of upright conduct that was expected of a knight.  So, when we say “code of chivalry,” we must understand that it was a code that was understood among knights. It was a way of life they embraced but was not extant in written form in the sense that it was a list of requirements that each knight signed and vowed to follow.

Eventually scholars did begin to record the knights way of life along with the ideals by which they lived so the “code” of knighthood can be accessed and read today though each one will differ slightly since, again, what is being recorded is an effort to detail out what everyone at the time just “knew.”

    It is from these Round Table Knights that the written “code” of chivalry emerges for

The Round Table was not only a physical table, but the highest Order of Chivalry at the Court of King Arthur. Its members were supposedly the cream of the British military who followed a strict code of honour and service. Sir Thomas Malory outlines this as:

  • To never do outrage nor murder
  • Always to flee treason
  • To by no means be cruel but to give mercy unto him who asks for mercy
  • To always do ladies, gentlewomen and widows succor
  • Not to take up battles in wrongful quarrels for love or worldly goods

Giovanni Boccaccio in his “De Casibus Virorum Illustrium” further says that the twelve basic rules of the Knights of the Round Table were:

  • When called upon, to defend the rights of the weak with all one’s strength
  • To never lay down arms to seek after wonders
  • When called upon, to defend the rights of the weak with all one’s strength
  • To injure no one
  • Not to attack one another
  • To fight for the safety of one’s country
  • To give one’s life for one’s country
  • To seek nothing before honour
  • Never to break faith for any reason
  • To practice religion most diligently
  • To grant hospitality to anyone, each according to his ability
  • Whether in honour or disgrace, to make a report with the greatest fidelity to truth to those who keep the annals[1]

    Reading through the “Round Table Code of Chivalry” we see that chivalry was a way of life, it was a way of love and it was the walking out of the Scriptural injunction to esteem others before yourself.[2] 

These are the Round Table Knights’ Code of Chivalry. Another version of a Code is:

The Code of Chivalry (From the Rifts: England Supplement)

  • Live to serve King and Country.
  • Live to defend Crown and Country and all it holds dear.
  • Live one’s life so that it is worthy of respect and honor.
  • Live for freedom, justice and all that is good.
  • Never attack an unarmed foe.
  • Never use a weapon on an opponent not equal to the attack.
  • Never attack from behind.
  • Avoid lying to your fellow man.
  • Avoid cheating.
  • Avoid torture.
  • Obey the law of king, country, and chivalry.
  • Administer justice.
  • Protect the innocent.
  • Exhibit self control.
  • Show respect to authority.
  • Respect women.
  • Exhibit Courage in word and deed.
  • Defend the weak and innocent.
  • Destroy evil in all of its monstrous forms.
  • Fight with honor.
  • Avenge the wronged.
  • Never abandon a friend, ally, or noble cause.
  • Fight for the ideals of king, country, and chivalry.
  • Die with valor.
  • Always keep one’s word of honor.
  • Always maintain one’s principles.
  • Never betray a confidence or comrade.
  • Avoid deception.
  • Respect life and freedom.
  • Die with honor.
  • Exhibit manners.
  • Be polite and attentive.
  • Be respectful of host, women, and honor.
  • Loyalty to one’s friends and those who lay their trust in thee.[1]

    Again, the medieval knight’s lifestyle since they were Christians, as depicted in the “codes” was mainly based upon the heart of God which is reflected in Scripture.  A few examples:

  1. “Live one’s life so that it is worthy of respect and honor” – Ephesians 4:1 “Live a life that is worthy of your calling…”
  2. “Live for freedom, justice and all that is good” –  Psalm 106:3 “Blessed are those who keep justice, And he who does righteousness at all times” and Isaiah 1:17 “Learn to do good, seek justice…”
  3. “Avoid lying to your fellow man” – Colossians 3:9 “Do not lie to one another.”
  4. “Exhibit self-control” – Galatians 5:22 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”
  5. “Defend the weak and innocent” – Psalm 82:3-4 “Defend the poor and fatherless; do justice to the afflicted and needy. Deliver the poor and needy; free them from the hand of the wicked.”
  6. “Always keep one’s word of honor” – Psalm 15:1b &4b “Who may dwell in Your holy hill?…He who swears to his own hurt and does not change.”

[1] James Marshall, http://www.astro.umd.edu/~marshall/chivalry.html

[1] http://www.britannia.com/history/arthur/knights.html   (David Nash Ford, author)

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