Fencing is a sport which involves two teams of three men each fighting with wooden swords. The goal of the game is to hit your opponent’s sword so it hits another one in their own hand or face. A player may only use one weapon at a time, but they are able to switch weapons during combat if necessary.
The Rules of Fencing: The Sport You Should Be Doing (RUSTL)
1. There are no referees in fencing.
2. Players must not strike their opponents while wearing gloves.
3. No biting, punching, kicking or hitting with any object except the blade of the sword or bare hands when defending oneself against attack from an opponent using a weapon such as a dagger, knife, razor blade or similar sharp edged instrument.
4. The sword must never be used as a bludgeon.
5. Any blow to the head will result in instant death.
6. A player may not use any part of the body other than the arms and legs to defend themselves against an opponent using a weapon such as a dagger, knife, razor blade or similar sharp edged instrument.
If an arm or leg is broken, it cannot be replaced and must be amputated immediately.
7. The winner is he who can take the other out of action so that they are incapable of defending themselves against a blunt instrument.
8. A player may not wear any protective clothing, armor or padding when participating in combat.
9. A player may not prepare food, take drugs, smoke or drink alcohol for at least 24 hours before a match.
The use of a throat lozenge is permitted.
10. All weapons will be cleaned using a damp cloth after each match.
11. All sharp objects such as knives, daggers and swords must be made of plastic or rubber and will be kept in a locked cabinet at all times except during use.
12. All blunt instruments such as billiard cues, cue sticks and broomsticks must be kept in a locked cupboard at all times except during use.
13. All players will take a drug test before competing and may not use drugs or alcohol during a match. The use of Alka-Seltzer is permitted.
14. All weapons are to be kept in good condition at all times.
15. Any player caught cheating using a weapon other than those provided will result in the loss of the match for his team.
16. A player may not take any action that may cause serious injury to himself or his opponent except in the heat of battle. It is the responsibility of each team’s captain to ensure that this rule is followed and any player who breaks this rule will have their weapons confiscated and will be banned from all further RUSTL competition.
These rules are in place to avoid arguments or disagreements between players at any time. The decision of the captain is final in all situations.
Official RUSTL Team Colours
The teams are not required to wear team colours during official matches, but they are required to do so during training sessions. The list of official colours are as follows:
Blue for the Blue team
Red for the Red team
White for the White team
Black for the Black team
You wake up early on match day. Later than you wanted to wake up, really. You spend some time just relaxing in bed, but at some point you have to get up so you might as well do it now.
You slowly get yourself up and out of bed, groaning a bit as you stand up. Once you’ve gotten yourself up, you take a look at your legs and find that they’re both heavily bandaged, with blood having soaked through the bandages and run down your limbs onto the floor.
You quickly limp your way into the bathroom, doing your best to ignore the pain. You begin the lengthy and painful process of cleaning and bandaging your wounds again. It takes some time, but eventually you finish up and have wrapped new bandages around both of your legs.
The process must have reopened some of your scabs, because by the time you’re done, the toilet has a reddish-brown tinge to it.
With nothing else to do in the apartment, you spend some time preparing your gear for the day. You have two main priorities: a lunchbox and a weapon of some sort. You find a sturdy, well-used aluminum lunchbox that should serve your purposes just fine, and grab your trusty broomstick.
You also pack several towels and bandanas, two changes of clothes, your extra pair of sandals, and whatever provisions you’ll need for the day. You figure you’ll be out most of the day, and it’s best to be safe rather than sorry. You’re going to have to take a lot of the furniture in the apartment if you want to fit everything inside your car, but as long as you can get it all there, you should be fine.
Once everything is packed up, you head out the door and begin the drive to Washington Park. The drive out is fairly quick. You manage to get onto I-5 going the “right way” and you’re on your way out of the city.
As you leave the city, you notice that the ruins look considerably different than they did when you arrived in Portland. Most of the buildings are still just as broken as they were when you got here, but there’s one major difference: there are actually people living in them now. As you pass through the city, you notice small encampments set up in various places.
Some of them even have tents! You can’t begin to imagine how someone would go about setting up a tent on awning over the front steps of their house, let alone why anyone would want to do that, but there they are.
You also notice other individuals walking around the city, most of them heavily armed and armored. You’ve seen a few of them around Portland as well, usually hanging around in small groups. They’re all clad in similar outfits: plate metal armor covered by a dark cloak.
It’s obvious that they’re all related somehow; each group wears the exact same outfit regardless of gender or build. They also all wear the same white metal helmet, though it’s shaped slightly different for each gender. The only way to tell apart the men from the women in the groups you see is by the length of their hair, which hangs down out of the helmets for the women and is kept short for the men.
You aren’t really sure what they’re doing there, but they seem to have taken up residence in the city. You aren’t really sure if they’re there with the government’s blessing or not, but either way it looks like they’ve taken up residence in Portland. You decide it’s best not to get into any conflicts with them, and simply keep your head down as you pass through the city.
Eventually you make it out of Portland altogether and begin heading South on I-5. You know from the map that you’ll have to venture off on the 205 once you reach Central Point, but you should be able to make it to Washington Park before sunset, where you’ll be staying for the night.
You spend most of the day driving. You stop to eat the provisions you brought with you, but it’s such a hurry that you have to eat on the go. It’s midday by the time you get off the interstate at Central Point and head for the 205 South.
Even with the map, you get lost a few times, but you eventually make it to the park by nightfall.
The park is much different than you expected. The roads are blocked off by barricades, and there are guards posted at each one. You’re not sure if they’re keeping people out, or keeping them in.
Given the size of the place, it’s more likely the latter.
You decide to avoid conflict and continue down the road. It isn’t long before you come across a sign that tells you that you have left Washington Park and have entered Camas.
The town of Camas is about what you expected. The roads are in good shape, but there are shacks and tents lining either side of the roads. As with most of the places you’ve seen since the bombs fell, Camas has a strong police presence.
Unlike what you’ve seen elsewhere, the police are actually part of the problem rather than the solution.
You stay on the outskirts of town and keep a low profile. You don’t see any sign of the military, but given how lax everything seems to be elsewhere, your guess is they’re located elsewhere in force.
The question is, are they trying to hold the place together or have they abandoned it in favor of more defensible positions?
You continue South until you reach a point where the map tells you that you need to turn on Oregon Washington highway close to I-5. You aren’t sure if the way is going to be clear, but you’re guessing that it should be. If what the woman back in Cle Elum said was correct, then there are large sections of I-5 that are no longer safe to travel.
You reach the turn off and begin heading West. You see exactly what the woman was talking about almost immediately. There are huge gaps in the roads where the interstate used to be.
It would be impossible to cross without some kind of climbing gear. Even if you could, there’s no way to know what you’d find on the other side.
You continue on and make camp for the night in some woods off to the side of the road. You stay as far away from the town that you can see West of your position. You aren’t sure what it is, but there are lights on in a few places and fires burning all over.
It looks more like a warzone than anything else.
You sleep the night in your truck and head on West again in the morning. You don’t see anyone else on the road at all, but there’s plenty of debris. It’s mostly small pieces from crashed cars and blown out trucks, but you also see the occasional body.
Again, most of them look like they had military uniforms, but there’s not enough of them for you to know if they were soldiers or refugees.
The further you go, the wilder the scenery gets. You don’t know what exactly was done to the atmosphere, but the world seems a lot gloomier now. It’s like the sky is constantly overcast, even if the sun is out.
The green of the forests is muted and dull. The only bright colors you see are caused by artificial things that were left unmaintained.
You have to slow down as you approach Mt. Rainier National Park. The roads are cracked and broken in many places and you don’t want to risk an accident.
You also don’t want to get stuck or lost. There are a lot of one-way roads that loop in and around the different sections of the park and you could easily find yourself unable to get out if you go too far in.
You aren’t sure exactly what you’re looking for, so you just pick a road that isn’t blocked off and head up it. You wind through stands of trees and pass by clear lakes. You decide that if you ever get the chance to come back here, you’ll bring camping gear so you can stay longer and enjoy the place.
Unfortunately, nature is letting you enjoy it this one time only because as you round a bend in the road you suddenly slam on the brakes. A huge tree has fallen right across it and is jammed right into the ground. You don’t see any way that you could have moved it aside even if you had tools.
There’s no point in trying to go back since you’d have to turn around on a one-way road and drive for miles before you found a place to do it. You aren’t sure what happened, but the top of the tree has been snapped off and the branches on one side all broken off.
Sources & references used in this article:
Fencing: Skills. Tactics. Training by A Sowerby – 2014 – books.google.com
Training fencing by B Barth, K Barth – 2003 – books.google.com
If you like it then you should put a ring-fence on it: ring-fencing by N Courtney-Clarke – TAXtalk, 2017 – journals.co.za
High Performance Fencing: The Seventh Essential by E Rogers – 2015 – books.google.com
FENCING FOR THE BLIND by S Behrends, P d’Armes – 2007 – ogur.org
From Last to First: A Parent’s Guide to Fencing Success by J Salfield, DI Norris – 2020 – books.google.com