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Sword Knight Has Been?
[05/14/2003] [Jetara]

Are you ready to be a sword knight? Maybe.

Are you ready to be a sword knight ten years later?

If you don’t know this already, any sword knight will tell you that right after they got knighted, they realized they were suddenly playing king of the mountain. Every person who thinks they know how to fight wants a piece of you. Every person who actually knows how to fight wants a piece of you. Every fighter from the other kingdoms wants a piece of you. Squires of sword knights want a shot at you. The sword knights want their opportunities, too. You’re on top of the mountain and they all want to knock you down. It makes for interesting and exciting times – you’re at the top of your game and many people learn to respect your skills, or they badmouth you because “there is no WAY you blocked that shot.” You survive all of that and you can’t help but carry a little ego with you.

Ten years later. . . nothing changes. People learn you’re a sword knight – they want a shot at you. Go to an event and have any kind of reputation, and they want a shot at the guy from the stories. The thing is, as a sword knight, you’ve spent the last ten years proving that you’re good, over and over and over again. Sooner or later you take the philosophy that you’ve already proved yourself and you’re sitting this one out. Is it really necessary to win another tournament? Let the new hotshots with all the desire and energy have a shot or two at it. You’ll sit on the sidelines and flirt with their girlfriends while they’re out beating each other up.

The hardest part of being an aging sword knight is having to put up with the negative comments. Somebody beats you and suddenly you’re a “has been”. Participate in a tournament and not win and you’re “washed up”. Have a bad event and rumors fly about how you “used to be good”. Sure as hell don’t hear that about flame, crown, or serpent belts. I can’t recall a time when I’ve heard someone say, “Yeah, he used to be an awesome flame knight, but now he’s all washed up.”

What really burns me up are those fighters that call you a “has been” who are “never were and never will be”. You’ve spent the last ten years drinking from the fountain and here are those who don’t even know what the fountain is trying to talk crap about you. The up and comers who are “gonna be”, they’ve watched you, they’ve seen the skills and techniques you have, they can see the fountain, and most of the time, at least they’re respectful. If they aren’t, you’ll get your revenge when they’re at the top. You’ll point at the mountain and say, “Knock’em off, they got no respect.”

The sword belt may be a coveted knighthood, but its one of the hardest to wear as you age. It haunts you wherever you go and whatever you do. Just like the old gunfighter scenario, everybody’s out to make a name for themselves by killing you. There isn’t a poll to see who the top ten crown, flame, or serpent knights are. The sword belt is therefore unique. Once you put this belt around your waist, you defend your right to wear it every time you take the field. You may think it’s hard work to earn it, but it’s nothing like what you have to do after it sits on your hips.

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