|Women, Children, Midgets, and the Lame
In a perfect world, everyone is the same. Scratch that - in a perfect world, everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses and they are able to work together for the common good. People are able to put aside their differences and understand what one is capable of and another is not. I would not expect a child to change my tire just as I would not expect Randall to win the Iron Mountains Weaponmaster every time he enters. That does not bar them from trying, God bless them for trying - but it just will not happen.
When I step on the field, one of the first things I do is gauge the people around me. I take note of who is good and who is bad. In short, I judge them. I know who is up to the task and who is found wanting. Now, the worst fighters try, and someday they may get better. Until then, it is probably best to let them fight people more their skill level. This is not because they are beneath me, but they probably won't learn anything getting run over. If I have to fight them, I fight them. I don't spank them; I fight them. I try not to run over them, backstab or just plain stroke them. Afterwards, when I have the chance, I try to show them how I beat them. It would be rude to embarrass them or not to teach them afterwards how you beat them. If I am fighting a person better than me or my equal, I put a lot more into it. Again, this is not because I am trying to impress, but because it is what's expected. It would be rude not to fight to the best of my ability.
When a new or young player steps on the field, I am not going to fight that person the same as I would fight Lief. This is not because I don't respect that person, but only because I want them to come next week and the week after. They will get better and soon I will be able to fight them just as hard as anyone else.
If someone comes and plays and they have a broken arm, for all that is holy, don't spend all your time trying to smack it. I know we all want to and he shouldn't be fighting with it anyways, but sometimes people need to play. Be a decent human being and understand that hitting their broken arm is going to hurt like hell. In turn, they will understand accidents happen if you do hit it and, if you are in the same situation, they will in all likelihood offer the same understanding.
Now a woman is not physically the same as a man. Shocking, I know. In general, they are smaller and they were not brought up as fighters. I am not going to run down and beat on them - it's just not right. That is not to say once they have learned that they are not some of the better fighters, because they can be. This is only to say we don't have many and I would like to see more. Woman fighters are a treasured resource. I am under the impression that the easiest way to get some new blood is to provide women with good female role-models and men with some T&A. None of you can tell me some T&A is not an accepted Amtgard thing. I've seen that calendar. That's right, ladies - you are a treasured resource and if any of you need some special one on one training, I will always be there for you.
Children are children. They are annoying, smelly, loud, and obnoxious. . . kind of like me. If you don't like it, tell their parents. Barring that, tell them to go away. You don't have to play with them if you don't want to. You don't have to play. If your park allows children to fight, either go to another park or run for monarch and don't let them play. Be fair when you are running and let people know your position on banning children.
I have been very general in my stereotypes and not everyone is made the same. I know that and you know that. Being able to judge strengths and weaknesses is very useful if we want our game to grow. Being able to teach someone new and to let them have fun and fight at their level is a noble pursuit. I want the players that have been playing to stay playing, and new players that just show up to keep playing - as I am sure you do too. That isn't to say that sometimes someone needs a good stroking, but please let them know why they get beat down. If someone just gets beat on and never gets told why, they will never learn not to play dead and backstab you right after you run by.
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