Death and Taxes

141327-paperwork

Time for a little bit of a soapbox moment.

Many of us got into the combat arts because it was something that was cool, playing around with sword just sung to us or we had a love of history/martial arts/whatever. In sort most of us got involved in whatever art we study because it was fun.

Then something happened. People started talking about safety, liability, insurance and risk mitigation. What we started doing because we loved the idea of Knights became a game of bureaucrats.

Yes, I understand the need to comply with the modern world of insurance and liability but at what point do we go too far in a contagion of compliance?

Lets us grab a few friends and do some practice in a local park. Do I really need to seek council permission? Do we really have to set up a roped off area?

At what point do we stop having fun with doing ‘medieval stuff’ because it just takes too much paperwork?

I can go to the park and kick a ball around and no one thinks twice about. I can take my bike out to plummet down a mountain side without signing a thing.

I understand that for formal sponsored events we need to do the minimum of compliance, but why is it that to participate in an SCA tournament I need to go though several levels of cards, sign in and checks (often by officials who’s knowledge of the requirements are haphazard at best). At a kendo tournament I only need to put in an entry form and in mountain biking, pay my entry and sign a simple waiver (with no one breathing over my neck)?

Perhaps we need to step back and ask what is it we are trying to achieve. What are the minimum hoops we need to jump through? Let’s focus on doing medieval stuff rather than trying to be all important with rules and procedures.

 

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