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Main => The Round Table => Topic started by: Thorsteinn on 2015-01-19, 00:22:48

Title: Why do you want to be a Knight?
Post by: Thorsteinn on 2015-01-19, 00:22:48
I asked this question on the West Kingdom Unbelts Facebook page:

In one paragraph or less "Why do you want to be a Knight?"

And no fair trying to use Protestant-inspired Renaissance Philosophy to try and re-frame the question to try and get out of it. My skills of Bull**** Artistry (aka Standup Philosophizing) are strong.
Title: Re: Why do you want to be a Knight?
Post by: Thorsteinn on 2015-01-19, 02:48:12
I want to be a Knight, to wear the Whitebelt, for a few reasons: Because it would be a recognition from my peers that I'm good at my art, that all my hard work & pain meant something to them. As a social symbol it will be one to wash away the inherent doubt I see of my words, as so often there is just because I see different. It would be a symbol to the one's afflicted like myself that finally we will be accepted for who we are and judged not by our labels but by the quality of our deeds. One must be first so why not me? Why am I not good enough? Why can't I be the harbinger of change?
Title: Re: Why do you want to be a Knight?
Post by: Aiden of Oreland on 2015-01-19, 04:59:43
I want to be a knight for a few reason. But I find it difficult at times for people to understand my path to knight hood. In the eyes of my peers and most of society around me this is a childish and dorky goal. For us that are here right now understand that this is an achievement of ones path to chivalry. In the Middle Ages this was an extremely important title and to a degree it still is today. I seek to become a knight to show people the kind of character I am and the dedication I have placed into my life. Also, I believe it helps create a symbol so that others may feel the courage to do right and even possibly seek to become a knight. Becoming a knight, like I said, would mark an achievement in my life. It is something that I would have spent a large portion of my life to obtain the honor of that title. Much like when one works for his doctors.
Title: Re: Why do you want to be a Knight?
Post by: scott2978 on 2015-01-20, 20:22:05
Though  I don't have an answer to the question, I do want to relate an interesting thought that occurred to me when thinking about it.

There are many forms of "knight" these days: knight of the order of the Marshall, knight of the SCA, and others including actual, real knighthood. Back in the medieval period becoming a knight was much more straightforward than it is today. Depending on culture, there were but few clear paths to knighthood. To harmlessly (and greatly) oversimplify matters, either you were born to it, or you paid for it, or some such straightforward means (with occasional and comparatively rare field promotions etc). There was rarely a question of how famous a person one was, or how skilled, or how virtuous or even how rich. But today to become a knight of even our non-noble knighthoods require great degrees of proof and evidence that you're worthy of the title. I'm not complaining, just making an interesting observation.
Title: Re: Why do you want to be a Knight?
Post by: Naythan on 2015-01-20, 22:35:55
Though  I don't have an answer to the question, I do want to relate an interesting thought that occurred to me when thinking about it.

There are many forms of "knight" these days: knight of the order of the Marshall, knight of the SCA, and others including actual, real knighthood. Back in the medieval period becoming a knight was much more straightforward than it is today. Depending on culture, there were but few clear paths to knighthood. To harmlessly (and greatly) oversimplify matters, either you were born to it, or you paid for it, or some such straightforward means (with occasional and comparatively rare field promotions etc). There was rarely a question of how famous a person one was, or how skilled, or how virtuous or even how rich. But today to become a knight of even our non-noble knighthoods require great degrees of proof and evidence that you're worthy of the title. I'm not complaining, just making an interesting observation.

Well in the christian military orders, it was still possible for men of lower class to achieve knight hood, but it took a lot more time than the wealthy. (time and proving yourself)

As my thoughts on why I want to be a knight because I feel it goes hand and hand with everything I am doing in life, trying to be a worthy order member, becoming catholic, and re-enacting a 12th century Templar. I do not know how strong my skills of philosophizing are, but I don't think it should be ruled out. If someone Believes they should be a knight of some sort in the modern world because of whatever inspirations, I say let them strive for it.
It also comes down to what I grew up with: Knights in shining armor. So why not try to amount to that? although much of my intentions certainly have changed this past year. Especially with the desire of accuracy being impeded into me by myself.  Come to think of it, my want to become knight was pretty selfish. I didn't do it for anyone else originally, now I feel I'm making a point for the greater good.
 
Title: Re: Why do you want to be a Knight?
Post by: Sir James A on 2015-01-21, 00:05:46
Quite the loaded question! Pardon the long paragraph...

When I was young, I wanted to be a knight. I grew up with an interest in medieval weapons and armor, both European and Japanese, through movies and games. I wanted a suit of armor, a sword, a horse, a castle, and so on. I like weapons and armor. I like WMA/HEMA. I like the excitement kids get when someone in armor talks to them. I had that experience as a teenager. About 20 years ago I got my first (not wooden) sword, and about 15 years ago I got my first suit of armor (that wasn't cardboard or carpet). I did one year of SCA combat. With armor, with a sword, even with fighting, I didn't FEEL like a knight. I quit seeking it. I never went back to the SCA. I went to the MD Renn Faire in mundane clothing for the next decade. More than 10 years after I quit chasing knighthood, the Order was founded, I had a renewed interest in the concept, and though I didn't ask it or feel worthy, I was put forth for the accolade. Now, I simply try to live up to the honor.
Title: Re: Why do you want to be a Knight?
Post by: Sir Edward on 2015-01-21, 14:39:38

Loaded question indeed. :)

While pages upon pages can be written on the topic, if I just summarize down to a couple of sentences, then simply put: I had always been seeking knighthood, for many years without realizing it, as simply an outward expression of what I was already inwardly doing. It's a combination of tasting the edge of a historically inspired adventure, as well as providing inspiration and incentive to "keep me honest" so to speak, and help me to stay on the path that I had set out for myself at an early age, to uphold virtues such as honesty, honor, courage, humility, loyalty, and courtesy. The martial aspect is simply icing on the cake as far as I'm concerned, since swords had a lot to do with how I got drawn to this whole historical thing to begin with. :)
Title: Re: Why do you want to be a Knight?
Post by: Mike W. on 2015-01-22, 19:50:59
Knighthood is merely a human construct, a labeling of sorts for a path of life many seek but few follow. Knighthood in its truest sense (not in its historical sense) to me embodies a lifestyle of self-improvement and servitude. Love yourself and love others. But what makes Knighthood standout is that it calls those who pursue it to actually exercise that love. Love without works is empty and meaningless. I want to be a knight  so I can help myself to help others. Being a knight is more than just holding open a door, or giving a seat to a lady. It is about service to the community, about helping someone and not bragging about it, about focusing on mental and physical cultivation. Knighthood is a calling to be the best version of yourself. That is what I seek. I want to be the best that I can be, so I can have more to offer the world. And I would like to offer that to the world through volunteering for the poor, the sick, the elderly, the needy. I, for one, have a strong desire to become a member of the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St. John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes, and of Malta. For they are the last remnants of medieval knighthood. They've been around for 1000 continuous years, and though they do not fight any more, they serve the world through humanitarian aid. They put their money where their mouth is so to speak, and every knight should do that. I aspire to not only be a good person, but to actually exercise that goodness.
Title: Re: Why do you want to be a Knight?
Post by: Naythan on 2015-01-23, 02:01:35
Knighthood is merely a human construct, a labeling of sorts for a path of life many seek but few follow. Knighthood in its truest sense (not in its historical sense) to me embodies a lifestyle of self-improvement and servitude. Love yourself and love others. But what makes Knighthood standout is that it calls those who pursue it to actually exercise that love. Love without works is empty and meaningless. I want to be a knight  so I can help myself to help others. Being a knight is more than just holding open a door, or giving a seat to a lady. It is about service to the community, about helping someone and not bragging about it, about focusing on mental and physical cultivation. Knighthood is a calling to be the best version of yourself. That is what I seek. I want to be the best that I can be, so I can have more to offer the world. And I would like to offer that to the world through volunteering for the poor, the sick, the elderly, the needy. I, for one, have a strong desire to become a member of the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St. John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes, and of Malta. For they are the last remnants of medieval knighthood. They've been around for 1000 continuous years, and though they do not fight any more, they serve the world through humanitarian aid. They put their money where their mouth is so to speak, and every knight should do that. I aspire to not only be a good person, but to actually exercise that goodness.
I think that is why it is so good that members of the Order such as Ed and Brian, Organize Demos for to raise money for charity.


Loaded question indeed. :)

While pages upon pages can be written on the topic, if I just summarize down to a couple of sentences, then simply put: I had always been seeking knighthood, for many years without realizing it, as simply an outward expression of what I was already inwardly doing. It's a combination of tasting the edge of a historically inspired adventure, as well as providing inspiration and incentive to "keep me honest" so to speak, and help me to stay on the path that I had set out for myself at an early age, to uphold virtues such as honesty, honor, courage, humility, loyalty, and courtesy. The martial aspect is simply icing on the cake as far as I'm concerned, since swords had a lot to do with how I got drawn to this whole historical thing to begin with. :)


when I explain that it is very important for knight to uphold Honesty,honor, courage, humility, loyalty, and courtesy.  Most of those are really just every day life. I find some of them more passive like Honor and loyalty. Yet others more immediate, like Courage, Honesty, and courage. Humility is an in between for me, since it can be self acceptance. It goes with being able to shake off if people mock you, and not being too proud and stuck up to take jokes. Even to tell the difference.
I think the point I'm trying to make, is that I forget how difficult these virtues are, or how many people are lacking in them/ how hard it is for some to amount to them. I think since Ive surrounded myself with so many like minded people and been accepted by them, I forget how unique these virtues are in today's society at times. Other times I find members of society lacking in them extremely.

Heh, sorry that I cut into a different subject like that :P
Title: Re: Why do you want to be a Knight?
Post by: Sir Brian on 2015-01-25, 04:04:02
There are many fine and accurate examples that has been listed of both the historic and modern philosophical conceptions of knighthood. For me it was a slow realization that I had been on a chivalric path my entire life and one that really didn't come to fully understand until I met other men and women walking the same path and it is both surprising and regrettably disappointing of how few folks are on this journey we share in common.
Title: Re: Why do you want to be a Knight?
Post by: Brother Daniel on 2015-04-13, 18:32:09
 Ah, Knighthood. Why ?
At in my 60s I look out at mankind and see a mess. Especially men. Men of all ages. I am Celtic and native American by decent .
I think I understand that something has been stolen from us. Warriorhood, defender, honor, loyalty, and a since of Nobility by our actions and words. I desire to be a Knight in all aspects of my life. A servant of the King, my King Jesus. I seek to help men understand how important it is to carry out a code of chivalry to place purpose in life. To be an example to those around me that they to can achieve high honors be doing good to all. As a Christian Knight I defend all those who seek to worship freely, and those are searching for truth.  In April of 2008 I was Knighted by clergy to defend the gospel, to work at and achieve attributes that bare out to others goodness. I will not falter in this by God's will and desire to fight for all men.
    I do own swords, I do not fight with them but can. I spent 20+ years as a tactical woods fighter in the 18th century realm.
So I understand the glory if you will of the fight. I'd like to think not to old to still do so.

Brother Daniel,
 
Title: Re: Why do you want to be a Knight?
Post by: Thorsteinn on 2015-04-15, 17:40:51
Brother Daniel,

Duke Frederick of Holland, MSCA, dropped folks off at the party that started the Society for Creative Anachronism in 1966. And he still fights. IIRC he will be putting on armor at Pennsic this year. The oldest fighter in the SCA is in his 70's.

So you are entirely right. You are NOT to old to fight. Now go kick all the ass.!  :D

Val vs Duke Frederick of Holland (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oo-oMaE1T4w#ws)
Title: Re: Why do you want to be a Knight?
Post by: Sir William on 2015-04-16, 15:42:50
Ah, Knighthood. Why ?
At in my 60s I look out at mankind and see a mess. Especially men. Men of all ages. I am Celtic and native American by decent .
I think I understand that something has been stolen from us. Warriorhood, defender, honor, loyalty, and a since of Nobility by our actions and words. I desire to be a Knight in all aspects of my life. A servant of the King, my King Jesus. I seek to help men understand how important it is to carry out a code of chivalry to place purpose in life. To be an example to those around me that they to can achieve high honors be doing good to all. As a Christian Knight I defend all those who seek to worship freely, and those are searching for truth.  In April of 2008 I was Knighted by clergy to defend the gospel, to work at and achieve attributes that bare out to others goodness. I will not falter in this by God's will and desire to fight for all men.
    I do own swords, I do not fight with them but can. I spent 20+ years as a tactical woods fighter in the 18th century realm.
So I understand the glory if you will of the fight. I'd like to think not to old to still do so.

Brother Daniel,
 

The namesake of our Order, the inestimable Sir William the Marshal was still fighting and leading armies from the front in his 70s; no reason why you should consider hanging your spurs at the age of 60 (which is the new 50).
Title: Re: Why do you want to be a Knight?
Post by: Sir Robert on 2015-04-21, 12:27:40
Ideology, simply put, a good Knight strives to serve others and is reminded to try and be a better person each day. As simply stated as it is, it is a daily challenge, and one that we donít always achieve, but the journey is more important than the destination. The mark of a Knight is a reminder of those goals, the oath we make to god, others and to ourselves, and what we stand for when challenges test us.
Title: Re: Why do you want to be a Knight?
Post by: Corvus on 2015-04-22, 02:27:56
I have been walking this path for many years. From a very young age I was raised as a gentleman. My elders taught me that the way of the gentleman was based upon the ways of chivalry and that despite the way of the modern world for good or ill, proper comportment would never go out of the world in the hearts of true men (or women for that matter).

In my opinion, when one behaves as a gentleman and embraces the Code in their hearts every day, then one is already in part, a Knight.  But let us go a step further and consider the etymology of the word 'Knight' which to my knowledge refers to one who gives service - so being a gentleman and actively seeking to do service, especially service that is in the interest of the greater good - are already knightly behaviors.

Why would I want to be a Knight then?  Well in some ways I already am one, yet I believe that knighthood implies a greater depth yet beyond courage, morals, spotless manners and a desire to serve. I believe it also entails a feeling of brotherhood and acceptance into a gathering of like minded and similarly dedicated folk. I was once a part of such a worthy band, years ago but this has, sadly faded from the world. Since finding the Order of the Marshal my interest in such a feeling of gentlemanly community has been genuinely piqued once more.
Title: Re: Why do you want to be a Knight?
Post by: Sir Michael on 2015-06-29, 16:42:29
     I want to be a knight to help protect and serve others and to try to set a good example that one man can make the world a better place to live in.  Also Jesus set the greatest example for me to follow.
Title: Re: Why do you want to be a Knight?
Post by: Justin on 2015-06-29, 20:54:53
I wish to be a knight because I believe that honor, courage, and chivalry, are truly important values to have in ones life. To me, a knight is someone that others may look up to for guidance and inspiration. Someone who has proven that they are chivalrous and walk down the right path whenever possible. I would like to be someone like that. I feel that I live by positive values everyday. Therefore, if possible, I would like to become a knight someday.
Title: Re: Why do you want to be a Knight?
Post by: jason77 on 2017-08-17, 22:58:46
I know this thread is old but I've been thinking about this very question myself. I grew up in the martial arts and being 40 years old I still practice martial arts. The martial arts have always been the bedrock foundation of my own personal growth and development. It is therein that I made it through some tough times as a kid and later as a teenager and it blossomed into the basis of my own philosophy and spirituality. Martial arts is a path of violence and to me violence is the one constant which holds the universe together. The creation of the universe was violent, the birth of our own planet was in chaotic violence, early man survived and thrived through violence, our current nations were founded in violence, I lay my head and sleep well at night without fear of an intruder because most people fear the violent enforcement of the law, I also don't fear confrontation because I have spent my life training to embrace violence. I understand that violent people only understand violence and therefore it is my imperative to be better at it than them. A Knight understands violence and is prepared to live it when necessary. However, a Knight follows a path of Chivalry (whether it be romanticized or not) which tempers violence with acts of dignity and demands one to live in integrity towards his fellow man. Chivalry is a path of using violence in a productive manner instead of violence being a mere chaotic self-serving endeavor of exploiting others. I embrace violence but channel it through the chivalric ideals of justice, obedience to the rule of law, service unto others, protect the innocent, etc. For me, Chivalry is the perfection of one's character thus my personal slogan is "Vincit Qui Se Vincit - He who conquers, conquers himself." Similar to the Samurai's code of bushido the Knights code of chivalry can be the catalyst for physical, mental and spiritual development. The way of the Knight is strength in restraint and it is violence reserved for just cause. This is why I identify with the Knight and why I strive to embody just that.
Title: Re: Why do you want to be a Knight?
Post by: Matthew of the Isles on 2017-10-22, 17:06:19
Following Jason's example, I believe I'll engage in some thread necromancy of my own.

In Plato's The Republic, Plato, through a proxy form of his master Socrates, describes an ideology for discerning the nature of people through ascribing metallic qualities to their souls, gold, silver, iron, slag, you get the idea. While Plato didn't mean this analogy as a literal description of human nature (in fact, he was downright cynical in its deployment) the general imagery, with a little tweaking, can still be useful in terms of contemplating self-improvement.

The path of chivalry is not an easy one. It brings us face-to-face with our own flaws, and demands of us that we beat the slag out of our characters to the best of our ability. It's the process of becoming, dare I say, "refined." That's the work of the Code, the process of internal character development that translates into external action.

The work of the kit, I believe, is to express the results of that internal process. The character refinement of vigorously adhering to the Knight's Code is inalienable from the person undergoing that process; a knight is a knight, even in the nude. My mother's people developed tattooing as a way to bring one's internal self to the fore, as a way of demonstrating one's personality to the community for all to see; I see the development of a knightly kit as a similar (though slightly less permanent) process.

So, to sum up this slightly lengthy, rambling post, I wish to pursue Knighthood (a) as a way to improve my character, and (b) to express myself.
Title: Re: Why do you want to be a Knight?
Post by: jason77 on 2017-10-23, 20:14:38
Matthew - I do like your sentiments concerning the development of a kit with a corresponding development of character - very metaphysical  ;)

Likewise I see the learning of swordplay to be of similar quality. The sword is an archetypal symbol deeply embedded in the human psyche. Its most perceptible imagery is in its power of protection, to distribute justice and preserve honor. The double edge of a sword (true and false edges) demonstrate the potential to wield its power with integrity or deception. The manufacture of the sword itself is a process that combines the elements of air, earth, fire and water thus it represents a balance of powers, unity, and wholeness which happens through an alchemical process of purification. There is a lot that can be said about the process of production of the sword to its subsequent skillful wielding in the hands of one who has spent a lifetime learning its power.
Title: Re: Why do you want to be a Knight?
Post by: Matthew of the Isles on 2017-10-24, 02:31:11
Though in practice, spears and other polearms held primacy on the actual battlefields of history, I agree that there is something evocative and enduring about both the sword and the swordsman.

Perhaps it is the fact that the sword requires both great skill to forge and great skill to wield to its fullest potential. Perhaps it is the fact that swords, unlike knives, axes, spears and bows, have no other application beyond the taking of human life, meaning that they had no mundane alternative uses to dilute the power of life and death that it has come to represent.

Though I certainly do not wish to disparage the valor or character of the peasant conscripts of history, who fought the enemy with spears and hatchets, improvised weapons, thrown rocks, sticks, harsh language and the like, the swordsman is an archetype that has come to represent a finer grade of warrior, and not just in Europe either, though the European armored knight is the specific variation of that archetype that we here have come to most closely identify with.

Being mindful of the image that we present to others--and making sure that our actions align with such an image--is an important practice, I feel. Although my "kit" as such is only a vaguely sword-shaped piece of wood and a rusty arming sword given to me by a friend, so I have quite a ways to go before I can put such musings into practice!
Title: Re: Why do you want to be a Knight?
Post by: Sir Sondergaard on 2017-11-09, 15:25:28
It is`nt something I want to be - it is something I AM... Deep in my heart... Simple as that :-)
Title: Re: Why do you want to be a Knight?
Post by: Joshua Santana on 2017-12-03, 22:43:00
Here is my answer to this question.

My reason why I want to be a Knight is because of my personal aspiration to emulate the example of Chivalry as seen in the romances and in such individuals as William Marshal, Betrand du Guesclin, Gutierre Diaz de Gamez etc. 

And yet one will ask why I do so, my answer is this: the example set by these individuals speaks to the heart of those that seek a better path in life where Honor, Loyalty, Courage, Stoic wisdom are valued over base interests such as ill gotten wealth, status and fame etc.  We see in our world people falling victim to hypocrisy, scandal, egoism, moral apathy and arrogance.  We who recognize this are tired of seeing this and we (including myself) make the choice to live life by the standard of excellence (Chivalry) as best we can.

In regards to me, I chose the Path of Chivalry as far back in 2010 with knowing very little about the ideal.  I recall that even as a kid I always had an attraction to the ideal of heroism.  As time went one with further learning and training I came to understand that I have come a long way yet not knowing the why to my actions.  When I found the answer in the past months, this has helped me to resolute in my following the Path of Chivalry or the Way of the Warrior. I have detailed these thoughts in these blog posts I have written:

http://jerseyknyght.blogspot.com/2017/04/the-true-ideal-of-chivalry.html (http://jerseyknyght.blogspot.com/2017/04/the-true-ideal-of-chivalry.html)
http://jerseyknyght.blogspot.com/2017/04/the-warrior-path.html (http://jerseyknyght.blogspot.com/2017/04/the-warrior-path.html)
http://jerseyknyght.blogspot.com/2017/04/walking-path.html (http://jerseyknyght.blogspot.com/2017/04/walking-path.html)
http://jerseyknyght.blogspot.com/2017/05/be-man-be-warrior-be-knight.html (http://jerseyknyght.blogspot.com/2017/05/be-man-be-warrior-be-knight.html)
http://jerseyknyght.blogspot.com/2017/11/on-vision-noble-cause-and-purpose.html (http://jerseyknyght.blogspot.com/2017/11/on-vision-noble-cause-and-purpose.html)

Why do I want to be a Knight?  The answer: I want to live with Honor so that my life and actions are filled with purpose and that I can be the example so that when a kid sees me and my conduct, they will be inspired to do the same and more.  If I should be married and have a family, I want my example to be emulated by my children not because I force them to do so, but rather they want to of their own volition and inspiration to imitate a father whose personal conduct instills in them honor and humility.  I echo what the Stoics of Greece and Rome, Geoffri de Charny, Baldassare Castiglione, Brad Miner, Miyamoto Musashi, Yammamoto Tsunemoto have been saying: Living by and with Honor as Warriors makes better individuals who thus make society better.

The need for a better life is what we face daily, the will to live life with purpose is another and I believe this is why we are here in this forum.  We all seek a purposeful life, and within the ideal of Chivalry we seek that purpose and aspire to live by it as best we can.  I say; let all of us be united in our joined effort to live and act by the ideal of Honor (Chivalry) so that we can make the better difference in our lives and in people.