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Inspiration is an important core concept for SCA combat. Generally it is the practice of fighting "for" someone, not merely fighting for oneself. Typically combatants carry the favor of their consort and are said to be defending their honor.

This relationship may or may not be romantically based depending on the people involved; it is not uncommon for fighters to be "inspired" by friends or children -- a typical example of this in the SCA is a fighter bearing the favor of a friend whose romantic partner does not fight in (or even participate in) the Society. In deference to the tradition of courtly love the person is generally (but not exclusively) of the opposite gender; on one notable occasion Baron Percival of Septentria declared his infant nephew as his "inspiration" for the Lady Mary Memorial Tournament and acquitted himself honorably on the lists.

In some kinds of tournament fighting a fighter is required to cite someone as their inspiration. In Ealdormere, for example, Crown Tournaments are fought on behalf of the fighters' consorts, who are then said "to have inspired them to victory."