The school is an independent association as of 2015, and focuses on the central European traditions of swordplay. Specifically we teach the German tradition, in particular that of Johannes Liechtenauer, a school which was dominant in the lands of the Holy Roman Empire from the fourteenth to the sixteenth centuries. We teach the use of the long sword on foot and out of armour, following the early commentaries, in particular those associated with Hanko Döbringer (1389) and Sigmund Ringeck (c. 1440).

We also teach the use of the Polish sabre (Szabla), based on the documentation by Michał Starzewski. This is the only pre-20th century text in the Polish language setting out traditional Polish sabre play. Our interpretation is the only one of which we are aware based solely on this source, and taking it seriously in the claims that it makes. The result is something very unlike other systems of sabre, but very effective.



For convenience of understanding of the rough level of competence of members of the school, we use the same ranks as are conventional elsewhere in other schools of historical western swordplay around the world.

Novice (Neuling)

Novice is not an historical rank, but it is convenient to distinguish between those who are just starting out on their journey of learning and have yet to demonstrate any achievement, and those who are able to demonstrate that they have learned from the experience (see Scholar, below).

All students must be financial members of the society. Anybody persisting after the first term will be expected to buy a club T-shirt and fencing mask, and wear them as a minimum uniform for training. 

Ranks higher than Novice required the playing of a prize a public display of prowess to confirm the candidate's qualification to hold the rank granted. In all prize fights the candidate must behave in a courteous and gentlemanly manner, showing respect to his answerer, and acknowledging all hits made against him.

Scholar (Schüler) 

This rank indicates a basic competence with the weapon of choice. A Scholar must be able to handle steel weapons with confidence, control, and safety, and must be able to engage in full-speed (or, with the long sword, close to full-speed) assaults in such a way as to be clearly making use of the teachings of a given school of fence.
  1. Candidates are encouraged (but not required) to possess minimal historical equipment (as described in Equipment).

  2. Prize Fight: candidates must perform to adequate standard of safety and style 6 public assaults against qualified answerers. Equipment used will be that required to be owned by Scholars steel longsword or sabre, leather gloves, and fencing mask. Assaults will be conducted at about three-quarters of full speed. Steel gauntlets may be worn, but are not required.

Free Scholar (Freifechter)

The Free Scholar must demonstrate a high level of competence with the chosen weapon. Free Scholars will typically be involved in research and preparation of material for the school, and may assist in teaching classes.
  1. Candidates must possess protective equipment (as described in Equipment).

  2. Prize Fight: candidates must perform to a high standard of safety and style 8 public fights against qualified answerers – 4 with long sword, 4 with sabre. Equipment used will be steel swords and appropriate protective equipment – for longsword, historical steel gauntlets, Sallet and Bevor must be worn; for other weapons, a fencing mask or steel helmet of suitable style. At this level and higher, assaults will be conducted at full speed.

Provost/Instructor (Fechtlehrer)

Provosts are entrusted by the school with the task of teaching. Their skill at arms may be no higher than that of a Free Scholar, but they must have a thorough understanding of the art, and the ability to convey that understanding to classes and individual students.
  1. Candidates must possess, and wear during the fighting of the prize, protective historical equipment (as described in Equipment).

  2. Candidates' teaching ability will be judged by a panel of three existing Provosts. Guest examiners external to the school may be invited to join the panel in addition. The candidate will prepare individual and group lessons on subjects set by the chairman of the judging panel.

  3. Candidates must provide class notes for the pre-prepared group lesson, including historical terminology and sources of all techniques being taught. He will be examined viva voce by the judging panel to test his knowledge of the chosen field.

  4. Prize fight: 12 fights in total, as below:

  • Versus Scholars: three with longsword, three with sabre, with equipment used as for the Scholar’s prize. The candidate is expected, as well as being safe, to perform to an exceptional standard of style, and in such a way as to encourage good style in the answerer.

  • Versus Free Scholars or higher: three with longsword, three with sabre, with equipment used as for the Free Scholar’s prize. Candidate is expected to display a high standard of style in the chosen fight.