Lessons

Even though this list of lessons is long, remember that each lesson is an introduction to a subject and not the subject in its entirety. Every person you work with will be able to give you their unique perspective and insight. If you feel like you are struggling with any of the lessons, feel free to take them again and work with others on them. You can also work with an Officer to make a lesson plan to fit your interests, strengths, and weaknesses as a fencer.

required newcomer lessons

ALL NEW FENCERS must complete all 7 of these required Newcomer Lessons first. Upon completion, fencers will earn the rank of NOVICE and can continue taking other lessons along their fencing journey.

Basics of Dueling (prerequisite: Waiver Signed)

How to gear up, Basic Stance and Footwork, Blocks 3,4,5,7,8, how to strike, and how to duel. Required before you can participate in dueling with the group.

Basics of Melee (prerequisite: Waiver Signed, Basics of Dueling)

Melee Safety, Holds, Terminology, and how to be on a team. Required before you can participate in melees with the group.

Four Levels of Importance

A conversation about the Four Levels of Importance, why it matters to the group, and how we can implement them in our fencing.

Gauging & Breaking Shots

Emphasize Gauging Shots and how to not hit hard in the first place. Focus on the wrist and elbow breaks to avoid giving hard shots.

Gear Care & Requirements

Overview of each piece of gear, how to take care of it, what is required, and how to get your own gear.

8 basic blocks

Deep Dive into the 8 Basic Blocks and why they are so important and provide a strong defensive foundation for your fencing journey.

Basic Offhand

Learn to use your hand in a fight in tandem with your sword. Also how to avoid grabbing, keep your fingers safe, and take advantage of one of the most useful tools you have.


Required lessons

To rank as a Swordman, you must complete all 15 of these required lessons + 20 elective lessons, and the other Swordsman Criteria. If you have any questions, please reach out to an Officer.

Criteria For Becoming a Swordsman*

  • Understand/implement the Four Levels of Importance
  • Have at least two years of fencing experience
  • Be a contributing member for at least 9 months
  • Complete all 15 required lessons
  • Complete at least 20 elective lessons
  • Have, at least, 5 Check-In’s with an Officer
  • Have, at least, 2/3 of your kit (helmet, gorget, or sword)
  • Participate in at least two tournaments
  • Participate in at least one war
  • Be approved, selected, and tested by the Captain

*At the Captain’s discretion, one requirement may be waived.

Range & Placement

Finding your range, maneuvering with range, your own placement, and how range impacts a fight especially hard shots

One Defensive Side (Deathstick, Cloak, or Buckler)

Fighting with a Disability

What to do when you lose a hand, arm, or leg. What to do when you face someone with a disability

Line Fighting

How Line Fighting works, what to be aware of, and how to fight on a line

Block/Attack Combos (prerequisite: 8 basic blocks)

How to implement block attack combos in general and for each of the 8 basic blocks

Rush attacks (Prerequisite: Range & Placement)

How safely rush your opponent and avoid a charge.

dagger (Prerequisite: Range & Placement)

What a dagger is, how to fight with it, and how it impacts the fight. Required before you can use a dagger.

Draw & Tip Cuts

What qualifies as a draw & tip cut and how to perform them safely. Required before you can use Draw & Tip Cuts in a fight.

Theory of Melee

Additional Melee theory that can help fencers be more comfortable on the melee field

Two on One Tactics

How to fight as a pair against a single fighter, “45 Maneuver”, and how numbers win

Death from Behind (DFB)

What a proper DFB and how to perform it safely. Required before you can use DFBs in a melee.

Long Sword (Prerequisite: Range & Placement)

What a long sword is, how to fight with it, and how it impacts the fight. Required before you can use a long sword.

Commands in Melee (prerequisite: Theory of Melee)

Basics on what makes up an army, how to lead a team, and formulate a plan. Suggested before volunteering to lead a team in Melees.

Rules of engagement

Discussion on how to engage with your opponent in various situations.

preparing to be a swordsman

Discussion on what it means to be a swordsman, how to continue progressing, and how to fulfill swordsman duties


electives

Note: These electives can be taken in any order, respecting any prerequisites, and can allow you to use certain weapons/gear.

Multiple Attacks

Avoiding sewing machines, attacking different areas, how to resist the urge to reset after each strike

deathstick

What a deathstick is, how to fight with it, and how it impacts the fight. Required before you can use a deathstick.

Buckler

What a buckler is, how to fight with it, and how it impacts the fight. Required before you can use a buckler.

Cloak

What a cloak is, how to fight with it, and how it impacts the fight. Required before you can use a cloak.

Flanking Maneuver

How to setup up, participate in, and fight against a Flanking Maneuver (Cavalry version)

Parts of an Army: Linesman (Prerequisite: Theory of Melee)

Deep Dive into the strategies and techniques of being a Linesman

Parts of an Army: Shadow (Prerequisite: Theory of Melee)

Deep Dive into the strategies and techniques of being a Shadow.

Case

What case is, how to fight with it, and how it impacts the fight. Required before you can use case.

Probing Your opponent

How to probe your opponent and formulate a plan based on your findings. The Chess Game.

Sword Play

Learning what a sword conversation is, what it is trying to tell you, and how to use your sword more efficiently

Sword Placement, Grips, and Footwork

How various sword placements, grips, and footwork can affect the fight

Parts of an Army: Cavalry (Prerequisite: Theory of Melee)

Deep Dive into the strategies and techniques of being a Cavalry unit

Parts of an Army: Harrier (Prerequisite: Theory of Melee)

Deep Dive into the strategies and techniques of being a Harrier

Falling Wedge

How to setup up, participate in, and fight against a Falling Wedge

Kill Pocket

How to setup up, participate in, and fight against a Kill Pocket

Wall of Swords

How to setup up, participate in, and fight against a Wall of Swords

advanced rules of dueling

Deep dive into advanced dueling theory and strategies within a duel or tournament.

Advanced Blocks (Prerequisite: 8 basic blocks)

Deep dive into advanced block theory and how to optimize your blocks and defense

advanced movement (Prerequisite: Range & Placement)

Deep dive into footwork, movement, and stance within a fight.

advanced Attacks (Prerequisite: Multiple Attacks)

Deep dive into attacking and how to optimize your offensive options.

advanced range (Prerequisite: Range & Placement)

Deep dive into advanced range theory, the range game, overcoming opponent’s range and hiding your own.

Spears (Prerequisite: Range & Placement)

How to use a Spear effectively and safely. Required before you can use spears.

Rubber Band Guns (RBGs)

How to use a Rubber Band Gun effectively and safely. Required before you can use RBGs.

One on two tactics (prerequisite: Two on One Tactics)

How to fight as a single fighter against two or more fencers. What to watch out for and find opportunities

Parts of an Army: Commander (Prerequisite: Theory of Melee)

Deep Dive into the strategies and techniques of being a Commander

Melee Formation and Movement (Prerequisite: Theory of Melee)

Discussion of how formation and movements occur within a melee.

Advanced Tactics (Prerequisite: Theory of Melee)

Discussion advanced tactics in a melee for individuals and commanders.

How to teach fencing (Prerequisite: preparing to be a swordsman)

Discuss methods and techniques on how to teach fencing to others.

being a master or an apprentice (Prerequisite: preparing to be a swordsman)

Discussing what the purpose and details of being a Master or an Apprentice to another fencer.

being an officer (Prerequisite: preparing to be a swordsman)

Discuss what it is like to be an officer, how to plan/run practices, and how to serve more in the Order of the Rose.