Newcomers who advance to the rank of Initiate will continue developing fundamental skills that we believe all fencers should possess until they are ready to move on and become a Novice
To become a Novice, an Initiate must meet the following criteria:
- Complete and Demonstrate understanding of all Initiate Lessons
- Describe how to apply the Four Levels of Importance
- Set goal to obtain a gorget and, if applicable, a codpiece
- Pass a Test Match with a Lieutenant
Please review the following questions and answer them for yourself to see if you understand what you were taught as an Initiate.
Initiate Review Questions
Do you uphold the principle of Safety?
In your opinion, have you learned to be safe and live up to that principle? If you know that you have been unsafe, what have you done to remedy the situation? If not, talk with an Officer and work with them to become a safer fencer.
Do you uphold the principle of Honor?
In your opinion, do you uphold your honor within the group? What are some reasons that you may or may not be viewed honorably? Does you know how people view you honor? If not, talk with an Officer or other experienced fencers to learn more about honor and how to build an honorable reputation.
Do you uphold the principle of Attitude?
In your opinion, do you have a good attitude within the group? Are you enjoyable to be around and/or add something to the group? If not, talk with an Officer and work with them find ways you can uphold the principle of Attitude in the Order.
Do you uphold the principle of Skill?
In your opinion, do you show signs of improvement since you began fencing? What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses? What goals do you have to improve? If not, talk with an Officer who can work with you to set goals and help address areas you’d like to improve.
Do you feel comfortable, confident, and safe while fencing?
How do you feel when they fence? Are you happy with your progress and do you enjoy coming to practice? Is there anything that is bothering you and what can we do to help you? If not, talk with an Officer and discuss ways we can make fencing a more enjoyable experience for you.
Are you able to use your Offhand effectively?
Have you become proficient with your offhand as a defensive tool? Do you rely on it or is it mostly forgotten? Why is that? What can you do to utilize your Offhand better? If not, review the Basic Offhand lesson.
Are you able to combine Blocks and Attacks smoothly?
In a fight, are you able to transition between defense and offense smoothly or do you hesitate? What are your natural reactions when you block? When you attack? If not, review the Block/Attack Combos lesson.
Are you able to stay on the offensive with Multiple Attacks safely?
Are you able to be assertive in a fight while still being safe? Do you follow the same patterns or fall into a Sewing Machine habit? What could you do to improve or recognize your offensive capabilities? If not, review the Multiple Attacks lesson.
Do you understand Range and Placement in a fight?
Can you recognize when you are in or out of range? Are you constantly not landing shots by mere inches or are you always too close? If not, review the Range & Placement lesson.
Can you utilize Draw and Tip cuts in a fight?
Does you utilize cuts in a fight or do you only throw thrusts? If so, how often do you attempt a cut? Do you feel comfortable performing them? If not, review the Draw & Tip Cuts lesson.
Are you able to participate in a Melee effectively?
When in a melee or line fight, do you feel effective? Do you enjoy participating or do you prefer dueling? Why? What has you experience with melee been so far? If not, review the Line Fighting or talk with an Officer about your experiences with Melee.
Can you perform a proper DFB and know when or when not to perform a Death from Behind (DFB)?
Do you feel comfortable and confident when performing a DFB? Do you have good technique even in chaotic situations? Are you willing to forego a DFB in favor of safety? If not, review the Death from Behind (DFB) lesson.
Are you ready to request a Test Match?
Your Test Match is an opportunity for Initiates to work with a Lieutenant and demonstrate that you’ve learned and understood what you’ve been taught so far. It’s also a good time to ask for guidance and advice from a more experienced fencer before you continue your journey. Take your Test Match seriously and work with a Lieutenant before moving on as a Novice.