All students of the Training Program begin with the rank of Newcomer. Newcomers focus on gaining the basic skills of fencing, enough that they may participate in all the various activities held at practice.
To become an Initiate, a Newcomer must meet the following criteria:
- Complete and Demonstrate understanding of all Newcomer Lessons
- Know what the Four Levels of Importance are
- Set a goal to obtain fencing gloves
- Pass a Test Match with Sergeant
Please review the following questions and answer them for yourself to see if you understand what you were taught as a Newcomer.
Newcomer Review Questions
Do you have a Signed Code of Conduct & Accident/Injury waiver?
Each fencer must have returned a signed Code of Conduct/Accident Waiver that is kept on record while they fencing with us. Have you filled one out and returned it? If not, review the Introduction Lesson.
Do you feel confident, comfortable, and safe?
As you learn to fence with us, you should feel confident in you abilities as you continue learning. You should also feel comfortable with the sport and within the group. Most importantly, you should feel safe here in Terrasylvae both on and off the field. If not, please talk with an Officer who will help overcome anything you’re struggling with.
Do you understand the Ranking System?
After the Test Match, you will rise to the rank of Initiate. Do you understand the process of advancing through the ranks and do you have the goal to reach the rank of Swordsman? If not, review the Introduction Lesson.
Do you understand what the Officer’s Corps is?
Do you know who the Officers are and who you can turn to if you need help or have a problem? The Officer Corps is meant to help the group run smoothly and ensure that each individual fencer can learn and grow in the group. If not, talk with another fencer at practice and have them introduce you to the Officers.
Are you prepared to pay your fees?
Each member of Order of the Rose is asked to pay a $5 rental fee each month to use our loaner gear. Are you willing to contribute to the group to use our gear? Do you also know that the fee can be waived through service to the group or by acquiring your own gear? If there is ever a concern about fees, you can discuss it with an Officer.
Do you know contact the group through Facebook, the Texting Group, or the Website?
The most active out of practice community for Terrasylvae is on Facebook. General updates will come through the Facebook group, while in the moment updates will typically come through the Text Group. Do you also know that the Website is a resource that can be used outside of practice to facilitate your learning outside of practice? Have you joined the Facebook or Texting Group? If not, review the Introduction Lesson for instructions.
Do you have your own gloves?
Gloves are the only piece of equipment that we don’t provide in the loaner gear. Cheap gloves can be found at any hardware store. We recommend sturdy gloves that have a cuff. Gloves should provide ample protection, not just comfort. Do you have your own gloves? If not, do you have a goal to acquire them?
Are you comfortable talking about Fencing?
Even though you are still new to fencing, can you discuss basic principles and fencing subjects in detail. Are you able to analyze what has happened during a fight? Are you aware of what you are doing when you fence and can you then discuss it with someone else? If not, take some time to talk with other more experienced fencers and learn from them. Ask questions.
Can you name all the pieces of gear?
Do you know about your mask, how to fit it properly? Do you know how to pronounce “gorget”? Do you know what proper base clothing is and what you should be wearing every time you fence? If not, review the Basics of Dueling Lesson.
Can you name all the parts of the sword?
Do you know the tip from the pommel? Can you hold the sword correctly and comfortably? Do you know what the True Edge is and why it is better than the False Edge? If not, review the Basics of Dueling Lesson.
Can you demonstrate the 8 Basics Blocks?
Can you demonstrate the 8 Basic Blocks even if you need some reminders. The 8 Basics Blocks are a foundational piece that you must know before moving on. If not, review the Basics of Dueling Lesson.
Do you know what the Four Levels of Importance are?
We hold 4 principles above all others in Terrasylvae: Safety, Honor, Attitude, and Skill. Do you understand what they are and do you agree with the 4 Levels? If not, review the Introduction Lesson.
Do you know how to “Hold” properly and when to call a “Hold”, in both a duel and a melee?
Though the same principle, a “hold” varies slightly in duels and melees. Do you know the difference and do you have the correct response to pause a fight and wait to start again? Do you know what to watch for in case you need to call a hold? If not, review the Basics of Dueling and Basics of Melee lessons.
Do you understand that we’re not really trying to kill anyone?
Even though we are sword fighting and “killing” each other, we’re out here to have fun and learn a skill. Do you understand that we do this for fun and that we need to be safe? If not, review the Basics of Dueling lesson.
Do you know the basic safety rules?
The fundamental rules should always be followed. Do you know what they are and do you do your best to follow them? If not, review the Basics of Dueling lesson?
Do you understand how the Honor System works?
This sport only works with the Honor system. Do you understand why it’s important to develop a sense of honor and ensure others see us honorably? Do you know what the Honor system is and do you do your best to be honorable? If not, review the Basics of Dueling lesson.
Do you understand the One Ask, One Tell rule?
Sometimes we don’t know what happened and need to rely on our opponent to clarify. Do you know when to ask your opponent for clarification and what it means to give only one tell? Are you prepared to accept your opponent’s response no matter what? If not, review the Basics of Dueling lesson.
Do you do your best to give good shots and take shots?
As early as possible, we want to ensure that each fencer is capable of giving good, clean shots, most of the time, and are actively trying not to give hard shots. You should also be actively trying to take any clean shot against you and not ignore incoming shots. It is more honorable to accept an unclear shot as good and let your opponent call it off than to ignore it all together. Do you do understand what it means to give a good shot and how to take a shot? If not, review the Basics of Dueling lesson.
Do you know each of the kill zones and what to do when wounded?
Do you know the lines between a kill zone and just a wound? Do you know what to do when hit in any specific area? If not, review the Basics of Dueling lesson.
Do you understand the 180 rule?
Every part of your opponent is a target, except the back. Do you understand when it is legal to engage an opponent and what are some ways of entering a person’s 180 that are frowned upon? If not, review the Basics of Melee lesson.
Do you understand when to run and when to walk in a fight?
We all get excited in a fight and there is a lot of ground to cover in Woodland, but can you control yourself in a fight to still be safe? Do you know when you can run and when you should slow down to a brisk walk? If not, review the Basics of Melee lesson.
Do you know the basic parts of a melee?
There are parts of a melee that are in every scenario. Do you know how to Rez and what a good Rez Count is? This information will be used over and over again for as long as you fence. If not, review the Basics of Melee lesson.
Are you safe?
The most important principle in the Order of the Rose is Safety. Do you have enough control to be safe in any situation and to be able to make safe decisions? If not, work with an Officer to find ways to improve your safety.
Are you honorable?
The further a fencer progresses in the lessons, the more important their honor becomes. Do you show signs of being an honorable fencer or do you show signs of becoming dishonorable? If you are concerned about your honor, talk with an Officer and get their feedback on how you can build an honorable reputation.
Do you have an appropriate attitude?
Terrasylvae loves and enjoys fun-loving people. Do you have an attitude that will lift others up or put people down? Is there a reason behind a bad attitude that can be remedied? If you are worried about your attitude, talk with an Officer and set some goals to improve your attitude at fencing.
Are you ready to request a Test Match?
Your Test Match is an opportunity for Newcomers to work with a Sergeant 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 Sergeant before moving on as an Initiate.