After a discussion with Evanlyn and Veron, I brain-dumped an idea of how to revamp the training program. The goal is to separate the “ranking” and the “learning” aspects of fencing within Order of the Rose, to have an experience similar to what it takes to become a Master Swordsman, and to bring back some of the strengths of the training program before the 2nd edition manual was created.
Criteria to becoming a Swordsman
Complete the following things and qualify to earn the rank of Swordsman:
- A person must understand and implement the Four Levels of Importance
- A person must have at least two years of fencing experience
- A person must have been a contributing member of the Order of the Rose for, at least, 9 total months
- A person must have completed all 10 required lessons
- A person must have completed, at least, 25 elective lessons
- A person must have had, at least, 5 check-in matches with an Officer
- A person must have at least 2/3 of their personal kit (helmet, gorget, or sword)
- A person must have participated in at least two tournaments
- A person must have attended at least one war
- A person must be approved, selected, and tested by the Captain and Officer’s Corps
How it Works
These requirements are met by students who desire to rank in the Order of the Rose but don’t prevent students from learning to fence. People are welcome to come and fence, take lessons if they want, train, and improve in skill. But they would essentially remain as Initiates or Novices (depends on if they want to and complete the number of lessons).
Additionally, these would have the One Exception rule. As fencer’s get close, the Captain and Officer’s Corps could consider forgiving one requirement that hasn’t been met. An example would be someone who demonstrates that they are exemplifying themselves as a Swordsman, but may not have reached the two-year mark. That time limit could be forgiven.
The Training Course would also be updated into a collection of Required and Elective lessons. Every person would need to get the first 5 required lessons, but from then on it would be up to them. The following list is just a combination of the current program, the old lessons, and additional lessons. It is not a final list.
Note: The Introduction and Waiver are not included in the Training Course because those should just be part of getting to know the person and introducing them to the group. Plus, anyone who would want to fence with us is required to get a waiver signed.
Lessons needed to rank as an Initiate (5 Required*)
Basics of Dueling* (Prerequisite: Waiver Signed)
How to gear up, Basic Stance and Footwork, Blocks 3,4,7,8, how to strike, and how to duel. Required before a student 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 a student 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. From their focus on the wrist and elbow break.
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.
Lessons needed to rank as a Novice (3 Required* | 10 electives)
8 Basic Blocks* (Prerequisite: basics of dueling)
Deep Dive into the 8 Basic Blocks and why they are so important
Range & Placement* (Prerequisite: gauging & Breaking shots)
Finding your range, maneuvering with range, your own placement, and how range impacts a fight especially hard shots
Being a Meleeist* (Prerequisite: Basics of Melee)
Additional Melee theory that can help fencers be more comfortable on the melee field
Lessons needed to rank as a swordsman (2 Required* | 15 electives)
basics of command* (Prerequisite: being a meleeist)
Basics on what makes up an army, how to lead a team, and formulate a plan
preparing to be a swordsman*
Discussion on what it means to be a swordsman, how to continue progressing, and how to fulfill swordsman duties
Note: These electives can be taken in any order, respecting any prerequisites, and can allow individuals to use certain weapons/gear.
How you use your offhand in a fight, avoiding grabbing, and how to remember it’s there.
Avoiding sewing machine, attacking different areas, how to resist the urge to reset after each strike
Block/Attack Combos (Prerequisite: 8 basic blocks)
How to implement block attack combos in general and for each of the 8 basic blocks
Draw & Tip Cuts
What qualifies as a draw & tip cut and how to perform them safely. Permits students to use Draw & Tip Cuts
Death from Behind (Dfb)
What a proper DFB and how to perform it safely. Permits fencers to use DFBs
Dagger (Prerequisite: Range & Placement)
What a dagger is, how to fight with it, and how it impacts the fight. Permits students to use a dagger.
What a deathstick is, how to fight with it, and how it impacts the fight. Permits students to use a deathstick.
What a buckler is, how to fight with it, and how it impacts the fight. Permits students to use a buckler.
What a cloak is, how to fight with it, and how it impacts the fight. Permits students to use a cloak.
Long Sword (Prerequisite: Range & Placement)
What a long sword is, how to fight with it, and how it impacts the fight. Permits students to use a long sword.
What a case is, how to fight with it, and how it impacts the fight. Permits students to use a case of swords.
Spears (Prerequisite: Range & Placement)
How to use a Spear effectively and safely. Permits students to use spears
How to use an RBG effectively and safely. Permits students to use RBGs
Probing Your Opponent
How to probe your opponent and formulate a plan based on your findings. The Chess Game.
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
Rush Attacks (Prerequisite: Range & Placement)
How safely rush your opponent and avoid a charge
Advanced Blocks (Prerequisite: 8 basic blocks)
Deep dive into advanced block theory and how to optimize your blocks and defense
Advanced Movement and Stance (Prerequisite: Range & Placement)
Deep dive into footwork, movement, and stance within a fight.
Rules of Engagement
Discussion on how to engage with your opponent in various situations.
Advanced Rules of Dueling
Deep dive into advanced dueling theory and strategies within a duel or tournament
Learning what a sword conversation is, what it is trying to tell you, and how to use your sword more efficiently
Advanced Range (Prerequisite: Range & Placement)
Deep dive into advanced range theory, the range game, overcoming opponent’s range and hiding your own.
Sword Placement, Grips, and Footwork
How various sword placements, grips, and footwork can affect the fight
Line Fighting (Prerequisite: basics of melee)
How Line Fighting works, what to be aware of, and how to fight on a line
Two on One Tactics (Prerequisite: basics of melee)
How to fight as a pair against a single fighter, 45 maneuver, and how numbers win
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: Linesmen (Prerequisite: Being a Meleeist)
Deep Dive into the strategies and techniques of being a Linesman
Parts of an Army: Cavalry (Prerequisite: Being a Meleeist)
Deep Dive into the strategies and techniques of being a Cavalry unit
Parts of an Army: Harrier (Prerequisite: being a meleeist)
Deep Dive into the strategies and techniques of being a Harrier
Parts of an ARmy: Shadow (Prerequisite: Being a Meleeist)
Deep Dive into the strategies and techniques of being a Shadow
Parts of an Army: Commander (Prerequisite: Basics of Command)
Deep Dive into the strategies and techniques of being a Commander
Falling wedge (Prerequisite: Being a Meleeist)
How to setup up, participate in, and fight against a Falling Wedge
Kill Pocket (Prerequisite: Being a Meleeist)
How to setup up, participate in, and fight against a Kill Pocket
Flanking Maneuver (Prerequisite: Being a Meleeist)
How to setup up, participate in, and fight against a Flanking Maneuver (Cavalry version)
Wall of Swords (Prerequisite: Being a Meleeist)
How to setup up, participate in, and fight against a Wall of Swords
Melee Formation and Movement (Prerequisite: Being a Meleeist)
Discussion of how formation and movements occur within a melee.
Advanced Tactics (Prerequisite: Being a Meleeist)
Discussion advanced tactics in a melee for individuals and commanders.
How to teach fencing (Prerequisite: Preparing to be a swordsman)
Discussing 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)
Discussing what it is like to be an officer and how to serve more in the Order of the Rose
How it all Works
Similar to what it was before the Training Program was implemented in its current form, students would be responsible to seek out swordsmen who are willing to work with them and teach them a lesson. If they didn’t want a lesson one week, they could just work on their own stuff. Ideally, students can be really nice to swordsmen and coordinate with them in advance about a lesson they would like. Additionally, any lessons that are going to be taught during lesson time could be announced at the beginning of practice and anyone (including other swordsmen) could jump in and go through the lesson.
Afterward, students and teachers would work with Officers to make sure the lesson was recorded and signed off.
Can a student pass off more than one lesson per week?
No. They should only be able to sign off one lesson per week.
How do check-in matches work?
Essentially, a student can schedule a check-in with an Officer whenever they want to get feedback and things to work on. It’s less a test to see if they pass or fail, and more of an opportunity to see what they can work on and improve. Ideally, they would schedule a check-in as they get close to moving from Initiate to Novice and Novice to Swordsman.
What do the Officers do?
Instead of coordinating lessons each week, they can help make suggestions for what students could work on, connect them with potential teachers, and track students’ progress. Additionally, they would kind of police that students have completed prerequisites and things before passing them off or using specific gear. Obviously, most of this would be on the honor of the students which shouldn’t be a major issue.
What are the written lessons like?
They would be closer to bullets and highlights of things that should be discussed, and it would leave a lot more for the individual swordsman to teach and explain. The idea is that the lessons are an introduction to a subject. Not a comprehensive study. Different teachers and swordsmen may introduce different things, while still covering core ideas of safety and general points
How would swordsmen get involved?
Swordsmen would primarily be helping pass along fencing knowledge to the students who come seeking it. They would manage their own time and coordinate with students who request an opportunity to work with them when the best time would be. They also would be allowed to work on their own things and if they don’t feel comfortable teaching a particular subject, they could help find another suitable teacher. Essentially, the hope is that this would provide more organic opportunities for Swordsman to fulfill their oaths. If there are issues or concerns, these would be addressed by the Officers.