This term is used for fencers who have just begun, who have not yet completed their first introductory course (or equivalent), and who are not yet formal members of the SHFA.
Average Time Spent in Rank: 2 to 3 months
Privileges: Receive Training
Responsibilities: Attend Training
There are no requirements for the novice rank.
As a Student you have learned to replicate techniques that are demonstrated to you while remembering the names of actions and postures. You are working to understand the role they play in fencing and to perform actions from memory.
Students are any member of the SHFA who have finished an introductory course and completed the requirements listed below. Once these requirements are met this rank is awarded and the Student is assigned a mentor of Fencer rank or higher who is responsible for providing additional training outside of class. SHFA oversight is not required for the awarding of this rank and no minimum time period is required to achieve the rank, however most novices should take 2 to 3 months to achieve it.
Time Spent in Rank: 6 to 18 months
Privileges: Wear Student Ribbon, May engage in Supervised Freeplay
Responsibilities: Begin Independent Study
Also known as a Schuler in KDF.
Describe the history of the Art
Describe how to hold the sword
Describe the parts of the sword
Describe Stance and Postures
Demo the Principle Cuts from both sides with steps
Describe the types of Binds and actions that can be taken from them.
Describe types of defensive actions.
Demo any additional material the school deems appropriate from any intro course, if applicable.
Any additional requirements that a school may deem appropriate
Time Spent in Rank:
2 to 4 years
Wear Fencer Ribbon
May engage in Freeplay.
May Supervise Novices.
May represent GSH at local events.
Mentor 1 Schuler
Continue Independent Study
KDF - Fechter
Lightsaber - Padawan
Italian - Cadet
Ribbon - Red
As a Fencer you remember the names of actions and postures and understand the basic role they play in fencing. You are learning to apply techniques consistently to the proper situation or analyze an opponent’s posture or action and select an appropriate response. Actions are performed from memory while you work to calibrate the level of accuracy you can demonstrate.
Fencers have demonstrated competence in fencing and are trusted to mentor Students by providing additional training outside of class, following curriculum provided by a Fencing Instructor. A Fencer is continuing their own training either individually or under the tutelage of a Journeyman Fencer, or higher ranked member. The content of that teaching may include an in-depth examination of the Fencer’s primary weapon, exploration of additional weapons within the system, or study of a different system.
Successfully execute the Principle Cuts (Zorn, Mittel, Unter) from each side.
Successfully execute the Meisterhaw (Schiel, Krump, Zwerch).
Prize play must include at least five (5) participants, at least three (3) of which hold the Golden State HEMA rank of Fechter or better and must be overseen by a Fechtlehrer or Journeyman (or better, if available). Candidate will fight at least one match with each participant. Matches will be at least to three clean hits. After conferring with all participants, the three Fechter members who have participated in the prize play will determine whether the candidate has passed or failed. In order to pass the prize play, the candidate must demonstrate appropriate: Use of strategy, Use of technique, Use of mechanics, Physical Fitness, Mental Attitude. See exam for exact requirements.
Show understanding of the use of Provoker-Taker-Hitter throughout the fight.
Demonstrate the role of the Zufechten and Abzug throughout the fight.
Demonstrate fighting in the Nach using Versetzen and Riposte.
Explain the History of Meyer (or other appropriate Master)
Describe the Three Phases and the Times of the Fight (or other appropriate theoretical model)
Demonstrate the Four Openings Drill play and explain how to apply it.
Demonstrate the Primary Postures and Describe the key elements of each.
Describe the Secondary Postures and give an example of their use.
Demonstrate the Meisterhauw and Describe their use in the Vor and the Nach.
Describe Versetzen and Demonstrate two (2) examples.
Describe Anbinden and Demonstrate three (3) examples of techniques using it.
Describe Verführen and Demonstrate two (2) examples.
Demonstrate a Secondary Cut Variation for each of the following: Krumphauw, Schielhauw
Demonstrate one of the following Secondary Cuts: Blendt, Windt, and Sturtzhauw and Describe their use.
Demonstrate five (5) different Stucke. These plays must vary between at least three (3) different postures, one of which must be the Gerade Versatsung or Longpoint. There must also be variation between plays in the Nach and the Vor.
Identify the provoking, taking, and hitting cuts throughout each play; the parts of the fight; and handworks used.
Mask, Gloves, Sword, Fencing (or Wrestling) Jacket
Time Spent in Rank:
3 to 5 years
Wear Journeyman Ribbon
May engage in low gear Freeplay. May supervise Fechter. May represent GSH at regional events.
Represent GSH when visiting other schools.
Participate in Journeyman Program.
Mentor 1 Fencer and 3 Students.
KDF - Geselle
Lightsaber - Guardian
Italian - Scholar
Ribbon - Green
As a Journeyman you should be able to demonstrate actions with control and precision. Effort is focused on developing the ability to flow gracefully from one action to another while being ready to adapt to changing situations that occur. A Journeyman can analyze an opponent’s actions for weaknesses and apply techniques appropriately in each situation. The Journeyman is learning to appraise an opponent for weaknesses and beginning to write materials to expand the understanding of the art.
A Journeyman has completed one or more apprenticeships over a period of at least one year, or has received a commendation as a Blossfechter, or has been certified as a Fencing Instructor, and has been studying their chosen source for at least three years (5 years recommended). Journeyman have a comprehensive understanding of their chosen system, including weapons they do not specialize in.
Successfully execute a double cut (Unterhauw -> Zornhauw) from each side.
Successfully execute a Zornhauw, Streichen, Zwerch, Schielhauw pattern, 3 seconds per cut.
Successfully execute a series of random Principle cuts, as directed.
Prize play must include at least twelve (12) participants, six (6) which hold the Golden State HEMA rank of Fechter or better and at least three (3) must be Journeyman or better. It must be overseen by a Fechtprobst (or better) or Free Fencer. Candidate will fight at least one match with each participant. Matches will be at least to three clean hits. After conferring with all participants, the three Journeyman members who have participated in the prize play will determine whether the candidate has passed or failed (with the Fechtprobst or Free Fencer having the ability to veto a Pass vote). In order to pass the prize play, the candidate must demonstrate appropriate: Use of strategy, Use of technique, Use of mechanics, Physical Fitness, Mental Attitude.
See exam for exact requirements.
A Journeyman candidate should be able to, given a set of possible actions, analyze a situation and apply an appropriate response. The candidate will be expected to analyze and apply appropriate responses in the following areas:
Zufechten – Distinguish which of the four (4) types of fencers an opponent is and apply the appropriate strategy to counter them.
Krieg 1 – Given 3 possible actions in the Vor and the Nach determine and apply an appropriate response to counter the resulting (up to 2 additonal) actions.
Reitzer, Nehmer, Treffer – In response to actions from the testing board give an example of a play making use of provoker, taker, hitter. Include appropriate actions in the Zufechten.
Abzug – All above applications should demonstrate appropriate Abzug techniques.
Have earned Fechter in a minimum of two (2) weapons/systems.
Mask, Gloves, Sword, Dagger, Fencing Jacket, Wrestling Jacket
Time Spent in Rank:
Wear Freefencer Ribbon
May engage in any type of Freeplay.
May supervise Journeyman. May represent GSH at national events.
Represent GSH when attending HEMA Events or visiting other Schools.
Mentor 2 Fechter and 1 Journeyman
KDF - Freifechter
Lightsaber - Master
Italian - Free Scholar
Ribbon - Blue
A Free Fencer can combine actions gracefully and fluidly to the situation at hand and is beginning to fully execute actions naturally when presented with unexpected stimuli. A Free Fencer can explain the elements of the art at depth and is actively expanding their study into areas that complement the core art.
A Free Fencer has spent a minimum of three years as a Journeyman, ideally traveling to other schools to expand their understanding of the art beyond their chosen system. A Free Fencer should have completed two apprenticeships, or has received a commendation as a Verfechter, or has been certified as a Fechtprobst.
Successfully execute a Zornhauw through two single mats 2” apart with a straight trajectory.
Successfully execute a series of Lightning Cuts.
Successfully execute a random series of cuts, as directed.
Prize play must include at least eighteen (18) participants, nine (9) which hold the Golden State HEMA rank of Fechter or better and at least six (6) must be Journeyman and three (3) Free Fencer. It must be overseen by a Fechtmeister. Candidate will fight at least one match with each participant. Matches will be at least to three clean hits. After conferring with all participants, the three Free Fencer members who have participated in the prize play will determine whether the candidate has passed or failed (with the Fechtmeister having the ability to veto a Pass vote). In order to pass the prize play, the candidate must demonstrate appropriate: Use of strategy, Use of technique, Use of mechanics, Physical Fitness, Mental Attitude.
See exam for exact requirements.
Write a Thesis on an area of Fencing Theory and Application of Principles.
Have earned Fechter in a minimum of three (3) weapons/systems.
Mask, Gloves, Sword, Dagger, Fencing Jacket, Wrestling Jacket, Sharp Simulator
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