"Hear what is bad: do not fight on the upper line on the left, if you are from the right; and if you are from the left, you will limp when you fight on the right."
The School of Medieval European Fencing considers the techniques and principles contained within the longsword discipline to be suitable as a good grounding for all the other disciplines we practise. As a consequence all new students will begin their training by learning the longsword and our syllabus is derived from this discipline and the parts of Liechtenauer's teachings that this concerns.
We have devised a grading system that reflects what we consider to be the most important elements ranging from basic (grades 1 and 2) to advanced (grade 5). This continues to Maister grades (maister used in the medieval context of instructor or teacher.)
There are accompanying publications to assist with learning the gradings below.
Currently Grades 1 & 2 are available here: Art and Science of Johannes Liechtenauer's German Medieval Longsword
Grade 3 is being written and hopefully will be available before the end of 2023.
Grade 1 - Student
Recognise, know and practise the five Maisterhaw, four guards, and the elementary principles of basic timing and footwork.
(Minimum 3 months regular or equivalent attendance.)
Grade 2 - Scholar
Understand the Moment of Instability.
An introduction to the True Times of Distance and True Times of Intent.
Ability to 'pat-a-cake' spar in proper time.
Assist teaching Grade 1.
(Minimum 6 months regular or equivalent attendance from gaining Grade 1.)
Grade 3 - Free Scholar
Understand the basic principles of the Nachreisen.
Show a basic understanding of the True Times of Distance and True Times of Intent.
Understand the Vor and the Nach.
Understand and practise the Moment of Instability.
Develop timing and footwork.
An introduction to the Fühlen and In des.
Assist teaching lower grades.
(Minimum of 1 year regular or equivalent attendance from gaining Grade 2.)
Grade 4 - Journeyman
Demonstrate the relationship between the principles and the position and intent of an opponent.
Have an in-depth understanding of the True Times of Distance, True Times of Intent
Show greater understanding of the Fühlen and In des.
Begin practising another discipline and apply the principles already learned.
Teach Grades 1 & 2 and assist teaching Grade 3.
Undertake and perform the role of Assistant Instructor.
(Minimum of 18 months regular or equivalent attendance after gaining Grade 3)
Grade 5 - Provost
Show an understanding of how the system is self-sufficient and demonstrate your ability to apply the Fühlen to "read" your opponent and use the In des to pre-empt your opponent's intentions.
Teach Grades 1 to 3 and assist teaching Grade 4.
Take a regular class to teach another discipline.
Undertake and perform the role of Class Instructor.
(Minimum of 2 years regular or equivalent attendance after gaining Grade 4)
Maister Grade 1
Undertake and perform the role of Instructor and teach Grades 1 through 5.
Organise and execute lesson plans and adapt as necessary.
Show an ability to empathise and adapt to students' needs and limitations.
Maister Grade 2
Undertake and perform the role of Senior Instructor.
Design a long-term developmental syllabus for a student(s) and adapt according to progress.
Represent the school by teaching outside its confines at events and seminars.
Continue personal development by researching, understanding and practising other weapon discipline.
Maister Grade 3
Undertake and perform the role of Maister.
Undertake the running of a class including student/assistant management, register attendance, accounting and day-to-day administration.
Be published and respected as an authority and invited to lecture about what you know.
Be regularly published.
Be rediscovered in 650 years and recognised as a great Master of the Art.