Welcome to the School

If you have never trained with us before, there are a few things you should know.

  1. Beginners are welcome. Every student begins knowing nothing, and we expect to teach you everything from scratch.
  2. Most branches run regular beginners’ courses, which might be once a week for a couple of months, or a single weekend. These are the best ways to start, but if you are only spending a limited time within reach of a branch (we get a lot of exchange students, for instance), then get in touch and start training right away.
  3. You will need only a white t-shirt, dark sports trousers, and indoor training shoes to start with. We can lend you the necessary equipment, such as swords and masks.

Age and Disability Policy

Swordsmanship training is appropriate for any person who can behave as a reasonable adult. Every student should finish class healthier than they started it.

Our youngest student started at age 10; our oldest started at age 58. It is uncommon for students younger than 15 years old to be emotionally and physically capable of handling our regular training, but that is not a hard and fast rule. We encourage younger students (those under 16) to bring a parent with them to watch the first class, after which the school, the parent and the child together can decide if the child is ready. We require written permission from a parent or guardian for every student who is not legally adult.
The school does not as yet run specific children’s classes.

We have never encountered a physically perfect human being, so everybody starts out somewhere along the scale from incapacitated to super-athlete. We define ourselves by what we can do, not by what we can’t, and it is part of the School’s mission to expand every student’s capabilities as far as possible. In practice, students have successfully trained with a range of physical disabilities including severe bone malformation, amputated limbs, and partial paralysis. The school expects all students, as reasonable adults, to take their physical limitations into account when training- if an exercise is unhealthy for you, don’t do it. Students with unusually severe disabilities should make time with the instructor (in free-training sessions, or in private lessons) to work out ways to adapt the Art to their particular body.
Training at the school cannot replace medical supervision or physiotherapy. If you have any doubts, consult your doctor and the instructor before starting training.