Some brief thoughts which comprise an informal expectation of conduct:
Maturity & Respect: Everything begins here. Scholar Victoria is founded on respect for each other, for ourselves, and other members of the fencing community. Fencing should raise us all up together, not tear us apart. Respect can be taken to include many things, including:
- Conducting ourselves impartially and professionally with students and coaches during the class
- Not disparaging our peers
- Conducting ourselves appropriately before, during, and after tournaments
- Conducting ourselves appropriately online in a context that could be construed as representing the school
There is no place in the training hall for bullying, grudges, or animosities – see communication and attitude.
Safety: Let’s be honest – swords were originally made to hurt people. We, on the other hand, want to practice in a safe environment. Through proper equipment and attitude we can work to minimise those risks. Particularly:
- Understand that injuries may happen, especially in tournaments.
- Be proactive in injury avoidance during training.
- Wear protective gear appropriate to the situation while drilling, sparring, or competing.
- Moderate fencing intensity based on the skill, personality, and protective equipment of your partner.
- Acknowledge when you have been in a circumstance where your partner has been injured, showing proper concern and respect for their injuries.
- Review the circumstances of injuries with coaches and involved participants to come up with ways to avoid repeated incidents.
- Don’t train if you’ve been drinking or are otherwise unable to fence
Communication: Communication is the key to our success and happiness as fencers. Good communication includes:
- Being open and honest in communication with students and instructors concerning class issues.
- Letting your instructor know if you don’t understand a technique or lesson, or are having problems in class.
- Listening to your peers with an open mind.
- Letting instructors know if you have a pre-existing injury, or have sustained an injury while fencing
- In the case of personal conflict, speaking with the instructor and openly discussing any issues.
Attitude: While swordsmanship is not without its serious side, we believe that as a group it should be approached with an attitude of enthusiasm, openness, and a sense of fun. There is no room in classes for animosity, agendas, grudges, feelings of superiority, or any other attitude which undermines the enjoyment of the sport and martial art for your classmates.
Likewise there is nothing wrong with appropriately channeled competitive spirit and desire for excellence. Many fencers work hard both in class and during their own time to achieve a high degree of fitness and competency in readiness for competition. A passion to excel is a wonderful thing so long as it isn’t at the expense of your peers.
Historical Martial Arts are for everyone. Let’s help keep it that way.