Charter

The IAS charter serves as a set of guidelines for the regular operations of the IAS as well as defining roles for the various parties.
This document forms the constitution for the International Armizare Society and serves as a set of guidelines for the regular operations of the IAS. It serves as the definitive reference document, should conflicting information be found elsewhere. as pertains to membership and the rules concerning the governing body, voting and general governance. Much like other documents in the IAS portfolio, it is a living document, and may be amended given the general approval (by vote) of its Governing Council.
Aside from presenting the rules pertaining to membership, voting and general governance, it sets out the process and criteria for ranks, membership, and any other information deemed necessary to the furtherance of the IAS’ mission.

The International Armizare Society is neither a “school” nor a “federation” in the strictest sense, but is rather more analogous to a trade guild: an association of craftsmen looking to refine and maintain a high standard in the practice of their craft. This sort of relationship exists on an individual teacher-student level, with the specific goal of developing a qualified “next generation” of instructors to carry armizare forward. As such, the society provides a curriculum, instructional material, and mentoring and accreditation.

Thus, the International Armizare Society (heretofore referred to as IAS) is an historical and chivalric European martial arts confraternal association concerned with the restoration, preservation and transmission of canonical Armizare as recorded and left to posterity by the Founder, Fiore dei Liberi, and the work of successors determined to be within his tradition as a complete, traditional, but living and functional martial art. In furtherance of these goals, the association shall:

  1. provide a common set of curricular and performance objectives such that inter-school rank recognition by signatories is facilitated.
  2. form a testing body and formal testing regimen for instructor certification to ensure transmission and proper preservation of the dei Liberi Tradition, as the Society understands it.
  3. develop an Advisory Council of recognized experts to assist the Society and oversee the testing of its first master-level candidates.
  4. maintain an active content-rich website of academic, interpretive and instructional material to assist in educating the public about medieval/early Renaissance Italian martial arts in general and armizare in specific.
  5. dialogue with other martial artists in order to increase awareness of armizare in the large martial arts community.

The Society’s overarching goal is therefore the revival of a tradition and the establishment of lineages for the continued transmission of the Art, as stated in its mission and objectives and to this end, the organisation has also put forth formal testing requirements and will institute mechanisms for forming on-going testing and governing bodies.

In furtherance of these goals, the association shall provide a common set of curricular and performance objectives such that inter-school rank recognition by signatories is facilitated. As a result, the IAS will also form a testing body and formal testing regimen for instructor certification in an effort to ensure transmission and proper preservation of the dei Liberi Tradition, as the IAS sees it.

The IAS concerns itself principally with the disciplines set forth by Fiore dei Liberi, and can be summarized by the treatise’s title: Flos Duellatorum in armis, sine armis, equester et pedester, “Flower of Battle in armour, without armour, mounted and on foot.” It is a holistic presentation of knightly combat in all its forms: grappling, dagger, sword in one hand, sword in two hands, spear, poleaxe and mounted combat.

As the preservation, study and refinement of historical martial arts, and specifically l’Arte dell’Armizare is an ongoing endeavour, any document should be considered a “living document”, and may be reviewed and revised at any time with the consent of the governing body.

Accreditation

Accredited teachers are those who have gone through the Society’s certification process and currently hold the ranks of Provost or Magister (see “membership”). Schools run by these instructors are considered member bodies, but it is contingent upon the instructor’s rank and affiliation with the IAS. In other words, if you have joined a school led by an IAS instructor, then you are already a part of the organization! Ask your instructor for the login procedure, so you can access the site’s resources.

Mentoring

Mentoring is a key component of the Society’s mission. There are many interested students of armizare who find themselves without a local teacher, a small study group with little formal curriculum, or excellent personal skills but little pedagogical training.  Our Knowledge Base page has a growing repository of training materials, including class handouts, detailed curriculum, video lessons and seminar footage to help.

If, in reviewing these materials, you feel that you would benefit from direct affiliation with the IAS,  then there are two ways to do so.  First, this website lists all IAS certified instructors; find one whose biography, school or proximity appeals to you and contact them directly! A number of our member schools have charter or filial schools that began in just such a fashion, and this method is likely the best choice if you are new to armizare or are working alone.

A second option, more ideal for existing schools and study groups, is to sign up for one of the support tiers we offer, according to your needs.

In the process of mentoring, we will want to know more about you, such as the size of your group, how old it is, where you train, your prior martial experience, and so forth. A mentor will be assigned to you, largely based on geographical proximity, to help you through the process and answer any questions you may have regarding our criteria or the process of becoming a member. It will be required to host one of the members of the governing council in order for there to be oversight into the QoE and QoI of the petitioning school/students.

As a final step in the process of becoming a full member, before challenging for provost or higher rank in the Society, a vote must be held by the governing council to admit any petitioner to the IAS, according to the voting rules and procedures in force.

Becoming a member

The IAS is neither a “school” nor a “federation” in the strictest sense, but is rather more analogous to a trade guild: an association of craftsmen looking to refine and maintain a high standard in the practice of their craft. This sort of relationship exists on an individual teacher-student, with the specific goal of developing a qualified “next generation” of instructors to carry armizare forward. Therefore, membership in the Society consists of two forms:  accreditation and mentoring.

There are several levels of membership, both individual and group. To join, please visit the Joining page.

Individual memberships

Supporter

I.a Supporters gain access to the library of member articles, textual training materials and the IAS member Facebook group in recognition for their continued support

Independent Scholar

I.b Independent scholars are individual members who wish to train Armizare using the IAS core curriculum, with access to instructors and discounts for other members’ platforms (e.g. Swordplay Online).

Companion

I.c Companions are individuals who would like more comprehensive support and access to the full library of IAS material, including monthly lectures or lessons.

Group Memberships

Company

I.d Named in the spirit of the mercenary companies of medieval Italy, and ideal for existing schools and study groups, the Company tier affords you all the same resources as the individual Affiliate package – full access to a self-study program, and the opportunity to test for rank and accreditation within the IAS.

Mentored

I.e This tier exists as a corollary to the individual Companion package, but for groups. It provides access to the entire IAS curriculum and online learning platform, as well as monthly lectures or lessons.

Member schools

I.f Member schools are schools with at least one ranked and accredited instructor of at least Provost level.

Endorsed Schools

I.g The IAS maintains healthy relationships with other schools, academies and organisations. Endorsed schools are those we recognise to have quality training and use best practises in the training of their particular art or style.

Fraternal Organisations

I.h Fraternal organisations enjoy a particularly close relationship with the IAS’ goals and methodologies, but are not members of the IAS per se. These organisations are, by definition, endorsed.

Overview

II.a The International Armizare Society, with its associate schools, shall employ a historical rank structure based upon that used by the fencing guilds of the 15th and 16th centuries.  Ranking shall consists of four grades, in ascending order:

  • Scolaro (Scholar),
  • Laureato (Free Scholar),
  • Rettore (Provost)
  • Magistro d’Armizare (Magister).

The first two of these ranks shall be considered student ranks, while the latter two constitute senior instructor ranks. Although the Society shall establish recognizable standards and minimum requirements for all four grades, the authority for testing and granting of rank for the lower ranks of Scolaro and Laureato to its member academies.  Conversely, member bodies agree to external examination and certification by the association for the rank of Provost or Master at Arms, once all requirements internal to the member academy have been met.

II.b For proper rank recognition by the IAS to take place, the following factors shall be evaluated.

  1. Content
    1. practical
    2. theoretical
  2. Quality of execution
  3. Quality of interpretation
  4. Academics
  5. Instructional

As personal pedagogy forms an important part of the requirements for proper transmission of the art to take place, and as such is included and evaluated for these ranks.

II.c Certification granted by the Society pertains to the discipline of canonical armizare, as understood by the Society, and conveys no rank or privilege in any other discipline or martial art.

II.d  The IAS shall not grant “paper” or “honorary” ranks, beyond the internal ranks granted by its member schools, nor shall any candidate be granted the rank of Rettore or Magister without having met the certification requirements.

II.e External to the organization the Society’s Governing Council is given the authority to create reciprocal recognition with other governing bodies, as it deems necessary or appropriate. Such recognition shall not constitute rank or membership within the Society. The Society neither warrants nor refutes the ranks granted by any organisations outside its member bodies or recognized affiliates.

Ranking Criteria

The following outlines the criteria for each of the ranks in the IAS’ purview, as well as minimum requirements for individual ranks in each schools purview, as a qualitative minimum standard. A PDF version is also available for download by clicking the link below. Armizare rank association

The International Armizare Society (heretofore referred to as IAS) is an historical and chivalric European martial arts confraternal association concerned with l’Arte dell’Armizare of the dei LiberiTradition. This document describes the mission and objectives of IAS, the agreed-upon requirements for recognition of rank within the organisation, as well as formal testing requirements and mechanisms for forming the testing and governing bodies. It is a living document, and may be reviewed and revised at any time with the consent of the governing body. It is understood that learning any martial art is a complex act requiring years of ongoing study that is never fully completed.

The International Armizare Society (heretofore referred to as IAS) is an historical and chivalric European martial arts confraternal association concerned with the restoration, preservation and transmission of canonical Armizare as recorded and left to posterity by the Founder, Fiore dei Liberi, and the work of successors determined to be within his tradition as a complete, traditional, but living and functional martial art. In furtherance of these goals, the association shall provide a common set of curricular and performance objectives such that inter-school rank recognition by signatories is facilitated. As a result, the IAS will also form a testing body and formal testing regimen for instructor certification in an effort to ensure transmission and proper preservation of the dei Liberi Tradition, as the IAS sees it.

CANONICAL VS. APPLIED ARMIZARE

Referring to the specific instructions, tactical lessons and techniques left to posterity by Fiore dei Liberi, Filippo Vadi, and several fragmentary sources of anonymous authorship, Canonical Armizare is our historical legacy and the lingua franca by which the association understands its origins. Conversely, Applied Armizare is “Armizare in Context”, or an understanding of how to apply the principles, tactics and mechanics of the art holistically and within situations upon which dei Liberi either did not discuss, only touched upon tangentially. For example:

  • Did not discuss – sword and buckler or large shield, although it was a contemporary weapon style, closely related to the sword in one hand, which he did teach;
  • Touched upon tangentially – the use of the short stick (bastoncello) or partizan (ghiavarina).

It is our belief that the Applied Armizare applications shows an instructor’s fundamental mastery and integration of the art’s principles and teachings at the highest level, and reflects the founder’s intention that his art be holistic and synergistic. Given the IAS’ central mission to see that its understanding is refined and transmitted to the next generation, it will limit testing Provost and Master candidates in their ability to adapt the principles of Armizare to an unfamiliar weapon or environment as part of its examination process,. The establishment of, and testing in, any formal Neo-Armizare teachings (as defined below) remains the sole provenance of member body schools, and is outside the IAS’ purview.

NEO-ARMIZARE

Neo-Armizare  is the application of the principles of Armizare to situations and weapons for which the founder could not have conceived. In practise, this definition largely means applying Armizare to modern combatives such as modern self-defence. for example:

  • Could not have conceived – the use of abrazare, bastoncello and knife defense for modern, personal protection, interpolation of known techniques from contemporary traditions.

As previously stated, Neo-Armizare is outside of the IAS’ purview, although it may act in an advisory capacity.

This section relates to testing methods and standards. Testing up to the rank of Free scholar is entirely in the testing school’s domain. Free scholar testing should entail invitations from outside bodies to attend. Provost and Maestro testing is overseen by the IAS. Testing of ranks overseen by the IAS will include written, oral, technical and instructional components. Testing may be done in person, by video submission, or any other means allowing oversight. A prize play will round out the process, as a form of “confirmation.” All testing need not be done on the same day, but over a certain period. Technical performance criteria is judged based on criterion of Quality of Execution (QoE) and Quality of Interpretation (QoI).

QUALITY OF EXECUTION

Quality of execution refers to the execution of technique using proper mechanics and timing for movement and action, but may have some interpretational aspects, given that it is impossible to entirely separate physical execution from interpretation in a systematic fashion. Specifically, QoE will be graduated along a skill progression slide using an adapted model proposed by Henri Boudreault, PH.D. Our model is as follows (see appendix for more information on pedagogical progression and skills advancement):

Novice:

  • Rigid adherence to taught rules or plans, no exercise of “discretionary judgment”
  • Rote execution or repetition of a demonstrated technique or skill as demonstrated, often without using proper mechanics and without necessarily demonstrating an understanding of the wider context or variations in technique.

Intermediate:

  • Has limited “situational perception”, all aspects of technique treated separately with equal importance.
  • Applies, with help, the knowledge and skills necessary to the performance of a technique.
  • Proper mechanics are more prevalent, but secondary to the performance of the technique. I.e. the student will quickly abandon proper mechanics if the situation becomes difficult.
  • Application of technique requires concentration and conscious thought.

Competent:

  • Independent evaluation of a situation, autonomy, transfer of technique across situations.
  • Executes techniques in isolation (set plays, simple phrases) against non-compliant partners.
  • Executes technique without prompting, in tempo and using proper body mechanics.
  • Capable of planning an approach (strategically)
  • Can apply tactical decision making consciously

Proficient:

  • Ability to apply and adapt technique and mechanics to a variety of situations.
  • Executes multiple techniques (“strings techniques) together to form complex phrases
  • Employs proper body mechanics, at speed
  • Can apply tactical decision making with little conscious thought

Mastery:

  • Has a holistic view and can adapt technique to varying situations and weapons (i.e. has practised the corpus of techniques and can use them across weapons and versus disparate weapons)
  • Employs proper body mechanics with fluidity and grace (sprezzatura)
  • Applies tactical decision making intuitively

Expertise:

  • Innovates building upon his mastery, is not limited by the parameters of the system
  • Has significant skill or knowledge beyond mastery in a particular sphere of research (polearms, mounted combat, etc.)

To gain any rank outlined below, a student must gain a certain skill level in the required elements. For instance, to gain Scholar rank, the student should be rated as “competent” in the required skills. Individual schools are encouraged to use the qualitative assignments with their internal ranks and evaluations.

QUALITY OF INTERPRETATION

Any interpretation must be demonstrably and arguably derived from source material, or reasonably interpolated from the wider dei Liberi tradition. This includes all four extant manuscripts, Fillipo Vadi’s manual, and manuals in the die Blume des Kampfs/Von Eyb tradition. Further, any interpretation must be demonstrably martially valid.

Furthermore, any provost or master candidate with a substantial interpretive difference or innovation should be able to submit a paper justifying their  interpretation and argue favourably in its defence before a panel of no less than three (3) judges.

The International Armizare Society  realizes that the grassroots nature of the larger HEMA community means that small study-groups or individual students might find themselves without a direct, higher authority to provide an established curriculum or test candidates. As part of the association’s mandate to foster and develop the larger Armizare community, such “at-large” students may apply directly to IAS for testing and certification. They will be referred to a recognized association instructor who is willing and able to act as long-distance mentor and monitor. It is up to the mentor and candidate to arrange the specific details of their relationship, whether to become personal students or remain “At-Large” members of the association. In the latter instance, the mentor will stand as the at-large student’s advocate, and will recommend them for testing in the rank of Free Scholar. Testing will be arranged and conducted before a board, and the rank will be conferred directly by IAS rather than a member academy. At-large candidates who successfully achieve the rank of Provost may apply to join the association as a member body, granting them the right to create Scholars and Free Scholars under their own authority. Note that IAS requires in-person examination and does not allow for video-testing. Further, it is the belief of the organization that a candidate for Maestro d’Arme can only be developed by direct, personal and in-person training between teacher and student, and does not confer this rank to “At-Large” students.

Each member may develop his/her own curriculum, provided the ranks meet the base requirements set forth by the association, although the individual guildmasters/principals are expected to work fraternally to share and refine their material. While this association, it procedures and methodologies may also form a model by which other HEMA traditions, schools and academies may form their own collective rank and testing requirements, such concerns are beyond the authority, scope or interest of the IAS, and it neither warrants nor refutes the ranks granted by any organisations outside its member bodies or recognized affiliates.

The International Armizare Society, with its associate schools, employ a historical rank structure based upon that used by the fencing guilds of the 15th and 16th centuries.  Ranking consists of four grades, in ascending order:

SCHOLAR (SCOLARO)

The first student rank is internal to member academies and outside the direct purview of IAS; each member is free to grant Scolaro rank, provided students meet the base required criteria that follows. This rank forms the first rank for which there are formal curricular requirements. Being admitted to the rank of Scolaro attests to the candidate’s ability to perform fundamental actions and set plays with proper mechanics and footwork. It also signifies an understanding of the fundamental precepts of the system and apply the entirety of their learning to a limited freeplay environment in a defensive capacity. Each school is free to define other requirements as they see fit.

BADGE:

Garter in the school’s colors (excepting red or gold), worn below the knee.

SYMBOL:

Celeritas the Tiger (Swiftness)

OBJECTIVES:

PRIMARY OBJECTIVE

The IAS primary objective for the curriculum up to Scolaro is to verse the practitioner in the basic building blocks of the Art, making a competent practitioner of the Art, capable of defending oneself within the system using the basic weapons of the curriculum: dagger, sword, wrestling.

SECONDARY OBJECTIVES

The primary objective above is arrived at by incorporating and building on several secondary objectives in addition to those specific to the Art, such as:

  • Appropriating proper balance, stance and footwork
  • Appropriating proper structure
  • Awareness of tactical considerations in combat
  • Developing a proper attack and defence
  • Notions of tempo and measure
  • Basic instructional skills (ability to transmit drills)
  • ,Appropriate proper form and mechanics

REQUIREMENTS:

TECHNICAL

Candidates should be able to competently perform basic set plays and drills in the following components of Armizare using proper stance, footwork, and mechanics.

FOOTWORK

Scolari are expected to perform the following basic footwork unarmed, with dagger and with sword in two hands:

  • Forward and backward pass (passare, tornare)
  • Advancing and retreating step (acressere and discresse)
  • Volta stabile
  • Mezza volta
  • Triangle/compass step

ABRAZARE

The candidate must be able to demonstrate a  selection of techniques from the abrazare section. The first five plays are a baseline minimum.

DAGA

The candidate must demonstrate a selection of techniques from the daga section. The nine remedy masters (discounting their constituent plays) are an accepted minimum for the purposes of acceding to rank.

SPADA A DUE MANI

The candidate must demonstrate a basic fencing actions and a selection of plays, drawn from the manuscript and/or non-canonical, but considered to be fundamental to fencing in general. As an internal rank, schools are given the discretion to choose which actions best suit their curriculum.

QUALITY OF EXECUTION

A Scolaro should posses the ability to perform simple set plays and defences in a static environment, according to the requirements of their school. These should include basic fencing actions such as beats, collections, simple parries, counter cuts and counter thrusts against a willing, semi-compliant partner. The level of execution sought is basic competency, per the skills progression chart.

QUALITY OF INTERPRETATION

This is not assessed for the Scolaro candidate.

ACADEMIC

The Scolaro candidate will undergo both written and oral examinations pertaining to the fundamentals of Armizare, questions which, are to be determined by each member’s testing body in accordance with their own needs and curriculum as well as according to the reading requirements.

REQUIRED READING:

Each member will have individual reading requirements that may be tested in the oral and/or written examinations. The reading list is as follows:

  • The Knightly Art of Battle, 2011, Ken Mondschein, J. Paul Getty Museum;
  • Prologue to the Getty manuscript, 2012, Translation by Tom Leoni, Freelance Academy Press
  • Fiore dei Liberi’s Armizare, p. 1- 95, by Robert N. Charrette, 2011, Freelance Academy Press

INSTRUCTIONAL

The Scolaro candidate should be able to demonstrate a drill, play or sequence from each of the core disciplines of abrazaredaga and spada a due mani (instructors are left to make the determination as to what precisely must be demonstrated) to another student in a tutoring capacity as a means of manifesting the candidate’s understanding of the material and their ability to aid their fellow students as instructor-aides. The Scolaro is expected to be able to recognise and correct minor errors in execution and form, but should defer to the instructor as Scolaro is not a teaching rank.

FREE SCHOLAR (LAUREATO D’ARMI)

A Free Scholar is a senior student, someone who has achieved scholar-level expertise with multiple elements of the art, the ability to fence proficiently with all of them,  and has begun developing the ability to apply the plays of the system creatively and dynamically in new situations; ie: they understand the underlying why behind the how in the tradition’s teachings. As the higher of the two “student ranks”, the IAS leaves it to its member academies to award the rank of Free Scholar, and recognizes that rank as if it had been awarded by the association itself. In turn, member academies agree to hold their Free Scholar candidates to the following minimal requirements, although each academy maintains the rights to add additional, internal requirements as they see fit.

BADGE:

Gold garter, worn below the knee.

SYMBOL:

Prudentia the Lynx (Prudence)

OBJECTIVES

PRIMARY OBJECTIVE

For the curriculum up to Laureato, the primary objectives are twofold: broaden the scope of the training to include all the unarmoured material as well as continue to improve upon the base, as well as provide training for Laureate to act as junior instructors in the transmission of the Art.

SECONDARY OBJECTIVES

Secondary objectives include:

  • Honing tactical awareness to include both offensive and defensive tactical decision-making.
  • Improve the student’s understanding and application of tempo.
  • Improve execution of techniques and mechanics.
  • Improve the student’s contextual understanding of the Art.
  • Improve flow and extended phrases.

GENERAL REQUIREMENTS:

A Free Scholar is expected to be versed in the core building blocks of l’arte dell’armizare, and be capable of performing techniques spontaneously and dynamically to the required level of execution, with the requisite disciplines. As such, the level of skill acquisition is that of proficiency.

  • Abrazare
  • Daga
  • Spada a un mano
  • Spada a due mani (largo e stretto)
  • Lanza (both the “common method” and the dei Liberi method).

As the lance – both as a spear and as the simple staff – is the logical bridge between armoured and unarmoured, short and long, the sword and polearms, it makes a logical companion arm at this level, although candidates are not required by the IAS charter to test or play their Prize in harness.

ACADEMIC

The candidate must complete a written test or series of tests encompassing the ensemble of core disciplines outlined below, as well as including material based on the reading requirements for this level, also outlined below.

REQUIRED READING

The Laureato is required to have read and understood the works that follow. The goal is not memorisation, but rather an understanding of the Art, the manuscripts, and the historical context in which it evolved.

Reading list: Primary material

  • Complete Fior di Battaglia (Getty Ms) translation
  • Complete Flos Duellotorum (Pisani-Dossi Ms.)
  • Filippo Vadi, De Arte Gladiatoria – Prologue and 16 Verse Chapters

Secondary Material:

  • Fiore dei Liberi’s Armizare, Robert Charrette
  • Flowers of Battle, The Complete Martial Works of Fiore dei Liberi, Volume One, Tom Leoni & Gregory D. Mele

Contextual Material:

  • Chivalry – Maurice Keen
  • Chivalry and Violence in Medieval Europe – Richard Kaeuper (the counterpoint to Keen)
  • Mercenaries and their Masters – Michael Mallet
  • Sword in the Age of Chivalry – Oakeshott

Pick One:

  • The Italian Renaissance – by Jacob Burkhardt
  • The Italian Renaissance – Peter Burke

TECHNICAL

As previously stated, Laureato candidates should have reached a level of Proficient for the technical requirements stated below, per the QoE skills model.

FOOTWORK

In addition to the requirements for Scolaro, the candidate is expected to be able to perform multiple steps smoothly and in sequence, incorporating directional changes and keeping a stable, balanced base. Laureate should also be able to maintain this footwork in a freeplay environment.

ABRAZARE

The Candidate must:

  • Demonstrate the ability to perform all the abrazare plays in a dynamic and spontaneous fashion, using control and in a safe manner.
  • Demonstrate falling ability in freeplay, including high falls
  • Demonstrate an understanding of structure and how it relates to balance
  • Demonstrate methods for breaking structure and balance in a dynamic setting
  • Demonstrate the three components of any takedown: unbalance, enter, throw.
  • Possess and demonstrate an understanding of poste and the grips and positions from which they derive.
  • Execute a number of syllabus and/or flow drills, as well as set plays in accordance with the school’s curriculum.

DAGA

The Candidate must:

  • Demonstrate the posteporta di ferro sempia, porta di ferro dopia, porta di ferro dopia incrosada, mezana porta di ferro dopia, mezana porta di ferro dopia incrosada, posta longa, posta dente di cinghale, posta frontale
  • Perform all the unarmed plays of dagger, specifically from remedy masters 1, 3, 4, 5, and 9.
  • Demonstrate the ability to fall safely with the weapon.
  • Execute a number of syllabus/flow drills in accordance with the school’s curriculum.
  • Apply the plays in a dynamic and spontaneous fashion, using control and in a safe manner.

SPADA A DUE MANI

The Candidate must:

  • Demonstrate the 12 poste and their variations, as well as an understanding of their relation to one another and their tactical usage.
  • Demonstrate cutting ability with the longsword
  • Demonstrate tutta volta, mezza volta  and volta stabile of the sword in accordance with the interpretation of the IAS.
  • Demonstrate a minimum level of fundamental fencing knowledge
  • Demonstrate an understanding of tempo and line by demonstrating actions in the following tempi:
  • dui tempi: First and second remedy master actions, rompere di puntarebatter deflection
  • mezzo tempo: attacking into a guard change, actions on the sword from the bind (volte of the sword)
  • primo tempo: demonstrate an understanding of how to initiate an attack and properly develop it.
  • contratempo: attacking the advance target (hands, arms, leg), single-time actions: scambiar di punta, first remedy master, stop-thrust, single-time countercut.
  • Execute a number of syllabus/flow drills in accordance with the school’s curriculum.
  • Demonstrate all set plays from the zogho largo section of the manuscript.
  • Demonstrate a selection of zogho stretto sections of the manuscript, at the tester’s discretion.
  • Demonstrate ability in applying the spada a due mani plays dynamically and spontaneously, with control and in a safe manner.

SPADA A UN MANO

The Candidate must:

  • Demonstrate the un mano poste as well as an understanding of their relation to one another and their tactical usage.
  • Demonstrate cutting ability with the single sword (see “cutting”, below)
  • Demonstrate the use of tempo per the longsword requirements.
  • Execute a number of syllabus/flow drills in accordance with the school’s curriculum.
  • Demonstrate all set plays from the un’mano section of the manuscript, including those from the equestrian section.
  • Applied Armizare: Demonstrate how to apply the canonical plays from the other defensive (left side) poste of the sword in one hand. The candidate will also demonstrate how to use the sword from the offensive (right side) poste as inferred from the source material.
  • Demonstrate ability in applying the spada a un’mano plays dynamically and spontaneously, with control and in a safe manner.

LANZA

The candidate must:

  • Applied Armizare: Demonstrate the “common method” that opposes dei Liberi’s method:
  • poste of breve serpentina, serpentina lo soprano and bastarda serpentina lo soprano
  • fundamental attacks of  punta portata, punta slanciata, punta cambiata, blow with the pedale, blow with the half-spear, shortened thrust
  • Basic parries from breve serpentina, winding between breve serpentina and lo soprano and the “universal parry” from the bastarda position.
  • Demonstrate the cavazione
  • Demonstrate the cambiamento
  • Canonical Armizare: Demonstrate the “dueling method” taught  by Fiore dei Liberi:
  • Six poste and their tactical usage
  • fundamental attacks of punta portata, shortened thrust, blow with the pedale
  • Demonstrate the canonical corpus of set plays  with emphasis on the scambiar and rompere from various starting poste.
  • Demonstrate the ability to move from the Common Method to dei Liberi’s method, either spontaneously or using a form/flow drill in accordance with the school’s curriculum.

CUTTING

Free Scholars are expected to be able to perform compound attacks with the dagger, longsword and sword in one hand from all guard positions, with both true and false edges (for swords), as well as an ability to choose the proper cut in a tactical decision-making environment (freeplay). Free scholars must also posses the ability to cut suitable targets with multiple attacks, as per the requirements outlined in the requirements for Free Scholar. Further, thrusts should be delivered in proper tempo from all quadrants of the body as well as the center, and the candidate should be able to perform cavazione (disengage). Precision and control are requirements.

  • Cuts and thrusts must be developed in proper order (true time), without bobbing up or otherwise compromising the mechanics of the cut.
  • The Laureato candidate should be able to demonstrate basic cutting ability by severing a cutting medium (generally tatami omote) with basic cuts along several lines, employing proper balance, lines and footwork. Patterns include:
  • Pattern One: Simple Mandritto Fendente
  • Pattern Two: Simple Riverso Fendente
  • Pattern Three: Alternating Mandritti and Riversi – 4 cuts total
  • Pattern Four: Mandritto Fendente, Riverso Falso sottano, Riverso Fendente
  • Cuts must be appropriately developed in proper tempo according to the established quality of execution for cuts.

QUALITY OF EXECUTION

Free Scholars must possess the ability to perform compound set of plays and counters related to their level in a fluid manner as well as dynamically in a freeplay environment versus non compliant partners. The level required for Free scholar is “Proficiency”.

QUALITY OF INTERPRETATION

The Free Scholar candidate must abide by the qualitative criteria established for his rank level. The criteria can be found on the Testing Requirements page.

INSTRUCTIONAL

The Free Scholar is expected to be able to teach their school’s entire Scolaro curriculum in a group format. Further, the Free Scholar should be capable of developing and executing a lesson plan within the bounds of the curriculum. Pursuant to this, the Free Scholar should be able to see and correct mistakes in execution, both technical and mechanical, and provide basic feedback to students regarding tactical and strategic consideration. The Free Scholar must work under the direction and guidance of a Provost or Magister. It is imperative that the student understand that rote verbatim is not required, but rather demonstrate an understanding of the various components of the Art, their tactical application, and their interconnection as part of a holistic system. Finally, as Free Scholars are considered to be assistant instructors, a candidate must possess the ability to demonstrate the material in a coherent and cohesive manner in a group lesson as prepared above.

PROVOST (RETTORE)

A Provost is the first of the upper ranks in the guild system, and the first formal teaching rank. Provost generally act under the guidance of a Master, and can teach as heads of chapters or specific programs. It is the first rank that is conveyed directly by the IAS, except in those cases where, for lack of a sponsoring academy, the association has directly awarded the rank of Free Scholar, as noted above. First and foremost, the Provost must have a proven track record in the instruction of the art, and is skilled in all weapons as described by Fiore dei Liberi’s treatise. Key responsibilities of the Provost are the training and teaching of students, the contribution to the general operations and/or administration functions of their home academy, standing as coaches, mentors and examiners in the creation of At-Large Free Scholars, and as Challengers in any Provost’s Prizes. A Provost must be capable of teaching all of the core elements of the FS curriculum and have experience in the breadth of the full use of the art on foot, and conduct original research or technical development of the art.

BADGE:

Dark red garter, worn below the left knee.

SYMBOL:

Audatia the Lion (Courage)

PROVOST REQUIREMENTS

A Provost must be capable of teaching all of the core elements of the Free Scholar curriculum, have experience in the breadth of the full use of the art on foot (including armoured combat), and conduct original research or technical development of the art. They  must swear to the IAS Instructor Code of Conduct, abide by the rules and constitution of their home academy, and agree to the and promote the principles of historical European martial arts within and without organizations that are focused on the formalisation of these arts. Upon successful completion, an official teaching license is granted by the IAS to those who have successfully prized at this rank. Provost candidates will be considered if the following criteria are satisfied:

GENERAL

  • Minimum time of five years since receiving the rank as Free Scholar;
  • Minimum of at least 30 years of age;
  • Candidate’s instructor formally makes the request to the governing body of his/her intention for the rank of Provost. In the case of independent, or “at large” candidates, please refer to “Referral and ‘At large’ Candidates”.
  • Is willing to swear to and abide by the IAS’s Instructor’s Code of Conduct (see Appendices) and any complementary requirements of their home academy.

ACADEMIC

  • Can demonstrate a knowledge of the individual treatises of the Dei Liberi Tradition and their variances;
  • Possesses a solid analytical understanding of the historical treatises relevant to the art of armizare;
  • Has submitted an approved, peer-reviewed research to the IAS testing body -(see below). or
  • Has built a teaching curriculum for historical martial arts in keeping with the defined parameters for Quality of Interpretation.
  • Has a solid, working knowledge of the cultural milieu and martial history of early Renaissance Italy, and contemporary arms and armour.

REQUIRED READING

In addition to a research project or curriculum submission, reading requirements form part of the qualification criteria for a candidate seeking Provost status.

ARMS AND ARMOUR

  • Armour – Claude Blair
  • Archaeology of Weapons – Ewart Oakeshott

CHIVALRIC CULTURE

  • Knights Own Book of Chivalry – translated by Elspeth Kennedy
  • The Book of the Order of Chivalry by Ramon Lull – translated by Noel Fallows
  • Book of the Courtier – Castiglione

TOURNAMENT CULTURE

  • Tournaments – Richard Barber & Juliet Barker
  • Deeds of Arms – Steve Muhlberger

TECHNICAL

The following technical requirements must be met by Provost candidates. In addition, the candidate must possess the ability to apply the lessons and tactics of the canonical plays creatively and spontaneously, as demonstrated in public examination, and this for the whole of the Art, both armoured and unarmoured.

FOOTWORK

Provosts should perform to free-scholar levels, with the addition of maintaining a solid base in harness, with appropriate footwork and carriage throughout.

ABRAZARE

The Provost candidate must possess knowledge of all canonical plays of abrazare and be capable of demonstrating them in a dynamic environment. In addition, the Provost candidate must demonstrate:

  • 4 basic holds and how to break them: mutual arm hold (symmetrical or asymmetrical), collar/neck and elbow hold, back hold (high and low), diagonal hold (pinch grip tie)
  • Demonstrate a selection of throws/takedowns from the 5 takedowns implicit in Fiore’s manuscripts (backward, inside, outside, reverse and forward) These should be demonstrated statically and dynamically (in movement, not against an actively resisting opponent)
  • Demonstrate ability in at least two, 3-minute abrazare bouts.

DAGA

Performance must be dynamic and demonstrate proper footwork, use of tempo, measure and technique, while remaining a safe partner.

  • Demonstrate  any of the canonical plays required in the Free Scholar exam upon command;
  • Demonstrate the entire corpus of plays of armed dagger, specifically the Second, Sixth, Seventh and  Eighth Remedies.

SPADA A UN MANO

Candidates should  be prepared to demonstrate any of the plays or exercises previously required in the Free Scholar exam upon command, with performance  to be evaluated as discussed above, under daga.

SPADA A DUE MANI

  • Review: candidates should  be prepared to demonstrate any of the plays or exercises previously required in the Free Scholar exam upon command, with performance  to be evaluated as discussed above, under daga;
  • Candidates should know and be able to execute all plays of zogho stretto found in both il Fior di Battaglia and De Arte Gladiatoria Dimicandi

LANZA

Review: candidates should  be prepared to demonstrate any of the plays or exercises previously required in the Free Scholar exam upon command, with performance  to be evaluated as discussed above, under daga;

SPADA EN ARME

  • Demonstrate the poste: breve serpentina, serpentina superiore, vera croce, croce bastarda, porta di ferro mezzana, sagitarria; 
  • Execute a number of syllabus/flow drills in accordance with the school’s curriculum.
  • Explain and demonstrate how to fight from each posta, as described in the Flower of Battle;
  • Demonstrate the canonical plays of armoured swordsmanship as described in the Flower of Battle;
  • Apply the plays in a dynamic and spontaneous fashion, using control and in a safe manner.

AZZA

  • Demonstrate the poste: di donna, finestra, dente di zenghiaro, croce bastarda, vera croce 
  • Execute a number of syllabus/flow drills in accordance with the school’s curriculum.
  • Explain and demonstrate how to fight from each posta, as described in the Flower of Battle;
  • Demonstrate the canonical plays of armoured swordsmanship as described in the Flower of Battle;
  • Apply the plays in a dynamic and spontaneous fashion, using control and in a safe manner.

APPLIED ARMIZARE

To demonstrate their understanding of armizare as a system, candidates will be challenged to apply the first principles and canonical corpus of armizare to new situations. Some possible examples might include:

  • demonstrate variations of how a canonical dagger or abrazare play ending in a lock or takedown might be finished on the ground, when such a finish is not supplied  by the source material;
  • demonstrate how the plays from coda longa in the spada a un mano can be executed from a draw from the scabbard;
  • using one’s knowledge of abrazare, dagger and sword, expand upon the bastoncello lesson in the Flower of Battle;
  • using one’s knowledge of sword and spear, expand upon the ghiavarina lesson in the Flower of Battle

CUTTING

Possesses sound body mechanics, edge awareness and control of a sharp weapon, as demonstrated in test-cutting and in teaching basic test-cutting. The Provost candidate should be able to cut using multiple cuts along varying lines with either edge in quick succession at a suitable target (generally accepted to be tatami omote), with both passing footwork and statically (or volta stabile).

  • Pattern Five: Three consecutive mandritti fendente
  • Pattern Six: Mandritto Fendente, Riverso Falso Sottano, Mandritto Fendente
  • Pattern Seven: True and false edge mezani

QUALITY OF EXECUTION

In addition to all the previous requirements, Provosts should be able to adapt the plays and principles thereof and apply them to varying conditions (changing measure, different line of attack, etc.) in a dynamic manner. Further, the level of execution required is that of “Mastery.”

QUALITY OF INTERPRETATION

The Provost candidate must be able to provide interpretations of specific plays according to the qualitative interpretation guidelines set out in section VII. A suggested minimum is one play per required discipline (i.e. abrazare, spada a una mano, spada en arme, etc.)

INSTRUCTIONAL

A Provost must be capable of teaching all of the core elements of the Free Scholar curriculum, have experience in the breadth of the full use of the art on foot, and conduct original research or technical development of the art. They should be able to provide proper feedback on mechanical and tactical issues students may have, and institute corrective measures.

FURTHER REQUIREMENTS

  • Has fulfilled home academy’s specific internal requirements for promoting to the rank of Provost;
  • Demonstrated teaching skill in both private lessons and group instruction;
  • Has delivered instruction in regularly scheduled classes at their home academy;
  • Must be able to teach the entire Free Scholar curriculum.
  • Has taught outside their own academy in a large, public venue, such as the Western Martial Arts Workshop, Vancouver International Swordplay Symposium, Longpoint, Swordfish, etc.

TESTING AND PRIZE PLAYING

Testing will be via a public examination and Prize Playing, as noted in Section II of the governing document. Academic components will be tested by written examination, and technical and instructional components via in-person, physical examination. Should the candidate successfully pass the examinations, they will be eligible to move on to the final testing stage: the Playing of the Prize. (Although not strictly necessary, it is expected that Examination and Prizing will occur on different dates.)

The Challenge for the Provost’s Prize will be played as follows:

  • Against no less than three Challengers
  • Unarmoured Combat: No less than three, 3-minute bouts at each of the following weapons: spada a dui mani, spada a un mano, lanza.
  • Armoured Combat: No less than three, 3-minute bouts at spada en arme, and either lanza or azza.
  • Although the dagger is not individually taught within the Prize bouts, both Prizors and Challengers will wear daggers and may transition to them as needed during  bouts.
  • Given the difficulty in arranging armoured combat, public deeds of arms may be employed to showcase such ability in lieu of formal testing.

Upon successful completion, an official teaching license is granted by the IAS to those who have successfully prized at this rank.

MAGISTER (MAGISTRO)

The first two of these ranks can be considered student ranks (with Laurea being a junior instructor role in some organisations), while the latter two constitute senior instructor ranks. As an accrediting association and confraternity, the IAS is concerned with establishing recognizable standards and minimum requirements for all four grades, but leaves the authority for testing and granting of rank for the lower ranks of Scolaro and Laureato to its member academies. Note here that the member school may have any number of ranks before Scolaro. The ellefante symbol is reserved for these internal ranks, as the member school sees fit. Conversely, member bodies agree to external examination and certification by the association for the rank of Provost or Master at Arms, once all requirements internal to the member academy have been met. For proper rank recognition by the IAS to take place, several factors must be taken into account and evaluated. These are specified below, and form the corpus of minimum requirements that associates should adhere to.

  1. Content
  2. practical
  3. theoretical
  4. Quality of execution
  5. Quality of interpretation
  6. Academics
  7. Instructional

A simple content-based approach would not take into account the quality of the included actions and interpretation, and as such, would be incomplete. Finally, pedagogy forms an important part of the requirements at higher levels for proper transmission to take place, and as such is included and evaluated for these ranks.

CERTIFICATES (REQUIRED ELEMENTS)

Required elements for certificates issued by member schools include the following:

  • School name
  • Issuer name
  • Issuer signature
  • Rank name
  • Rank symbol
  • Rank colours
  • IAS logo

TESTING REQUIREMENTS

Although the IAS is organized on the model of the historical fencing guilds, inclusive of the four traditional ranks of ScholarFree ScholarProvost and Master, for the two lower grades (Scholar and Free Scholar), it only provides a framework of minimum skills and academic work that each member instructor or academy agrees to implement; testing and promotion up to the rank of Free scholar is entirely within the testing school’s domain.

Testing and certification for the higher, or teaching, grades of Provost and Magister, however,  is overseen by the IAS. All testing conducted by and within the IAS will include written, oral, technical and instructional components, and is primarily conducted in person — with specific exceptions noted where relevant. A formal Prize Play will round out the process, as a form of “confirmation.” All testing need not be done on the same day, but over a certain period.

Technical performance criteria is outlined in the general Quality of Execution specifications below, as well as on the pages for each of the four grades, or ranks.

QUALITY OF EXECUTION

What follows are guidelines for an acceptable quality of execution (QoE). Quality of execution refers to the execution of technique using proper mechanics and timing for movement and action, but may have some interpretational aspects, given that it is impossible to entirely separate physical execution from interpretation in a systematic fashion. The points below are universal, with specific criteria pertaining to individual ranks noted in the rank descriptions, as needed. More specifically, QoE will be graduated along a skill progression slide using an adapted model proposed by Henri Boudreault, PH.D. Our model is as follows (see appendix for more information on pedagogical progression and skills advancement):

  • Novice: rigid adherence to taught rules or plans, no exercise of “discretionary judgment”
  • Rote execution or repetition of a demonstrated technique or skill as demonstrated, often without using proper mechanics and without necessarily demonstrating an understanding of the wider context or variations in technique.
  • Intermediate: has limited “situational perception”, all aspects of technique treated separately with equal importance.
  • Applies, with help, the knowledge and skills necessary to the performance of a technique.
  • Proper mechanics are more prevalent, but secondary to the performance of the technique. I.e. the student will quickly abandon proper mechanics if the situation becomes difficult.
  • Application of technique requires concentration and conscious thought.
  • Competent:  independent evaluation of a situation, autonomy, transfer of technique across situations.
  • Executes techniques in isolation (set plays, simple phrases) against non-compliant partners.
  • Executes technique without prompting, in tempo and using proper body mechanics.
  • Capable of planning an approach (strategically)
  • Can apply tactical decision making consciously
  • Proficient: ability to apply and adapt technique and mechanics to a variety of situations.
  • Executes multiple techniques (“strings techniques) together to form complex phrases
  • Employs proper body mechanics, at speed
  • Can apply tactical decision making with little conscious thought
  • Mastery: Has a holistic view and can adapt technique to varying situations and weapons (i.e. has practiced the corpus of techniques and can use them across weapons and versus disparate weapons)
  • Employs proper body mechanics with fluidity and grace (sprezzatura)
  • Applies tactical decision making intuitively
  • Expertise: Innovates building upon his mastery, is not limited by the parameters of the system
  • Has significant skill or knowledge beyond mastery in a particular sphere of research (polearms, mounted combat, etc.)

To gain any rank outlined below, a student must gain a certain skill level in the required elements. For instance, to gain Scholar rank, the student should be rated as “competent” in the required skills. Individual schools are encouraged to use the qualitative assignments with their internal ranks and evaluations.

GENERAL BODY MECHANICS

As a rule, body mechanics are built on natural, mechanical efficiency, using universal principles such as the triangle, spiral and wave. All techniques presume the body is used in a way to perform maximum result with minimal effort, and to be effective across the system: in and out of harness, with all weapons, etc.

FOOTWORK

Footwork adheres to the rules on general body mechanics and its original context (i.e. turn shoes in  medieval environments). That means weight is carried over the balls of the feet, steps are even, balanced, precise and grounded – no jumping, hopping, bobbing, etc. Footwork should be even and balanced, with the weight resting largely on the balls of the feet. Posture is upright, with weight shifts according to the guard or position and adapted to the situation. Given the holistic nature of l’arte dell’armizare, footwork should be applicable both in and out of armour, with carriage adjustments as necessary.

ATTACKING

Attacks (cuts and thrusts) are to be done along proper fencing lines, and developed in true times (for the purposes of this work, true times are defined as leading the attack with the weapon, with the body following after) and in a safe manner (covering the most exposed line as one enters.)

DEFENSES/SET PLAYS

Defenses should be performed in such a manner as to keep the defender reasonably safe and provide opportunities for a change in initiative in the form of a follow-on action or riposte. Said defences should be drawn from basic fencing actions or from set plays and performed within acceptable standards of interpretation as set in the following section.

GRAPPLING

  • Any grappling actions should be done in proper sequence, i.e.: unbalance, enter, throw.
  • Grappling actions should be mindful of the context of the Art as a holistic system.

TACTICAL

Will be evaluated: The applicants use of tactics in freeplay. Tactics are defined as responses, in time, to a partner’s actions. Among these, we find:

  • Proper use of tempo in attacking and defending
  • Developing a prima tempo (first intention) attack in proper tempo
  • Use of second intention actions (dui tempi) and feints
  • Proper use of measure
  • Use of provocations to elicit responses, through guard changes, manipulation measure, drawing attacks or specific defenses, etc.

QUALITY OF INTERPRETATION

Any interpretation must be demonstrably and arguably derived from source material, or reasonably interpolated from the wider dei Liberi tradition. This includes all four extant manuscripts, Fillipo Vadi’s De Arte Gladiatoria, and manuals in the die Blume des Kampfs/Von Eyb tradition. Further, any interpretation must be demonstrably martially valid.

  • A Free scholar should be able to present an interpretation of a play and provide a reasonable argument for his interpretation, keeping within the established interpretational standards of the IAS  as stated above;
  • Accord to the organization’s understanding of the underlying body mechanics and tactics of Armizare;
  • Work at full speed against a simple attack;
  • Work at full speed against an non-compliant opponent, or if the play “fails” naturally allow for safe secondary actions.

Furthermore, any Provost or Magister candidate with a substantial interpretive difference or innovation should be able to submit a paper justifying their  interpretation and argue favorably in its defence before a panel of no less than three (3) judges. and based on the following criteria:

  • Accord to the text in any/all of the Fiore Ms. In other words, a text might not address a point of interpretation, but it can’t contradict it;
  • The physical actions should generally accord with the illustrations allowing for: a) differences between the four Ms and b) the nature of medieval art;
  • Must be demonstrably martially valid, as specified above.

III.a The Charter of the International Armizare Society calls for a semi-democratic structure in which the Society is overseen by a Governing Council working in concert with both Research and Martial Advisors. We call the system “semi-democratic” in the sense that, as martial arts are inherently hierarchical and elitist, only magister-level candidates are generally eligible to serve on the Governing Council.

The Society will be led by a Governing Council, comprised of five Magistri d’Armizare, consisting of the three founding members, plus two additional members, elected from the membership. Elected members serve a term of 3 years. The Council sets policy, review requests for Affiliation and conducts examinations.

Until such time as there are five Magistri d’Armizare available to form a full Governing Council, the Founding Members shall be entrusted to act as a Governing Council Pro Tempore.

III.b For issues pertaining to governance and policy, a vote of the governing council must be held. Such vote will be held in the following cases: policy change, criteria change for ranking, QoI or QoE changes, or any other issue in which there may be a difference of opinion and which may have an effect on the quality or internal functioning of the organisation.

The procedure for voting is thus:

  1. A proposal is made.
  2. The proposal is seconded. This triggers a period of debate.
  3. The period of debate will be no longer than 2 weeks, after which a vote must be held. This vote can be deferred or shortened, should a majority wish it by holding an impromptu vote (procedural).
  4. A simple majority of votes grants the proposal.
  5. The results are effective immediately, unless otherwise stipulated in the proposal.
  6. Any impromptu vote must be agreed upon by all voting members.

Governing Council

III.c The IAS Governing Council is meant to be comprised of five Magistri d’Armizare, consisting of the three founding members, plus two additional members, elected from the membership. Elected members serve a term of three years. The Council sets policy, review requests for Affiliation and conducts examinations.

Note that in order to move the organization forward, until such time as there are five Magistri d’Armizare available to form a full Governing Council, the IAS Charter calls for the Founding Members to act as a Governing Council Pro Tempore, as stated previously.

Members are elected to the governing council according to the general voting guidelines in force.

Founding Members

The founding members, serving as the governing council pro tempore, are:

Gregory Mele – Chicago Swordplay Guild

Sean Hayes – Northwest Fencing Academy

Jason Smith – Les Maîtres d’Armes

The Charter of the International Armizare Society calls for a semi-democratic structure in which the Society is overseen by a Governing  Council working in concert with both Research and Martial  Advisors. The system is a representational democracy, in the sense that, as martial arts are inherently hierarchical to preserve technical quality, only magister-level candidates are generally eligible to serve on the Governing Council.

GOVERNING COUNCIL

The IAS Governing Council is comprised of five Magistri d’Armizare, consisting of the three founding members, plus two additional members, elected from the membership. Elected members serve a term of two years. The Council sets policy, review requests for Affiliation and conducts examinations.

Note that in, order to move the organization forward, until such time as there are five Magistri d’Armizare available to form a full Governing Council, the IAS Charter calls for the Founding Members to act as a Governing Council Pro Tempore.

RESEARCH AND ADVISORY COUNCILS

When reconstructing a martial art, there is always the danger of “you do not know, what you do not know” — the subtleties of written instruction that rely upon an understanding of the social and intellectual culture that produced a text, as well as the many oral lessons that accompany learning a physical discipline that are simply lost due to a lack of direct transmission. Therefore, to maintain the highest standards of both martial and academic efficacy in the reestablishment of Armizare as a living, martial tradition, the Society has established a Research and Martial Advisory Council. The Council serves to counsel the IAS on various matters of import with regards to research, martial efficacy, pedagogy and any number of topics with specialized knowledge is required. Whereas the Research Council is a permanent, academic advisory body, the chief purpose of the Martial Advisory Council is to call upon the expertise of high level teachers of traditional martial arts to serve as a sounding board and pro tempore committee in the testing and establishment of the first generation of Magistri d’Armizare, until such a time as a full board of five examiners are available.

IV.a The resurrection of an historical martial art is a complex process requiring a detailed study of both the relevant technical sources, cross-referencing with contemporary sources from parallel traditions, pressure testing interpretations for conformance to sound  body mechanics, fundamental martial principles and effectiveness, combined with an understanding of the historical, cultural and social context in which the art was created and practiced as well as the material culture associated with practicing the art. To this end, the IAS Governors are charged with developing Research and Advisory Councils comprised of:

  1. Known and respected researcher-practitioners of contemporary Historical European Martial Arts.
  2. Known and respected high-level instructors of surviving European martial arts, such as fencing, stick-fighting and wrestling, particularly those from Italy.
  3. Known and respected high-level instructors from living traditions of non-European martial arts that developed in a similar cultural milieu and have a similar “composite” nature, combining long and short bladed weapons, polearms and grappling.
  4. Established academics and researchers in the fields of medieval and early Renaissance Italian history, chivalric culture and late medieval military history;
  5. Respected authorities in the field of late medieval arms and armour.

IV.b The Research and Martial Advisory Councils serve to counsel the IAS with regards to any number of topics with specialized knowledge is required. Further, the Councils shall serve as a panel to oversee the testing of the Society’s first Magister candidates, vetting their research, martial efficacy, and pedagogical skill, until such time as a full board of five Magistri d’Arme can be constituted to assume responsibility for examinations.

Both councils sit in an advisory capacity only, and play no role in setting policy nor in the general governance of the IAS, although their input is always welcome and appreciated.

When reconstructing a martial art, there is always the danger of “you do not know, what you do not know” — the subtleties of written instruction that rely upon an understanding of the social and intellectual culture that produced a text, as well as the many oral lessons that accompany learning a physical discipline that are simply lost due to a lack of direct transmission. Therefore, to maintain the highest standards of both martial and academic efficacy in the reestablishment of Armizare as a living, martial tradition, the Society has established a Research and Martial Advisory Council. The Council serves to counsel the IAS on various matters of import with regards to research, martial efficacy, pedagogy and any number of topics with specialized knowledge is required. Whereas the Research Council is a permanent, academic advisory body, the chief purpose of the Martial Advisory Council is to call upon the expertise of high level teachers of traditional martial arts to serve as a sounding board and pro tempore committee in the testing and establishment of the first generation of Magistri d’Armizare, until such a time as a full board of five examiners are available.

Research Council

Members of the Research Council have been chosen for their expertise in a variety of topics, including not only armizare itself, but also chivalric culture, medieval Italian language and history, arms and armour and medieval military history. The Council serves to maintain quality standards in original research produced by IAS members as well as theses submitted by magister candidates as part of the academic component of their testing requirements.

Council Members
  • Robert N. Charrette
  • Daniel Jaquet, Ph.D
  • Tom Leoni
  • Marco Quarto, Ph.D

Martial Advisory Council

The chief purpose of the Advisory Council is to call upon the expertise of high level teachers of traditional martial arts to assist in the testing and establishment of the first generation of Magistri d’Armizare. Martial Advisors have been chosen because for one or more of the following reasons:

  1. Pedagogical Rigor
  2. Cultural Proximity
  3. Parallel Knowledge

Pedagogical Rigor means that the Advisor is not only a trained expert combatant in a living martial tradition, but specifically is a trained teacher in a tradition with a refined pedagogy. As Armizare is part of the European martial heritage, Advisors chosen for Pedagogical Rigor are generally drawn from related, descendant Western traditions, such as classical fencing and wrestling.

In making a comparative study of Italian martial arts over the last six centuries, one finds that there is a common “vocabulary” of movement, body-mechanics, philosophy and tactics that infuses these traditions, despite a separation of centuries, evolution of weapons, or even class of society. Therefore, Cultural Proximity refers to Advisors chosen for their expertise in living martial traditions of the Italian peninsula, such as traditional saber, stick and knife fighting.

Finally, part of what makes Armizare distinctive is its use of grappling and diverse, archaic weapons in and out of full armour. Although no such traditions survive in Europe, there are some comparable arts that have been maintained in Asia. Advisors chosen for Parallel Knowledge are chosen specifically for their familiarity with armed grappling, polearms or armoured combat in the context of a living martial tradition.

Council members
  • Roberto Laura
  • Robert “Puck” Curtis
  • Orazio Barbagallo
  • Roberto Gotti
  • Marco Quarta

INTRODUCTION

This Code of Conduct is intended to provide standards of professional conduct that can be applied by International Armizare Society  instructors and its member organisations that choose to adopt them. This Code also provides a common set of values upon which the IAS instructor builds their professional work and has as its primary goal the welfare and protection of the individuals and groups with whom the instructors work. It is the individual responsibility of each instructor to aspire to the highest possible standards of conduct. IAS instructors respect and protect human and civil rights, and do not knowingly participate in or condone unfair discriminatory practices.

CODE OF CONDUCT

A: Competence
  1. IAS instructors strive to maintain high standards of excellence in their teaching.
  2. IAS instructors recognize the boundaries of their particular competencies and the limitations of their expertise. They provide instruction in only those areas for which they are qualified by training and experience.
  3. IAS instructors maintain knowledge of relevant technical information related to the instruction they render, and they recognize the need for ongoing education and training.
  4. IAS instructors strive to maintain continual commitment to CANI: “Constantly And Never-ending Improvement [citing Dr. W. Edwards Deming’s personal philosophy as taught by Tony Robbins].
B: Integrity
  1. IAS instructors seek to promote integrity in the instruction of l’Arte dell’Armizare.
  2. IAS instructors are honest, fair, and respectful of others. In describing or reporting their qualifications, services, or fees, they do not make statements that are false, misleading, or deceptive.
  3. IAS Instructors strive to operate by the fundamental guidelines of common etiquette and chivalric philosophy and avoid behavior unbecoming or potentially damaging to the IAS, and its members.
C: Professional Responsibility
  1. IAS instructors uphold ethical standards of conduct, accept appropriate responsibility for their behavior, and adapt their teaching methods to the needs of different learners.
  2. IAS instructors consult with, refer to, or cooperate with other IAS or CFAA instructors to the extent needed to serve the best interest of the learner.
  3. IAS instructors promote the IAS ranking system and ensure sound pedagogical principles in the instruction of l’Arte dell’Armizare.
  4. IAS instructors ensure that rank assessment and promotions awarded by its members are conducted in accordance with the approved standards of the IAS.
D: Tolerance policy
  1. IAS instructors’ moral standards and conduct are personal matters to the same degree as is true for any other person, except when instructors’ conduct may compromise their teaching responsibilities or reduce the public’s trust in the instructor or the IAS.

Armizare L’arte d’Armizare (The Art of Arms) is the medieval Italian term for knightly martial arts that were employed by the aristocratic warrior class of Europe. Armizare (are-mit-TZAR-ay) is divided into combat on foot and on horseback, in and out of armour. It includes wrestling and techniques when armed with a dagger, sword, pollaxe or spear.

Applied Armizare is “Armizare in Context”, or an understanding of how to apply the principles, tactics and mechanics of the art holistically and within situations upon which dei Liberi either did not discuss, only touched upon tangentially.

Canonical Armizare Specific instructions, tactical lessons and techniques left to posterity by Fiore dei Liberi, Filippo Vadi, and several fragmentary sources of anonymous authorship.  IAS central mission is to see that its understanding is refined and transmitted to the next generation.

Chivalric Martial arts are formulated within a cultural milieu and are meant to be tempered by a system of ethics and behavior. Central to Europe at the birth of the Renaissance were those chivalric ideals as recorded in the  historical record by philosophers, thinkers, jurists and allegorical authors such as Ramon Lull, Geoffrey de Charny, Dom Duarte of Portugal, Giovanni da Legnano, Wolfram von Eshenbach, Chretien de Troyes and Rene d’Anjou. As with any ethical system, chivalry was idealized more in thought than in deep (practice?), but as modern people we seek to honor the past, as well as the words of our art’s founder, himself, through a belief that the study of martial arts should be only be undertaken with, and used to develop, people of good moral and ethical character.

Dei Liberi Tradition Refers specifically to the martial art established by the late 14th century master-at-arms, Fiore dei Liberi de Civida d’Austria (c.1350 – 1420), who recorded his teachings on Armizare in a series of illustrated manuscripts, all named (in either Italian or Latin) the Flower of Battle. The larger dei Liberi tradition also includes the work of Filippo Vadi of Pisa, as well as several fragmentary German manuscripts of unclear authorship found as a part of larger compendia of martial teachings.

Historical European Martial Arts The expression “historical European martial arts” (HEMA) is a subset of Western Martial Arts (WMA) that denotes the martial or fighting arts of Europe, with a special concentration on the middle ages, the Renaissance, and the early modern periods that became dormant and have been reconstructed in the current era. Reconstruction of the arts, in this case Armizare,  is based on a combination of theory and practice. The first is based on a strict reading and understanding of the original instructions left to posterity by Fiore dei Liberi and members of his tradition, understood through the historical and cultural context in which their both their fighting art, and its written record, were created. The second consists in faithfully translating this understanding into body-mechanics, weapon in hand, first through drills, then progressively into free-fencing.

Neo-Armizare Is “an understanding of how to apply the principles, tactics and mechanics of the art holistically and within situations upon which dei Liberi could not have conceived.

Set Play A pre-determined series of movements or techniques with varying degrees of complexity, often taken directly from the illustrated techniques of the manuscripts.

At the time of this writing, the active member academies are as follows:

Given that certain members may already have a ranking system in place, employing naming conventions of their own, upon admittance to the IAS, the rank structure will be examined to determine how the rank structures of member academies stand in relation to one another. Once this is done, they will be added to the table below for  reference. To provide a lingua franca among members, IAS rank names are encouraged when referencing ranks among members

IAS rankCSG RankNWA RankLMA Rank
ScolaroScholarBacceliereScholar
LaureatoFree ScholarLaureatoFree Scholar
RettoreProvostProvostProvost
MagisterMasterMaestroMaster

Henri Boudreault, PH.D., proposed a model for gauging competence, upon which we have based the skills progression in this document. It, in turn, is modeled on a learning progression proposed by Stuart and Hubert Dreyfus (which is modeled on earlier work). This learning progression has 5 discrete phases experienced by every student in skills acquisition. Grading skills levels, or competence, employs a sliding scale that is reminiscent of, and somewhat mirrors, the learning progression. The levels employed in this document are a hybridised superset of adapted to our particular needs in a martial learning environment, and aligned with our rank requirements. The phases of learning are:

  1. The exploration phase
  2. Fundamentals acquisition
  3. Integration and training
  4. Transfer of skills
  5. Enrichment

Each skill and each level of competence goes through this iterative process of learning. Without going into a level of detail inappropriate for this document, the exploration phase allows the student to become comfortable with the notions he must learn, and explore its possibilities and context. The fundamentals acquisition phase is where the student acquires the basic notions and skills towards  gaining competence. Integration and training is active learning, with the student participating fully in his advancement. The transfer phase is where the student takes a skill, notion, principle or ability and applies it to another context. Finally, the enrichment phase is where the student actively explores and transfers these notions to other situations not directly related to the context, learning on their own with minimal outside assistance. Skill progressions advance in terms of competence, from novice to expert,  using the following nomenclature: Novice, Intermediacy, Competency, Proficiency, Mastery, Expertise. A description of what each skills level entails follows. All Quality of Execution (QoE) will be measured against this scale. It should be noted that QoE is progressive. For instance, a student may be expected to perform a technique with a certain level of skill at the Scolaro level, and perform the same technique to a higher level of skill for a later rank. As such, the student should expect that they may be evaluated repeatedly on the same material, employing different criteria, throughout their advancement. Novice (N): rigid adherence to taught rules or plans, no exercise of “discretionary judgment”

  • Rote execution or repetition of a demonstrated technique or skill as demonstrated, often without using proper mechanics and without necessarily demonstrating an understanding of the wider context or variations in technique.

Intermediate (I): has limited “situational perception”, all aspects of technique treated separately with equal importance.

  • Applies, with help or prompting, the knowledge and skills necessary to the performance of a technique.
  • Proper mechanics are more prevalent, but secondary to the performance of the technique. I.e. the student will quickly abandon proper mechanics if the situation becomes difficult.
  • Application of technique requires concentration and conscious thought.

Competent (C): independent evaluation of a situation, autonomy, and transfer of technique across situations.

  • Executes techniques in isolation (set plays, simple phrases) against non-compliant partners.
  • Executes technique without prompting, in tempo and using adequate body mechanics.
  • Capable of planning an approach (strategically)
  • Can consciously apply tactical decision making

Proficient (P): ability to apply and adapt technique and mechanics to a variety of situations.

  • Executes multiple techniques (“strings techniques) together to form complex phrases
  • Employs proper body mechanics, at speed
  • Can apply tactical decision making with little conscious thought
  • Has some ability to transmit knowledge or technique

Mastery (M): Has a holistic view and can adapt technique to varying situations and weapons (i.e. has practised the corpus of techniques and can use them across weapons and versus disparate weapons)

  • Employs proper body mechanics with fluidity and grace (sprezzatura)
  • Applies tactical decision making intuitively
  • Can transmit knowledge and technique, and more importantly, principles.

Expertise (E): Innovates, building upon his mastery, is not limited by the parameters of the system

  • Has significant skill or knowledge beyond mastery in a particular sphere of research (polearms, mounted combat, etc.)