At the start of September, two of our students, Aaron and Kelly, went through the first Free Scholar assessments ever at Medieval Combat Group. These assessments are aimed at long-term students with good technical understanding and ability.
For the first part the candidate must demonstrate in-depth technical knowledge of the core elements of either longsword or messer. For some parts they’ll know in advance to be able to prepare – almost like having to teach an in-depth workshop on a subject to your instructor – and for other parts no advance warning is given, things are passed or failed based on your technical response to a sparring situation and your ability to explain why your technical response was appropriate given the situation and the principles of the system.
For the second part, the students must ‘play their prize’, kitting up for steel sparring and fencing opponent after opponent after opponent for a significant length of time without break in between. These exchanges are monitored by the instructors to gauge the technical ability of the candidates to perform good consistent technique whilst under the stress and fatigue of constant unco-operative opponents.
Provided both of these elements are passed to a satisfactory level, the candidate then becomes a Free Scholar of the school, and we’re exceptionally pleased that both Kelly and Aaron passed, Aaron with longsword and Kelly with messer.