Classes with us tend to have a relatively informal atmosphere compared to some martial arts. Where we do ask for specific behaviour, it is to help ensure the safety of everyone in the class, and so ensure that everyone can learn the material being taught.
- Respect your fellow classmates; their safety within class is your concern – this goes for all stages of the class, from warming up, through drilling, to sparring.
- Respect your training weapons, sythnetic or steel. Whatever they’re made from, they’re still capable of causing injury.
- Respect the content being taught. If it’s being taught to you, there’s a reason we feel you should know and understand it.
- Be diligent in your own training. Strive for perfect application of both technique and control. There’s no such thing as ‘this is too basic to spend time on’.
- Help your training partners. This does not mean explain everything to them. This means always ensure that everything you are doing on your side of any drill is the exact technique required for the drill, as perfectly as you can execute it, every time.
- Respect your instructors. At MCG we don’t take pay from the class, and our best reward for all of the training, research, and effort it has taken to build the class and content is to see the class and students applying themselves and training hard.
- Respect the training hall. Don’t make a mess, don’t leave a mess. If something happens, deal with it immediately.
- If in doubt about anything, in any way, ask.
- Apply all of the above to any workshop, training day, tournament, or other HEMA event that you happen to be at or a part of.
Control and self-discipline are the two mainstays of becoming a good martial artist. Control over yourself and your techniques to not cause injury to yourself or your fellow students, and self-discipline enough to diligently train the techniques and work to be able to apply them effectively in sparring, even for the drills that seem boring, or seem too hard, or seem pointless at first glance.
And in general at all times:
Medieval Combat Group expects its members to respect each other and behave in a generally civilized fashion. Medieval Combat group forbids abusive, insulting, harassing, and / or intimidating behavior which includes, but is not limited to, stalking, physical or verbal intimidation, discriminatory comments, inappropriate physical contact, and unwelcome sexual attention. Please report any incidents in which a member of the event is abusive, insulting, intimidating, bothersome, or acting in an unsafe or illegal manner to a member of the MCG Committee (Matt, Ross, Rebecca) or one of the instructors (Matt, Ross, Katja, Oliver, Katja, or Harold).
Weapons, Equipment, and Sparring Policies
All members of the group must adhere to the following:
- Only equipment that has been cleared for use by the instructors may be used to train. If we ask you not to use it, don’t use it. If you’re in doubt before buying something, double check with us first. For weapons this means steels should be a from a known and reputable source for weapons purpose made for HEMA drilling and sparring (Regenyei, Ensifer, etc.) given a once-over by an instructor if it’s from a manufacturer we have’t come across before. For protective gear again this means suitable equipment designed for HEMA – SPES jacket for steel sparring, mask and mask overlay/back of head protection, suitable gloves (SPES, Sparring Gloves, Neyman, etc).
- Your equipment must be appropriate for the level of drilling or sparring you intend to join in with. As a rough guide:
- Technical drilling in class: appropriate nylon or steel weapon, potentially a mask, potentially light gloves – the instructor will give guidance on a drill by drill basis as to requirements.
- Low intensity/low speed sparring: mask and light gloves, appropriate weapon
- Higher intensity sparring: minimum of appropriate jacket (SPES or similar), mask, appropriate gloves (SPES, Sparring Gloves, etc), elbow and knee protectors, gorget. Preferably also with forearm, shin, groin, and mask overlay.
- Tournament prep/tournament participation: Check the tournament guidelines, but minimum of all of the above for higher intensity sparring.
- Whilst sparring, observe the following etiquette:
- Acknowledge hits, give feedback on the quality – be aware of edge alignment, travel etc.
- Acknowledge doubles and afterblows, and the fact that doubles and blow-afterblow results are what we strive to avoid – keep yourself safe, then hit the other person whilst staying safe, and then remain safe.
- Before an exchange, tap blades, salute, move back out of distance.
- Remember that sparring is just another training tool, make your exchanges useful rather than just attempting to ‘win’.