Malta Historical Fencing Association

Rules of the Sala d’Armi

Members are expected to respect and be familiar with the following rules as befits members of a disciplined school of fencing, good etiquette, and safe practice.

Punctuality

Proper behavior starts by arriving on time for the lessons. This means you should be early so that you have time to wear your uniform and prepare your equipment for the official salute to mark the beginning of the class.

In the interests of one’s health, members arriving late are expected to do their own warming up before joining the lesson. It is therefore in the members’ interest to be on time so as not to miss the lesson.

Respect Your Teachers

No interruptions while the instructor is addressing the class.

If you have questions which are relevant to the subject, wait until the instructor finishes what he has to say, then raise your hand for permission to speak. If your question is not directly relevant to the current subject, wait until the lesson is over and approach the teacher with your question in private.

No bad language, obscene words or gestures are tolerated in the salle.

Proper Clothing And Equipment

Members who have been practicing for more than 6 months are expected to have their own full uniform and equipment.

Members will wear a plain black shirt or MHFA shirt, black trousers and black indoor sport shoes. Although masks and weapons may be provided by the club subject to availability, beginners are encouraged to start buying their own.

The official club uniform is a white fencing jacket bearing the badge of the MSFC on the left shoulder, and the one of the MHFA on the right, black gloves, black breeches, black socks, black shoes, the official brown leather plastron and a fencing mask. The use of groin guards for men and chest protectors for women mandatory. Additional protective equipment in the form of kneepads and elbow guards and gorget may be worn, provided they are dark, or may be worn under the uniform.

All personal equipment should be properly cleaned and maintained.

Weapons

Every student is expected to take good care of his weapons. Blades must be suitably clean and free of burrs and notches, and safety tips must be firmly attached.

Training weapons must be treated with the same respect as though they were sharp and dangerous. This is important in order to cultivate a sense of ‘reality’ to our practice, respect for the weapons and safety for ourselves and our fellow fencers.

Behaviour With Other Students

When practicing drills with another student, make sure that the drill is practiced as instructed. Do not show off or experiment with techniques other the ones being practiced at the moment.

For example, do not try to ‘win’ when you are supposed to take a hit. This behavior is disrespectful to the instructor and hinders the learning process, both for yourself and your fellow student. With certain weapons this behavior can also endanger your partner and yourself. Note that this does not mean that one should adopt bad form for the sake of an excercise.

No student should give instructions or lessons to other students without the permission of the instructor.

In case of personal quarrels between students over any matter, the use of violence is prohibited in resolving the issue. Any issues should be resolved immediately and with total openness. Violations of this rule are extremely harmful both to those involved and the club as a whole, and will not be tolerated.

No student is permitted to participate in a free assault before at least a few months of regular attendance to classes. Only after this time will a student posses enough skills and control of technique to take part in a free assault in safety.

No student will take part in free assaults without the permission of the instructor.

Before and after every free assault a salute is performed as a gesture of courtesy to your partner. Similarly, the official club salute will be performed to mark the beginning and the end of a lesson.

Damage To Club Equipment

Damages to blades and other club property is to be paid by whoever caused the damage. Special cases will be dealt with individually.

Outside The Club

No student is allowed to practice what is learned outside the walls of the club, unless special permission is granted by the Instructor.

Members are expected to maintain a level of decency and decorum outside the club, especially, but not only, when wearing the club uniform.