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Cymbrogi School of Western Martial Arts
Code of Conduct Agreement



Welcome to the Cymbrogi School of Western Martial Arts. The mission of our School is to provide instruction on the Historic European Martial Arts (HEMA) or Western Martial Arts (WMA). Even when done correctly, this type of instruction is inherently dangerous to all parties involved in its practice, and those participating must understand and accept a certain level of risk. This risk can best be mitigated through proper discipline within the School.

All members of the School are expected to adhere to this Code of Conduct while at the School or at outside events, and to hold each other accountable for maintaining an environment that is conducive to learning. It challenges us to embody the best martial and professional values possible when interacting with each other, the public and other members of the martial arts community. By doing so, those who adhere to it will better each other and our larger culture—indeed, these skills are taught with the good faith that those seeking them are also seeking to improve themselves. In this, it can be thought of as a modern “knightly vow.”

We expect excellence, more-so than what is expected by those outside of our School. Let your growth elevate you and set you apart. Strive to become a person that inspires respect in other martial artists, and to build a School that is the envy of the world.


Respect your Fellow Students 


We of the Cymbrogi School of Western Martial Arts are brothers and sisters in arms. While we will naturally have differences of opinion on various topics, we are united in our common pursuit of martial excellence. Thus, maintain a positive intent when interacting with your fellow students, and focus on what unites you, rather than your differences. Don’t make this harder than necessary—refrain from inappropriate language and behavior, such as sexual innuendo, racist remarks, bias against other groups or threatening statements.

Support your fellow students’ progress. Be a good drilling and sparring partner—work at an intensity that both participants are reasonably comfortable with, and try to ensure that both participants are getting something out of the exercise. Afterwards, discuss your insights with your partner, and try to provide useful, constructive criticism. Accept such criticism of your own performance with grace.

Physical contact in martial arts is inevitable, but remember that displays of affection or “jokes” may be intimidating or hurtful to others. Our approved gesture for affection and respect within the School is the arm clasp with a pat on the back. Make sure that both parties consent before exceeding those boundaries.

If there are concerns about any of the matters listed above, please discuss them with an instructor.


Respect our School


Show up to class prepared, with your gear in good order and dressed to train. Preferred class attire includes a class or tournament shirt, though any clean athletic clothing is acceptable. Practice good hygiene and show up clean and with trimmed nails. If you have any concerns about the possibility of you being ill or somehow contagious, then please refrain from attending class until those concerns are put to rest.

Show up to class on time. This means arriving early enough to gather gear and prepare yourself to participate in any planned group warmup activities. If you expect to miss a class that you normally attend, or to attend a class that you normally do not, please let your instructor know.

Show up to class ready to work and stay focused throughout. Class time is short, and there is time to socialize when it is over. Put in a good effort.

You should never feel like you can’t ask questions, but be cognizant of when you are disrupting the flow of class. If you are monopolizing the instructor’s attention to the point that it has derailed his or her lecture, table your concerns until a break or after class to get them answered.

Our training space is shared by all of our students. Be tidy with your personal effects, and don’t leave gear strewn around the fencing hall. Clean and store any borrowed gear after each use. Never borrow non-School gear without permission from its owner. Clean up any messes as they happen.

It is a privilege to have a standalone fencing hall for us to train in. Don’t forget to pay your School tuition in full and on time. If you have any concerns about being able to do so, please discuss them with the Oberhauptmann.

Thank your instructor for your class. They will appreciate it every time. 


Be Respectable at Events


While at an event, you are an ambassador from our School. Always be on your best behavior, and seek to build bridges with those you encounter. Our School encourages earnest training, not to fight or defeat each other, but to defeat an unnamed “enemy.” This enemy is figurative, not literal, and while we encourage our fighters to display valor in their deeds away from the School, it is in our best interest to build alliances at competitions than to destroy people. Just like your fellow students in the School, you are united with the students of other schools by your mutual interest in the Art.

While at an event, be respectful of your partner as if they were a part of the School. Don’t seek to cause injury or demoralize them, but to show them your best self. Be an excellent fencer and sportsman—regardless of his or her abilities, show respect for your opponent by giving him or her the best performance that you can.

At times you will encounter bad officiating at events. Under no circumstances should you cause a scene about outcomes or judging, but should handle the situation as professionally as possible through the channels allowed by the event’s rules. Let your coach be your advocate. Congratulate worthy opponents and thank them for helping you grow and improve in your Art.

You should show up to an event as focused and ready to work as you ever are. Anything that distracts from this goal is to be avoided. Partying, celebratory games or showing off should not happen until your role in the event is concluded, including any support roles that might play. Be your best and test yourself. You represent your School at all times while you’re away.


Be Respectable Online and in Your Interpersonal Dealings


Once you are a recognized student of our School, the interactions that you have with others will also reflect on our School, whether you intend for them to or not. Social media can be a powerful tool for networking and organizing groups and events, but it can also be a toxic quagmire of opinions and personalities. At all times, be cognizant that any unbecoming behavior that you project may reflect on the rest of us, despite your intentions. Such online discussions are rarely productive, anyhow.

While we do not police social media activity, any offensive posts or conduct that rise to the leadership’s attention may result in action taken by the School. Examples include posting offensive, racist or sexist statements about any given group or individual, including other schools. While having political differences and debates on topics is normal and natural, always approach these interactions with the same values that you are expected to display in class. If the discussion falls beneath the level of civil discourse, take a step back.



I, the undersigned, have reviewed thoroughly and been given a copy of the Cymbrogi School of Western Martial Arts “Classroom Conduct Agreement” (known hereafter as “The Agreement”) and agree to all terms within it.

If I am found to be violating these rules of conduct in the Agreement, I will submit to any decision the Cymbrogi Leadership Council determines is best. This may include the following:

A verbal reminder about “The Agreement.”


A written warning about personal conduct and how it’s in violation of the “The Agreement.”


A written censure of the conduct that is in violation posted on our social media platforms for awareness. For example: Johnnie has been accused several times of egregious misconduct in class or at School functions. Johnnie has been given warnings about this behavior, and the misconduct continued. Johnnie has agreed he would like to have another chance and will reform this behavior, and has agreed to a written statement posted internally on our private social media pages that he will comply. Details of the misconduct will be left out of such a statement, but the censure of behavior will be available for all students to review for awareness and accountability.

Removal of rank in the School for conduct unbecoming of that rank. 


Removal of teaching privileges or removal of certain class privileges at the Cymbrogi Leadership Council’s discretion (for example, no wrestling or sparring for 30 days).


If full expulsion from the Cymbrogi School of Western Martial Arts is deemed necessary, a notice of the expulsion will be posted to the public social media pages for the “Southern Historic Fencing League,” to alert other Schools/groups/clubs that teach WMA or HEMA of the misconduct and our severing of ties with the individual. It will not go into detail about the nature of the misconduct, but that may be disclosed to the individual leadership of those groups if requested.



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