ARMAsmall.JPG (7656 bytes)ARMA FAQ

The following information is provided as a guide for new individual members and for starting local Study Groups along official ARMA guidelines. Administrative, technical, and moral support is offered through our homepage contacts.

If you’ve examined the ARMA site in detail then you already understand our purpose and know what makes us unique. But if you still have questions we have provided a list below of FAQs that can facilitate answering many of the common inquires we receive.

How do I get started?
Whether you have never held a sword before or already train in either Medieval or Renaissance weaponry, our structure is set up to help you teach yourself and to find others to work with.   Due to the limited resources we have for ensuring our methods are followed and our standards sincerely and accurately adopted, we refer new members and interested parties to our extensive online documents and media. Therefore, if you haven’t already done so please read in detail the sections: About ARMA, the ARMA Method for exploring our Western martial heritage, and our membership Structure.  Plus, read the Articles & Essays, Spotlight section, and view our documentary. If you are able, you will need to attend courses in the Member Training Program seminar series designed for eventual Ranking Certification.  Our Members-only section contains a wealth of special study and research material on training, practicing, and learning.   In addition to our many public training tips and resources, in our private member's area, the Armarium, we have an extensive guide for beginners as well as a range of study material.

Is there an ARMA Study Group near me?
There are only a handful of recognized Study Groups around the globe and North America. Membership is kept limited in order to ensure adequate instruction. The outcome of applying is not guranteed. However, every group must begin somewhere with someone and ARMA’s approach is open for anyone to sincerely follow our system. There are many students here and elsewhere who are only still on the periphery. See the Practice Partners List for people near you.

How can I currently go about practicing along the ARMA System?
Obviously, you must comprehend and accept the ARMA affirmations and philosophy. The ARMA Study Approach to reconstructing Medieval & Renaissance fighting skills and the ARMA Training Program is a system open to any member earnestly and sincerely following the Affirmations. Naturally, without meeting in person for extended period, nothing more can be done than try to point students and Study Groups in the same direction. However, as much as is possible the ARMA website is intentionally set up with this in mind. Therefore, if they are unfamiliar to you study our  recommended titles from the Reading & Research List and the Historical Fencing Terminology List. Making ARMA contact-weapons for free-sparring practice is also highly advised. Additionally, our Member's section contains information and guidance on teaching yourself and training alone.

How to I form a new Study Group?
The first requirement for members establishing an official Study Group is to adopt and follow the ARMA method in your study and training. Everything else is up to you. You can do whatever you want as long as you’re seriously practicing and studying and contributing with others in a manner that does not conflict or detract from the ARMA spirit of reconstructing Medieval & Renaissance martial culture. Find a minimum of at least 2 other registered ARMA members (4 if outside the USA) interested in your city or town and begin practicing and training following the ARMA Approach.  When you feel you are serious and committed enough and have the necessary equipment, apply for Study Group membership by petitioning for Provisional Recognition as an official Study Group. Within a month, an ARMA Inspector General in a coat and hat will audit you to review your practices (no, just kidding). When the time comes for recognition as an official certified Study Group, we’ll both know it. It's not difficult. Until individuals receive in-person instruction from a certified ARMA instructor in certified ARMA classes, they will remain a Provisional Study Group, training with the same spirit if not exact same methods. What we look for in Provisional Study Groups are committed individuals sincerely interested in the martial and scholarly study who appreciate and value the ARMA Approach.  Please also note the ARMA Director has sole control over the use of the trademark ARMA name, logo, proprietary instructional method, and all copyrighted material.  Additionaly, our Member's section contains information and guidance on organizing and structuring group practice sessions.

What if I pursue other interests that follow a different course than the ARMA’s?  Remember that the ARMA is an approach and attitude to study as well as a method of training. We offer a system of instruction and practice, set an example, provide resources, and present our collective experience as a guide. If others follow and contribute back then we are all enriched. Above all, we stress that study is ultimately up to each person. In the end, we are all still "students". However, if the majority of your time and energy is committed to pursuits that are contrary to (or even opposed to) the spirit and goals of the ARMA, are motivated by noticeably different concerns and interests, how then can you honestly expect to earnestly particpate in (or promote) the ARMA's efforts? How can you begin to acquire proficiency in its system let alone encourage and work with others doing the same? Therefore, when it comes to dedicating yourself to studying a martial art we are skeptical of both multiple-allegiances and similar activities that are clear distractions from our stated premise. But, in the end, we consider each case independently. If you want to become an ARMA member and want to still belong to, "XYZ" organization, host and promote "XYZ" events, and regularly hold "XYZ" meetings, doing "whatever" anywhere with anyone, then there would conceivably be a conflict, as it would understandably be difficult to fully commit to the ARMA system or contribute back in return. Be sure to  read this: What kind of people are we looking for as members?  For more see Doing Things The ARMA Way and Core Assumptions.  Most importantly, be sure you understand that our organization follows a certain credo or Code of Conduct

How can I acquire ARMA Ranking or Skill Proficiency Certification?
Opportunities to acquire limited certification in one weapon form will be offered through nationwide workshop courses of the ARMA Member Training Program in addition to special seminars and our regular classes as well as arranging private lessons. Only those having attended official courses offered by a certified ARMA Instructor or accredited senior student can pursue any Proficiency Certification –and this is a long process of martial study.  For now, see this material on the longsword foundation to become familiar with our craft's focus. 

What’s the air speed of a fully laden swallow?
If you’re asking this, man, have you got the wrong group. However, perhaps this site will be of some use

See also:
Where to Start


Note: The word "ARMA" and its associated arms emblem is a federally registered trademark under U.S. Reg. No. 3831037. In addition, the content on this website is federally registered with the United States Copyright Office, © 2001-2022. All rights are reserved. No use of the ARMA name and emblem, or website content, is permitted without authorization. Reproduction of material from this site without written permission of The Association for Renaissance Martial Arts and its respective authors is strictly prohibited. Additional material may also appear from "HACA" The Historical Armed Combat Association copyright © 1999-2001 by John Clements. All rights are reserved to that material as well.